Posted by psgels on 25 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Tokyo Godfathers was recommended to me by Wyrdwad. According to him, it was a great movie to watch for Christmas. I originally planned to watch other movies first, but on the other hand Christmas only happens once every year, so I figured why not. So now that I’ve seen it, I must say that not only is this the perfect movie to watch during the Winter-holidays, but it’s also one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Satoshi Kon is a true genius.

The brilliance of this movie already begins with the setting. I think it’s safe to say that no other anime features a bunch of homeless people as its main characters. This is probably also one of the first times where a homo gets a role beyond just comic relief outside of bishounen-series. The characters are all realistically drawn, in Satoshi Kon’s trademark. And yet, despite the dark and realistic setting, there has been lots of hilarious comedy inserted.

My major problem with a lot of comedy-series is that they tend to forget that a plot is important too. They either force some kind of overall storyline in, or forget about everything plot-related all-together, until the final moments of the series where a forced dramatic climax ends the anime with a bad taste in your mouth. Tokyo Godfathers is different, though. It’s got an excellent combination between plot and comedy, and Satoshi Kon really uses the comedy and quirky dialogue to flesh out the different characters. There is no single moment that feels annoying because of this, and during the later half of this movie I found myself crying over and over again, even though this is far from an angst-movie.

It seems that there’s one sacrifice that Satoshi Kon had to make, though. In order to keep the movie interesting and perfectly paced, we often see rather convenient coincidences here and there. But still, because of the quality of the rest of the movie, this will hardly form a problem, and I like how an attempt to explain them is given with the help of Kiyoko’s “angelic abilities” (note how I put this between quotes, you’ll understand after watching the movie).

Overall, this is just a must-watch. The fact that the characters are homeless immediately gives them interesting stories, and Satoshi Kon makes sure to show the viewer enough of it. The characters are fleshed out perfectly; all have plenty of background and are actually developed a bit through the hour and a half airtime of this movie, something that every movie should have. The side-characters too are all fresh and interesting. On top of that, the storytelling is amazing. What more could you want?

5 Responses

  1. L.A says:

    OH MY GOD, this is such a halirious one.
    The combination between arts and comedy was good too.

  2. Archer says:

    great this is a movie i just got and i am planning to watch it today so i am glad to also read your review since you never spoil the movie or anime u post about that is why this reviews are great and make u wanna watch that anime
    since u already saw three of Satoshi Kon’s works:Tokyo Godfathers ,Paranoia Agent and Paprika (if i remember correctly) he also has another two great movies,one is Millennium Actress which i saw and it is indeed great and Perfect Blue i still did not watched this one but i heard some good things about it too so i thought i would mention them to you since i see that you enjoyed most of what Satoshi Kon made

  3. roastedpekingduck says:

    Freaking awesome Christmas movie. One of my favorites ever. Glad you liked it.

  4. Senna says:

    Ha ha, I watched this movie this Christmas too. It was certainly a good one, though not my favorite by Satoshi Kon (that’s a tie between Paranoia Agent and Millennium Actress).

  5. Wyrdwad says:

    Hey, totally random comment (couldn’t figure out where was best to say this, so I decided to just pick a movie I know you liked, and say it there)… I’m not even going to go into why or how I thought of this, but if you get a chance, you should check out an older anime movie from the director of Akira called “Roujin Z”. It’s not often talked about, but it’s one of my favorite older anime movies due in part to its wildly unique concept (a smart bed for the elderly that goes out of control and takes on the persona of its occupant’s dead wife, and must be stopped by the military!), and how well that concept is handled (not realistically, mind you, but very well nonetheless!). I think you’d quite enjoy it.

    -Tom

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 11:03 PM)
    @Bam: I was skeptical at first but I checked out the first episode of the preacher adaptation, took me a few issues to get into the comic back in the day but I was right on board with this. And I’m surprised by just how good/funny the guy playing Cassidy is.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 10:16 AM)
    @K-off: it’s the old doctor’s approach: start with the worst case scenario, and everything from then on would feel like a downhill Sprint. Never wanna raise the patient’s hope and then crush it with unfortunate reality.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 05:08 AM)
    @Kaiser As Tom Lehrer said, “always predict the worst, and you’ll be hailed as a prophet.” Not putting that movie down or anything, but the 70s was a period of time when it was rather easy to pick on the middle east in the middle of the OPEC embargo.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:22 AM)
    Loosely related but damn, I remember when Network called out (though briefly) America’s relation with the saudi’s.
    Brave 70s movie.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:20 AM)
    They pretty much own a chunk of our economy, we can’t afford that shizz right now. Granted their own economy ain’t hot enough to pull their investments, but oil countries stay afloat as long as they have oil.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:17 AM)
    Saudi Arabia was involved you say? Nonsense! Only 9 of 12 perpetrators were Saudi, and you know only the other three matter.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:01 AM)
    @Kaiser Oh yeah, I have a huge problem with how Saudi Arabia’s been skirting around those issues and making backdoor connections they knew they couldn’t uphold. Lucrative deals dating back to FDR, the Gulf War, and now they’re fighting some bullshit proxy war in Syria with their money.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:49 AM)
    @K-off: I see the Saudi’s are pretending they weren’t in on 9/11.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:47 AM)
    @K-off: On a funnier side of politics though, Gerry Adams got in trouble for shitweeting about Django Unchained, trying to compare black oppression to Irish being oppressed, also people went apeshit because he jokingly said nigger.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:44 AM)
    @Kaiser and then there’s Turkey, which wants in on the EU really badly but can’t seem to behave itself when it comes to oh-so-stable caucusus region.

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