I started watching this movie knowing little more than that it was directed by Satoshi Kon, and even though I'm a fan of the man's work in general, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
STORY - In brief, Tokyo Godfathers is a heart-warming Christmas story about family. Slightly elaborated, it's a rather unique slice-of-life movie featuring a less-than-average family. Sure, inspiration was taken from an old western film (3 Godfathers), but I haven't seen it, and I don't think having seen it would have affected the charm of this one. (Other than the bare bones, the details of the two movies are vastly different anyway.)
Though thoroughly punctuated with reminders of how hard life can be, the movie was fun, comedic at times, and pretty darn feel-good, reflecting the general optimism associated with the winter holidays. It was uplifting, meaningful, and potentially relevant to people from all walks of life. That said, there were a lot of situations that felt a bit contrived and overly corny. For a destined-to-have-a-happy-ending story like this, a few coincidences here and there are completely expected and can even be cute. But there's a line somewhere and after a certain point, it starts to get a bit silly. (How many characters do we need to be coincidentally named "Kiyoko"?) I'd say that Tokyo Godfathers crossed this very vague line -- maybe not by much, but it was crossed all the same. I guess I can only take so much cute before I start groaning.
The main theme of this movie is the importance of family, which is a huge shift from Kon's usual work involving diminished divides between fantasy and reality. Even so, there are little indications of the man's handiwork woven carefully into the backstories of the individual characters, which I found interesting. After all, you don't immediately think of hobos when you think "family values," but the homeless might be among more believable subjects for those who may want to disassociate themselves with reality. It was subtle, but I really think Kon did a superb job blending the two themes together, and that was just what I needed to tide me over.
CHARACTER - The characters were definitely the highlight of the film. The three protagonists were all wonderfully in-depth, but I never got the feeling that their complexity was being flaunted or that they were throwing it in our faces. Gin, Hana, and Mitsuki are all introduced as fairly ordinary people, which makes them easy to sympathize with and easy to relate to, even for such unconventional characters as Hana. They were all troubled people -- a deadbeat debtor, an okama with AIDS (implied), and a teenage runaway, all homeless and living in a tent in the park. But each character's personal issues were presented in gradual fragments, and there is enough ambiguity and deception to keep you wondering. That scores big in the realism department with me; after all, you don't really go around dumping life issues on people, even if they're your friends.
Throughout the movie, each of our three godparents struggle with their personal issues, even as they all deal with the immediate crisis involving the baby. But despite the fact that the baby problem was very pressing and is the main storyline, it's hard to miss the gradual development in the characters. There are short, solo scenes for all the protagonists scattered throughout the movie, and that's where some of the coincidences start mounting. Tokyo is a huge city, and I found it a little ridiculous that so many relevant figures from the characters' past should appear in such a short time, but I realize that those situations are hard to avoid, if not impossible. All the same, I really enjoyed each character's maturation, especially since so little was actually said in two out of three cases. That made everything seem all the more poignant. For some reason, even though I thought Miyuki's runaway story was a bit "Wait, what?" I could sympathize with her all the same.
The main trio aside, the other characters were more roles within the story than actual characters. Sachiko was a little over the top for me, and her husband a bit predictable as well, but that's okay. The other support characters more than make up for them. The yakuza guy was entertaining, and the Hispanic hitman intriguing, not to mention the raving, crazy, old hobo. They're as good as minor characters get.
ART & ANIMATION - Tokyo Godfathers was a gorgeous, gorgeous movie, but I wouldn't have expected or accepted anything less. Seriously, there wasn't much not to like here visually. The characters were all distinct, memorable, and animated. Expressions were rendered with impressive realism, and the scenic city background was beautiful. I especially loved how the snow and light rail were handled, as well as nighttime city lights. The realness of the city really resonated as well. We do see a few prominent landmarks like Tokyo Tower, but pretty much all the buildings looked like they could have been real. The big city feeling really came out perfectly. It was kind of nice to see a few trademarks of Satoshi Kon's style as well, including that a stout, self-important man, and that one creepy, old guy. They're Kon's white doves.
MUSIC - Average in that I-don't-really-remember-any-of-it way. The final melody that played with the end credits was nice though.
VOICE ACTING - I saw this movie subbed, and it was lovely. The cast for our three protagonists all did great; the emotion was clearly there. I was especially fond of Yoshiaki Umegaki, who voiced Hana. I suppose I'm always impressed with those that do well playing less traditional roles, but it was a very believable portrayal. And... the baby cry was too believable. I don't like babies much, but even amongst the baby lovers of the world, I'm sure there is a general consensus that the noise they can make is incredibly unpleasant. I almost muted this movie so many times because oh, snap, there is a lot of baby wailing in this movie. Oh well. More realism points?
The inclusion of a few Spanish-speaking characters in the movie was a nice surprise and scored some multicultural points. I like Spanish a lot and even though I probably wasn't the best student of the language, I understood well enough without subtitles (I guess KAA hadn't been prepared to sub Spanish). They used real Spanish-speakers too, so it actually sounded like Spanish instead of some strange, garbled Supaniishu. Yay!
OVERALL - Barring a bit of partial nudity (exposed breasts for breastfeeding), I think Tokyo Godfathers is an excellent family film. The story is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. All the traditional elements of a Christmas movie are there -- inspiration, hope, good deeds, strong relationships, family values, feel-goodness, and a happy ending -- but the rich characters that Satoshi Kon brings into the mix really makes the difference. So yeah, even with all the silly little coincidences that move it along, I really enjoyed this movie.
What else can I say... This movie had a great storyline, a huge unexpected twist near the ending, held mystery from the very beginning, had very witty humor (I caught myself laughing out loud many times), characters were well introduced, it was rather heartwarming as well, family-focused, gives definition to what life truly is, pacing and story progression was really good, art was outstanding, I really have to say that I enjoyed this movie A LOT. Made me remember the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future but twisted it up a bit. This was a remarkable movie. I recommend it to everyone. I added
this to my list of favorite movie animation, this is currently ranked #3 for me. (1. Toki Wo Kakero Shoujo 2. Spirited Away)
I watch Tokyo Godfathers every Christmas. It's a fantastic Christmas movie, but it's not just a Christmas movie. It's also a fantastic family movie and a fantastic auteur film. It's Satoshi Kon's greatest movie, out of the few films he was able to make in his lifetime.
