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Christmas is a wonderful time of year for many of us, as we use it as an excuse to spend more time with friends and family and avoid the responsibilities and realities of our daily lives. We, the lovers of anime, are experts at this avoidance skill, often used to avoid the afore mentioned family and friends. We otaku often look at all this Christmas stuff as “normie” stuff and would rather continue hiding in our rooms and avoid the holiday completely, especially the romantic implication it has in some cultures like in Japan.
The anime industry also seems to have a yearly plan to drag us into this “normie” world by planting wonderfully romantic episodes into many anime. We find that if it’s a slice-of-life or romance it invariably has a Christmas episode that ends in tears or a confession. We may not understand why our undying loyalty is abused by the anime industry. We’re abused by high expectations placed both on us and our NEET brethren through the false hope created by these idealized Christmas episodes; and yet we will watch them all. We watch them with their beautiful artwork, moving music with our adorable waifus dancing in the snow as we try to avoid reality for just a little longer. That said, we guess the industry does understand us… so we will now give you the top 10 Christmas love scenes in anime.
10. Shounen Maid
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2016- Jul. 2016
After the death of his mother, Chihiro Komiya is taken in by a long-lost rich Uncle Madoka Takatori. Chihiro is happy to make himself useful to his new family and quickly sets about cleaning the pigsty of a mansion from top to bottom. He is determined to make for a place for himself in his uncle’s household and settles into the role of maid/elementary school student.
His uncle wanted to give him something fun for Christmas, but all dear little Chihiro wanted was a new vacuum cleaner. You won’t be able to contain your own smile when you see the look on his face when he unwraps it. He foregoes video games with his friends in order to spend Christmas day cleaning. His friends even help out, hoping he’ll finish earlier so they can play. The cleaning still takes all day. We are left to believe that the moral of this story is that regardless of what you are doing on Christmas, if you’re with your friends and family and having fun, even if it is cleaning, that’s what counts.
9. School Rumble 2nd Semester (Scholl Rumble Ni Gakki)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 2004- Mar. 2005
Kenji Harmia is a thug, but at least he’s thug with a sweet spot. He has a crush on the sweetest, ditsiest high school girl there ever was named Tenma. The girl has a crush on the plainest guy on the planet, Karasuma. The story gets pretty zany from there as we follow Kenji on his quest to win the heart -- or even the notice -- of Tenma. We find that whenever big, tough Kenji gets the chance to confess his feelings something really crazy happens to get in his way. Will he ever be able to get his emotions across?
The Christmas episode, like every episode of School Rumble, is a little nuts. Kenji has been squarely friend-zoned by Tenma and pours his heart and soul into a grand gesture to get her attention, a manga manuscript that will be published. The journey to get that manuscript published is a difficult one that includes a flight of mackerel missiles targeting him like in a mecha anime. The whole story wraps up with Tenma’s feelings being hurt, Kenji’s opportunity to confess gone, and a sweet, simple apology delivered while wearing a Santa suit to save their friendship. It’s an unconventional romance, but a nice one for Christmas that will make you laugh.
8. Itsudatte My Santa!
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Dec. 2005
Itsudatte My Santa! is a standalone Christmas story about a young man named Santa, who happened to be born on Christmas. The kid has problems beyond that, too. His parents have made little time for him over the years, often leaving him alone on his birthday. Santa comes to hate the holiday out of the bitterness he feels.
Mai is a Santa in training, the niece of The Santa. She feels bad that none of the other Santas have done anything to rectify young Santa’s despair over the years. Mai is upset since she knows that Santa is always watching, so he had to know this kid was miserable, right?
Mai is a rather precocious girl and shanghaies Santa for the evening to give him a few insights into his life. She shows him the real reason his parents are always away. She gives him a reason for his friends not inviting him to Christmas parties. Mai also resurfaces some pleasant memories of his Christmas past. The cute little Santa-in-training opens his heart and finds her way into it. The end of the episode is sweet with a promise for her to spend his next birthday with him as well.
7. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou Hall (Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct. 2012- Mar. 2013
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou Hall is a story about being average while surrounded by genius. Sakurasou Hall is the small, run-down housing unit for “special” students at a prestigious school. The rooms are filled with an assortment of best and brightest students, who are all very eccentric. The story revolves mainly around Sorata, an average guy who ends up residing there, and Mashiro, a painter with no social skills. Sorata is assigned Mashiro duty, which entails everything from making her get dressed in the morning to getting her to class. Sorata likes Mashiro; Mashiro likes Sorata, but she’s so unfamiliar with emotion she doesn’t realize it. Sorata’s best female friend, Nanami, likes him and invites him for a date on Christmas Eve.
The date goes well and both Nanami and Sorata enjoy a show and dinner in a snow-filled wonderland surrounded by the lights and sounds of the season. The date is almost perfect for Nanami, and giving her the will to confess, until they find out Mashiro disappeared from a gala she was attending. The two search for Mashiro and find her barefoot and sitting in a snowy park. We don’t have a confession or a resolution at the end of the episode and Nanami is a bit depressed as she realizes the sizable task she will have in becoming first in Sorata’s heart. The entire series is good in dealing with relationships between people and this Christmas arch was no different.
6. Kimi ni Todoke
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2009- Mar. 2010
Kronuma doesn’t have many friends and it really isn’t her fault. She just happens to look and sound like the ghost from a movie called “The Ring.” Kronuma is a sweet and timid girl and unable to stand up for herself. She dreams of having a normal life. It’s a dream embodied in her friendship with the most popular guy in class, Kazehaya. The story spans 25 episodes as we watch Kronuma learn to come out of her shell, trust others and make friends. It’s a truly gentle coming of age story.
Kazehaya is hosting a Christmas party for all of their friends. Kronuma declines the invitation, though she really wishes to go, because her family has plans at home on Christmas Eve. After spending time with her parents, she begs for permission to leave and go to the party. Her mother is ecstatic and her father is a bit disappointed at having to let go of his little girl, but grants her permission to go. Unfortunately for Kronuma, the party is over before she can get there. She runs into Kazehaya on the way there and he gives her a gift after a series of cute blushing exchanges. The entire anime will put you in the mood with the romance of young love and would make a perfect Christmas Eve marathon (snuggled up with your love, of course).
5. (Tie) Nisekoi: Season 2 (Nisekoi: False Love)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2015- Jun. 2015
Nisekoi is the tale of two young people not in love -- or are they? Chitoge is the daughter of a mob boss and Raku is the son of Japanese crime lord. In order to prevent a mob war, the parents of this mob prince and princess announce that the couple are engaged. The two have to keep up the pretense that they are in love, despite hating each other, in order to keep the peace. We see some big changes as the series goes on when it comes to their feelings for one another. We think one of the biggest examples when it comes to Raku’s feelings is the Christmas episode.
Raku knows that Chitoge has a strained relationship with her mother, a rather powerful and sometimes “scary” (Chitoge’s word, not ours) businesswoman, and wants to help mend the relationship. He knows that Chitoge wants nothing more than time with her mother, who is constantly absent from her life because of business. Raku becomes Chitoge’s mother’s assistant and works himself almost to death in order to free up time in her schedule for her daughter. He even has to go as far as confronting Hana (Chitoge’s mother) about her own feelings (a very brave task) to get her to stick around for a few hours to spend it with her daughter. The romance may not be there in this episode, but the love is. Raku understands that Chitoge is hurting because of her strained relationship with her mother and moves heaven and earth to help mend that wound. As Hana points out before boarding her flight at the end of the episode, you don’t work yourself like that for just a friend.
