Review – Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers [rating=4]

Tokyo Godfathers is a 2003 comedy-drama directed by the late Satoshi Kon. The film boasts the legendary director’s unique art style previously seen in anime hits ‘Perfect Blue’ and ‘Jin-Roh’.

An unlikely story, Satoshi Kon’s festive feature takes the three main characters of the story: Gin, a washed-up father, runaway teen Miyuki and former drag queen Hana on an emotional journey after discovering a newborn baby in the garbage. Seemingly abandoned by her parents, the ragtag trio decide it is up to them to reunite the baby with her mother, and through this journey we learn more about each character and how they came to be in their current living situation. The film has some excellent twists and turns that genuinely came as a surprise to me, especially since I normally guess things way early on…

The animation in the film, while often bleak, is absolutely stunning. Kon’s art style is unparalleled and a joy to see in action once again. Charming and sweet, Tokyo Godfathers is both a visual and emotional festive delight. I’m a sucker for “Christmas films” that aren’t necessarily about Christmas, and this film is just that. While it takes place on Christmas Eve it is not the main focus of the film. Instead it is packed with scenes of hardship and fun that feel all the more emotional given the time of year. Kon manages to balance the tone of the film with the emotion well and never feels too depressing or comedic, each of those tones instead complimenting the other.

Tokyo Godfathers is highly recommended to those looking for a slightly more unconventional anime watch, and it’s never looked better now it has it’s Blu-Ray upgrade. The film has previously been made available on DVD for a number of years, but after Sony Pictures’ licence expired Manga scooped up the rights and gave it the Blu-Ray treatment. You can pick-up the Blu-Ray copy now.