Anime to Watch This Christmas (1)

10 Anime to Watch This Christmas

Distributors Funimation and Manga Entertainment has once again provided another batch of catalog Anime to watch this Christmas for the United Kingdom and Ireland territories on their streaming service Funimation Now.

Back in May 2019, Funimation acquired Manga Entertainment and since then we saw a number of titles made available for Funimation Now including Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and recently the first Naruto series, with the English dub Anime to watch available for the first time on streaming platforms in the UK & Ireland.

Last Friday they have announced another batch. This time we have a mix of films, anime to watch and live-action Japanese films in the mix, just in time for the Christmas season.

Most of the titles will offer English & Japanese audio with English subtitles, Anime to watch while some are either one or the other.

10. 2001 Nights (Fumihiko Sori’s TO)

2001 Nights

Released: November 2009
Studio: OXYBOT
Audio: English

2001 Nights anime to watch consists of several loosely connected short stories, all taking place in the same timeline, with the whole series spanning several hundred years.

Many of the stories are related to each other (even across books), each building upon the achievements of the previous ones. The stories are often (but not always) scientifically plausible, recalling a lot of the early science fiction of the 1950 and 1960 eras.

Join the acclaimed director, Fumihiko Sori (Vexille, Ichi) and the producers of Appleseed and Halo Legends for an epic journey to the stars told across two stunning sci-fi fables. Based on the classic sci-fi manga series created by Yukinobu Hoshino . Featuring two beautifully crafted stories created in eye-popping CG animation from acclaimed Japanese studio, OXYBOT.

9. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The Laughing Man, Individual Eleven and Solid State Society

Ghost in the Shell

Released: September 2005, January 2006, September 2006
Studio: Production I.G
Audio: English, Japanese

In the year 2029, the world is made borderless by the net; augmented humans live in virtual environments, watched over by law enforcement that is able to download themselves into super-powered, crime busting mecha.

The ultimate secret agent of the future is not human, has no physical body and can freely travel the information highways of the world, hacking and manipulating whatever and whenever required.

The OVAs and anime to watch have been released by Manga Entertainment on Blu-ray and DVD. In the US the license belongs to Anchor Bay and Bandai Entertainment.

The beautiful but deadly cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi and Section 9 deal with cybernetic crimes. In the not so distant future, body transplanting into machines is possible greatly increasing physical and cybernetic prowess. Criminals also use this technology, creating dangerous new crimes. In response the Japanese Government has established Section 9, an independently operating police unit.

8. Hellsing

Hellsing anime to watch

Released: October 2001
Studio: Gonzo
Audio: English, Japanese

Hellsing anime to watch follows the antiheroic vampire, Alucard, and a police girl-turned-vampire, Seras Victoria, two vampires employed by the vampire-extermination group of England, the Hellsing Organization. Slowly but surely, through their active duty, they find a new breed of vampires beginning to arise.

Witness the blood-soaked roots of a legend in Hellsing, the action-horror series that launched the careers of some of anime’s brightest stars. The vampire Arucard and his servant Seras Victoria protect the British Empire from ghouls and satanic freaks. Together, they haunt the shadows as a sinister force of good – and tonight the streets of England shall flow with the blood of their evil prey.

7. Highlander: The Search For Vengeance


Released: June 2007
Studio: Madhouse
Audio: English

Colin MacLeod anime to watch, the immortal Scottish Highlander, travels with the wise-cracking ghost Amergan in search of the immortal despot Marcus Octavius, who killed Colin’s lover on the Celtic plains centuries earlier.

The once great city of New York is now submerged under water, with only one dominant fortress towering over the sea, the fortress of Marcus Octavius. MacLeod is torn between saving the survivors of New York and hunting down his nemesis.

Anime sequel to the live action franchise. Colin MacLeod, a 2nd century, Celtic warrior who becomes immortal following his defeat at the hands of immortal Roman tyrant Marcus Octavius. Colin spends millennia chasing after Marcus. The longtime duel extends 200 years into Earth’s dystopian future where Colin finds Marcus once again a head of a private government and wielding a deadly virus.

6. Last Exile and Last Exile -Fam, the Silver Wing-

Last Exile and Last Exile

Released: April 2003, October 2011
Studio: Gonzo
Audio: English, Japanese

“I’ve made up my mind! I’m going to steal that ship!” All source of life originates from the Grand Lake. At this very sacred lake, the battle between the Ades Federation and the Turan Kingdom has just begun.

The Ades Federation, armed with massive battleships and its sights set on conquering the world, declares war on the Turan Kingdom. With the Federation’s troops encroaching on their beloved country, Turan now lies on the brink of collapse.

As this is happening, the princesses of Turan look on as a small vanship named Vespa cruises above their heads. “We shall now commandeer your flagship and take her from this battlefield.

The choice is yours. Die here, or survive with us Sky Pirates!” The Vespa continues to weave through the barrage of bombs, while the fleets of the Federation close in on Turan.

What are the motives of Luscinia, the man leading the Ades Federation into the war? And what is the secret behind “Exile”?

Funimation has the rights to the two shows in the US & Canada (the first previously from Geneon) and Manga Entertainment has released the first anime to watch on DVD (previously from ADV Films) and the second series on both Blu-ray and DVD.

Claus Valca and his fiery navigator Lavie are obsessed with becoming the first sky couriers to cross the Grand Stream in a vanship. But when the high-flying duo encounters a mysterious girl named Alvis, they are thrust into the middle of an endless battle between Anatoray and Disith – two countries systematically destroying each other according to the code of chivalric warfare.