The main characters are Gin, Hana and Miyuki. All of them are hobos and all have contrasting personalities. Gin is an alcoholic who doesn't want to face reality, so he makes up stories and lies a lot. He wants to shift the blame of his failures onto someone else instead of changing for the better. Hana is an okama,
which is the Japanese version of a crossdresser, but is associated with homosexuality. Okamas are seen as weirdos in Japan and are not accepted by the mainstream. Miyuki is a bratty young girl who wants to be left alone, but also wants to be cared for. She is short-tempered and gets frustrated by Hana and Gin when they start arguing. The "colourful" personalities each bring something relevant to the story. Gin is practical but has no self awareness, Hana drives the trio forward but is very dramatic and Miyuki brings the other two back to reality when she's not being a pain in the ass. The characters are forced to work together in order to return the missing baby to its parents, which results in a lot of entertaining conflicts.
Family plays a big role in Tokyo Godfathers. Each of the three homeless protagonists has their own character arc revolving around their family, covering the issues faced by the family that lead to it breaking up, and resolving the family matters in a cathartic and believable way. The three protagonists also have a familial bond between each other, which is noticed more and more as they look after the baby. The story is fundamentally family-based because it revolves around finding the baby's mother and returning it to its home. In Christmas season, watching a family movie can put you in the right mindset for when you see all your family on Christmas Day, or over the New Year. Tokyo Godfathers doesn't just vaguely relate to Christmas using the holiday season as a front for Christmas; there are biblical roots to the story. After a church service, the homeless trio find a baby in a garbage-manger with no parents, representing the Virgin Birth, and embark on a journey to keep the child safe. Gin, Hana and Miyuki could represent the Three Wise Men, or perhaps Gin and Hana could be Joseph and Mary. The amusing implications of two men being Joseph and Mary aside, the biblical foundations of the story are clear.
A major theme in Tokyo Godfathers is coincidence. The movie begins with three homeless individuals finding a baby abandoned in the trash. Along their journey to try and find the baby's mother, the homeless trio coincidentally run in to just the right people at just the right locations, find members of their family just when they needed to see them most, and happen to save the day in the nick of time in an absurdly unlikely way. An example of a common coincidence is Hana narrowly avoiding being hit by a skidding motorbike. It's quite coincidental that so many characters happen to be named Kiyoko. All of these small coincidences show that coincidence is integral to the narrative. These coincidences don't work against the film's narrative and are never used as a convenient "out" in the circumstance of the script reaching a dead end. There were no dead ends, no mistakes requiring asspulls to fix and none of the coincidences undermined the family and Christmas messages of the film. The coincidences make for a far more interesting movie than if it was perfectly realistic. A realistic movie would result in the baby being given to the authorities immediately and the homeless people staying unhappy, filthy and poor. All good movies use some form of convenience and coincidence to make the story more interesting.
The reason it's possible to focus so much on the themes, roots and narrative of this film is that the presentation is excellent. It would require a great deal of effort to find any technical flaws. The animation is as good as you can find, the backgrounds and character design are detailed enough to look real, the voice acting is of a much higher caliber than your usual anime so it sounds like people, not mediocre voice actors, and the soundtrack is appropriate for the scenes, working well to set the right tone. Satoshi Kon was primarily a visual storyteller and he always excelled at making beautiful films. This is a must watch any time of the year, but especially during Christmas season. Have a Merry Christmas.
From the creator of Perfect Blue comes Tokyo Godfathers.
Story: This story is about 3 homeless people (a washed-up father/husband, a homo, and a runaway teen) during the Christmas Holidays. The story gets going when they find an abandoned baby at a dump site. Even though one of them wants to raise the baby himself, they knew that they couldn't, so they go on a search for the baby's parents. As this search goes on, they start to learn about each others past's and we see how it ties into the present.
While it may seem like a pretty straight forward concept, Kon Satoshi manages to fully
utilize it by putting all these twists and turn that keeps the movie exciting. What makes the story so special is how Satoshi manages to portray the homeless urban hood and how he cleverly ties everyone's pasts together. So if a funny, compelling, heart-filled story is what you're searching for, then look no further than this.
Animation: For a movie made in 2003, the animation is very solid. Style-wise, there is nothing spectacular about it. It doesn't differentiate itself from other anime like Mind Game or Dead Leaves does, however, what makes it so appealing is all the detail it has when presenting urban Tokyo. A lot of work must have been done to try to represent the homeless.
Sound: There really isn't much to say about this. There weren't really anything that gave a huge impression; however, all I can say is that the music really fit the movie. Its one of the reason why movie stayed exciting
Character: Probably the best aspect of the movie was the characters. The first thing I want to point out is the realism. While they may be "weird" characters, their situations are really similar to society today. I can see a teenager running away from home. I can see a washed-up husband/father becoming homeless. Another fascinating thing about the characters is the growth that they go through. Because of this baby, we see the subtle growth of each character and the bonds between them becoming tighter.
Overall: This was a surprisingly good movie. It is a great addition to a Christmas holiday collection. I haven't been glued to a movie like this in a while. Now I am definitely looking forward to his latest work Paprika.
The holiday season is finally here, and with the holidays always come the festivities. Shopping, spending time with family, decorating the Christmas tree, cuddling with loved ones alongside the soft embers of the fireplace: these are all the ideals of a perfect Christmas. After all, there's nothing more to love about Christmas than the gifts or the food, right? Well, maybe if you're a middle-aged salaryman. To our three protagonists, they'd just be happy if they could find a leftover bottle of booze in Tokyo's garbage dumps.
Little did they know that they were setting themselves up for a wild goose chase to find not
only the mother of an abandoned baby, but also to rediscover the homes they thought they had abandoned for good.
