Tokyo Godfathers Review
“Dreams Do Come True. I Always Dreamed Of Being The Mother Of A Little Girl. A Nice, Warm House, A Pretty Daughter. Even If My Husband Was No Good... I Would Accept Dire Poverty As Long As I Had My Child.”
December 8th, 2013
Throughout the years, anime has proven itself in crafting engrossing stories filled with imaginative worlds and complex themes that you barely see in mainstream film or TV, which for me is a good thing that anime is not mainstream because if anime did became mainstream, the executives in the Western region will probably use anime as corporate cash-cows to waste the resources of an animation company (AKA the MARVEL/MADHOUSE Collaboration) or see a reality TV show about anime with some cute looking girls/guys making offensive jokes about our favorite shows like seeing the cast of Jersey Shore make fun of FMA and calling it an "overrated nerdy geek show" or worst, having the media blaming anime for shootouts, massacre or even rape. Why am I talking about this? Simply because I've been hearing a lot of talk from the anime community about what if anime will become mainstream in the future and that it would help the anime industry to be more popular. My answer for all this is hell no. Why? Because if we let anime become mainstream, we will lose the weirdness, coolness and charm of anime like the obvious panty shots, the insane shonen power ups or the massive epic scale of mecha battles that we see in anime and is for the best for anime to be non-mainstream, allowing more anime creators to come up with more original ideas without unnecessary restrictions and censorships. I'll admit, I do get tired of this tropes but then again, the anime films and shows that I watched had these kinds of tropes and honestly, it's a really dumb thing to complain but as long as we have this tropes up and running, you can bet that anime will be saved from the clutches of mainstream garbage. To put it out very simple, if we, as a community of anime lovers, allow the genre to become mainstream, we will lose the one thing that made anime so much fun to watch: Imagination and creativity. Hell nowadays, the anime community is filled with a bunch of people that pretend to be anime fans because they watch anime in the original Japanese language, hating on all English dubs because that's how anime fans are like and mostly, see Evangelion in order to become a "true" fan of anime and if not, they will label you as a disgrace to the community, even though that series is overrated as fuck in the first place despite being an influence to the industry, and think that anime being mainstream will allow the industry to have more money and fame. Even though, we all know what happens when something becomes mainstream, you will get money and fame but you have to sacrifice your soul and humanity in order to gain fame and fortune. Again, do you guys REALLY anime want mainstream? I don't think so.
Now that we got that out of the way, let's review the film called Tokyo Godfathers, the third anime film that is directed by Satoshi Kon, the man responsible for movies such as Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue, Paprika and his first TV series that he ever created called Paranoia Agent, which is one of my favorite anime series hands down. For me, Satoshi Kon is such an amazing director because this man can craft some fantastic complex stories about the human mind like with Paprika, which is a film about the themes of dreams in the human mind and Paranoia Agent, an anime series about dealing with the issue of paranoia and how to overcome it. I only seen Paprika, Paranoia Agent and Tokyo Godfathers because the others are still hard to find but still, Kon can craft some fine storytelling in his films. As for Tokyo Godfathers, this was Kon's third film and far different than his psychological films that he's used to make because instead of being another film about psychological problems, this film revolves around 3 homeless people finding an abandoned baby in the thrash and set off to reunite the baby with her real parents. Despite having a very straight forward plot, I personally found Tokyo Godfathers to be a funny and touching drama about redeeming yourself on the mistakes you made in life to start over a new life and how life can be full of miracles.
Tokyo Godfathers revolves around 3 homeless people like Hana, a drag-queen that believes in miracles and good will, Gin, a man who used to be famous until a tragic event befall on him causing him to lose everything he owns and Miyuki, a young teenage girl who run away from home. One day while trying to find food in the trash, they encounter an abandoned female baby girl in the trash and Hana, feeling sorry for the child, decides to go on a long journey to reunite the baby with her real parents. Throughout the journey, they encounter countless challenges like trying to uncover their pasts, finding clues about the reasoning for abandoning the baby and discovering the meaning of forgiveness.
What I like about the story are the 3 main characters. Hana, Gin and Miyuki have got to be the best written characters I've ever encountered in an animated film. I like how they interact with each other, I love how they react to every situation during their journey and I love learning more about their reasonings on why they are homeless. For example, Hana is a drag-queen because she used to be very famous at his job until a customer insulted her because of her singing and therefore, Hana beats the living shit of out him. Gin is a trouble drunk because of his past as a cyclist that used to be a winner in all the races until another racer used a "get rich quick" scheme that affected Gin's career and causes his life to turn into shambles. As for Miyuki, she used to live with her family until she had enough of her father not listening to her when she talks to him, stabs him in the stomach and decides to run away from home as she felt guilty for doing such an unforgivable act to her father. You may argue that they deserve to be poor and rot on the streets but I found them to be people that made some stupid mistakes and therefore, a miracle happens that allows these homeless people for a chance to possibly be forgiven from the choices they made in their lives and who can blame them? It happens to a lot of people that make mistake and are desperately looking for a way to fix what was wrong and in the end, their act of bravery and sacrifice saves the day. Simply, it is a tale of forgiveness and the wonders of pure miracles that can happen to a bunch of unlikely people that may look and act like jerks but follow this sign as a path to redemption and possibly, new beginnings. It is such a heartwarming tale that you have no choice but to cry and smile all the way through this film.
The animation by MADHOUSE is absolutely gorgeous and it's no surprise cause MADHOUSE can make some pretty looking anime films in their book (Summer Wars, Paprika, Redline, Paranoia Agent, Trigun, Shigurui and so forth). I love the night style Christmas feel that the animators give to the sprawling city of Tokyo with it luxurious backgrounds and colorful visuals while going with the excellent lighting textures. The character models and expressions are freaking excellent with some of the most funniest expressions that these animators can come up with that goes perfectly with the Japanese audio track. As for the dub, there isn't any dub and for a good reason because the film was impossible to dub, since the characters talk in a very fast pace and characters having exaggerated expressions, the dubbing was canceled and the film was released with the original Japanese audio only. No problem for me cause the original audio is incredibly funny and dramatic that the lack of the dub is forgiven.
Tokyo Godfathers is a fantastic film that's worthy of watching it on Christmas with your friends and family. It has a deep, funny and moving story with 3 wonderfully written characters, fantastic animation, powerful emotions, excellent voice performances and an awesome soundtrack. If you have a thirst for some Christmas cheer and happiness then Tokyo Godfathers is the Christmas movie for you.