Tokyo Godfathers

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Genre: Drama/Comedy

Studio/Creator: Madhouse/Satoshi Kon

Distributor: Columbia/Tri-Star

Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Suggested Age: the MPAA gave this movie a PG-13 rating. I believe that is apt.

My Rating: 13+

Summary: Three homeless people–Gin, Hana, and Miyuki–find an abandoned baby in the trash who they name Kiyoko, meaning “pure child”, because it was found on Christmas Day.  The trio attempt to reunite the baby with her parents.

Review: This is a movie I’ve been wanting to re-watch and review for a long time. When I found it again at the library a few months back, I made plans to review it in December to tie into Christmas.

This is a well-down movie. It’s a true tragedy that Satoshi Kon’s career was cut short by pancreatic cancer.  He only had four movies (and the three shorts that comprise the Memories OVA) to his name, but it’s a great career nevertheless.

Each of the three protagonists is an enjoyable character. Gin is an alcoholic, but as the leader of the trio, his determination to find Kiyoko’s parents is admirable, as he feels that he has a chance to make amend for his own past as a bad father. Hana has a good heart and will always try to do what she believes is the right thing. Really her only flaw is being a drag queen. Miyuki is quite the brat, but not in a way that drags the story.

I’ve heard that the movie seems driven by coincidences.  This was actually intentional, as Kon wanted the movie to illustrate how even the most insignificant coincidences can benefit us in our lives.  I feel that this does not make the story seem trite.  I have yet to see Three Godfathers, so I don’t know how faithfully this adapts the movie.

This is one of the best movies I have ever watched. Satoshi Kon was and still is one of my favorite directors.

Sub/Dub: N/A–There is no dub.

Music/Score: Befits the Christmas theme very well.

Violence: 3/10–A car chase does occur at one point and there a few fights.

Language: 2/10–very minimal.

Nudity: 3/10–There’s a shower scene and a scene where a woman breast-feeds Kiyoko.

Sexuality: 4/10–I did say above that Hana is a drag queen.

Religion: 2/10–while Christmas themes are prominent, this is not meant to be a religious story. The themes are only present to provide a backdrop for the story.

Related Media: This is inspired by the classic American movie Three Godfathers.

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