Christmas can be just as big a holiday in Japan as it is in other parts of the world, but not for the reasons you would think. There are not that many Christians in Japan, so they don’t celebrate for the religious aspects. It’s celebrated more for the romantic aspect, decorating trees, and eating KFC. That is, in fact, a thing in Japan, thanks to a promotional campaign KFC did in the 1970s.
After reading D&A Anime Blog’s post about anime Christmas Specials, I decided I wanted to do more myself. So I went online and found a Christmas episode for an anime I’ve been meaning to watch, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
Here’s the synopsis first. This office worker named Kobayashi rescues this dragon from another dimension named Tohru, causing Tohru to fall in love with her. She (Tohru) then reveals she can turn into a human and starts living with Kobayashi as her maid. Then she gets joined by Tohru’s friend, Kanna, who is probably the winner for cutest anime character in 2017. It’s a cute slice-of-life anime, and the dub by Funimation is fairly good. If you like anime that are more laid-back and not as heavy on the action, I’d recommend it. Now onto the episode!
When one of Tohru’s friends from the town mall injures himself practicing for their annual Christmas Eve show at the local retirement home, she volunteers to put it on. So she gathers her friends, which include other dragons living on Earth, a young mage named Shouta, and Kanna’s classmate Saikawa who has a massive crush on her (as you can see in the above video at 1:50).
After trying to think up a bunch of ideas, they settle on a play of The Little Matchgirl. They try getting Shouta to dress as the matchgirl, but he’s too embarrassed. So they settle for Kanna, who is already cute enough (again as seen in the video)
We also get this cute little subplot during this whole thing. When Kanna gets worried they won’t be visited by Santa because they don’t have a chimney, Tohru…installs one for their apartment, right into Kanna’s room. That makes it hard for Kobayashi to give her her present without being caught. The struggle of every adult, I guess.
So Christmas Eve comes, and the play is performed, but it’s not the same as the story. The group ended taking some creative liberties with the story. The next thing I know, Shouta shows up as an old man selling straw hats (have to find out what story that’s from) and they turn into Magical Girls fighting alongside the 47 Ronin. That is literally what happens!
Fortunately, the elders love it, which is the whole point of the thing, so the play is a huge success. They then all head back to Kobayashi’s house for a Christmas Party, and the episode ends with Kobayashi and Tohru going for a ride in the night sky for Christmas. Well, the whole “Santa” thing happens after that, but that’s not the point.
Overall, this was a nice Christmas episode. Like I said, Christmas isn’t as big a deal in Japan as it is to America, so there are not many anime Christmas specials. I loved this one, though, hilarity and all.