Plot: Santa and Mai are now living together and have been for the past six months. They’re enjoying their summer at the beach when an old friend of Mai’s, Shally, arrives to tell her that she’s taking over the area. Mai has to leave and go back to school. Her teacher, Noel, says that she’ll grant her until Christmas Eve at midnight to say goodbye to Santa.
Breakdown: Time to tackle the second half of the stale Christmas fruitcake…at the beach!
Episode 2: “Christmas Once More”: We start out with recycled footage from the first episode’s opening, segueing into a short sepia-toned flashback clipshow of Mai and Santa throughout episode one. Mai narrates about meetings and farewells before we transition to the beach where Mai asks if Santa would like her to rub suntan oil on his back.
The crowd overhears and think she means something dirty by that, and, amidst their clamoring, she slaps Santa again for thinking dirty thoughts.
Oh goody, a complete beat for beat and nearly line for line rip off of the joke from episode one, except this is actually stupid because of the crowd. She specifically said ‘suntan oil’ and they’re at the friggin’ beach where ‘suntan oil’ has to be a pretty commonly uttered phrase. Did they honestly think they were going to get oiled up and do the nasty right there in front of everyone? What perverts.
And Mai is still being a little bitch because she, again, slaps Santa for thinking dirty thoughts when he’s not even blushing or looking shocked in this scene. The crowd makes their assumptions and Mai smacks him again. Because when other people are pervs, it means everyone is.
Mai makes her big declaration, again, that she’s Santa Claus and thinking such thoughts about her is just awful.
Mai gets hauled off by the cops….again—Can I just copy/paste the first episode review and preface it with ‘In summer’? Because that’s what this is basically amounting to.
I don’t get why she’s being hauled away this time. She wasn’t seeming like she was propositioning Santa – they just misinterpreted what she said about suntan oil. And even if she did mean oil for sex or something, that’s still not grounds to be arrested. She has to actually do something first.
Mai pops up sans police escort again and berates Santa for not helping her, but they’re interrupted by the first non-first episode scene which is a little girl with pink hair saying ‘she’s’ coming over and over. It’s Mai’s little sister…..Maimai……….from the ‘country of Santa Claus’.
Guys….you’re being insanely lazy right now….Like…mind-bogglingly lazy. A little effort? Please?
We see that the ‘she’ Maimai is referring to is another Santa coming up from a geyser in the water….So….Santas are waterbenders now? Or is it that they can control the sea because it begins with S!?
The girl, named Shally, the Santa who briefly spoke to Mai while out on her sleigh on Christmas in episode one, bursts towards Mai saying she really wants to catch up, but first Mai has to leave because two Santa Clauses cannot handle the same area. Mai says her grandpa designated this area to be hers, but Shally says she’s more deserving of being Santa Claus of the area because all Mai has done for the past half year is screw around with Santa instead of training or studying.
…Yeah, that’s actually very logical. How has a half year gone by without Mai gaining enough magical power to go home anyway? Surely someone would’ve come for her. It just seems like she’s 1) Not making an effort to get home and 2) She’s not making an effort to work at being a Santa.
Mai defends Santa after Shally calls him worthless by yelling in a similar manner as Santa did in the beginning of episode one saying he’s a precious person who still believes in Santa (Well, yeah, anyone would believe in Santa if they met him and went on a Christmas sleigh ride delivering presents with magic. Faith isn’t faith if you have extensive proof of the thing you have faith in.) She blurts out that he was born on Christmas Eve and was named Santa because of it, further connecting it with the scene this is mirroring.
And of course Shally, like Mai did in that scene, laughs her ass off at this even though, again, they’re all Santa Clauses thus it can’t be THAT funny that a guy is named Santa. Is it seriously the fact that he was born on Christmas eve that’s the kicker?
After the laughter, both Mai and Santa run off comically while crying EXACTLY LIKE THE FIRST EPISODE. Can someone please do something original?