Tokyo Godfathers tackles the age-old message of the irreplaceable bonds that family members have with each other, no matter how withered they may seem be. It certainly isn't the first film to express this theme, but by no means does this mean that you should ignore this amazing piece. The journey of our runaway, transvestite, and alcoholic protagonists progresses excellently without any scenes that seem drawn out or boring. Each development occurs with great timing that kept me engaged with the story at every single passing moment.
However, it is with these exact developments that a flaw of Tokyo Godfathers becomes glaringly apparent. To put it bluntly: the protagonists rely on an astounding amount of convenient "coincidences" during their adventure through Tokyo. There is enough to the point where I wonder if the writers put them in for pure comedic effect, and if this is true, then it sure did work on me. However, these coincidences are not necessarily a mishap on the writers' end. The conveniences are part of the underlying theme of God looking equally favorably upon every single person, whether a high-ranking official or a bum living in the slums of Tokyo. After all the misfortune or mistakes in each protagonist's life, these coincidences are supposed to show them actually getting a lucky break for once in their lives. Yet, some of these coincidences stretched the truth just a bit too far, taking away the sense of reality in an otherwise real-world setting.
An unexpected area that stood out the most was the witty humor. This movie is simply excellent in its delivery and timing; I found myself ranging from chuckles to bursts of laughter for a great majority of the film. The comedy never felt forced at all and fit perfectly as small detours along our protagonists' journey. After all, how boring would an adventure be if it were just a straight, smooth road without a little spice?
Besides the one gripe I had with its plot, Tokyo Godfather shines brilliantly in every other area. There is a great amount of attention to detail in every single background, which allowed me to immerse myself into every passing moment of our heroes' expedition. Each character has a wide variety of facial expressions that had me cracking up from their reactions alone.
The soundtrack streamed in expertly with every critical point of the story, especially in the movie's dramatic moments. The music works as transitions from the film's comedic scenes to the climatic scenes and vice versa, sometimes even breaking the mood to get in another nice chuckle from the viewer.
Each protagonist has his or her own background that led to his or her current state as a homeless city bum, and each of these issues are superbly fleshed out and developed alongside the central quest of the story. None of their previous circumstances came as info-dumps; they were integrated very naturally into their adventure, allowing the viewer to learn more about each protagonist while they themselves learn more about the truth behind the baby in their arms. Their interactions feel genuinely realistic with humor mixed in that doesn't come off as forced but rather as part of each person's characterization. As stated before, humor is a huge factor in this movie, not only for pure enjoyment but also for introducing each character.
Tokyo Godfathers is the perfect film for those starved for more Christmas-themed anime. If you're like me, you'll grab a couple friends and family and share plenty of laughs under this lovely holiday season.
Tokyo Godfathers is a film directed by Kon Satoshi, who also directed the superb Perfect Blue, and co-written by Wolf's Rain creator, Nobumoto Keiko. With animation and production from Madhouse, whether it's the branch of Madhouse that ruins action scenes with random T & A shots or the branch that does stellar work remains to be seen. Yes, I have become convinced that Madhouse has one division to do animation for quality projects like Rainbow, Monster and the aforementioned Perfect Blue and another for their drek projects like Highschool of the Dead or Devil Hunter Yohko. Although in reality they probably have a lot more
divisions than that. I am cautiously optimistic about this one since the director and co-writer have both done some spectacular work, but keep in mind that the last time I expressed optimism going into a series was Penguindrum. Let's hope this one goes better.
The narrative follows three homeless individuals, Gin, Hana and Miyuki. It's Christmas time and the three of them head to a garbage storage area because Hana found some thrown away books for Miyuki's present. While wading through the various bags they hear a crying sound and discover that someone threw away a perfectly good baby. Hana is ecstatic since she always wanted to be a mother but hasn't been able to become one on account of being a trans-woman and lacking the resources for adoption. So, she names the baby Kiyoko but they naturally can't keep her what with the homelessness and lack of resources that go with that situation. As such, they follow their only other clue, a key with a number written on it, and go on a search to find the baby's mother.
There's only one story issue with Tokyo Godfathers. The narrative frequently relies on major coincidences to work. We're talking coincidence on the level of Steerforth showing up at random all the time. Except it's not so bad in this since there's a major underlying theme of people who are down-trodden getting lucky breaks for once which the beneficial coincidences does play into. As opposed to David Copperfield where Steerforth just showed up at random because Dickens needed or wanted his character around and not for the sake of any thematic content. Still, the coincidences they encounter do stretch believability and it is a tad distracting.
Overall, the story is really solid. The film does a great job of keeping tension. The pacing is excellent. The scenarios the characters find themselves in while looking for the mother are all plot relevant. Various story points get brought up and resolved very well. The comic moments are kind of down-played and subdued, which works excellently for a film that blends comedy and drama. There are a lot of really good emotional scenes funny, sad and happy and the ending is perfect.
The characters are all really interesting. You learn the circumstances that led each one to live on the streets and each one gets their own story arc within the film. All of which is accomplished very skillfully. None of it is superfluous either, it all evolves very naturally from the story. The film does a perfect job of crafting characters who have faults but come across as genuinely good people. Even the film's “antagonist” has motivations that you can understand and sympathise with. The character interactions are also very well done. They all feel very real. Sometimes they argue or fight but you do get the sense that they really care about one another. Even the other characters not respecting Hana's gender identity and the way she copes with it have verisimilitude.
The art is excellent in this. The backgrounds are lively and very detailed. The character designs are a bit reminiscent of Perfect Blue. They're nicely detailed and focus on realism. The faces are very expressive. The film just looks really fantastic.
The voice acting is really well done. The major characters are voiced by Okamoto Aya, Umegaki Yoshiaki and Emori Toru. All of whom are primarily live action actors with very little, or nothing in terms of voice work besides this. In spite of that, the three of them do give very strong performances. The side characters are all well acted as well. The music is really nicely done.
There really isn't any. Primarily because it's not homo-erotic when a trans-woman likes men.
Tokyo Godfathers is a really good film. It does just about everything right with a spectacular story, great characters, amazing art and good acting. It has very little in terms of issues and is definitely worth checking out. If you have ninety minutes this holiday season, give it a watch. My rating is a solid 9/10. Next week, I'll take a look at Heroman. And I'll end this review by saying happy holidays to all of you and to all a good day.
