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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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 10:10 AM)
    @Realist: Guns just aren’t that big a thing over here, the gun laws are far less relaxed than America, a friend of mine had a shotgun in his father’s attic which I found though.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 10:10 AM)
    @Bam: I remember thinking that making games was an ideal career when I was a child but at the time having no idea that it was a much more difficult process , a process that doesn’t really sit well with my more arty over scientific brain.
    @K-off: Not sure if I could get overly groupy in a college/school I always saw it as go there, get through the day, do the work get home , get qualification.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 10:10 AM)
    @Pentel: I only watched the first episode of trinity seven and flicked through the manga, just looks like a bland shounen with some terrible exposition.
    @Friend: If I remember, I recall that I had my share of encouraging adults/teachers and also some creativity in my family as an encouragement, inspiration, motivation to get into writing too. I however found that it was more of a hobby when I tried going further with it.
  • Pentel
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 09:09 AM)
    and totally unrelated otherwise. Maybe the target audience is actually for stupid people who didn’t learn basic arithmetic terminology in which case, the writers get a pass.
  • Pentel
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 09:07 AM)
    Trinity Seven is a retarded name. It’s like saying Dozen Nine. Or Twin Three. Or Quartet One. Or Sextet Eleven. Or Septem Thirteen. Or Octet Three. Or Nonet Two. Do the writers not know how to count? Or do they think they were being clever and squeezed in the “trinity” to make it sound cooler than the show actually is? Not that it helps, since Trinity and Seven are multipliers and factors of each other.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 08:54 AM)
    @Bam You know who’s even better? Dr.Dog.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 08:15 AM)
    Also Walk The Moon is a tight band. Jess sayin.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 08:15 AM)
    @Friend: sweet. Will download tmrw and start messing around with it.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 07:59 AM)
    @Bam The beauty of Blender is that it is 100% free.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Oct 26. 2014 07:44 AM)
    @Friend: no can’t say I have. Is it freeware or do I have to pay for the license?

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