Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Film Review: Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Tokyo Godfathers (Review)
Japan/2003
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...successfully tells a meaningful story while being incredibly entertaining."

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people - Gin, an alcoholic gambler, Hana, a trans woman, and Miyuki, a teenage runaway - find an abandoned baby in the garbage. After much debate and bickering, the group decide to find the birth mother and return the baby. Their trip will be much harder than expected as they run into odd characters and sticky situations.

Tokyo Godfathers is a humorous drama with compelling elements. Following themes such as coincidence, forgiveness, family and hope, Tokyo Godfathers successfully tells a meaningful story while being incredibly entertaining. Also, the story is complimented effectively by the Christmas setting and atmosphere; a story, despite some dark humor, a family can enjoy on Christmas. The film takes time to develop its eccentric characters, especially when they are alone; together, they form a strong and humorous bond; alone, we have a moment of introspection. This wild adventure leads up to a fantastically suspenseful and tear-jerking ending.

As I previously stated, the story is a humorous drama at heart. However, in this 1hr 30min feature anime, you can expect both black and lighthearted comedy, some action and suspense, and a great feeling of adventure and discovery. The fast pace of the story makes for the perfect time-killer, and the meaningful themes make for contemplative experience - during and after the film. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and all of its aspects. It's not what I expected from an anime film, and I think fan or not, you'll be able to enjoy it too.

The Japanese voice acting is fantastic; capturing the eccentric characters with different tones and pitches, as well as effectively capturing deep emotion. The animation is easy on the eyes - a bit sluggish here and there, but all in all, a very pleasing experience. Satoshi Kon's direction, as well as his writing, is superb. The music works very well with the film. Technically speaking, the film is exceptional.

Overall, Tokyo Godfathers is a deeply compelling, adventurous, and humorous film; the elements of this film effectively compliment each other to create an immersive and entertaining story - from beginning to end. Whether you're a fan of anime or not, this film is worth watching. I strongly recommend a purchase, a rental otherwise.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, brief nudity (breast feeding scenes.)

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