Critic’s Log - Earthdate: December 1, 2013. Review #72: Tokyo Godfathers.
Well, the holiday season is here once again and I have yet another review just in time before Christmas, in fact this movie takes place around Christmas. Here’s Tokyo Godfathers!
On one Christmas Eve, there were three Japanese people who are homeless. one is a middle aged man named Gin who happens to be an alcoholic. one is a high school runaway girl named Miyuki, and a transvestite who was a former drag queen named Hana. These three were searching dumpsters and trash bags for possible Christmas gifts for themselves, when cries from a baby
drew their attention. Believing this was a gift from God, Hana, who couldn't have a baby of "her" own, vowed to take care of the abandoned baby girl and together they began searching for baby's mother. To be technical, this is a Studio Madhouse production...which means this movie probably has high production values. Madhouse doesn’t disappoint us with this one and this is a real surprise coming from Satoshi Kon. After watching this film, I realized that this was the only movie and work that Satoshi Kon made that has nothing to do with fantasy and reality which Satoshi Kon was known for implementing in his work. Regardless of noteworthy topics, this movie looks amazing while it is composed. This movie doesn’t have eye-popping visuals and “in your face” action. The animation, backgrounds, designs, and visuals are all well-balanced. The music is an interesting topic. The composer for Tokyo Godfathers is Keichi Suzuki who is probably best known in America for his involvement in the soundtrack for the Super Nintendo game EarthBound which is known as Mother 2 in Japan. I have not played EarthBound yet and I plan on doing so someday. But I can say that the soundtrack in Tokyo Godfathers compliments the movie pretty well. It is a bit of a mindfuck to hear a J-pop version of Ode to Joy at the very end of the movie. Come to think of it, the ending credits were a bit quirky. When voice acting is concerned, an English Dub does not exist in this movie and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Toru Emori is great as Gin, Yoshiaki Umegaki is terrific as Hana, and Aya Okomoto is also great as Miyuki. I do have a theory as to why an English Dub wasn't made. It is probably because there is one scene where a minor character is speaking Spanish and Miyuki doesn't understand it. If there was an English Dub to that scene, it would be a bit lost in translation. The casting's great though The characters are what brings the movie home. Gin may be an alcoholic but he is used for humor quite effectively, he may be pathetic but he does have his weaknesses. But at least he’s used for some nice humor. Hana is a sweet trans woman from transex… yeah, that joke wasn’t going that far. I actually liked Hana throughout the whole film. “She” had a pure heart and that’s why I think she’s a sweet trans woman. “Her” orientation was poked around on some of the humor but that’s because of Gin’s nature and alcoholism combined. But even though “she” is fictional and goes through hardships, “she” puts a new meaning to LGBT. Life’s Good But Tough. Miyuki is kind of a brat but has her reasons, her little flashback does make sense as to why she’s the way she is. She’s not really as homeless as Gin and Hana and that’s because she’s a runaway. These three characters are written pretty well with the best that Satoshi Kon could do. The only character that does not need development is the infant Kiyoko even though there is some interesting symbolism on her. In fact, Satoshi Kon added some Christian symbolism in this film and I guess that is a nice touch. The characters are written pretty well. Here’s a fascinating fact about Tokyo Godfathers, the screenplay is not only written by Satoshi Kon, he wrote the screenplay alongside Keiko Nobumoto which she was known for writing Wolf’s Rain and Cowboy Bebop. The story is simplistic but at least it has a heart. The story is also a comedy. What I really like about Tokyo Godfathers was that Satoshi Kon was trying something new since the last two things he made were about fantasy and reality. There may be a little bit of this in Tokyo Godfathers but not as heavily emphasized. I don’t know what else to say about the story of Tokyo Godfathers which I only need to question the title because there’s one male, a transgender woman, and a young girl. Maybe I’m just overlooking things or something.
Tokyo Godfathers is available by Destination Films.
With all that said, Tokyo Godfathers is a nice change of pace from Satoshi Kon. The animation is composed and looks amazing, and it has a complimentary soundtrack. What really brings the movie home is that it has some great characters in it and the story plays out pretty well for being serious and timing the humor just right when it needs to. Satoshi Kon tried something new and it worked out.
I give Tokyo Godfathers an 8.7 out of 10, it is VERY GOOD!
I just sort of randomly requested this from my library on a whim, knowing what it was about but not quite sure what to expect.
Tokyo Godfathers is the story of 3 homeless people: a tranvestite, a runaway teenager, and an ashamed father. On Christmas Eve, they encounter a baby in the trash that was seemingly abandoned by its mother. The soon began to take care of it, some more eagerly than others. However, taking care of this baby allowed them to remind them the reality of their situations, and what to maturely do about it.
The one thing about the story and that it
was very realistic. The characters were really believable. There was no one overly perky or unrealistic, they just acted and talked like regular people, and that was pretty refreshing considering all the generic stereotypical characters that are often seen.
The characters' relationship with one another was interesting. I think they could all relate to each other, the fact that they all had nowhere to go, and no one to be with expect themselves, and also that they had done something that had landed them in their situation.
Animation was very well done. Nothing exactly stood out, but the movements were fluid, and everyone in the screen was actually moving at the same time.
While it's not the best anime movie you'll ever sit down to watch, it's a nice story with some lessons to be learned, and it was very entertaining.
"Tokyo Godfathers" is a Christmas film. Tradition dictates that these films should contain elements such as light hearted comedy and family oriented themes. And that exactly the kind of film "Tokyo Godfathers" strives to be.
Does it succeed? Most certainly. But the crux is that "Tokyo Godfathers" is the work of Satoshi Kon, a man famous for his dark, twisted mind fucks such as "Paranoia Agent" and "Perfect Blue". He's probably the person you would least expect to make a conventional Christmas film.
