Tokyo Godfathers poster

Tokyo Godfathers

It’s Christmas Eve and three homeless friends have experienced their own Christmas miracle: while rummaging in a dump for food, they discover a newborn baby. Despite having nothing, the three take the baby in and name her Kiyoko, meaning Pure One. They embark in search of Kiyoko’s mother, based on the little they know about her from her meager belongings. But the night is young, and the city is vast. Before they know it, these three become entangled in a series of events including kidnapping, death, and a mysterious red envelope. Kind transwoman Hana, runaway teenager Miyuki, and belligerent Gin make an unlikely trio as they care for the baby and try to find where she belongs. By finally looking towards the future, they are also able to confront their pasts, coming just a little bit closer to finding their own place in the world.

Ranking 560

User Count20244
Favorites Count331
Start Date30th Aug 2003
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank560
Rating Rank384
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older


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"Tokyo Godfathers" is a Christmas film. Tradition dictates that these films should contain elements such as light hearted comedy and family oriented themes. And that exactly the kind of film "Tokyo Godfathers" strives to be. Does it succeed? Most certainly. But the crux is that "Tokyo Godfathers" is the work of Satoshi Kon, a man famous for his dark, twisted mind fucks such as "Paranoia Agent" and "Perfect Blue". He's probably the person you would least expect to make a conventional Christmas film.For the most part, "Tokyo Godfathers" doesn't feel like a Satoshi Kon film - it doesn't even have the mixing fantasy with reality trick that Kon was so fond of. The film is simply a heart warming tale about three homeless people searching for the parents of a baby who they found abandoned on Christmas eve. The anime doesn't suffer for the lack of convoluted story telling though. Despite not having the usual brain-warping elements that mark out Kon's other works so distinctly, "Tokyo Godfathers" is still an engaging watch, capable of drawing out a variety of emotions from the viewer. Whether it's going for the comical, the depressing, or the tear jerker moments, this film admirably hits all the right notes.Armed with the most simplistic of plots, "Tokyo Godfathers" relies on its characters to make things tick, and it's here that Satoshi Kon leaves his fingerprints. The central protagonists are a trio of homeless people, and although they may not be as psychologically disturbed as the characters in a lot of Kon's other works, they have their share of emotional baggage (they're homeless after all) as well the eccentricity we've come to expect from Kon's creations. Despite the quirkiness of the characters and their often exaggerated facial expressions (that are used for comic effect reminiscent of "Paranoia Agent"), their personalities and interactions feels firmly rooted in reality. The characters' troubles are underpinned by their believable backstories, which really hit home and make it easy for viewers to sympathise with them. The dialogues are delightful; they explore the issues faced by the social outcasts with sensitivity and wit, topped off by of Kon's trademark black humour. "Tokyo Godfathers" is a film that should appeal to the masses more than Satoshi Kon's other films, but that doesn't mean Kon's fans should be put off by it. It's a strong enough work that even those who prefer their anime to be more twisted and cerebral might still be pleasantly surprised by it.

I love this film. Very cute but it gets emotional sometimes. you wouldn't regret watching it at all.

