Itsudatte My Santa! (いつだってMyサンタ!?, lit. Always My Santa!) is a manga by Ken Akamatsu. Originally a one-chapter production, it ran in Japan before Akamatsu's Love Hina was serialized. It ran in Shōnen Magazine in 1998, and was serialized in volumes 4 and 5. An anime OVA, with two episodes, was released on December 7, 2005 in Japan. As of January 25, 2007, the anime OVA has been licensed in the United States by FUNimation, and was scheduled to be released in the USA on December 11, 2007. However, the video was recalled when it was discovered that, due to a misprint, the DVD was labeled TV-PG when it was intended to be TV-MA. FUNimation announced that they plan a re-release for the 2008 holiday season.
In the story, a girl called Mai appears before a boy who happens to hate Christmas. As it turns out he was born on December 24 and thus was named Santa, causing him to hate the holiday. Moreover, as a child, he never had any festive occasions, such as birthday parties. With the power of Christmas, Mai is given the mission to improve his luck and change his views for the better.
Santa (参太?) (aka San-chan)
- Voiced by: Jun Kamei (Japanese), Chris Burnett (English)
- A lonely boy who hates Christmas because his date of birth is on Christmas Eve, he was named Santa. He is often teased for his odd name. As he grew up, his parents were never there for him. His view of Christmas had changed when he met Mai.
- A student at the Santa Claus Academy that has problems using her magic. She can only conjure up things that start with "san" (サン) in the Japanese language. She was sent to San-chan to cheer him up as her mission, but eventually falls in love with him in the process. Mai first appears to San-chan as a junior high school student. Later when San-chan starts to believe in Santa Claus, Mai gains enough Christmas powers to change into her grown up form. In adult form, Mai oddly uses enough the hyper-masculine "Ore" (as opposed to the traditionally feminine "atashi") when referring to herself, despite the feminine appeal that she gains with her transformation.
Sharry (シャリー Sharī?) (aka Shirley) (OVA anime only)
- Mai's best friend and rival. Unlike Mai she is an elite in Santa Claus Academy. She says "Gorgeous" whenever she uses her magic, which can make any objects present to her grow to very large proportions. She was sent back to retrieve Mai in order for her to finish up her studies at the academy.
MaiMai (マイマイ Maimai?) (OVA anime only)
- Mai's little sister who came to live with Mai. She has the tendency to tag along with her big sister (onee-chan) wherever she goes. She also bites anyone that interferes with her spending sometime with her onee-chan. At the end of the OVA, it is revealed that Mai Mai snuck away from the Santa Claus Academy and is in fact the one that Sharry was supposed to retrieve.
Noel-sensei (ノエル Noeru?) (OVA anime only)
- Voiced by: Tomo Sakurai (Japanese), Kelly McHalen (English)
- A teacher from the Santa Claus Academy. She is the one that tells Mai that she has to say good-bye to San-chan because she has to go back home and continue her studies. Although, Mai might've misunderstood her when she told her this (Read Above).
Differences Between the Manga and the Anime
- The Manga only tells the story of Christmas, when Santa meets Mai. The anime adds a second episode with a whole new story
- In the anime, many more major characters are introduced. These characters include Sharry (also known as Shirley), MaiMai, and Noel. The manga only has the two original characters, Santa and Mai.
- At the end of episode 2 of the OVA, there is a preview of episode 3, though this 3rd episode was in fact a joke (revealed at the end of the preview).
- Itsudatte My Santa section on Ken Akamatsu's homepage (Japanese)
- Anime OVA homepage (Japanese)
- Funimation's My Santa website
- Itsudatte My Santa! (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Itsudatte My Santa! (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Itsudatte My Santa! at the Internet Movie Databaseca:Always My Santako:언제나 나의 산타!