Merry Christmas everyone! Today we’ll be reviewing a little known anime known as Itsudatte My Santa. This is purely for its entire Christmas theme. It is a 2 episode series, so if this review makes you curious enough, go give it a try. As always, beware of minor SPOILERS.
So without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: In the story, a girl called Mai appears before a boy who happens to hate Christmas. As it turns out he was born on December 24 and thus was named Santa, causing him to hate the holiday. Moreover, as a child, he never had any festive occasions, such as birthday parties. With the power of Christmas, Mai is given the mission to improve his luck and change his views for the better. -Wikipedia
The plot starts off with an interesting enough premise, and it stuck to the premise pretty well, at least for the first episode. My main problem with the series was it squeezed way too much plot and development into such a tight window that it was extremely rushed, and it feels like things may be missing from the story telling. The series also goes overboard with trying to mix comedy, ecchi, and melodrama, and it does not due it well. The main saving grace is that it did have some genuinely funny parts. However, there is more “plot,” if you know what I mean, than actual plot.
The character are nothing impressive, just generic. You have the enthusiastic girl who is all lovestruck, and the boring main male. The second episode throws in some more characters who are a bit more interesting, but nothing to write home about. The character development, just like the plot, is far too quick and unrealistic.
Again, nothing impressive. It is pretty decent overall, and displays the Christmas spirit pretty well. There is not much more to say beyond that.
As one of the more redeeming qualities of the show, the soundtrack is pretty catchy and invokes a winter theme. The instrumental is definitely the better part of it, while the J-pop songs are a little bit of a let down. While more instrumental would have been preferred, it is a better point of the series.
I did mention the overload of melodrama previously, but despite this, the show did manage to convey some decent themes. One surprising, and notable, thing about the series is the mention of the true meaning of Christmas. I am not talking about being joyful despite the woes and stress of the world, though it does touch on that. What I am referring to is it mentions how Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. This completely surprised me and redeemed the show enough for me to like it, even though in honest it is pretty bad. The series also displays the romanticism associated with Christmas, as it frequently is in Japanese culture. Additionally, it avoids, to a degree, the mass consumerism that has come to be associated with Christmas as well. The second episode also deals with themes of leaving and returning, and does a decent job of describing the emotions with having to say good bye (through mountains of melodrama). Overall, the themes of the show left a positive impression on me.
Final Score: 6.2/10
Final Grade: D
Itsudatte My Santa! was a Christmas special let down. It is the only anime that I could find that focused solely on Christmas. It is only a two episode ova and thank God that it is only two episodes. This would be an anime that I would normally drop. What it had going for it was a unique plot that revolved around Christmas. Sadly that was not enough to save this anime. The Characters were generic and had nothing really going for them. Not to mention that I did not feel like the pairing in the show was justified. This girl falls in madly love with the main character after helping him for like two hours. They also tried to pull off comedy that was not very funny. The second episode even went out of the way to use the exact same jokes. I really wanted to like this anime but it just had nothing going for it. Out of 10 I would give this anime a 4. It is an anime that is not really worth your time, but if you want to watch it is only two episodes and it is not the worst anime out there. – B-Ro
Ahhhh this show….. In many ways, I liked it, but there are a lot of things holding it back. This anime is indeed Christmassy. In a very unique way too (the birth of Christ is even mentioned in a very nice, though random and never mentioned again, way). The bare bones concept and overall feel is pretty good. The main issue holding this show back though is how short it is… I get that it’s based on a short manga, but I really wish they made the first episode into a movie or hour long special at least. It tries to be emotional and funny and explore this interesting concept, but it just can’t do all that in such a short period of time. There are also a lot of strange or unneeded moments… Then there’s episode 2… Which repeats a lot of gags from the first episode (almost to a T in some cases), and tries to introduce even more characters and ideas with again not enough time to let it all develop. Then there’s the soundtrack. There’s this main instrumental theme that often plays during the show. I seriously love this theme! It’s very wintery and catchy. Most of the rest of the soundtrack is just seemingly random jpop (for lack of a better term) type songs that are just sort of in the background. It’s not bad music by any means, but it doesn’t enhance the show as much as, say, FLCL’s use of music by the Pillows in the show (FLCL does it in as way that seems more intentional and well thought out). I wish they would’ve tried more instrumental pieces to further enhance this Christmas mood. This is by no means a “great anime”, and there is soooo much unused potential… But I still liked it overall. I somehow liked the relationship between the two main characters, if only it hadn’t developed at a speed faster than Romeo and Juliet…. It also still managed to warm my heart and get me more into the Christmas spirit, though there’s so much more it could’ve done. Basically, if you want a quick and quirky Christmas anime fix to entertain, this is the place to go. Just be ready to leave a lot to your imagination… Reading the wiki afterwards also helps with context, so I do recommend that as well.
Final Comments: Despite the decent soundtrack and impressive themes, they are not enough to save this too-quick anime from being rendered unremarkable. However, if nothing else, the novelty of being completely Christmas themed warrants it a watch.
Thanks for reading everyone! Merry Christmas! The next review will be Blue Exorcist.