For the most part, "Tokyo Godfathers" doesn't feel like a Satoshi Kon film - it doesn't even have the mixing fantasy with reality
trick that Kon was so fond of. The film is simply a heart warming tale about three homeless people searching for the parents of a baby who they found abandoned on Christmas eve. The anime doesn't suffer for the lack of convoluted story telling though. Despite not having the usual brain-warping elements that mark out Kon's other works so distinctly, "Tokyo Godfathers" is still an engaging watch, capable of drawing out a variety of emotions from the viewer. Whether it's going for the comical, the depressing, or the tear jerker moments, this film admirably hits all the right notes.
Armed with the most simplistic of plots, "Tokyo Godfathers" relies on its characters to make things tick, and it's here that Satoshi Kon leaves his fingerprints. The central protagonists are a trio of homeless people, and although they may not be as psychologically disturbed as the characters in a lot of Kon's other works, they have their share of emotional baggage (they're homeless after all) as well the eccentricity we've come to expect from Kon's creations. Despite the quirkiness of the characters and their often exaggerated facial expressions (that are used for comic effect reminiscent of "Paranoia Agent"), their personalities and interactions feels firmly rooted in reality. The characters' troubles are underpinned by their believable backstories, which really hit home and make it easy for viewers to sympathise with them. The dialogues are delightful; they explore the issues faced by the social outcasts with sensitivity and wit, topped off by of Kon's trademark black humour.
"Tokyo Godfathers" is a film that should appeal to the masses more than Satoshi Kon's other films, but that doesn't mean Kon's fans should be put off by it. It's a strong enough work that even those who prefer their anime to be more twisted and cerebral might still be pleasantly surprised by it.
This movie is definitely a slow one to start out, but then it gets faster and more interesting towards the end. Still, this movie is not the greatest ever, definitely not the greatest.
The "adventure" part of it was well written, but the movie wasn't directed as viewers were looking for. The story connected lots of different individual character stories quite effectively and it made for a good ending.
The stereotypical Christmas film involves plenty of coincidences, a corny, cheesy message and the extraordinary. Tokyo Godfathers has all of this in spades. The film even emphasises this at the beginning when Hana wishes for a Christmas miracle. However, unlike other Christmas films, this has Satoshi Kon's zany influence.
The premise for Tokyo Godfathers is a dark, yet interesting one; three homeless people finding an abandoned baby. In fact, most of the film deals with dark themes, such as the abuse of homeless people. But the film has an amazing ability to merge these dark themes with a lighthearted adventure. While convention
would show these scenes involving tragedy to be incredibly depressing, there is somehow a positive twist to it. This leads to an entertaining and unique experience.
The first thing to notice while watching this film is that the surreal scene transitions that Kon is known for is kept to a minimum. This means for people who found Kon's other films difficult to follow, this one is much simpler. However, that does not mean the cinematography or any technical aspects to the film have been downgraded. The artwork is as impressive as ever; the expressions of the characters are just as varied and the voice acting is spot on. Tokyo Godfathers is definitely the most accessible Kon film, which makes sense considering it is a Christmas film.
The protagonists in Tokyo Godfathers are an odd bunch; a crossdresser, a drunk and a runaway teen. This combination allows for some easy comedy, however as the film progresses these characters are given depth. The first few scenes quickly establish the closeness of these characters, almost like a family (Hana the mother, Gin the father and Miyuki the daughter). Due to how genuine these relationships are, the characters are easy to relate to. They converse, care for each other and journey together as a family would. It also helps that their interactions usually end up with plenty of witty banter or slapstick. These characters drive the story and will have you laughing all the way through. The best part though is learning how important each character really is to each other and how they cope with their personal tragedies.
What makes Tokyo Godfathers a quality film is that while extraordinary coincidences occur frequently, the characters are mostly grounded in reality. The film reminds the viewer that homeless people are still people who deserve to be treated with dignity, but usually aren't. While this message isn't groundbreaking, what the film does manage to do is give its homeless characters dignity. They aren't just people in need of help/charity and there is no guilt tripping. Instead, by the end of the film they're heroes in both the fictional world and for the viewers, which is something rarely seen in any form of storytelling. Hence, going on an adventure with these characters becomes a fulfilling experience. The only real downside to the film is that at times the cheesiness can be a little over the top. For some people the coincidences can be too much, but remember, this is a Christmas film. It is meant to be a fun and engaging, almost fairy tale-esque story; it is not meant to be completely real or have a serious tone.
So my recommendation is that everyone should watch Tokyo Godfathers. It is a film that is easily accessible, hilarious and entertaining with a heartwarming message. Best of all, it rewards you with a great end credits.
directed by the famous Satoshi Kon who created perfect blue and paranoia agent which is a psychological anime full of gore and mind fuck. presents a heartwarming anime movie with a Christmas theme.
It's great! :D and what I can say is, this is the first time that I saw an anime nailed what Christmas is all about.only 1% of the people of japan are Christians and when you ask them why do they celebrate Christmas most of them is gonna tell you that it's a holiday for lovers and you need to celebrate it
with a bucket of chicken. and we can see that clearly if you already watched an anime called Amagami SS.
some anime including Hayate no Gotoku and the new Denki no Honya-san has some episodes that clearly tells us how the Japanese celebrates Christmas. and there are few anime that explains what Christmas is. like Maria Holic and Kiniro Mosaic. but, the difference with this show to Tokyo Godfather is that Tokyo Godfather catches the spirit of Christmas and some subliminal messages that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. it's like watching a Christmas carol and other popular Christmas themed movie but the difference is that this is made in japan and it's an anime, which is really rare for me.
Story and Character:
To start with what really Tokyo Godfather is, it's a simple Christmas story about three homeless person finding a baby in a pile of trash and now they're on a mission to bring back the baby to it's mother. first we got Gin a former bicyclist now a homeless person turned drunkard. we got Hana who is a member of the 3rd sex. and last but not the least we got Miyuki a high-school girl who ran away from home.
Well that's it. that's the whole story of Tokyo Godfather.
yes. it's really quite simple but what makes the story interesting is the characters itself and how they act and communicate with each other.
the story is really well made and the plot is really smooth. the show is funny,sad and heartwarming and will give you that feeling of joy that will fill up that void that is in your heart.
for me Tokyo Godfather is a great anime to watch this Christmas and enjoy with some friends or family. and I assure you it will make you laugh at the same time your heart will feel warm.
