angelxxuan's Tokyo Godfathers Tv Review

Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers tv Review

Story & Characters

I would possibly put this into a nicely found seasonal review. I was rummaging around in my old stuff the other day and I wanted to watch something with a Christmas atmosphere, so, last night I sat down and watched this. I had forgotten about how adorable this was. I would, most certainly and without a doubt label this as a dark comedy, there is mild ecchi so I would possibly put this into the teenager to young adult section, due more to the racist comments and mildly mature setting as well as mild violence. When I discovered this, it was on VCR, so it could possibly be one of the last few left to being found on VCR. So if it comes anyway else I can't really do a review on that aspect of it, it was a 2003 release and it actually won Excellence Prize at the 2003 Japan Media Arts Festival. It's an anime film by the late Japanese director Satoshi Kon that brought us the classics of Wolf's Rain and a head scriptwriter Cowboy Bebop.


The movie starts out with two homeless males attending a mass on Christmas eve, to listen to a summons and have dinner afterward. For those not familiar with it, a Mass is typically related to the Catholic religion. At any rate after the summons the homeless collects their meals and meets up with a recently obtained homeless female which ran away from home after performing a bad deed. Unfortunately, them being homeless, one of the males decides the female should not be without a present on Christmas so they are rummaging around in garbage on a cold winter's night looking for a present, a book to be exact. Unfortunately this was cut short when, as the female is fighting with one of the males, their loud noises awakes an abandoned, recently born baby tossed aside in the garbage. This changes everything and brings about such an interesting change of events that strengths the story and causes the whole movie to unfold as the attempts to finding the real mother begins.

Since these are homeless people, they don't really have the money and a lot of times they meet a downfall more than a success, until they come to realize the "miracle baby" is always present helping them obtain just what they needed. Just when they were about to give up, a new hope would come about and the adventure would be off again. Such adventures of saving a man, late to his daughter's wedding, trapped under a car, after pushing it back they were able to be given a fantastic meal. Upon this situation the homeless group encounters one of the male's past and actually watches someone come about and attempt the life due to a crime boss' ordeal. This is just one of the many events that lead up through the entire story line of attempting to find the real parents of the child named Kiyoko, "pure child" as she is born on Christmas Eve. Will they find the parents? what will befall them, will they find their missing friends, will they bring about peace with themselves as they struggle to find themselves? And what of the girl that ran away from home? I would seriously suggest this to anyone that is curious about a heartwarming tale of finding oneself as well as meeting old friends and making new friends.


There aren't really any characters in this film, there's the baby Kiyoko, and a few minor ones that bring about harm to a few, they were just faces in the crowd. Such as the old man that one settles with and waits for him to die, even on the streets there is comfort and time of need. This story is really focused around three main characters and a few minor ones they meet along the way that plays an interesting role yet some names are never even given just them appearing. Let's begin:

Gin, possibly the most feared on the streets, he is a middle aged alcoholic that turned to the streets after he had gambled far too much and was running away from his problems. He was able to save up some money over the bracket he's been on the street so he could go home, he could reunite with his wife and daughter, also named Kiyoko. When he meets up with his daughter, he learns they are still looking for him, they searched for quite some time. The wife works in their bicycle shop and the daughter a nurse who is recently getting married in the months to come. He was holding onto a lottery ticket, his gambling problem still present even to this day, and since he owned money to the Yakuza, that just made it even worse for him to hide. His family was actually the ones paying off his debt, he just went into hiding, which seriously upset the second person about to be introduced.

"Miss" Hana, a former drag queen and homosexual, being greatly in love with Gin, whom they have shared a cardboard box with for years in cardboard city. He was in love with another person that had died and caused Hana to lose it in a way. He goes so far as to be too drunk one night and seriously go on a chaotic moment and beats up someone in a lounge where he sang and drag queened at, causing him to turn to the streets for protection. He later meets up with his "mother" also a well known drag queen on that same lounge and welcoming back into his arms and told to come back anytime. Unfortunately Hana has some sort of illness, being homeless that is quite possible and common, and it wasn't too long before Hana was rushed to the hospital. A common illness to some people, could be devastating to a homeless person.

Both males are taking care of a young female by the name of Miyuki. A teenager who does a very bad thing at home and runs away in fear of facing the consequences of what might await. Her mother is a stay at home mom, which is typical for some mothers in Japan still, who chants a lot for she is very religious and the father, a police officer (which is possibly quite ironic) and both her parents are trying their best to reach her. Sometimes posting lines in the paper just in an attempt to get her to come home. The situation started, pretty much, over a cat she had found in the streets, being a teenager, she thought her dad had done something to the cat. The article which was located in the paper was telling her that "Angel" which she named because the white stripes on the cat's back reminded her of an angel, had come home and that they wished she would come home as well.

We also encounter Sachiko, a woman that the child belonged to and she felt it was her husband's (by the name of Yasuo)fault as to why the child was discovered in the trash. She explained that he had tossed her out when Sachiko had gone out to the store and she had been searching for her every since. That was far from the case, the chase begins a new once the story unfolds once again. Sachiko husband also has a gambling problem and had just won 100k yen in the new year's lottery that Gin had also played the lottery in.

