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?