5. (Tie) The World God Only Knows
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2010- Dec. 2010
The World God Only Knows is a show about a young man named Keima who is perhaps the greatest dating sim player ever. He has gone so far as to have sworn off the world of 3D girls for the 2D girls of dating sims. A young and adorable demon by the name of Elsie decides Keima is the best partner to help her catch rogue souls, those that have escaped the underworld and taken up residence in the hearts of young girls who have despair and insecurity in their hearts. His goal is to date these at-risk girls and fill them with love, expelling the rogue souls so Elsie can capture them and send them back to the underworld.
Kanon is a famous pop star and part-time student at Keima’s school who has almost debilitating feelings of inadequacy. A rogue soul has taken root in her heart and is slowly turning her invisible even as her stardom sores. Keima works his way into her heart, cheering her on and cheering her up. On Christmas Eve she is to hold a big concert, the culmination of her dreams and hard work, but lets her insecurities overwhelm her and she disappears just before the start. Keima tracks Kanon down and gives her one amazing pep talk. He reminds her of all the things that make her special and that makes her fall in love with him completely. She kisses Keima and the rogue spirit leaves her body to be captured. Keima, who has sworn off 3D girls for the 2D world, even hints at the end that he might actually respect Kanon -- and even possibly like her. A rather sweet ending for a scrooge like Keima in this Christmas Eve tale.
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2008- Mar. 2009
When you search romantic comedy + anime, Toradora makes almost every list. The lead character Ryuuji looks like a hoodlum but is sweet and gentle. Taiga, the female lead, looks like a sweet demure high school girl, and in actuality is a sometimes-violent tsundere-type character nicknamed the “palm top tiger” because her petite stature and aggressive behavior. We find looks are often deceiving, and that extends to parents and classmates. We know from the get-go that these two opposites complement each other and are destined to be together.
Ryuuji and Taiga are both in love with other people and with Christmas being a romantic holiday you know things will get complicated. You also know when you are willing to blow off your big chance to confess to the girl you love to spend time cheering up a friend, you might want to reconsider who you’re in love with. We think that the prioritizing of Taiga’s feelings over his own and the way he shows up to cheer her up, in a bear costume no less, is just as much a dedication of love as any confession.
3. Erased (Boku dake ga Inai Machi)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2016- Mar. 2016
Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old pizza delivery man/struggling manga artist trying to get his break and make ends meet. He also has a gift. He can rewind time. He calls his gift Revival. He often uses Revival to save a life by subtly altering the past, though he often only has a few minutes before the he catches up to the present. When Satoru finds a loved one murdered and the police think he did it he uses Revival to unravel truth. He does most of the investigation with his adult mind back in time in his childhood body as he relives the weeks surrounding the disappearance and murder of a female classmate named Kayo. We find that this murder mystery/science fiction anime can keep you on the edge of your seat with every episode. The show’s hallmark is suspense but a handful of scenes like this post-Christmas scene have all the holiday feels you could ask for.
Satoru’s plan to save Kayo is simple, to be friends with her. He knows whoever killed her targeted her because she was always alone. Satoru realizes that there are many things you just ignore and gloss over as kids, but his adult mind sees the signs and he realizes the terrible life Kayo was living. Satoru decides that Kayo needs something nice done for her after a particularly bad day at school and convinces her to go into the mountains with him after class. He says he wants to show her a Christmas tree. The two children see a couple of red foxes and watch as the animals dance in the snow. The two end up standing at the base of a frost- filled tree, the icicles hanging down like tinsel and the bright stars in the night sky filling in the gaps between the branches appearing like Christmas lights; they innocently hold hands. We smile when he declares it a Christmas tree and she replies, “Are you stupid? It’s February.” We know they are sharing something special and innocent and isn’t that what Christmas is about?