Shally grants my wish by challenging Mai to a contest to see who’s more deserving of being the Santa of that region. The contest is merely making S word items appear. Shally keeps one-upping her by making ‘gorgeous’ versions, really just giant versions, of all of the items that Mai is making.
How the hell does she…or Pedro have enough magic to keep doing the S item magic yet not enough to get them back home?
Santa tells her to stop, but Mai says she can’t because she doesn’t want to leave and give up being with Santa. Somehow she gets around to summoning a giant frog because she said ‘Snake and friends’ If that’s not cheating I don’t know what is. The giant frog is about to crush her, but Santa saves her.
Shally has a bit of a hissy fit about not being the villain, just doing what she’s told because she’s such a good Santa. Then Mai summons a sun room, or at least she says she does, one never appears for her, and Shally reflexively makes a gorgeous version, causing a huge sun room to fall on her.
It’s way too hot and sunny to be in there, especially for someone from a snowy region, so Mai summons (again, merely verbally) a coral reef…oh excuse me, a SEA coral reef. As opposed to all those land coral reefs. Shally, again, makes it gorgeous, breaking the sun room into a million pieces and crushing her.
The match is over after Maimai pops the reef with a needle…..?? and they go eat some watermelon while we get our backstory on Shally. She and Mai were classmates in Santa school and they were neighbors growing up, but while Mai is still a trainee, Shally passed her tests as a Santa Claus and was even placed in advanced classes.
Mai tries to defend herself, but Shally scoffs and says, if she really were any good, she wouldn’t have a toddler-like figure (again, a rehash from episode one….and why does Santa need to be a busty Playboy model in the first place?) and she’d be able to do more than just create S named items. Shally also mentions that, despite the fact that she did so last Christmas, Mai’s apparently not allowed to deliver presents.
Wait, how does she have an area designated to her at all if she’s not allowed to deliver gifts?
They have a small fight and Shally stomps off while Maimai says that she’s still hungry. Oh and haha, she eats a huge boatload of food and is still hungry. That’s not an overused joke or anything.
Mai goes off to buy her more food while Santa babysits.
Back with Shally, she’s so distracted by stewing over Mai that she accidentally bumps into someone, causing their watermelon…to fall….and smash into….pieces…..This better not be the gang lead—YUP. The same gang leader from episode one and his gang…*sigh*
The gang leader yells at Shally, but in a slight twist on episode one, Shally starts yelling and beating up the gang leader…though still in the exact same manner that the gang leader was beating up on Santa in episode one.
The gang yells at Shally in much the same manner as ep-you get the idea, but Shally changes it up a bit while still doing the same spin move that Mai did in that scene. She kicks the watermelon pieces, makes them ‘gorgeous’ and drops them on their heads….which is still nearly the same as the truckload of saury from episode one…..
While Mai is out shopping for food, she bumps into another person from ‘the country of Santa Claus’ named Noel who seems to be a higher up and a bit of a motherly figure to Mai. She says she has no choice but to obey the board of directors (There’s a board of directors for Santas?) and leave, but she’ll give her until…..Midnight on Christmas eve to say goodbye….Midnight on Christmas eve—That’s six months to say goodbye. You’re quite lenient.
Shally is eavesdropping on their conversation and says she’ll do Mai a solid and help her say goodbye to Santa. She yells this proclamation and does a ‘ho ho ho’ laugh over and over….while both Mai and Noel are mere feet away….Seriously, do they have the power of inaudibility and invisibility or is this just poor planning?
Shally tries to give Santa and Mai time to talk…while they’re playing volleyball…against each other no less, but Maimai keeps ruining it by smacking the ball into Santa’s head….Why would they talk about that or anything while playing volleyball? Especially if it’s supposed to be a personal goodbye.
Cut to later that night where Santa, Mai and Maimai are watching fireworks. Shally sneaks over and asks if Mai’s talked to Santa yet. She says no, and Shally takes Maimai away thinking she’s the cause again, which makes Maimai bite Shally.