5. Origin: Spirits of the Past


Released: January 2006
Studio: Gonzo
Audio: English, Japanese

A failed DNA experiment with plants has changed the world forever. Having demolished the moon, the intelligent and aggressive plant-life has spread to the earth and destroyed the human civilization.

The few humans that remain struggle to survive, while maintaining an uneasy truce with the restless forest. One day, a villager named Agito stumbles across a stasis unit hidden deep in the forest and awakens a very cute girl from the past.

Having slept for the past 300 years, Toola steps into a very different and strange world. The neighbouring high-tech village of Laguna is still locked in a bitter war with the forest and when they become aware of Toola, they realize that she is the key to activating her father’s final and ultimate weapon of humanity – a weapon designed to totally destroy the forest.

When Toola is taken by the warriors of Laguna, Agito makes a pact with the forest to gain the strength and incredible powers to not only save her, but to stop the weapon from destroying both the forest and his village a great anime to watch.

Long ago, the Forest was awakened and the Moon unleashed a ravenous Beast upon the Earth. Centuries later, as humanity struggle to coexist with the Forest, Agito revives slumbering Toola, who calls forth ancient technology to reshape the future from the ashes of the past. With the blessing of the Forest, Agito must save Toola from herself in order to rescue them all.

4. Shin Godzilla [Live-Action]

Shin Godzilla

Released: July 2016
Director: Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi
Audio: English

TOHO’s 29th anime to watch in the Godzilla franchise and a reboot of the iconic monster. Known in Japan as Shin Gojira, the film was directed by Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion) and Shinji Higuchi ( a great anime to watch is Attack on Titan the Movie Parts 1 & 2).

It was brought over to the west as Shin Godzilla by Funimation and Manga Entertainment in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland for theatrical and anime to watch home video on Blu-ray and DVD.

When a massive, gilled monster emerges from the deep and tears through the city, the government scrambles to save its citizens. A rag-tag team of volunteers cuts through a web of red tape to uncover the monster’s weakness and its mysterious ties to a foreign superpower. But time is not on their side – the greatest catastrophe to ever befall the world is about to evolve right before their very eyes.

3. Space Battleship Yamato [Live-Action]

Space Battleship Yamato

Released: December 2010
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Audio: English, Japanese

A live-action adaptation of the classic Anime to watch series from Yoshinobu Nishizaki and Leiji Matsumoto. The film was directed by Takashi Yamazaki (Parasyte Parts 1 & 2, Lupin III: The First 3DCG).

In the distant future in this anime to watch, the war between the human race and the Gamilon has taken its toll on the planet Earth. Constant bombardment of radioactive asteroids has rendered the planet’s atmosphere uninhabitable.

As a means of relief aid, Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar offers the Earth Forces a device that can completely neutralize the radiation off the planet.

For this task, the space battleship Yamato is launched from the remains of its World War II ancestor on a 148,000 light-year journey.

However, the crew of the Yamato has only one Earth year to travel to Iscandar and back, or the human race will come to an end.

This anime to watch was brought over to the west under its original name (rather than the US branded name Star Blazers) by Funimation and Manga Entertainment in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland for home video on Blu-ray and DVD.

The year is 2199. Mankind teeters on the brink of extinction as the Gamilas, a heinous race of alien invaders, wage an endless war for the right to inhabit the Earth. The last hope for humanity lies on the distant planet of Iskander, and the only battleship capable of attempting the journey is the legendary Yamato.

2. We Are X [Live-Action]

We Are X

Released: January 2016
Director: Stephen Kijak
Audio: Japanese

We Are X is a documentary film and a great Anime to watch focusing on the iconic Japanese metal band X Japan and its leader Yoshiki.

Glam rock band X Japan ignited a musical revolution in Japan during the late 1980s. Twenty years after disbanding, Yokshiki X, the leader of the band, wrestles with physical and spiritual demons to bring the band’s music to the world.

The documentary was released in the US & Canada by Magnolia Home Entertainment and in the UK & Ireland by Manga Entertainment, both released it on Blu-ray and DVD.

X Japan, the world’s biggest and most successful rock & roll band you’ve never heard of. Under the enigmatic direction of drummer, pianist, composer, and producer Yoshiki, X Japan has pioneered a spectacle­ driven style of rock, creating a cultural phenomenon. Chronicling an exhilarating and tumultuous three decades, the film culminates with preparations for their reunion concert at Madison Square.

1. Yu-Gi-Oh! the Movie: The Dark Side of Dimensions and Pyramid of Light


Released: August 2004, April 2016
Studio: Gallop
Audio: English

Based on Kazuki Takahashi’s manga series which then spawned an anime to watch and trading card game, the franchise received a few films and two of them are coming to Funimation Now; the 2004 film Yu-Gi-Oh!

A shy high-school student named Yugi Moto receives the fragmented pieces of an Egyptian artifact, known as the Millennium Puzzle, from his grandfather.

When Yugi reassembles the puzzle he is possessed by the 3,000-year-old spirit of an ancient pharaoh. Yugi and his friends Joey, Tea and Hondo protect the puzzle, which contains powerful secrets many people would like to possess.

Pyramid of Light (Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Duel Monsters: Hikari no Pyramid) and the 2016 film Dark Side of Dimensions. Both are dub only and were brought over to the west by 4Kids. Manga Entertainment has released both films on Blu-ray and DVD for the UK & Ireland.

After the conclusion of the Battle City Tournament, deep below the sands of Egypt, an ancient evil has awakened. Anubis, who was defeated centuries ago by Yugi’s mysterious alter ego – the ancient Pharaoh – has returned for revenge. Wielding the power of the Eighth Millennium Item, Anubis is determined to destroy Yugi and take over the world…

Source: Funimation UK & Ireland

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