2. Oreimo 2 : My little sister can’t be this cute (Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai)
- Episodes: 13 (+3 OVA’s)
- Aired: Apr. 2013- Jun. 2013
My little sister can’t be this cute (or Oreimo for short) gives us many memorable moments and characters. The story includes a rather complex sibling relationship between Kyosuke (brother) and Kirino (sister) and the people in their orbit, including several love interests for Kyosuke. Kirino is an ideal student, young lady, professional model, very popular at school and a secret otaku. She also harbors some deep-seated resentment towards her brother, at least that is what we are led to believe. Kyosuke is an average student with a few friends and just goes through life not making much of an impact. Despite his sister’s open hostility, he’s a good brother and always does his best to protect her.
The entire simmering pot of plot boils over in episode 14, which takes place around Christmas. Kyosuke meets Ruri, his ex-girlfriend, on a rainy night and tells her he’s in love with another girl. Ruri knows by now that other girl is his sister, Kirino. Kyosuke then spends the next day on a date in Akihabara with Kirino. The siblings spend the entire day together at cafés and shopping in anime stores. The pair decide to head home and Kyosuke decides he needs to confess something to Kirino, he has fallen in love with a girl. Kirino, upset by the news, loses her cool and storms off telling him she is leaving Japan and going to America for school. Kyosuke chases after her but loses her in the pedestrian traffic. Their friends, all former potential girlfriends for Kyosuke, show up in a minivan revealing they’d been stalking Kyosuke and Kirino’s date. The girls confront Kyosuke about his feelings for his sister and surprisingly are willing to help. Kyosuke, seeing Kirino, leaps out of the van and in a crowded street confesses his love for her at the top of his lungs. Kirino is taken by surprise by the confession, but not taken aback or disgusted. Kyosuke right then and there asks Kirino to stay in Japan and marry him. Kirino happily accepts. We know this is a weird twist on the confession, but incest aside it is a heartwarming Christmas confession of love.
1. Amagami SS
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Jul. 2010- Dec. 2010
Amagami SS is a unique series in the way it follows Junichi and the women in his life. You may think harem, but it really isn’t. We get to see Junichi down several different routes after several different heroines, making each multi-episode arc a universe unto itself. Junichi is a protagonist who had his heart broken on Christmas when he was stood up. He tries to ignore girls and just focuses on his studies.
Junichi then falls hard, and we mean like penny-off-the-Empire-State-Building hard, for Haruka. She’s the most popular and beautiful girl in school and Junichi proceeds to ask her out. Of course she says… no. Junichi gets to know her as a friend and continues to ask her out again and again in the most public and humiliating ways until she gives him a chance.
Haruka invites him to a family gathering at Christmas at a hotel, a gathering that the rest of her family decides for one reason or another to flake out on, leaving the two of them alone in the hotel room. The girl of his dreams stands before him in front of a window with the snow gently falling outside and confesses her love to him. The scene is great for a number of reasons and it’s not just the sincerity of the confession. You feel like you got to watch the relationship mature and you are left with the feeling that the promises they make that Christmas will be kept for life.
Well, the anime industry got us again; they produced and we watched. We watched a classic confession during an unexpected snow. We saw a Saint Nikki named Mai sweep Santa off his feet. We envied a boy whose girlfriend would be unobtainable for most of us as the two spent a cuddly Christmas Eve in a hotel. We were even moved feel the Christmas spirt, take a peek out of our rooms and take part in our families’ holiday activities -- or at least raid the pile of freshly made Christmas cookies.
It's the time of year to curl up with your sweetheart in matching sweaters, and sip hot chocolate by the fire. But look up - is that mistletoe? Christmas is a special time of year that comes only once, a time to honor those that are closest to us, and show them how much we appreciate them with gifts or quality time spent together. In western countries, this holiday is very family oriented, but in Japan things are a bit different.
Here, the holidays are a more romantic affair, and considered a time to spend with that special someone. Anime is no exception to this, and as a result, many series have touching romantic scenes set in this season. Grab your eggnog and some gingerbread cookies and read on for some of the most touching moments of the holiday season in anime.
