Posted by: Leek | December 21, 2013

7 Anime related features to get you ready for Christmas Eve: Number 4

Christmas Eve is slowly approaching and we’re get closer and closer to the end of this countdown. Well, it’s not really a countdown but you’d be crazy if you think I wasn’t saving the best for last. But enough small talk. Let’s just get on with today’s feature which had me digging out the old Geneon DVDs.

Christmas with the Kids

Background and Reasoning
Well after the emotional roller coaster from yesterday, it’s time to return to something a little more standard. If there’s one thing that Christmas is really about, we know it’s all about the children. Even if you you’ve gotten old and jaded, there’s no lie that Christmas was a magical holiday when you were younger. As long as you believed in Santa at some point anyway. Maybe you don’t remember that time. Maybe you remember that exact year that you learned there was no fat red man in a suit breaking into your house once a year. Either way, episode 12 (the last of the original series) of Ichigo Mashimaro will hopefully bring back some of that childhood joy.

For every slice of life anime there has to be a Christmas episode. If there is none it really doesn’t feel right. And what’s a better cast of characters to celebrate Christmas than a ton of grade school kids and their irresponsible caretaker? The plot is simple. The ever innocent Matsuri hasn’t learned the truth that Santa doesn’t exist. As the others continuously prevent Miyu from spilling the truth to her it turns into a covert operation to ensure that Santa comes to visit that Matsuri that night. Wacky shenanigans ensue.

There’s little reason I need to give you to watch something like this. It’s just what you get in every Ichigo Mashimaro episode. It’s incredibly funny and just damn adorable. And seeing a ragtag group of screw-ups ban together to try and make another’s Christmas perfect is just what you want from a Christmas special. The best part is you really don’t need any context to watch this episode. It’s humor that just about anyone can enjoy at anytime.

So go ahead and check it out if you haven’t. If you’ve been one of the great people who’s seen Ichigo Mashimaro Episode 12 already or just got through watching it, then feel free to read more about my thoughts on it below.

It’s not Ichigo Mashimaro without this shot

All the Rest (aka spoilers)
So what’s really great in hindsight?

Generally this is just another episode where Miyu is Miyu. Sometimes even I forget how stupid (and troublesome) she actually is. And from seeing her eat random berries in the opening to ending up face in the snow is more than enough to make me happy. But, particularly, her Santa story is easily the funniest segment in the entire episode. Of course, it just goes to show you how damn trained Miyu’s parents actually are. The fact they managed to humor her for as many years as they did is a true Christmas miracle.

Miyu aside, it’s always cute to see the times where Nobue is doing something nice for Chika. It also makes me realize that the whole “Santa comes in your window” thing is really the true thing at fault in this scenario. You’d think you’d tell your kid you would leave one of the lower floor windows open so that Santa could leave the presents, you know, not in their room. Granted it makes it twice as magical when you wake up to a present left right at your bedside, that’s no small feat. I’m fairly sure if I had no chimney I’d find some kind of walk around so I could ensure that I could leave the presents under the tree. I also like how Nobue’s story is never really concluded. And you know the actual reason Chika learned Santa never existed was that Nobue flat out told her because falling off the roof once was enough.

Classic Miyu

And another great scene is during the actual present delivery. While Nobue’s single status gets mocked every so often, there’s no better time than Christmas. I can’t think of anything that would feel better than sending a jerk face first down an icy street. That and I just like whenever Miyu breaks into her full prankster mode and starts leading the guy’s girlfriend into thinking they were actually on a campaign. I really wonder if there’s a 6th grader with a mouth as clever as Miyu. That kind of genius, comedic timing is a true gift.

I guess the only real question is why Nobue had any belief that Matsuri’s parents WOULDN’T be pulling the Santa act anymore. I mean, let’s be honest. If you had a daughter like that would you really refuse to do something like that? I don’t think so. Matsuri is just that kind of little girl with the kind of mindset you want to humor for as long as you can. Stealing away that kind of innocence should be a criminal offense punishable by law. “What? You flat out told your purehearted son/daughter that Santa doesn’t exist? Get your ass behind bars.”

And, you know, it’s really hard to talk in-depth about the episode. It’s just cute. And it was a pretty good segment to end the first season on. It really shows off the best of what the cast has to offer and the final segment (while not Christmas related) just wraps up everything nicely. Nothing better than closing out the series with the one time Sasazuka actually refuses to stand out in the hallway.


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