Anime Review · DVD Review

My Santa

Headline: A Holiday Treat

4/5 Stars

Originally posted December 23, 2014

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I remember coming across this DVD several times in HMV and always wondering whether I should buy it or not. I kept deciding not to for various reasons, but the story still intrigued me and I was sure I’d end up getting it someday. Earlier this month, I found it again in a comic book shop. And since it was the holiday season I thought, “what the heck“. I watched it later that same week and was very impressed by what I saw.
The story follows a lonely teenager called Santa – and yes, that is his real name – who doesn’t think Christmas is very special because his parents are never home, and he never has anybody to celebrate the holidays with. He also doesn’t believe in magic or Santa Claus. One year, he’s approached by a boisterous girl named Mai – who’s actually a young Santa-in-training. Sensing his misery, she attempts to cheer him up with her powers and show him the true joys of the holiday season. After spending a year with him, and falling in love, Mai is heartbroken to learn she has to leave Santa and return to the North Pole. With help from Sharry (her best friend/enemy) and her little sister, Mai-Mai, she’s determined to spend one last memorable night with her sweetheart.
For what it is, My Santa is very entertaining to watch. Which isn’t surprising considering it’s made by the same studio who did Negima. Despite being 2 episodes long, it feels like a complete series with its fleshed-out characters and strong blend of comedy and drama – not to mention its fan-service. It’s also interesting to think that Santa may not be a single man delivering presents to all the children of the world, but a profession adopted by many people (particularly teenage girls).
A couple of things I’d have to criticise about the series though would be its fast-pacing and overuse of dialogue – the characters talk non-stop 90% of the time. Also the second episode recycles a lot from the first, including dialogue, scenes and animation – some are so obvious a 5-year-old would notice them. Plus, the second episode feels like it was randomly pieced together so the writers could fill a 25min episode. This may be because the first episode is based on a manga, whereas the second was an original story.
I would definitely recommend this OVA series to any fans of anime who want to enjoy something different this Christmas.
One more thing I’d like to mention is the end of episode two. There appears to be a trailer promoting a third episode – and the DVD only contains two. Don’t panic and think there’s another My Santa DVD out there you can’t get a hold of, because this third episode doesn’t actually exist. The trailer looks convincing enough – which is saying something – but it was just a joke created by the animators. Look online if you don’t believe me.
Happy Holidays!

During the Christmas holidays, I really wanted to take my mind off of university; I was going through a lot of stress at the time, and part of me even started to hate writing. I decided the best thing to do was write something I wanted, so my passion for it would be reignited. Preferably, I wanted to work on something Christmas-related that wouldn’t take too long to finish. My Santa was the perfect choice.
Being only two episodes long, I managed to complete the review in just a few hours. This was because I didn’t talk so much about the characters and their development – the summary seemed to cover this anyway. Also, because there were many copy-pasted elements between the two episodes, I managed to keep the summary short, too. This gave me leeway to talk about facts surrounding the anime – as well as my own experience buying the DVD.
Looking back on it now, I realise this review had the same problems as The Cat Returns; I spoke less about the story itself, because I didn’t think I had much content to work with. Plus, I tried compressing too much information into just six paragraphs – a habit I’d picked up from writing university essays. Things could’ve worked better if I’d spread out the content, and gone into more detail about the stories and characters. In later reviews, I would balance things out so the text had as much information on the story as the additional facts. I’ve also learnt not to emphasise too much on when I wrote the review (e.g. December, 2014), so it doesn’t feel dated.
Regardless of how this review turned out though, it was very satisfying for me to post it. The experience helped refresh my mind and I almost felt ready to go back to university.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest set of reviews (Professor Layton vs Phoenix WrightMy Santa). I’m sorry again for how infrequent they are, I just have a lot of things on my priority list these days. Please also visit my other blog (https://georgeharvey2015.wordpress.com). And, as always, stay tuned.

(Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itsudatte_My_Santa!)

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