10) School Rumble Ni Gakki - Episode 19
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 3, 2006 to September 25, 2006
Harima has a crush on a girl named Tenma but the odds seem perpetually stacked against him. Whenever he gets a chance to confess his true feelings to her, something interferes. As if dating in high-school isn't rough enough. Luckily, he isn't too easily deterred, but the question remains - will he ever be able to get his emotions across?
When Christmas rolls around, everything goes wrong for Harima, even more so than usual. A project he has poured his heart and soul into getting published is rejected, and somewhere along the way he manages to make Tenma cry. Luckily, he is able to salvage their friendship - the episode culminates in a scene that isn't exactly a love confession, but is touching nonetheless, and a bit humorous.
9) Ef: A Tale of Melodies - Episode 12
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 7, 2008 - December 23, 2008
This series is a sequel that begins to explore and explain the relationships between some of the background characters from the original series. It’s a drama that follows a group of young people and their separate romantic conflicts. Himura Yuu is a dedicated student, and his academic career is the main focus of his life, while Kuze Shuichii appears to be a womanizer. However, each of them meets a woman that will change everything for them, turning their respective worlds upside down.
In typical Japanese Christmas spirit, the couples in the show are spending the holiday with their respective love interests. This is also the finale of the series, and is so full of emotionally charged holiday moments it is hard to choose just one. Though Kuze shares intimate moments with his love Mizuki, one of the most beautiful moments from this episode is when Yuu and his childhood love Yuko watch the sunrise together.
8) Love Hina Christmas Special: Silent Eve
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: December 25, 2000
Almost every anime fan is familiar with the antics in the classic harem anime, Love Hina - and what harem anime is truly complete without its own Christmas episode? Protagonist Keitaro hears a rumor, that if you make a wish on Christmas, it will come true. This would seem to be the perfect time for him to confess his long-standing feelings to his crush Naru, but his poor luck persists.
A series of unfortunate coincidences and drama, in typical Love Hina fashion get in the way of his endeavors, though nothing worth having comes easy. However, at the end of this episode, something unexpected happens. Naru winds up confessing her true thoughts and feelings about Keitaro, in front of everyone, on live television!
7) Kimi ni Todoke - Episode 22
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 7, 2009 - March 31, 2010
Sawako is largely misunderstood by her classmates, and keeps to herself. After all, it's hard to make friends when everyone is scared of you. Kazehaya is the most popular boy in school, and has an easy time getting along with others. Against all odds, romance begins to blossom between this unlikely couple.
Kazehaya has planned a Christmas party for the holiday season. However, Sawako's family wants her to spend it with them at home. Though she wants to go, she initially declines her invitation to the party. On Christmas Eve, the night of the party, Sawako realizes how important it is for her to go, and so with her parents' blessing, she decides to turn up after all. When she arrives Kazehaya gives her a gift in this adorable holiday scene.
6) Itsudatte My Santa! - Episode 2
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Dec 7, 2005
If you were born on Christmas, and your family named you Santa, you probably wouldn't be a big fan of the holiday season, either. Adding insult to injury, he has wound up spending every holiday by himself - not even his parents have been around to keep them company. In this universe, the role of Kris Kringle is played by magical girls, charged with delivering gifts.
One of these girls, a Santa Claus-in-training named Mai, shows up on Christmas and promises to make Santa happy for a night. Eventually, she thaws his cold heart. During this time, Mai has kept a secret, however - she will be forced to leave Santa to return to her school to finish training. However, Santa tells her this doesn't change his feelings, and the couple embraces and go on one last date, before in a touching final scene, Mai bids Santa farewell for the time being.
5) Toradora! - Episode 19
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2, 2008 to March 26, 2009
Ryuuji and Taiga are total opposites. Ryuuji looks frightening, but is actually very sweet and gentle. Taiga by contrast looks sweet and demure but is actually a fiery tsundere character. When chemistry sparks between them, their differences are sure to create friction.
