We see a very tired Blue Hybrid asleep in his apartment, after he’s done some work with his website and writing for another website as well. Then out of nowhere, a DVD came crashing into his window and hitting him on the head.
“OW!!” he said, “The hell?” He picked up the DVD and it’s from his ‘ol friend Sentai Claus.
“Oh great, he must want me to review another bad Christmas anime.” But then he opened the package and see it says ‘Tokyo Godfathers’ on it.
“Wait, you mean this isn’t another crappy Ken Akamatsu anime that’s set in Christmas?”
“It’s something I heard that’s actually good. Oh, I’m gonna enjoy this….” And then he saw something else on that note that didn’t please him. The movie is a sub-only release. “Oh……well, shit. Meh, I’ve been watching some subtitled stuff for a while. This isn’t going to hurt me.”
On a Christmas Eve, three Tokyo homeless — mid-aged alcoholic man Gin, high school runaway girl Miyuki, and former drag queen Hana — 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.
So……..this is a Satoshi Kon movie and I’m not joking at that at all since usually, he makes these visual mind fucks of a movie and this was before Paprika came into the scene in 2007. At first glance, you never got the thought of it being directed by Kon at first (at least until you see the opening credits) but then again, this was co-written by him and Keiko Nobumoto, creator of Wolf’s Rain and writer for shows like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Space Dandy & Macross Plus.
The story as a whole is very straightforward with these characters trying to search this baby’s mother and it being more of a character piece film as we more about the main three and their past lives. For the most part, they are engaging and some times, can be humorous with a bit parts that may be considered to be slight exaggerations but it’s genuinely heartfelt and relatable than being artificially made like a Lifetime Original movie. In some few parts of the movie, I did notice a few religious characteristics, mostly within Gin, Miyuki and Hana being like the three wise men that bears gifts for a child although you could say the gift being somewhat a home…….I think. (Yeah, I’m not much a religious guy so there.)
All three main characters are like a family in their own way. Gin does have more of the emotional moments from him while Hana does that twice the amount along with stealing the spotlight of being more noteworthy as being my favorite character of the movie. Miyuki has some spotlight as a character in there but not as much as the former two, but I will say there is a big surprise at the end of the movie that has something to do with her but I will not say to you because spoilers.
Animation for the movie is quite kinetic and amazingly animated but that’s something you should expect from Madhouse and Kon together as while this isn’t exactly a visual masterpiece, it does fulfill its job.
The music is very festive and appropriate with its Christmas setting and in the end, it has a jazzy rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” that gels well with the movie, plus the Keiichi Suzuki score fared well for the most part in the movie. And yes, the movie does not have an English dub and no, it does not affect with how I feel about this movie and also I really can’t judge the Japanese language acting because I really don’t know much of the language. Other than that, the sub was fine.
FINAL VERDICT: This is quite a different change of style for Kon and it worked out for the best. He was another great movie on his belt with its not-so-complex story and compelling characters and actions. It’s also definitely something I would easily recommend in the time of the Holidays.
And with that said, Tokyo Godfathers got fresh start at life with an
9/10 – First Class.
TOKYO GODFATHERS is available on DVD via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment but from the looks of things, it could be out of print and only a few are either on Amazon or eBay at the moment.
“OK, Claus, not a bad thing you pick for me to review.” And soon after that, The Hybrid went on to sleep and be thankful that he’s not a homeless bum on the streets.
And with that said, once again, thank you for enjoying yet another year of ANIME DISCOVERY.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, and we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and mostly a very safe Happy Holidays to all of you.
TOKYO GODFATHERS – animation by MADHOUSE; distributed by SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT