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As sure as the taxes, it comes at the end of every year: the New Year. Time for looking back, looking forward and just going crazy, to celebrate and do all the things you for obvious reasons could not do in the Christmas Episode.
Manga and anime love the New Year. After all, this is where you can show all the girls and some of the boys looking good in kimono while making the traditional visit to the local shrine. Of course you can also dress some of them up as mikos (yes, some of the boys, too!) taking against the visitors. Or you can just let them stay up late to see the first sunrise of the new year - if they can stay awake, of course!
In Western media, often a source of date anxiety. Common things include big fireworks, a lot of champagne and New Years Resolution and, not least, breaking of them. And of course, toast When the Clock Strikes Twelve. That is, of course, if you agree whether it is the first or the last stroke which marks it (it's the first). And if the characters can stay awake. In fact both young and old characters may fall asleep before midnight, indicating immaturity for the former, and fatigue for the latter.
Some works use the new year as a natural starting and/or ending point for their stories. In series it may be used as an excuse for a Clip Show.
Anime & Manga
- Kokoro Library: The three sisters, Iina, Aruto and Kokoro, pray for good things to happen in the new year - however not exactly the same things.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: Nagi wants to see the first sunrise of the new year in Kujukurihama. Guess which butler-in-debt has to take her the 100 km (62 miles) there - on bike!
- Kedamono Damono: Haruki gets a night job as a miko in his female form to earn some money so he can buy a gift to Konatsu. But his partner as miko is also in love with him, and since she does not know the facts she wonders if the good looking girl she is working together with really is the cousin of Haruki as she was told.
- Mangaka Haruka Fukushima noticed in the afterword that one could say that she only made this story to draw Haruki as a miko.
- Mao-chan: Alien spies Yuriko and Chinami have disguised themselves as mikos to get people at the shrine to get people to touch one of their cute animals (a big sheep in case) promising them that their first dream of the year will come true. But touching the sheep in reality put people into sleep. Which soon gives Kagome her hands full since she is the only one of the defence forces not to touch the sheep.
- W Juliet: Makoto celebrates New Year's Eve at Ito's family. Problems however fast ensue when Ito gets her beloved Wholesome Crossdresser to dress like as the boy he is.
- Keroro Gunsou had a manga chapter where the platoon decides to hold an all night party whilst the Sarge builds one of his Gundam models...except he uses solvent based glue which won't dry fast enough and makes obnoxious fumes when you try to hair dry it, so with the plan of watching the sun rise over his new model nixed they all engage in drinking alcohol and making wishes for the New Year. It does not end well...
- The anime adaptation of the episode had the characters (including the Narrator) wish everyone a happy new year. We then saw the Platoon playing various games (abusing Giroro in the process) and have an evening party... which also does not go well (to the extent Dororo is grateful he has been forgotten).
- A later manga chapter has the Sarge learn that he has been asleep for nearly a week, has missed New Year's and finds the house completely deserted (or so he thinks, it's revealed in a bonus chapter Kururu was hiding where the Sarge couldn't see him and didn't want to "babysit" him). He comes to the conclusion the Earth was invaded whilst he was asleep, puts on a Pekoponian disguise battlesuit and goes out to fight, only to find the Hinatas went to the temple to get their good luck messages for the year, and the others went home to be with their families.
- Twentieth Century Boys has New Year's Eve as the climax (kind of) of the first plot arc.
- Toradora! takes up the plot on New Year's after a short Time Skip from the Christmas Episode/Wham! Episode. It contains evidence that Nothing Is the Same Anymore because Taiga can talk to Yuusaku without stuttering and becoming a Dojikko. It turns out to be because she's over him and has realized she's in love with Ryuuji. A new beginning, of sorts.
- Cardcaptor Sakura has an episode where she goes to the temple with Tomoyo and gets an odd fortune from Eriol (i.e. one lacking in good luck that he magicked).
- In Future War 198 X Laura and Wataru are enjoying drinks on the balcony while Watching the Sunset on New Year's Eve, talking about their hopes for the future, right before hearing news that World War III has broken out in Europe.
- In Kill Me Baby Yasuna, Sonya and Agiri use the first school day after New Year to hold a combined New Year, Christmas and Halloween Party.
- In Lucky Star Konata and her father visit the shrine of the Hiiragi family after New Year.
- "New Year, New Disasters" from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series is centered around this.
- The Apartment
- The Gold Rush
- When Harry Met Sally
- Terror Train
- Trading Places had the train party on New Years Eve, where the group attempts to steal Beeks' reports.
- Four Rooms
- Holiday Inn
- Oceans 11 The 1960 original--Ocean and his gang rob 5 casinos at once on New Year's.
- New Year's Eve
- New Years Evil
- End of Days
- The Poseidon Adventure, as well as its remake Poseidon.
- The main heist of Entrapment takes place on New Years Eve.
- Forrest Gump has Forrest and Lieutenant Dan celebrating New Year's Eve in a bar.
- At the end of the film Radio Days, Joe's family celebrates New Year's Eve together at home while Sally spends the night at a lavish ball with other radio personalities.
Live Action TV
- In action-adventure shows, the plot will often involve a bomb set to go off exactly at midnight local time (often the ball in New York City's Times Square or the show's equivalent).
- Friends had a couple of New Year's episodes, the most notable one being where Chandler kissed Joey.
- Mr. Bean also celebrates new year and has invited a pair of friends for it.
- Not New Year-related as such but always shown on New Year's Eve in half of Europe: Dinner for One
- Engine Sentai Go-onger had a New Year's episode where the characters were dressed in kimonos. They also broke the Fourth Wall at the start to wish the audience a happy new year. And there were clips of the exploits of the characters over the past year (unfortuantely for Gaiark, they were all of their defeats).
- Kamen Rider Den-O also had one where the characters dressed in kimonos.
- The episode "Sylvesterpunsch" ("New Year's Eve Punch") of the German sitcom Ein Herz und eine Seele.
- 'The Countdown' episode of The OC (Season 1). Date anxiety, check!
- The M*A*S*H episode "A War for All Seasons" encompasses a year in the life of the 4077th, bracketed by a pair of New Year's celebrations.
- A Barney Miller episode takes place on New Year's Eve.
- The X-Files had "Millenium" as its New Year's episode. As suggested by the name, it aired in 1999 and is about superstition surrounding the new millenium. Perhaps surprisingly, it doesn't have to do with Y 2 K. It does have to do with religious fanatics using zombies to bring about the end of the world. In true X-Files style. "Millenium" pulls double duty as not only an X-Files episode, but the series finale to Millenium, another Chris Carter show. It also marks the first kiss between Mulder and Scully, just as the clock strikes midnight.
- Each season of Babylon 5 lined up with a calendar year in the show's universe, but only the first season finale had the New Year's celebration as a backdrop. This being one of the show's famous Wham Episodes, by the time the ball dropped, quite a few major changes had happened.
- You'll Have Had Your Tea: The Doings of Hamish and Dougal had a Hogmanay Special, notable in that the guests at the Laird's Hogmanay party played by people other than the four main actors. (The other regulars on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, newsreader Jim Naughtie as Mrs Naughtie's son, and Sandi Toksvig as a very tall golfer.)
- The first couple of songs in the second act of Rent deal with the new year and how the characters succeed or fail in changing their lives: Maureen trying to win back Joanne, Roger choosing to believe in The Power of Love, Mimi failing to quit heroin.
- With many other holidays in this year-in-the-life-of-it's-protagonist, Persona 3 has a pivotal decision on New Years Eve, whether or not to kill Ryoji. Killing him would let everyone die peacefully as The End of the World as We Know It happens, or to fight the seemingly fight the inevitable end. Note that all of your teammates are for the latter. If you go for option number two you then get to see...
- New Years Day is slightly more upbeat with everyone visting a local shrine and see the girls in kimono's.
- The Peanuts special Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.
- The Rankin Bass special Rudolph's Shiny New Year.
- The drink in a bowle, not what you do with your fist.