Critic’s Log - Earthdate: December 1, 2013. Review #72: Tokyo Godfathers. Well, the holiday season is here once again and I have yet another review just in time before Christmas, in fact this movie takes place around Christmas. Here’s **Tokyo Godfathers!** On one Christmas Eve, there were three Japanese people who are homeless. one is a middle aged man named Gin who happens to be an alcoholic. one is a high school runaway girl named Miyuki, and a transgender woman who was a former drag queen named Hana. These three were searching dumpsters and trash bags for possible Christmas gifts for themselves, when cries from a baby drew their attention. Believing this was a gift from God, Hana, who couldn't have a baby of "her" own, vowed to take care of the abandoned baby girl and together they began searching for baby's mother.   To be technical, this is a Studio Madhouse production...which means this movie probably has high production values. Madhouse doesn’t disappoint us with this one and this is a real surprise coming from Satoshi Kon. After watching this film, I realized that this was the only movie and work that Satoshi Kon made that has nothing to do with fantasy and reality which Satoshi Kon was known for implementing in his work. Regardless of noteworthy topics, this movie looks amazing while it is composed. This movie doesn’t have eye-popping visuals and “in your face” action. The animation, backgrounds, designs, and visuals are all well-balanced. The music is an interesting topic. The composer for Tokyo Godfathers is Keichi Suzuki who is probably best known in America for his involvement in the soundtrack for the Super Nintendo game EarthBound which is known as Mother 2 in Japan. I have not played EarthBound yet and I plan on doing so someday. But I can say that the soundtrack in Tokyo Godfathers compliments the movie pretty well. It is a bit of a mindfuck to hear a J-pop version of Ode to Joy at the very end of the movie. Come to think of it, the ending credits were a bit quirky. When voice acting is concerned, an English Dub does not exist in this movie and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Toru Emori is great as Gin, Yoshiaki Umegaki is terrific as Hana, and Aya Okomoto is also great as Miyuki. I do have a theory as to why an English Dub wasn't made. It is probably because there is one scene where a minor character is speaking Spanish and Miyuki doesn't understand it. If there was an English Dub to that scene, it would be a bit lost in translation. The casting's great though The characters are what brings the movie home. Gin may be an alcoholic but he is used for humor quite effectively, he may be pathetic but he does have his weaknesses. But at least he’s used for some nice humor. Hana is a sweet trans woman from trans… yeah, that joke wasn’t going that far. I actually liked Hana throughout the whole film. “She” had a pure heart and that’s why I think she’s a sweet trans woman. “Her” orientation was poked around on some of the humor but that’s because of Gin’s nature and alcoholism combined. But even though “she” is fictional and goes through hardships, “she” puts a new meaning to LGBT. Life’s Good But Tough. Miyuki is kind of a brat but has her reasons, her little flashback does make sense as to why she’s the way she is. She’s not really as homeless as Gin and Hana and that’s because she’s a runaway. These three characters are written pretty well with the best that Satoshi Kon could do. The only character that does not need development is the infant Kiyoko even though there is some interesting symbolism on her. In fact, Satoshi Kon added some Christian symbolism in this film and I guess that is a nice touch. The characters are written pretty well.  Here’s a fascinating fact about Tokyo Godfathers, the screenplay is not only written by Satoshi Kon, he wrote the screenplay alongside Keiko Nobumoto which she was known for writing Wolf’s Rain and Cowboy Bebop. The story is simplistic but at least it has a heart. The story is also a comedy. What I really like about Tokyo Godfathers was that Satoshi Kon was trying something new since the last two things he made were about fantasy and reality. There may be a little bit of this in Tokyo Godfathers but not as heavily emphasized. I don’t know what else to say about the story of Tokyo Godfathers which I only need to question the title because there’s one male, a transgender woman, and a young girl. Maybe I’m just overlooking things or something. Tokyo Godfathers is available by Destination Films. With all that said, Tokyo Godfathers is a nice change of pace from Satoshi Kon. The animation is composed and looks amazing, and it has a complimentary soundtrack. What really brings the movie home is that it has some great characters in it and the story plays out pretty well for being serious and timing the humor just right when it needs to. Satoshi Kon tried something new and it worked out. I give Tokyo Godfathers an 8.7 out of 10, it is VERY GOOD! Feel free to leave a comment.

Tokyo Godfathers is of these animation movies that please everyone, and that warms the heart with simple nonsense.. Strangely indeed, (from our beloved Satoshi Kon) it's a wry and cynical look that focuses on the adventures of three homeless, true gods of dark alleys. But this will not be a reason to fall into bitterness and suffering, because it's with laughter and joy that one discovers this perfect gem! Satoshi, without dramatizing, nor merely to inform, leads us to follow the worries and difficulties that have to live these homeless! However, making it a true story of Christmas, is the resolution of solidarity, the love that the characters are doing, and the willingness they have shown! They have all the makings of real heroes, in context. To talk about something else, OST is the only thing that has not fundamentally caught my attention... It exists, but it does not really matter! The graphics are amazingly good, with a neat chara-design, which allows animation comedy. The scenario is just perfect, there is nothing I can say more about this ! I didn't need much more words to say how much I loved this film who transported me!  If you still have doubts, despite the unanimity of the critics, believe me, nothing beats this beauty to reach heights!

A Christmas story that deals with tougher or themes more mature than usual, but does so elegantly. Feels good to watch.

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