Tokyo Godfathers is a work by Satoshi Kon, produced by Madhouse and was released in 2003. It is an original story set in the not-so-beautiful setting of Tokyo and deals with the themes of abandonment and family.
The whole story is completed in a matter of days, but so much happens in such a short time.
These characters that, at first, seem like caricatures slowly reveal their true selves to each other and grow closer. They evolve past the first impressions and leave a mark on the audience. This was, at least for me, the highlight of this 90 minutes long movie.
However, the story itself didn't
impact me as much. It is heavily built around coincidences, actually, pretty much everything that happens is a coincidence. From the very first scene to the very last. At first, I didn't have a problem with that, but I got progressively got more annoyed with it, because it made me feel that these wonderfully built characters didn't have any real influence on how the movie panned out.
Surely, some people will enjoy this, but for me it felt as if Kon didn't have a logical way of resolving the situation and needed to create an easy way to make everything work. While the characters and the story itself are great, they were presented as if it didn't really matter who was involved, because everything would have sorted itself out, even if this wasn't the case.
Which is a shame really, because everything else is top-notch.
The visuals are stunning and incredibly detailed, despite the fact that its style hasn't aged very well. The character expressions are also wonderful, managing to portrayal the emotions of the characters perfectly, albeit exaggerating a bit too much.
The soundtrack is also great, having an incredible mix of christmassy music and orchestral pieces.
It is, for sure, one of the best Christmas movies I have ever watched, despite its great flaw, in my eyes. I am not religious in any way, but it conveys everything that Christmas should stand for: family.
STORY: Overall, the story was pretty good. I find that altogether the story is pretty heartwarming, and pretty easy to understand. One thing that disappointed me was that, in the end, an event takes place, (I wont mention how far towards the end, or who), that really leaves you hanging, mainly because a lot of this is going on during the main story. Other than that the story was great!
ART: The art was alright, I mean the movie was 2003, and this is 2008. There has been a lot of change since then. I give it an 8 because I'm sure they used
the best of their abilities to make the art as it was.
SOUND: The sound of everything in general was just fine. But I think where Tokyo Godfathers failed, was in the actual music. They attempted to insert music in the movie which was actually very good-if you could hear it. They made voices and other sounds a lot higher than the music. To me it sounded more like a radio playing somewhere in the distance. But in general the sound was good.
CHARACTER: The characters were really good, they all had very well-played emotions. Most importantly of all the fact that one of them was a transvestite was pretty hilarious, (The character himself, not transvestites in general, in case anyone takes offense). The roles that they each played they played very well, and there actions were also entertaining.
ENJOYMENT: I really enjoyed all except the part towards the end which was kind off dissappointing, considering theres a lot about it during the story.
OVERALL: Overall, it was, once again, really good. One thing that I would like to point out however, is the movies rating. I just dont think PG fits its description. Even the TV rating was "Movie/PG-13". And I can easily understand why. They do sware things such as the following: Faggot, Bullshit, Saggy nipples, and some other things as well. So really I would give it a solid rating of "PG-13+"
Tokyo Godfathers is a rather unique film from Satoshi Kon as it differs from his other works in that the movie is not as heavy on the cerebral side. Set in Tokyo during the holiday season, the movie focuses on a trio of homeless people from different walks of life who come across an abandoned baby and journey throughout the city to learn of the whereabouts of the baby's parents. While doing this, each of these people come to grips with their tragic pasts as the movie explores the varying circumstances that led each of our main trio to wind up living on the streets.
movie is a rather unique one as it believably explores the issue of homelessness, a social issue that is not often explored within anime or many movies for that matter. Instead of trying to skirt around the issue with a positive spin on things, Tokyo Godfathers explores the hardships that can be faced by those trying to survive day-to-day without a home and struggling for money and food. The movie shows our main trio being treated like societal outcasts as they usually find themselves verbally and physically abused or interact with people ignorant of the hardships they face with their harsh lifestyle. Plus, we are shown the challenges that come with being homeless as the trio scurry through garbage to find what they can to survive on and living in shantytowns with other homeless people.
The plotting and characterization in Tokyo Godfathers is also quite strong. Within its 90 minute run, we learn of each of the differing circumstances that led to Miyuki, Gin and Hana to live out on the streets and the movie explores these three gradually trying to come to grips with their tragic developments. In addition to exploring our homeless trio, the movie also builds up on exploring the circumstances that led to the baby Kiyoko getting abandoned. The reasons surrounding her abandonment are not as straightforward on the surface as you would think as hints are dropped throughout the movie exploring more to her story and comes to hit close to home for our homeless trio as they come to grips with their own problems.
Another major component to the film that is quite noticeable is the presence of convenient developments that take place with our homeless trio and Kiyoko's journey through Tokyo. Being a rare case of a movie centered around Christmas, these convenient miracles are a frequent occurrence throughout Tokyo Godfathers' run. While deus ex machina is often a lazy way to introduce plot twists in a work, the plot device fits in perfectly with this movie as Kiyoko is symbolically portrayed as a source of hope for Miyuki, Gin and Hana in redeeming themselves for the problems that led up to their homelessness. It also fits in with the Christmas setting of the movie since learning to value the bonds of family, friends and other interpersonal relationships is a major component of the holiday season that is overlooked by many nowadays due to the heavy encouragement of materialism and consumerism that is increasingly becoming commonplace in many global cultures when people think of Christmas.
In terms of visuals, Tokyo Godfathers makes use of Satoshi Kon's realistic drawing style. The movie features vast and believably drawn settings of the Tokyo city area and lifelike character designs that show a variety of looks and body types to offer believably to the realistic story it tells. Movement within the movie is convincingly fluid with characters walking or running about at a natural pace and having moments of excellent animated sequences, particularly chases taking place during major points in the movie's plot.
