Christmas just isn’t complete without Christmas specials – you’ve got the classics – Charlie Brown, Dora the Explorer, etc. You have the Disney (live action teen shows) ones – which are the most flawed, because of their clichéd plots, and lack of originality. Lastly you have the anime/manga ones, which aren’t as PACKED WITH christmas spirit cliches as much as north American entertainment, but probably are better because they aren’t of the norm in comparison to the spam that Family Channel, YTV, Nickelodeon, or Disney constantly feeds into our brains.
To disney lovers: The opinions expressed in this post is solely mine. If you don’t want to hear your favourite stars get criticized upon, close the window by clicking the X in the top right hand corner of this screen. Whether you choose to read further than this is your choice and your choice only.
First bone to pick with Disney – overdoing promotional/music videos from actors/actresses for family Christmas movie. In this case, it’s a music video done by Debby Ryan from The Suite Life on Deck for the movie Santa Paws.
First things first, I don’t prejudge each and every piece Disney entertainment by its long history of not-much-more-than-satisfactory productions – I watch it, and criticize it based on that. It’s not that I hate Disney, I don’t, I just don’t find it worth much entertainment value.
Honestly, it is music videos like this that makes me dislike Christmas music and oh hey look! I’m not the only one.
What’s wrong with this video? Problem number 1 – It’s trying too hard to be cool – everything just seems unnatural, especially Debby Ryan attempting to be rock. It’s also disorganized – we get how it’s a christmas party and she’s singing with the band and dancing, decorating the huge house with tinsel and ornaments, it snows, friends laugh, and every once in a while Debby Ryan goes into a room where a white puppy is sitting beside a christmas tree and make exaggerated faces. Another problem is that the rock angle they took on with Deck the Halls doesn’t work and it just seems awkward – to me it just seems like she’s singing “deck the halls with falls of holly” and “ou our now our gay apparel” multiple times with fallaallahahallah. I know it’s essentially the original lyrics, but they could have had done something else with it. But I guess Disney is solely trying to appeal to the target market of the movie, which are essentially kids 8 and under while they do not have a standard in their mind-set for the entertainment they take in.
What’s wrong with Disney Christmas Specials?
They never do anything original – every single year it`s a spin off of the classic Christmas stories – scrounge, spirit of giving. I want more – isn`t there a way to preserve Christmas spirit and do something original? Nickelodeon can pull it off sometimes, why can’t Disney? The Dora the explorer christmas special had way more entertainment value than any christmas special from Disney I’ve seen this season – A PURPLE TRAVELER’S CAPE WHICH TAKES SWIPER BACK IN TIME AND INTO THE FUTURE SO HE CAN GET ORNAMENTS FOR A CARD HE NEEDS TO COMPLETE SO HE WON’T GET ON THE NAUGHTY LIST? That’s at least some originality. Disney needs to give their audience more memorable experiences than employing teen actors that act like they are solely projecting the words on the script into audio and visual dimensions, and put no realistic feeling to it. The best they can do are crossovers between their shows – for example the Sonny with a Chance and Jonas crossover for this year’s Sonny with a Chance of Jonas Christmas Special – usual Sonny with a Chance scripted overacting and predictable plot with the blandness of Jonas mixed together makes concrete mix – grey and bland, but durable for Disney to franchise and produce money-making merchandise.
Christmas Specials in Manga/Anime
Ah, anime and manga christmas specials, although not many have been out yet for this year specifically, it’s nice to get a taste of something out of the ordinary for once, even if it is in black and white.
(I don’t watch as much anime this year as last year, so forgive me for making assumptions)
What I like about most anime/manga christmas specials is that all of them are like a breath of fresh air – they don’t jam pack all the ‘spirit of giving’ into 25-50 pages or a 30 minute episode. They maintain the current plot and just adds in the holiday spirit here and there so we know and feel like it’s a christmas special, but still get want we want. It doesn’t feel forced – but i guess the christmas spirit isn’t as overwhelming in Asia than it is here – no boxing day or much shopping for presents.
**spoiler alert spoiler alert! spoiler alert! spoiler alert!**
In the most recent chapter of Kaichou wa maid sama, titled A maid Christmas!, the christmas season was used to advance plot development which leads up to Misaki confessing, or at least trying to, for the second time to Usui after his half-brother and bodyguard came to Usui’s surrounding area, where he has been living alone before.
Although it’s technically not a Christmas Special, the two most recent episodes of Yumeiro Patissiere Professional has been pretty exciting due to this battle. The main couple and friends of the story have to win this battle or forever be unhappy with their love life!! Yay. It’s great considering the previous episodes before these two didn’t focus on developing the Ichigo and Kashino’s relationship but more on another character or a random adventure in the spirits world that nobody care as much about.
Who knows? The episode next Saturday could be a Christmas episode filled with romantic moments between Ichigo and Kashino after they win/lose/tie/fight their way through the battle. (Which is very probable considering that the SP season of Yumeiro Patissiere focuses way more on the relationship of those two).
That’s all folks! Thanks for readin’! Christmas time (and break time in general) is for anime watching – so go watch some anime!