Other minor characters not mentioned are: The Taxi driver who helps the trio several times, the Yakuza's boss' (by the name of Ōta) son in law (no name ever given), who Gin also owned money to, gave a short appearance and didn't even recognize Gin at that time. A doctor who takes care of Hana as he laid in the hospital over some unknown illness. A Hispanic/American male who attempts the shooting on Ōta and takes Miyuki and Kiyoko hostage, who they later meet up in the slight slums of Tokyo where we encounter his Wife who attempts to talk to Miyuki. Unfortunately at this time it was Spanish they were talking, the dialogue isn't really all that strong but they do start to talk all the same, we also learn that the woman has a child and helps feed Kiyoko.

Rating: 7


There was no skipping on the art in this movie. I was quite impressed by the beauty of it all. The moments of giggles when the signs of McDonald's Big mac advertisement lingers still in my mind. It was quite poetically placed, you didn't see the name of the store but you knew what the burger belonged to, thus the meaning behind the detail to art. At times the people seemed slightly 2d, aka flattish, but that took place more often than not during the really funny aspects of the show. I have to admit the detail to the sun rising, the sun setting, snow falling, even the details of throwing up one's jacket up over their arms in a fuss was not spared in detail. But coming from such a creator, I would expect nothing less. I admire the detail to every single thing, nothing was remotely neglected. Even the lighting in the office buildings in the back was not spared. They would come on and go off via lights flickering of the season or as if someone was walking around in them as they were probably set on motion sensors. I was equally impressed with the way blood puddled and canned powdered milk fell to the ground and the whole entire aspect was mind blowing in detail.

Rating: 9


The sound was not spared either. Helicopters, destroyed buildings due to a fire, the sounds of trash bags as people rummaged around in them or moved them about. It was just beautiful. I rather like how the detail to walking around in snow, the crunching effect of such. I also liked the detail of sound to the music and score, these were not spared the very least. I was quite impressed with the sheer beauty of noises that was possibly considered pointless was present, like the sounds of bike bells, car horns, crushing metal, sounds of dogs barking or the sounds of the blowing wind at various moments of the anime. I was greatly impressed, with all these sounds, not once did they sound like they were casting out of a barrel or a hollow, it sounded as if you were right there in the room and not hearing it in a sound studio. If this comes in any variation, I cannot help with that. The version that I watched/obtained was the original version and it was subbed excellently. The haiku in them were just fitting for the scene. As there weren't many characters, there weren't many voices to cast about. Some talents include: Satomi Kōrogi as Kiyoko, Shōzō Iizuka as Ōta, Seizō Katō as Mother, Ryūji Saikachi as The Old Man, Yūsaku Yara as Miyuki's father, Mamiko Noto as Gin's daughter, Akio Ōtsuka as The Doctor, Rikiya Koyama as The Groom, Kōichi Yamadera as The Taxi Driver. Also additional voices talents used were: Mitsuru Ogata and Chiyako Shibahara.

Rating: 9


This review is done on a movie I found by accident in my collection of stuff, actually had to dust it off so to speak. But it is a rare find for me and somewhat of a vintage, as it is in this bracket of the 21st century, it is still a beautiful piece of work. As it is a dark comedy, that's not all which is present, some action, drama and mild romance. As I own this and have seen it many times already, I would suggest anyone to watch it that finds interest in one of those random anime yet still have a plot to be granted with. I was greatly impressed with this anime and it has been such a while since I have seen it that I found it to be quite beautifully well done and I would certainly watch it again and again, and if the copy goes hopefully I'll be able to be gifted to find another copy, this time on DVD. As this is comedy in nature, there are some pretty intense drama moments and racist comments, it did not offend me as I felt it fit the setting and helped the character development as well as plot. I tried my best not to use offending words and used proper terms and the likes and if this review offended anyone please don't hesitate to bring it to my attention and I will fix it promptly.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.00 (good)

Reviewed by angelxxuan, Dec 25, 2011


  1. UberDog Dec 26, 2011

    I have to say that I have always wanted to see this Anime but never seemed to find the time to get to it. After reading this review I feel I must make time to watch it as it sound like the kind of story I like. I am very glad you wrote this review Angel. It is a well thought out and detailed review with good structure and composition. Keep 'em coming...

  2. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator Jan 01, 2012

    I'm honestly really glad you wrote this review, because it cleared up a misinterpretation I had of this movie based solely on its name. I've never seen it, but I thought "Tokyo Godfather" --> title sounds like "The Godfather" ---> therefore, Tokyo Godfathers must also be about the yakuza or some organized mob. Irrational, I know, but that's the conclusion I jumped too, lol. But now, I know otherwise. :)

    I thought your use of very specific examples was fantastic, and you were also able to be both descriptive and concise. Nice job, and thanks for the review Xuan! :)

    Oh, and linky fun is always a nice touch. ;)

  3. angelxxuan Banned Member May 20, 2012

    for some odd reason, this movie was actually easier to review, nearly two hours of fun, and having a heavy plot, left it open for more.

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