Tokyo Godfathers (2003) Anime Movie Review
One of Satoshi Kon's most popular films. Tokyo Godfathers is a movie with many laughs and, surprisingly, without his famous reality-blurring style. This is inspired by the 1948 American Comedy film 3 Godfathers.
The story explores many themes, like parenthood and the joy of being home.
The story follows three homeless people: Gin, a middle-aged alcoholic, Hana, a crossdresser, and Miyuki, a teenage runaway. On Christmas Eve, their lives turned when they discovered an abandoned baby while looking for scraps in the garbage. The baby has a note asking the finder to take good care of her and a key to a bag with information about the parents' identities. Hana decides to name her Kiyoko, and the three set out to find the baby's parents. They first encountered a yakuza boss trapped under his car. He mentions that his daughter is getting married to a bar owner where Kiyoko's mother used to work. They decide to attend the wedding, where the groom informs them that the baby's mother is a woman named Sachiko and gives them her address. Their lives are disrupted when a Latino hitman kidnaps the baby and Miyuki. He took them to his home, and Miyuki befriends his wife despite their language differences. We learn from her past that she ran away from home after stabbing her father, whom she blamed when her beloved cat went missing.
Hana searches for Miyuki and Kiyoko while Gin takes care of an elderly homeless man dying on the street. The old man passes away after giving a bag to Gin. A group of teenagers arrived and beat him and the older man's corpse. Meanwhile, Hana finds Miyuki and Kiyoko and brings them to Angel Tower, the club where she previously worked. We learn she left the club after assaulting an intoxicated man a few years ago. As the trio scramble to find Kiyoko's mother, they are drawn to their past and begin to move on.
Tokyo Godfathers is a very fun film. I like the eccentric characters, and their seemingly awkward backstories make up for what this movie offers. Watching their dynamic and chemistry as they scrambled to find and return Kiyoko was so fun. The story may not be as deep as Perfect Blue or Millennium Actress, but seeing something light from the legendary director, Satoshi Kon, is still nice.
Similar to his other works, Tokyo Godfathers' animation is a little bit rough and wacky. It perfectly incorporates itself with the wild story and characters.
Overall, I adored the film from start to finish. It's very light, and the comedic parts jived well. There's a little bit of drama but it's not something that will make you bawl your eyes.