Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

While searching for Christmas movies to feel the Christmas spirit, I stumbled upon Tokyo Godfathers (東京ゴッドファーザーズ Tōkyō goddofāzāzu) and, after reading the plot (yes, I did such thing), I decided to give it a chance. I didn't know what to expect because I haven't seen anything from Satoshi Kon, but now I know what to expect if I ever watch one of his movies again, a charming film. 

Tokyo, Christmas Eve. Three homeless friends, Hana (Yoshiaki Umegaki), a transvestite, Gin (Tōru Emori), a middle-aged bum, and Miyuki (Aya Okamoto), a young girl, find an abandoned newborn in the trash. Since Hana grew up without a family and refuses to bring the child to the authorities, they set on a journey to find the baby's parents, starting with a key they found with the baby.

I have to admit that I wasn't very happy with the plot at first. It just seemed a lot like the typical, clichéd, heartwarming Christmas miracle story. And it was, to be honest. But it's way more than that. It's a simple and yet complex story about friendship, family and love. It's got a slow pace but it's still very exciting and, despite the fact that it relies a lot on absurd coincidences, it feels realistic.

That's because of the harsh reality portrayed by Kon's film. It shows how not only homeless, but immigrants and homosexuals as well are treated, unfortunately not only in Japan but everywhere in the world. It deals with subjects and issues that are not normally seen in animated films, and Kon made it work.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, Destination Films
That is mainly because of the characters. The three homeless people are well-constructed characters, each with their own complex personality and background (I was very impressed with it). They are not your typical heroes, actually, they are pretty flawed human beings but that's what makes them realistic.

The animation also played a part in that. It adds so much complexity to the expressiveness of the characters and it allows them to convey their emotions wonderfully, especially Hana, the golden-hearted transvestite who will make you both laugh and cry.


  1. I just heard of this through the relay the other day and haven't watched it yet. Man you work fast. Glad you liked it. That is encouraging for me.

    1. Not as fast as it looks like, I watched this about a week ago.

  2. E' uno dei film d'animazione giapponese che adoro maggiormente.
    Tutti i personaggi sono stupendi, c'è un bel messaggio dietro.
    Poi la colonna sonora è al bacio...
    Da rivedere in questi giorni!