Overall, Tokyo Godfathers is a rather unique film in many facets thanks to its focus on a social issue not normally touched upon with homelessness, being one of the few anime titles themed around Christmas and the movie not being as much of a mind-bender compared to Satoshi Kon's other works. With strong plotting and characterization complimenting these facets, this is a definite recommendation I would encourage anime fans to check out if they love the any anime works that stick out from the norm of what the medium offers up.
i am writing a review after a long long long time in this year hope i can write what i felt when i was watching this anime movie and make you want to watch it too..
alright this anime was amazing ....the story felt so real and the emotion throughout the story was carried out very well.
STORY- was very unique a topic that isn't talked about at all in the society or in anime world in general. it is because not every one can pull of a brilliant plot with HOMELESS people and a simple normal setting like Tokyo city streets wearing nothing
special. that is the fun fact about this plot its all happen in real places to people with realistic problems but its so much fun from the very beginning that you cant stop laughing and at the same time feel sorry for the main characters not every one can do COMEDY WITH DRAMA because sometimes along the way you end up with too much drama or no drama at all WELL THIS STORY WAS A MASTERPIECE IT HAD THIS FANTASTIC BALANCE TILL THE VERY END.
ART-as i said before the characters look real as well. their physical appearance make them different looking from each other none of them looked like another, their voices(voices actors were fantastic) were so unique as well (some animes dont have this i dont complain) because of this their personalities shine very clearly. their facial expressions looked amazing so true to their personalities if i put it simply "you get what you see" there are no hidden trades just their past is hunting them and telling them to "face me" you can read this in there actions,behavior for this reason the art is epic.background was superb very detailed and lively.
SOUND-the background sounds was great.. the parts where their in a rush and or in sadness or filled with joy or just in the holiday spirit it was perfect. opening and the ending theme had the exact taste of the anime fun and joy in it .. i loved it .
CHARACTER- they were epic...so memorable you can just tell that by taking me for example i watched TOKYO GODFATHERS for the first time when i was 15 in 10th grade that was 8 years ago to this day and when i was reunited with anime again after years one of the few animes that i remembered was this movie (it was one of the first anime movies that got me in to loving anime) that's how much of a impact these characters were to me they were brilliantly voiced by English dub actors and the sub were awesome as well this is one anime/movie both the dub and sub cast were on the same level everyone gave their 100% to the characters . it was so epic to watch. i was lucky to watch it in English dub on animax long time ago before it got cut off to south east Asia.. but i was fortunate to remember this anime,find it in the net and watch it for 3 times. each it time at the end you get the feeling to watch it again from the beginning its that much fun and never ever boring ..this was a EPIC JOURNEY ...AND NOW WHY DON'T YOU GIVE IT A TRY,,,, ALSO I HEARD THAT THE DIRECTOR WHO MADE IT DIED WITH ILLNESS i like to say thank you that brilliant man for leaving as with such a GREAT MASTERPIECE :3 i hope you enjoy :3
Christmas: Snow and hope; White and pious. As the bells and carols ring the tunes of belief & merry in one’s heart, this motion picture portrays all that, a bit more and a bit beyond.
What an amazingly threaded piece of art. It’s like a mother’s love providing extra warmth to the winter garb that she has woven for her child: to veil her precious gift from God.
Starting from the characters to the story to the scripting, each piqued the rank.
If I were to delineate it through a figurative language, I’d call in at an amusement park full of stirring rides.
Each ride with its own array of fun features.
The story follows an abandoned infant in a dumpster, discovered by a union of three preternatural entities, the road to hand the child to her forebearer and the rhapsody of events that surrounds it.
Congenially and quite amusingly this movie taps on the lighter notes of emotions and situations contrary to Kon’s mindboggling fiddling with reality and fantasy. It’s affective, inspiring and assuring. Handling a child isn’t a piece of muffin, it’s a cri de cour. But you can always respond to the call and gobble the muffin. Though there is the constant reminder of colloquial hardships associated with the lower strata of the society and life in general, the conclusive buoyancy leaves a very cheery afterglow, and I think it’s something to hold on to.
The characters are distinctly amusing, for the lack of a better term. You can relate yet the minute deviants in them would surprise you. The trio of a seemingly fopdoodle yet purposive Gin, a flibbertigibbet of a kind trans Hana, and a gnashnab-runaway teenager Miyuki with issues and angst. Their past depicted in bits and pieces which weaves the knot to future while leaving us with essentially acceptable ambiguity. What’s beautiful is how these three antipodal humans clash and coalesce, united by a single mission to fulfil, developing familial bonds and irreproachable love. Even you seem to empathize with an obsessed woman in despair, her yearning to nurture a child, resorting to wrongdoings.
The character designing holds authenticity, a sui generis sketching. I wouldn’t want it any other way. The fluid animation is just what is needed to portray this exciting chase.
The scenes are believingly real, including trademark Tokyo tower, a dying old man, involvement with a grateful yakuza and so forth. I especially cherished how each scene is followed by the next, creating its own spark and adding to the final impact. There’s an overall continuity, yet the care to the tiniest of details opens your eyes to visualize the bounce of every fragment.
The voice acting was brilliant to say the least, MVP being Hana-chan. The timing of her humour throws was just perfect. Even the wailing baby gets believably realistic.
The background scores weren’t highly noticeable but it served the purpose pretty darn well.
One can savour this movie equally during Christmas, new year or say the period of Yule. It alone arrests the essence of the palmy aspect of the winter. A movie that lets one experience the other side, the less relevant side of Kon, providing the much-needed warmth during chilly days. Last but not the least, haikus were a pertinent yet subtle part of this movie and maybe I’d like to wrap up my sentiments with one?
The snow keeps falling,
Sparkling and glittering like desires etched in souls;
For yet again, a new year has come.
Satoshi Kon writes and directs this animated feature, may he rest in peace. Truly a legendary genius, a mind like few we were lucky enough was put into making films.
What a masterpiece, Jesus.
A genuine hymn to life, lead by three homeless underdogs with broken spirits, forgotten by the world and in such need of love, desperately climbing their way up to redemption and knockin' on heaven's door with this holy second-chance-awarding abandoned baby they stumble upon, whose life they embark on an urban adventure to save on a Christmas Eve night.
