Genre Adventure, Animation, Drama
Initial DVD release April 13, 2004
|Director Satoshi Kon, Shogo Furuya|
Release date August 30, 2003 (2003-08-30) (Big Apple Anime Fest) November 8, 2003 (2003-11-08) (Japan)
Writer Satoshi Kon (screenplay), Satoshi Kon (story), Keiko Nobumoto (screenplay)
Music director Keiichi Suzuki, Moonriders
Cast Aya Okamoto (Miyuki), Yoshiaki Umegaki (Hana), Toru Emori (Gin), Satomi Koorogi (Kiyoko), Mamiko Noto (Gin no Musume), Akio Ootsuka (Isha)
Similar movies The Nightmare Before Christmas, Four Christmases, Arthur Christmas, The Santa Clause, The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street
Tagline Meet the ultimate dysfunctional family.
Tokyo godfathers trailer
Tokyo Godfathers (東京ゴッドファーザーズ, Tōkyō Goddofāzāzu) is a 2003 Japanese anime comedy-drama film directed by Satoshi Kon loosely based on Peter B. Kyne's novel Three Godfathers.
Tokyo Godfathers was the third animated film directed by Kon and the second which he both wrote and directed. Keiko Nobumoto, noted for being the creator of the Wolf's Rain series and a head scriptwriter for Cowboy Bebop, co-wrote the script with Kon.
Tokyo Godfathers received an Excellence Prize at the 2003 Japan Media Arts Festival. It also won Best Animation Film at the 58th Mainichi Film Awards.
One Christmas Eve three people, a middle-aged alcoholic named Gin, a former drag queen Hana, and a dependent runaway girl Miyuki, discover an abandoned newborn while looking through the garbage. Deposited with the unnamed baby is a note asking the finder to take good care of her and a bag containing clues to the parents' identity. The trio sets out to find the baby's parents. The baby is named Kiyoko (清子), literally meaning "pure child" as she is found on Christmas Eve.
Outside a cemetery, the group encounters a high-ranking yakuza trapped under his car. The man happens to know the owner of the club Kiyoko's mother used to work in; his daughter is getting married to the club owner that day. At the wedding, the groom tells them that the baby's mother is a former bar girl named Sachiko. He gives them Sachiko's address, but the party is interrupted when a maid, revealed to be a Latin American hit man in disguise, attempts to shoot the bride's father with a Tokarev TT-33. The hit man kidnaps Miyuki and the baby and takes them back to his home. There, Miyuki befriends the hit man's wife and shows her some pictures of her family.
Hana searches for Miyuki and Kiyoko while Gin takes care of an old homeless man who is dying in the street. After giving Gin a little red bag, the old man peacefully passes away. Some teenagers show up and beat Gin and the dead old man. Meanwhile, Hana finds the girls and they go off to find a place to stay.
They go to Hana's former club. Gin, who was rescued by another member of the club, is also there. The trio sets out to find Sachiko's house. They're informed of the unhappy relationship between Sachiko and her husband. The group rests at a store until they are told to leave by the clerk. Hana collapses, and Gin and Miyuki take their friend to the hospital. At the hospital, Gin finds his daughter, working as a nurse. Hana berates Gin in front of his daughter and storms out of the hospital. Miyuki follows with Kiyoko.
Hana and Miyuki find Sachiko about to jump off a bridge. Sachiko insists that her husband got rid of the baby without her knowledge, and they return it to her. Meanwhile, Gin finds Sachiko's husband, who reveals that Kiyoko is actually a baby that Sachiko stole from the hospital. They chase after Sachiko and the baby. After an intense car chase, Miyuki follows Sachiko to the top of a building. Sachiko reveals she became pregnant in hopes it would bring her closer to her husband. When the baby was stillborn, she decided to kidnap Kiyoko from the hospital, thinking, in her grief, the baby was hers. Sachiko tries to jump off the building, but her husband comes out of his apartment (just across the street) and begs her to start over with him. Sachiko jumps off nevertheless and Miyuki catches her but Sachiko accidentally drops the baby off of the building. Hana jumps after Kiyoko, catches the baby and lands safely due to a miraculous gust of wind.
Hana, Miyuki, and Gin are taken to the hospital. Miyuki hands Gin his cigarettes and drops the old man's small red bag on the floor, revealing a winning lottery ticket. Kiyoko's real parents want to ask the trio to become her godparents. When a police inspector introduces them to the trio, the inspector is revealed to be Miyuki's father.
Additional voices by Hidenari Umezu, Mitsuru Ogata, Eriko Kawasaki, Chiyako Shibahara, Akiko Takeguchi, Kazuaki Itō, Nobuyuki Furuta, Atsuko Yuya, Toshitaka Shimizu, Bin Horikawa, Yūto Kazama, Masao Harada, Tsuguo Mogami, Yoshinori Sonobe, and Akiko Kawase
The film puts an emphasis on the theme of "coincidences". Movie critic George Peluranee notes that "Tokyo Godfathers is a film that shows the small yet significant ties that each of us have with supposed strangers, and tells well the story of miracles, family, love, and forgiveness."
Susan Napier points out that Tokyo Godfathers is part of a trend in anime and manga as depicting families in an increasingly dark fashion, showcasing the problems with traditional families, and attempts by people to construct a "pseudo-family" out of an increasingly fragmented and isolating modern Japanese society. It is put forth that despite the seemingly criticisms of traditional families throughout the film, it ends with a more conservative feeling as everyone returns to their traditional/original families. Despite its seemingly traditional ending, the film offers a more radical version of family. Throughout the story these three homeless vagabonds unknowingly form a "pseudo-family" to protect themselves from the outside world and to overcome their personal demons.
ReferencesTokyo Godfathers Wikipedia
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