Basically the exact same thing happens over and over at a hot spring, another hot spring, a bench, and out on the street. This cycle goes on for months….
It’s now December again because we had to get to Christmas somehow, and Shally starts freaking out that Mai won’t be able to say a proper goodbye to Santa and learn his true feelings before she’s forced to go away….
Okay, I have some questions. 1) Why is Maimai here? Has she been here since the end of episode one or did she really just pop up from nowhere at the start of this one?
2) If Mai admitted to Santa that she fell in love with him and they kissed twice in episode one, and they’ve been living together ever since, I find it seriously doubtful that his feelings were never brought up.
3) In another six month time period, Santa and Mai have REALLY never been given a moment alone? Maimai is constantly with them? I know she’s Mai’s little sister, but if she really did pop up from nowhere in this episode, why doesn’t she just go home? It probably would’ve been better to just start this episode in December to not make it so unbelievable, but I guess they really wanted to get those girls in bathing suits…
It’s now Christmas eve. Time really flies during repetitive montages. Shally’s getting increasingly stressed because the deadline’s fast approaching and no progress has been made, so she makes up a nice planned date for the two of them. Shally calls Santa up to discuss the plans and he’s actually super happy about this Christmas now since he has Mai, Maimai and even Shally to celebrate with.
Once Shally gets off the phone, she talks to Maimai about behaving for a change since this is her final chance to give the two of them the time that they need to sat their goodbyes. She starts lecturing her and getting really emotional when Mai walks in and hears what they’re saying.
She’s surprised….even though she knew about this, besides the whole Shally plan thing, and says she simply can’t say goodbye to him, because saying goodbye will mean that she’ll definitely be leaving for sure.
Shally and Maimai try to convince her that it’s for the best that she give him a proper goodbye, and we somehow segue into Shally talking about being Mai’s friend. She insists that, despite their differences in power and skill, she’s still Mai’s friend.
They flashback to when they were kids and apparently Shally was always teased for some reason, but Mai always stayed by her side no matter what. They were separated by the Santa school because Shally, having great grades, was sent to advanced classes while Mai lagged behind. However Mai said that they would still remain friends no matter what, even if she can’t stop time.
Mai then realizes that she has to say ‘thank you’ to Santa instead of goodbye and also thanks Shally for being her friend.
…Did…Did I enter into a completely different show? I was ranting off the rails a second ago and now it’s all emotional and actually making an iota of sense.
Mai arrives at the Christmas tree where she and Santa first met and breaks the news to him. He takes it incredibly well and just tells her to go on and come back as soon as she can. He’ll wait for her even if takes a year or two. He wants to see her as a full-fledged Santa, and he knows his feelings won’t change no matter how long she’s gone.
Shally shows up, happy that Mai finally got the chance to say goodbye, but sadly it’s a mere five minutes until midnight….wait, really? How long were they talking back home? She made the reservations, had a short conversaion with Santa, had a short lecture to Maimai, talked a bit with Mai, Mai arrives at the tree has a short conversation with Santa and suddenly hours have passed? Eh?
Anyway, the point is that now Santa and Mai have no time to do all the stuff Shally planned for their date, so as a special Christmas present to Mai, Shally and Maimai transform (sans nakedness) and stop time to give them the time they need to have a nice date.
They fly off on Pedro and the sleigh even though Mai doesn’t transform and they go off to have their date.
They go to an oddly empty restaurant to….sit there because the cooks would be frozen in time….They go to the amusement park and ride rides that are motionless because the operators are frozen in time. All the while we get a nice narration from Mai about how lucky she is to have Santa and how her feelings will never change either, even if she’s forced to leave.
The date ends and they both agree to not say goodbye since they will see each other again someday. Mai thanks Santa like she wanted to do and is content in leaving now that she knows she will return one day with Santa waiting for her.
