Anime’s Most Heartwarming Christmas Episodes

Christmas is an interesting time in the world of anime. In general, Christmas episodes are inconsequential filler episodes that serve little or no purpose to the overarching plot. Instead, they're about seeing the cast members hanging out with each other and having a good time.

Consequential or not, Christmas episodes are also a good way to show off a show's strengths in terms of emotional impact. It's not just a break from the action, drama, or even comedy of the main series. Instead, they're an opportunity for characters to relax, be themselves, and really show how much they care about one another. A lot of really sweet and touching moments can come about from such Christmas episodes. Here are some good Christmas episodes that can put anyone in a festive mood. Of course, it's anime, so all sorts of crazy things can happen, even during the holidays.

Gintama Episodes 200-201, "Santa Claus Red is Blood Red," "Everybody's a Santa"

Gintoki and Umibozu Dressed As Santa Clause

Gintama actually has multiple Christmas stories, but this one features the most main cast members. Kagura is feeling depressed by the holidays because she has yet to receive a visit from Santa Claus. Hearing about this, her father Umibōzu tries to resolve the issue by appearing to her dressed as Santa. There's only one problem-- Gintoki has the exact same idea and appears at the exact same time. It's obvious that there can't be two Santas, so the two fight each other over the title. Things get even more complicated when more of their friends show up claiming to be old St. Nick. The whole situation is as ridiculous as it sounds and only gets more and more out of hand. In classic Gintama fashion, they manage to pull a fairly sweet moment out of all the chaos.

Dr. Stone Episode 21, "Spartan Crafts Club"

Dr. Stone Christmas tree

Senkū Ishigami isn't a very emotional guy, but the reaction he gets out of others with his science is always a treat. Stuck in a new stone age where all former traces of civilization have been wiped off the face of the Earth, the boy genius seeks to restart humanity and jumpstart science and technology. He uses the resources in his Kingdom of Science, to reinvent the battery, the reciprocating rack, the pinion, and the lightbulb in just this episode.

The lightbulb is the real star of the episode though. Senku uses several of them to decorate a tree for Christmas. This is taken for granted in the modern era, but, in the Stone World, it's a miracle, unlike anything its residents have experienced before. Their awe at its unprecedented beauty breathes new life into this phenomenon brought about by science.

Digimon Adventure 02 Episode 38, "A Very Digi Christmas"

Christmas with Tentomon

The nice thing about the setting of Digimon  Adventure 02 alternating between the human world and digital world is featuring more aspects of the former, particularly Christmas. As a holiday present, the new DigiDestined delivers the old team's Digimon to them for the special night. There's also a Christmas party, a concert, and a romantic subplot. Of course, the bad guys do eventually show up and attack, but the Digidestined, both old and new, join forces to save Christmas. Following this is a lovely montage of all the Digidestined at their homes spending the night with their families and their partners.

It's important to keep in mind the noticeable differences between the subtitled and dubbed versions of the episode. The subtitled version focuses on emotional moments to allow for the atmosphere to sink in. The dub features funnier, more Americanized dialogue. They each have perks that make them worthwhile watches.

Nieskoi: Episodes 3-4, "Need," "Mother"

Chitoge and her mom

Nisekoi can have some pretty tender moments, and their Christmas arc is no exception. In this arc, Chitoge's workaholic mother Hana comes home for the holidays, but their interaction is brief and she takes Raku as her secretary. Hana comes off a scold and distant from her family, but the truth is even sadder. She's spent so much time working that she doesn't remember how to properly communicate with her daughter, so she keeps burying herself deeper into her work.

Raku, despite only being Chitoge's fake boyfriend, works hard as Hana's secretary so she can find time in her tightly-packed schedule to spend Christmas with her daughter properly. As aggravating these two women can be, the payoff of this arc is surprisingly satisfying. It probably helps to keep in mind everything Raku goes through to make this Christmas miracle happen.

My Hero Academia Episode 101, "Have a Merry Christmas"

Class 1-A Christmas party

Class 1-A has a lot to deal with throughout the year. They have intense training, difficult schoolwork, and horrific encounters with villains. It doesn't help that this episode starts with Shigaraki destroying a city. It's nice to see the class finally get a break and enjoy a good old-fashioned Christmas party. They dress up in Santa Clause outfits, eat delicious food, make Bakugō put on his Santa outfit, and exchange gifts.

Eri shows up for the festivities, too, in her own adorable Santa outfit. The scene even comes with an insert song, "Sound of the Holidays." The party doesn't have much impact on the plot, but it doesn't need to. After all of the escalation that happens at this point in the story, it's good to have a little falling action where the Heroes-in-training can forget all their problems and just have a good time.

deku as a quirkless child
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