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New Year's Greetings — Anime Style (Update 11)

posted on by Egan Loo
Greetings from 12 18 21 25 30 35 40 45 47 49 50 anime/manga groups and creators (with more to come)

For generations, people in Japan have celebrated New Year's Day by sending specially designed cards — nengajō — to each other. As part of the tradition, postal workers store all the nengajō that are mailed in the final weeks of the old year, and then deliver every single one on New Year's Day. Many nengajō mark the Chinese Zodiac by depicting the animal of the year. (In 2009, that animal is the ox or cow.) Here are some New Year's (and Christmas) greetings from the folks that will be bringing you anime and manga in the new year.

AQUAPLUS (Tears to Tiara, ToHeart2 adplus, Utawarerumono, White Album, others)

Bandai (Tamagotchi!)

Flash animation
© Bandai, WiZ 2004

Bandai Entertainment (Mobile Suit Gundam Seed)

© 2002-2004 Sotsu, Sunrise, MBS

BaseSon (Shin Koihime†Musō)

© BaseSon


Via Chibi Yuuto's Chronicles
Thank you to dreaming0 for the tip!

Akitaro Daichi (Fruits Basket, Kodomo no Omocha, Now and Then, Here and There)

This is a sign for a shrine that Daichi posted. Daichi admits that he was so busy with his new series that the New Year caught him by surprise, so he did not send a nengajō this year.

Doraemon Channel

Flash animation
(In the linked page, select the Doraemon snow globe and drag it around vigorously to "shake" it. If you shake it hard enough, Doraemon gets dizzy. If you "push" it up and then let go…well, you'll see.)
© Fujiko Production, Shogakukan


feng (Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka)


© Disney

Gainax (Gurren Lagann)

Illustrated by Hiroyuki Imaishi
"Happy New Year
Please enjoy [the second film] Ragan-hen"

Studio Ghibli

Ghibli Museum

Good Smile (Lucky Star)

These are the exclusive O-Nenga (New Year's Greetings) Capsule versions of the Lucky Star Nendoroid Petit figures that Good Smile created for the New Year's festivities at Washinomiya Shrine. The shrine served as a real-life inspiration for the Lucky Star anime.
Via Danny Choo

Gurren Lagann

Image © Gainax, Kazuki Nakashima/Aniplex, KDE-J, TV Tokyo, Dentsu

Megumi Hayashibara

Flash animation and video
(In the linked page, select the flying green butterfly. After a new page opens, select the upper righthand line of red text to see the New Year's greetings that Hayashibara's friends have sent her.)

Tomo Hirokawa and Ichiro Sakaki (Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica: Cardinal Crimson)

Illustrated by Tomo Hirokawa
Original creator: Ichiro Sakaki
© 2008 Ichiro Sakaki © 2008 ocelot © 2008 Tomo Hirakawa/Flex Comix Inc.

Production I.G (Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror)

© 1996-2008 Production I.G
© 2009 Fuji Television Network, Production I.G


Shintaro Kago (Punctures)

Via Same Hat! Same Hat! blog

Yuhki Kamatani (Nabari no Ou)

Thank you to dreaming0 for the tip!

Yukito Kishiro (GUNNM/Battle Angel Alita)

Flash animation
Thank you to Al Young for the tip!

Macross Frontier


Kaoru Mori (Emma)

Shoko Nakagawa

Ai Ota (Inuyasha, Turn A Gundam, Viper's Creed)

Maaya Sakamoto

Illustrated by Maaya Sakamoto
(In the linked page, select the "I.D." logo.)

Sanrio (Hello Kitty)

Flash animation

Seventh Expansion (Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni)

Spice and Wolf

Illustrated by Jū Ayakura
© Isuna Hasekura, MediaWorks/Spice and Wolf Production Committee

Sunrise (Armored Trooper Votoms)

Illustrated by Norio Shioyama
© Sunrise

Sunrise (The Big O)

Illustrated by Keiichi Satou
© Sunrise

Sunrise (Brave Exkaiser)

Illustrated by Masayuki Hiraoka (characters) and Takahiro Yamada (mecha)
Colored by Reiko Iwazawa
Special effects by Masayuki Hiraoka
© Sunrise

Sunrise (The Brave Express Might Gaine)

Illustrated by Atsuko Ishida (characters) and Masahiro Yamane (mecha)
Colored by Reiko Iwazawa
Special effects by Masayuki Hiraoka
© Sunrise

Sunrise (Chou Mashin Eiyuden Wataru)

Illustrated by Toyoo Ashida
© Sunrise, R

Sunrise (Future GPX Cyber Formula)

