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
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 06:10 PM)
    @Mario: But for a movie like this White ribbon was much much better.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 06:09 PM)
    @Mario: While I didn’t like it as much as you probably did, I feel I got more than enough out of Neighbourhood sounds, I liked the behind close doors feel to it, the way it made the viewer very much an observer with its kind of voyeuristic approach and I didn’t feel some of the stranger scenes in the second half took away from anything, they were interesting. The ending caught me off guard.
  • Rey
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 02:56 AM)
    Can someone send a request shiz to make a movie about the Sonata of Darkness of Melody? It would be pretty interesting…
  • k-off
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 01:49 AM)
    Langrisser certainly makes me appreciate Fates a little bit more, this is the video game equivalent of The Asylum’s rip-off movies.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 01:23 AM)
    @Hellfire: lol I do too. This had good lyrics as well, but the line in Hellfire which says “he made the devil so much stronger than a man!” hits really hard.
  • SuperMario
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 01:12 AM)
    @Bam: yes, This performance was a gem, but truthfully any version would be more faithful than the Disney one. I still prefer Hellfire though :)
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:26 AM)
    What do you think?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:25 AM)
    I met a French art student in a bar tonight, and after getting into Hugo and Notre-Dame de Paris, he suggested a more faithful French theater production of it. He believed that this is a much better portrayal of the conflicted priestly character of Frollo, and specifically offered this Hellfire-esque song sang by the talented Daniel Lavoie as evidence:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5St9zF849o
  • SuperMario
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 08:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: haha. If this film indeed was made I’ll be the first one on the line to watch it.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:32 AM)
    @Mario: This made me laugh far more than it should have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kno3xDw27bY

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