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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  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:19 PM)
    There’s plenty of in battle explaining. I don’t think there’s been a battle without in battle explaining. You got the first time villain that ends up a good guy. You got powerups and levels of quinques. There’s a ton of shounen elements.
    Just because something has gore does not make it seinien. Deadman wonderland is Shounen and it has just as much gore and torture.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 02:52 PM)
    @Emma: ah, yes.
    @Aidan: How so? A variety of weapons and abilities does not turn something into a shounen battle manga.
    I’d need a lot more random in-battle explaining secret powers to your opponent, and a lot more mercy to not consider it seinen.
    Also, torture, balls and limbs being chopped off as a sick joke, slicing people in half without warning, breaking half their bones…
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:44 PM)
    I felt that the story became too shounen battle manga When at first it was portrayed as seinien. Especially with the quineqes and such.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:06 PM)
    @Raggers: His past with the old lady ghoul where he was castrated =<
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:48 AM)
    @Emma: which moment is that?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:26 AM)
    @Raggers : And in one moment, a rather disturbing development.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:24 AM)
    @Raggers: Actually, thinking it over you’ve got a point there, As I had said I’ve been marathoning re and come to think of it, it is more enjoyable to do so that way.

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