A cinematic odyssey with characters of such humanity their broken dreams, flaws, hopes and love
disencounters feel absolutely 3D. So striking, so emotional. Driven through this perfect-ass script that develops smoothly, unpredictably and comfortably; with very clever storytelling puns, sparkling humour and beautiful characters.
AN ANIME ABOUT LIFE. Tokyo Godfathers is the very definition of what a slice of life movie should be. A collection of losers desperately trying to give some sense to their lives healing one another by complementing each others' awesome and highly fucked up personalities. This is it, this is what these guys should be making in the studios.
Details wise? Sound? Good I guess. The music was sensible and accurate in its timing. That's something I noticed. And the voice acting hilarious. Animation? Christ where do I start. I've never seen such movement and expression and life in animated characters. Their faces, their reactions, their emotional peaks; everything looks so natural and spontaneous in them. Simply beautiful. The visuals of the world's largest city apart from looking cool as fuck help constitute the idea of the characters being lost in a chaotic sea of human activity, where business and sin ignore them and their problems. They're alone in their quest, and it's so sad and funny and moving at the same time. The feeling of joyous melancholy is so strong when the credits start rolling down.
Bravo maestro. 10/10 would bang, at least this lowly teenage spectator who takes off his hat before this masterpiece. All of these VERY clever elements coexist perfectly in Satoshi Kon's picture, and you just can't help but flood your heart with delight and joy. It is the kind of film that reminds you how awesome it is to be alive, it really does.
The story itself, at it's bare boned basics, when I completely take out all other characters and keep solely the story in mind... deals with coincidences. Since the team of "Tokyo Godfathers" had kept that in mind when they had developed the story itself, and that they had intended this to be a story about "the power of coincidences", I personally found it willing the suspension of disbelief. if it was not for the development of the characters themselves and for the overall sincerity of the acting by the characters, I would actually not be bothered by the story itself. In Tokyo Godfathers, I found
that the characters drove the story, and the plot device was more effectively used than "Baby's Day Out" (the original movie). Pushing the limits, in my opinion, but hey, it's the start of a New Year, so yuckles and giggles are always welcome. Again, it is not because of the story, but the art and sound and characters, that this anime is worthwhile watching.
Here, the anime excelled. The responses of the characters themselves were so genuine and so sincere to their characters, and at the same time, the way that the movie kept that constant ambiance maintained of coincidences, and how each character did develop as the story progressed, was shown. It was felt too - the two best examples I can give here are near the third act of the anime itself, near the conclusion, and when one of the three main characters (the little girl), heads to meet a fat lady with the baby (Note: Who is this fat lady and how does the little girl meet her? That's a spoiler. Watch the anime and see for yourself ^_^ )
The acting, the comedy element, the ambient sound of the environment, and the music overall in this anime, were balanced and used to an effective means in my opinion. Again, where the story was lacking in my opinion, the sound has definitely been taken care of quite well. I found limited reasons to criticize the sound itself, but I will admit, the baby's crying is a little overdone at times.
When an anime has good minor cast, and the main protagonists are well portrayed - bearing in mind (spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!) That THERE IS NO ANTAGONIST IN THE TRADITIONAL SENSE IN THIS ANIME - the character development was something noteworthy. I personally give kudos for creating a series of coincidences which the characters themselves find hard to believe, and eventually, they do bring themselves to come to terms with their past, or with accepting responsibility for their actions. That, is where good, 3D characterization comes into play. For me, the characters themselves did keep my attention held strong.
Which is where I'll conclude both the Enjoyment and Overall rating: In retrospect, I saw this movie in three shifts. The first shift was till the first quarter of the movie. The second shift was till the end of the second act. And the third shift was till the end of the movie. But even then, the story kept strong in my mind, and the characters did not fade or shirk away. And that goes to the credit of the characters, the sound, and the art of this anime (which was really good in my opinion).
Even though it was released in 2003, I will honestly say that I'd watch it again any day, only because the interaction between the characters was well done. Likewise, how they dealt with the story and how the characters took a rather bland and somewhat forced plotline and turned it into something which felt real, and which delivered overall.
A good anime to be honest. Worth watching, if not for the story, then at least for the art, the sound, and the characters.
About this movie- Tokyo Godfathers is a great blend of comedy, action, and a bit more about lifestyle. This movie specifically depicts an image to the audience more about life and how it should be treated. No matter what circumstance, a person’s life is to be treated with care and is supposed to have a meaning or goal to the end of our course of “life”.
Story- At the very beginning of this series, the story may not appeal to others. The story can seem to progress very differently in regards to the actions of the characters. It could have progressed from a different idea
to another. For instance, the characters led us, the audience, to believe that the characters were just a poor family trying to survive the cruelty of being in a harsh environment or being looked down by other classes of the society. But, as the story progressed, my expectations of this movie had developed into something worthwhile. Hardships and destitution can be overcome by one’s willingness of not giving up. This story depicts many themes that are overwhelmingly positive and can be considered a masterpiece.
Art- The animation is astonishingly very well developed and thought-out. The art style of this movie is definitely developed to give our positive impressions. The art style seems to be extremely positive for a movie that aired in 2003.
Sound- The soundtrack seems to be an interesting blend of hippie music and instrumental music. Additionally, may seem ‘unfitting’ in some situations but are in place, most of the time. Admiringly, the soundtrack gives the audience a sense of understanding at the situation given in the movie.
Characters- Character development is one of the elements that make this series outstanding. Throughout the series, we explore each character’s individual background story. May it be a traumatizing background story or be a regrettable decision made in the past, the characters in the story overcome these trials. Making a decision and acting upon it may or not be easily made; however these characters prove to us that making a ‘good’ or leading to the right decision is even harder.
Enjoyment- This movie is clearly one of my personal favorites just simply because of many messages given throughout the entire movie. Not to mention, the overall concept of adding humor drew more attention for me to enjoy this movie.
Overall- This movie is a golden classic treasure. Lots of comedic elements and messages throughout the story make it shine even brighter.