Over the years, Halloween has grown in popularity in anime and manga thanks to Western pop culture, theme parks, and ex-pats. Often, it’s an excellent excuse to put the characters in costume. Like in Western Halloween stories, it comes in handy when said characters already have a costumed alter-ego.
Anime characters sometimes need an explanation for why the local kids are running around in costumes and asking for candy. Anime might make good use of foreign characters for a Halloween story. It especially helps when an anime has an exotic setting. The experimental Cipher OVA, which is set in the United States, famously features a Halloween parade.
10/10 Haruhi & Her Friends Try To Learn About Halloween
The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya: “That’s right! Let’s celebrate Halloween!”
In The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, Halloween is coming up, and Haruhi wants to celebrate it. In the episode, “That’s right! Let’s celebrate Halloween!,” the group realizes that no one really knows how, causing Haruhi and her friends to just guess everything. Taking things too literally, Haruhi even collects live bats. Yuki and Mikuru’s attempts to carve a pumpkin end with them cutting too much.
Tsuruya eventually realizes what’s going on and properly explains the holiday. The whole time, Haruhi thought they needed to make a god out of the decorations. In the end, Haruhi and her friends make candy offerings to the pumpkin-headed anatomy doll.
9/10 The Hamsters Have A Ham-Ham Halloween
Hamtaro: “Ham-Ham Halloween”
In the Hamtaro episode, “Ham-Ham Halloween,” the hamsters learn their human owners have been invited to a Halloween party and decide to celebrate it themselves. The older hamsters, Auntie Viv and Elder Ham, explain the holiday to the other hamsters, but also plan to scare them in the forest. Each of the Ham-Hams appear in costume. Hamtaro wears a Frankenstein’s monster mask, Bijou and Pashmina are witches, and Penelope dons a white sheet to become a ghost.
Burger King even had a tie-in promotion with toy versions of the Ham-Hams in costume. The episode also ended up being the finale for the English dub. Hamtaro would go on to have another Halloween special, this time involving the costume-loving Djungarians.
8/10 Sunako Learns Halloween Can Be Any Day
The Wallflower: “Halloween Seen in Dreams”
In The Wallflower, Sunako loves the gloomy, the macabre, and even chocolate, so it makes sense Halloween is her favorite holiday. In the sixth episode, “Halloween Seen in Dreams,” Sunako falls ill and wakes up to realize October has already passed, with her missing Halloween.
Sunako’s housemates are confused by the situation, initially thinking they forgot her birthday. Noticing the pumpkins Sunako stocked up on, her friend Noi realizes what happened and comes up with a solution. Noi and the housemates will throw a surprise Halloween party. Luckily, Sunako’s beloved anatomy dolls come in handy for quick decorations.
7/10 Potamos Debuts In A Halloween Story
Wedding Peach: “A Halloween Witch”
In the Wedding Peach episode, “A Halloween Witch,” the Love Angels decide to host a Halloween party at a local school. The water devil Potamos, passing herself off as a witch, crashes the party, where she’s initially subdued by trick-or-treaters.
Taking advantage of the holiday, Takuro creates a distraction by dressing up like Wedding Peach. This gives the Love Angels a chance to transform and save the day. As the devil characters are unfamiliar with the holiday, the episode used them as a surrogate to explain Halloween’s origins, even bringing up All Saint’s Day.
6/10 Doraemon’s Prepared With Futuristic Halloween Decorations
Doraemon: “What Kinda Day Is Halloween”
In the Doraemon Halloween special, “What Kinda Day Is Halloween,” Nobita gets spooked by a jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treaters, mistaking them for real monsters. Dekisugi explains it is Halloween. Nobita and his friends decide to don costumes and get some candy themselves.
A confused Gian, however, goes around taking people’s toys. Doraemon helps the kids fight back with some monster-summoning jack-o-lanterns. Unfortunately, Gian thinks the monsters are just kids in costume and ends up taking a jack-o-lantern for himself. Doraemon has another trick in his pouch: a light that gives the kids the powers of their costumes, allowing them to fight Gian’s monsters.
5/10 Halloween Gets Combined With A Japanese Tradition
Ouran High School Host Club: “Until the Day It Becomes a Pumpkin!”
In the Ouran High School Host Club episode, “Until the Day It Becomes a Pumpkin!,” Range has the idea to combine Class 1-A’s Halloween festivities with a Japanese tradition: a “kimodameshi,” or “test of courage,” similar to a haunted house. However, this will be a tournament, with the losers crowned “The Captains of All Cowards.”
Haruhi gets paired with Soga, who’s afraid of the dark, and the twins. Nekozawa, the leader of the Black Magic Club, takes advantage of a local urban legend, the Clocktower Witch, to scare them. In the end, however, Nekozawa accidentally scares the entire Class 1-A with a shadow, crowning them all losers.
4/10 America Has Big Plans For His Halloween Party
Hetalia: “Surprise Halloween!”
The Hetalia franchise has had a few Halloween stories over the years. Hetalia: The World Twinkle, for example, has “Surprise Halloween!,” in which America hosts a costume party, complete with a costume contest. Many guests come in groups, with characters like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and an alternate version of Toy Story.
America kept the contest a secret from England, but he’s got an ulterior motive. Things soon become clear when America and England appear on stage as the iconic duo Batman and Robin.
3/10 One Famous Sailor Moon Story Retroactively Became A Halloween Special
Sailor Moon: “Masquerafe”
One early Sailor Moon manga story, “Masquerafe,” has the Senshi sneak into an embassy masked ball where a foreign princess announces the unveiling of a mysterious crystal. The story was adapted into the 1990s anime and Sailor Moon Crystal.
It even got adapted into the live-action series, but a few changes were made. The embassy ball is now a socialite’s Halloween-birthday party, complete with costumes and jack-o-lanterns. Usagi goes in a bear costume, Ami dresses like a catgirl, and Rei attends in her miko robes and a mask. Even Mamoru sneaks in as Tuxedo Mask.
2/10 The Cast Dresses Up For A Halloween-Themed Dream Sequence
Bleach: “Gaiden Again! This Time’s Enemy Is A Monster?”
In Bleach’s “Gaiden Again! This Time’s Enemy Is A Monster?,” Ichigo appears trapped in a Halloween-like dream. Rukia, dressed like a tiny succubus, drags Ichigo to a castle where all the characters are dressed like monsters. Uryu is Dracula, Orihime is a pumpkin ghost, and Ichigo himself is patched up like Frankenstein’s monster. Renji is mistaken for a mummy, but claims to actually just be bandaged.
The monsters are under the threat of hunters and a mysterious “snow crystal,” which can make them human. In the end, however, it turns out that this isn’t Ichigo’s dream at all. It’s Komamura’s.
1/10 Yokai Don’t Like Halloween’s Commercialization
GeGeGe No Kitaro: “The Vampire’s Halloween Party”
GeGeGe no Kitaro is a classic, long-running yokai series, so a Halloween special was inevitable. In “The Vampire’s Halloween Party,” yokai have mixed feelings about the holiday. Neko Musume complains about it getting too commercialized, but doesn’t mind tagging along to a VR vampire show.
Unfortunately, the show is a front for the vampire Carmilla, who transforms two girls and releases them into the showing. Naturally, everyone takes all the screams for help as part of the show. Even yokai aren’t safe from the spell. Kitaro and his friends are able to defeat the vampire and change the victims back to normal. The story ends with everyone eating ice cream at a Halloween café.
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