Itsudatte My Santa anime review

Itsudatte My Santa anime review
An unlucky boy named Santa was born on Christmas Eve whose parents don't even care about meets a santa- in- training girl name Mai. She is determined to wish him the best Christmas he will ever have and its gets even better when they fall in love with each other.
Mai, a Santa in training, appears in front of an Unlucky boy named Santa, on Christmas Eve, promising him, she will make him happy for one night.

Itsudatte My Santa, aside from being based on a one-shot manga by Ken Akamatsu of Love Hina and Negima fame, looks like yet another love comedy, and that's exactly what it is... stuck on fast forward. No, really--it's eight minutes into the first episode before the show even inhales, and then only for some fanservice and a flashback or two. The second episode breathlessly montages through six months in about a minute and a half, and the show as a whole stuffs a TV season's worth of generic comedy-romance into two episodes.

This might sound like Elf Princess Rane--a sort of deranged hyperactive genius. Sadly, My Santa really is just a generic Ah My Goddess rip-off on a caffeine bender--the hyperactivity doesn't add much, it just makes it go by so fast there's no time to develop any attachment to the characters. If you look past the manic pacing, there's a mountain of lame jokes, a few awkward misunderstandings, some requisite cheesy drama, and just a few bits that are whacked-out enough to actually laugh at.

Those few memorable bits mostly consist of unexpectedly mean-spirited cheap shots, which break up the sappy sentiment enough to keep it from getting too annoying. There are also a couple of particularly out-there uses of the santa-in-training's ability to magically produce anything that starts with "sa." Of course, they're over so quickly you might miss them, and there's a lot of uninspired craziness diluting it.

Other than the pacing, the most noteworthy stylistic bit is that most of the plot is told through flashbacks, likely due to lack of time and any establishing material whatsoever. There's also the fact that the first few minutes of the second episode are almost an exact repeat of the first, but I'm suspicious that had as much to do with budget constraints as repetitive comic cadence.

Incidentally, while there's a preview for a nonexistent third episode, unlike most two-and-out OAV series the end is acceptably satisfying for this sort of thing, and the preview was apparently intended as a joke. (The accompanying voiceover notes that it never got made, and I'm not sure whether there was ever a plan to go past two episodes, though given the teaser of giant robotic reindeer I'd actually like to see it.)

The male protagonist has a stiff dose of pointless teen angst, but then that's kind of the point (moral: You think you have problems? Quit whining!). He also has a bit of a mean streak when it comes to his too-willing cheer-bringer, which at least puts a crack in the generic mold. Said would-be-santa, Mai, is frankly rather annoying, but not painfully so. On the positive side she's not oblivious to her surroundings, just a little nutty.

We do learn one thing, though: Becoming a full-fledged santa apparently means you get more curvaceous and more Aryan. No, really, if you look at our two examples they go from being cute brunettes to centerfold-bodied blondes. The original Kringle was German, I suppose, and it beats a beard and a pot-belly. I also note that while transformation sequences with breast-expansion shots are nothing new, this features one of the few butt-boost shots I can think of.

On the flip side, My Santa deserves credit for taking a moment to acknowledge the religious meaning of Christmas, even if only briefly. Ironic that one of the few anime stories to touch on the subject is probably the one that should stay the farthest from it.

In the visual department My Santa probably cost more to make than it looks on account of the frantic pace, but is otherwise completely generic. The characters are cute but forgettable, the art is bland, undetailed stuff, and the Christmasy backgrounds are loosely drawn and uninteresting.

The show has a tiny voice cast of uneven quality (in Japanese--I haven't listened to the dub). Mai's voice (supplied by Hirano Aya, best known for voicing Haruhi Suzumiya) is the only memorable one, both for sounding a little different from the generic cutie and sheer speed, though she never quite hits the dizzying cadence of Excel Saga or Elf Princess Rane. Santa (Jun Kamei in his only role to date) is forgettable, and while the antagonist, Shari (voiced by Yu Kobayashi), sounds good angry, the rest of her performance is noticeably underpowered. The music is the forgettable Christmassy stuff you'd expect.

On balance My Santa is memorable for the dizzying pace and not a whole lot else. It got a few laughs out of me, so I won't call it a complete waste of time, but isn't anywhere near clever or funny enough to be worth going out of your way to see unless you're a big fan of Ken Akamatsu.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Itsudatte My Santa. Watch it now:
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