A series of misunderstandings cause distance between the two following a Christmas Eve party. Taiga pushes Ryuuiji away from her because he has feelings for someone else, while Ryuuiji gets his heart broken by that other person. The stone cold Taiga even breaks down in tears at one point. Not all compelling romantic Christmas tales are heartwarming, and this scene is a prime example of holiday heartache.
4) Tokyo Marble Chocolate - Episode 2
- Episodes: 2 (OVA)
- Aired: December 5, 2007
Neither Yuudai nor Chizuru have had a lot of luck with romance in the past. The two have feelings for each other, but each of them has their own personal struggles that get in the way of relationships. These two are certainly romantically challenged, and at the onset of their story it looks very unlikely that things will work out for the two of them. On Christmas Day, Yuudai gets a gift for Chizuru, but instead of the rabbit he expected it to be, it's a miniature donkey.
The donkey runs away, and Chizuru gives chase to it, leaving Yuudai alone. After a hectic series of coincidences that ensue, including a near death experience, Chizuru leaves Yuudai a note telling him how she feels, and he runs to reunite with her. Whether he is able to confess his feelings or not is implicit, as they unite and the credits roll, but this touching scene certainly leaves the viewer with a more optimistic outlook on the couple's future.
3) Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster) - Episode 10
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2, 2012 - December 25, 2012
Shizuku and Haru both have their flaws. Shizuku is an introverted ice princess, and Haru is a well-known delinquent with a fiery temper. Neither of them are good at interacting with others, but Haru winds up falling in love with Shizuku nonetheless. The odds for these two don't look great at first, but Haru is determined to breach Shizuku's cold, hard exterior.
The two wind up at a Christmas party that their friends have organized for the holidays. The party goes well, however Kenji also shows up at the party - leading to conflict, as he is also vying for Shizuku's attention. As Haru and Shizuku walk home together from the party together, he confronts her about his jealousy. Haru winds up quelling his worries, telling him that he is the one she has feelings for.
2) Maison Ikkoku - Episode 40
- Episodes: 88
- Aired: March 26, 1986 - March 2, 1988
Godai is used to being called a failure after scoring too low on his tests to be accepted by any college. He lives in an apartment building with a colorful cast of characters who are so rowdy, he can never seem to get any studying done and his situation begins to seem hopeless. His life is further complicated when Kiyoko moves into the building. She's beautiful, very recently widowed, and his new apartment manager. Naturally, Godai falls head over heels for her, on top of all his other problems.
It's Christmas Eve and the residents of Maison Ikkoku have gathered for a party. Godai is nowhere to be found, and so despite the festivities, all Kyoko can do is worry about where he is. It turns out, Godai has been out spending the night making sure he is able to give her a very special present, and even makes her a card. He finally arrives at the apartment building, only to realize he has lost his card. He steps out to find it, and she follows. The two get a moment alone so he finally delivers his gift to her. She tells him she will treasure it always, and they share a moment as the two walk back home together.
1) Amagami SS - Episode 4
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: July 2, 2010 - December 24, 2010
This series focuses on protagonist Junichi. Two years before the series begins, he had his heart broken on Christmas, of all days. Though his heart never quite completely recovered from this trauma, he begins to develop feelings for the most popular girl at school. Does he stand a chance with the beautiful Haruka, or will he wind up spending Christmas alone again?
Christmas does roll around again in Amagami SS, and Junichi boldly decides to ask Haruka out. She invites him to a Christmas gathering with her family, but one thing leads to another and the two of them wind up alone together in a hotel room instead. Haruka winds up confessing her love for Junichi and he reciprocates in one of the sweetest Christmas moments in anime out there.
Christmas is a time of year to show people you care, regardless of where you're celebrating it, whether that time is spent with family, friends, or a lover. Hopefully reading about some of these scenes helped you get into the holiday spirit, whether you have a Christmas date lined up, or if you're sipping eggnog and eating gingerbread cookies alone this year.