She’s literally beamed up….somewhere and says her farewells to everyone. We get more somewhat touching narration from Mai as she continues to fly up and they just have to ruin it by making her transform. Because nothing says ’emotional moment’ like watching asses and boobs grow in front of your eyes.
She flies off on Pedro back to the school, Santa thanks her for believing in him, and she tells them/us to believe in her and believe in Santa Claus.
Our end credits now include stills of Maimai and Noel, and I did find Maimai’s Santa outfit to be pretty cute.
Mirroring the end credits scene from episode one, Noel suddenly appears on Santa’s doorstep with Mai. She throws Mai into his house and says it’s not Mai who escaped from preschool, it’s Maimai who needs to be dragged back…..Wait, huh? I thought this was about the higher ups making Shally replace Mai as the Santa for the area and Mai needing to go back to get more training. What is all this about an ‘escape’?….And Santa preschool? This mistook Mai for a preschooler or does Mai suck so much at her job that she’s in preschool for it?
We get a preview for episode three, The Third Christmas, which includes stuff like a giant reindeer mech. This preview is actually a joke….which saddens me deeply because look at that thing.
This needs to be a thing, dammit.
So….does that mean the end credits scene was also a joke? Good, because it completely ruins the ending.
Bottomline: This was surprisingly much better than episode one. Santa is almost like an entirely different character here. He’s very mature and actually enjoyable to watch. Mai is also much easier to watch even if she does rehash that moment from episode one in an even bitchier fashion.
Maimai, while seemingly being unneeded outside of forcing an intrusion upon Mai and Santa, wasn’t really annoying as she doesn’t speak much. Her mannerisms are cliché and unfunny, but she’s not annoying.
Shally is a decent enough character. It’s made apparent from the getgo that she’s not a bad person and dislikes being seen as such. She just follows orders to a tee and has a bit of an ego. This makes it easier to take her basically changing her attitude entirely to becoming a mostly nice character. Plus, you can really tell that, despite the fact that they push each other’s buttons, they actually do care about each other.
The biggest issue I have is that the first part is WAY too reliant on mirroring the first part of episode one. It’s ridiculous how much they repeat just ‘In summer’.
The fanservicey transformation and end credits scene do create a drastic tone change on what is otherwise a pretty emotional and nice second half. In fact, the second half is so nice it’s really hard to tell that you’re watching the same show. It’s not too bad though if you just muscle through the transformation and believe that the end credits scene is part of the preview joke.
While it is better written than episode one, for the second half anyway, there are still a bunch of issues with the story in terms of plot holes and inconsistencies.
It also takes half the episode to even seem Christmas-y, but what is there is actually pretty sweet.
As a couple, even though they could be more fleshed out, Mai and Santa are pretty cute, barring that one scene I mentioned. You can tell how much they care about each other, and you can believe them more as a pairing because now they’ve spent six months to a year together instead of two or three hours. They also now have some structure to their relationship seeing as how Mai did help Santa finally enjoy Christmas, his birthday and maybe his life again.
Finally, I would’ve liked some sort of update on Santa and his relationship with his parents or friends, but nope. It’s not a huge deal, but it would’ve been nice.
Overall, this was a nice surprise. It’s a decent enough Christmas special if you ignore/glance over a few things. You could probably skip episode one entirely and enjoy this fine as a standalone. It’s nothing fantastic, but it was quite a bit better better sitting through this than episode one.
Merry (late) Christmas everyone! And remember; believe in Santa and you might find that she brings you a special present!…..As long as it begins with S.
Additional Information and Notes: Itsudatte My Santa! was directed by Noriyoshi Nakamura, who also directed numerous episodes of Mister Ajikko, and it was based on a manga by Ken Akamatsu. It was produced by TNK, and is currently licensed in the US by Funimation.
Recommended Audience: Brief boob and ass shot, minute fanservice. 13+