Illustrated by Takahiro Yoshimatsu
Colored by Keiichi Funada
Special effects by Hirofumi Yagi
© Sunrise

Sunrise (Infinite Ryvius)

Illustrated by Hisashi Hirai
Colored by Reiko Iwazawa
Special effects by Reiko Iwazawa
© Sunrise

Sunrise (Iron Leaguer)

Illustrated by Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Colored by Reiko Iwazawa
Special effects by Masayuki Hiraoka
© Sunrise

Sunrise (Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory)

Illustrated by Toshihiro Kawamoto
© Sotsu, Sunrise

Sunrise (Muteki Choujin Zanbot 3)

Illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
© Sotsu, Sunrise

Sunrise (Round Vernian Vifam)

Illustrated by Toyoo Ashida
© Sunrise

Sunrise (Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh)

Illustrated by Akira Takeuchi (characters) and Takahiro Yamada (mecha)
Colored by Reiko Iwazawa
Special effects by Masayuki Hiraoka
© Sunrise

Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon)

This is not a nengajō, but on New Year's Day, the official Sailor Moon Channel posted a drawing that "Naoko-hime" drew after touring the Bandai Hobby Center's Gundam plastic model factory last fall. The factory workers' uniforms are modeled after the Earth Federation military uniforms in the Gundam anime.


Hiroki Ugawa (Shrine of the Morning Mist)

Ugawa drew the linework for Christmas 2007 and colored it for Christmas 2008.
Via Yuri na Hibi, Okazu, and Yuricon Mailing List

Kazuo Umezu (Drifting Classroom)

Video Message
Via Same Hat! Same Hat! blog

Nao Yazawa (Wedding Peach)

Illustrated by Nao Yazawa (English website)
Thank you to Rebecca Rudeen for the tip!

Kenichi Yoshida (Eureka Seven)

Illustrated by Kenichi Yoshida
Thank you to VLOXY for the tip!

Mine Yoshizaki (Keroro Gunsō/Sgt. Frog)

Illustrated by Mine Yoshizaki

There are many more anime/manga nengajō out there, so if you know of one we've missed, feel free to let us know in our forums or by email (newsroom at animenewsnetwork.com). Akemashite Omedetō Gozaimasu!

(Here are last year's greetings!)

Haru image © 2004 Natsuki Takaya/HAKUSENSHATV TOKYONAS • Fruba Project. Licensed by FUNimation® Productions, Ltd.

Update: Disney (Fireball), Gainax (Gurren Lagann), Spice and Wolf, and Sunrise (Brave Exkaiser, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, Muteki Choujin Zanbot 3) added.

Update 2: Bandai Entertainment (Mobile Suit Gundam Seed), Yukito Kishiro (GUNNM/Battle Angel Alita), and Macross Frontier added.

Update 3: feng (Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka) and Sunrise (Armored Trooper Votoms, The Brave Express Might Gaine, Future GPX Cyber Formula) added.

Update 4: Bandai (Tamagotchi!), BaseSon (Shin Koihime†Musō), Elf, Ai Ota (Inuyasha, Turn A Gundam, Viper's Creed), and Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon) added.

Update 5: AQUAPLUS (Tears to Tiara, ToHeart2 adplus, Utawarerumono, White Album, others), Megumi Hayashibara, jaPRESS, Kaoru Mori (Emma), and Nao Yazawa (Wedding Peach) added. Switched copyrights on Bandai Entertainment and BaseSon. Thanks, Cloud668.

Update 6: Good Smile (Lucky Star), Sunrise (Round Vernian Vifam, Infinite Ryvius, Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh), and Kenichi Yoshida (Eureka Seven) added.

Update 7: CLAMP (Tsubasa, RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE/xxxHOLiC), Yuhki Kamatani (Nabari no Ou), and Sunrise (The Big O, Chou Mashin Eiyuden Wataru, Iron Leaguer) added. We also added the instructions for Doraemon Channel's "Easter egg" feature.

Update 8: Akitaro Daichi and minori added. We also added the 2008 thank you card from Mine Yoshizaki (Keroro Gunsō/Sgt. Frog). MangaCast's Ed Chavez posts the nengajō from the Kodansha BOX staff, as well as 15 manga magazine covers with a New Year's theme. Shuchung posted a link to drag11's comprehensive listing (mirror site) of New Year's greetings from Japanese computer-graphics artists.

Update 9: Hiroki Ugawa (Shrine of the Morning Mist) and Kazuo Umezu (Drifting Classroom) added.

Update 10: Shintaro Kago (Punctures) added.

Update 11: Spice and Wolf added.

This article has a follow-up: New Year's Greetings — Anime Style (Update 10) (2009-01-05 06:09)
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