News Ticker


I'm Coming Home – Tokyo Godfathers Anime Review

Directed by the late Satoshi Kon, the mastermind behind animation classics like Perfect Blue and Paprika, it is interesting to note that Tokyo Godfathers was also co-written by Keiko Nobumoto – the head scriptwriter for Cowboy Bebop. Many correlate this film to Satoshi’s previous classics and say it doesn’t quite match up, but I’m reviewing it free from comparisons and my verdict stands strong: This is a solid good work and if you’re an anime fan who hasn’t seen this yet, you should.

It’s hard to pin down Tokyo Godfathers with a single genre due to the way its plot progresses at an almost haphazard pace. The story’s setting begins amidst the bleak backdrop of a modern city during the Christmas season, as depicted through the eyes of three homeless people: Hana the transvestite, Gin the alcoholic and Miyuki the runaway girl. Miyuki is foul-mouthed and fights with Gin right off the bat, making one wonder how in the world such an odd trio got together in the first place. They soon discover an abandoned baby in a dump, and they set off on a journey to find her parents.   

This is when a series of amazing miracles and coincidences take place, to the point of becoming surreal. Add in a mix of comedy, maudlin undertones and heart-warming scenes and you’re left with a dazzling jumble of a movie that’ll have you laughing at one moment and on the brink of tears mere minutes later. Undoubtedly, the film’s strongest aspects are its slapdash cast and rambunctious dialogue. 

A constant theme throughout is 'family', as shown by the main characters’ backstories and their own unique passages of dealing with their problems. Gin’s gambling addiction drove him to hit rock bottom and abandon his wife and daughter. But he never stops yearning to see them. Miyuki ran away from home after stabbing her father. At first, it seems like she is stubborn and bull-headed – almost spoilt even – whereas in truth, the incident has left her with an enormous guilt. Both of them are similar in the sense that they seek salvation from their families, but cannot overcome their fear and remorse to do so. Hana, on the other hand, was abandoned from birth and has no real family. This explains why she immediately developed such a strong attachment to the baby, who was all alone, just like her, and thrown away by the only person they could count on.

At its heart, the film is a touching illustration of the power of forgiveness and the strength of familial ties. But making peace with a broken family is never easy or set in stone, and this is shown through realistic scenes. Thus, the story's progression feels sincere and achingly honest. Its usage of a Christmas setting makes it that much more impactful too. While it is indeed a time of merry-making and a celebration of new beginnings, Tokyo Godfathers beckons onlookers to discover a hidden aspect, the diamond in the rough of this conventionally happy and glamourous period for the blessed: that even the abandoned, homeless and lost have magnificent things in store for them.

To sum it up...

Plot: 9/10 – Plays like an adventure-modern-fable flick, with an excellent fusion of poignant and humorous situations. Some didn’t like the ending, saying it was “lame”, and truthfully, I can understand if it seemed abrupt. Still, I thought it had a nice little spark of shock, and the vague ‘now what?’ feeling it finished off with kept in line with the film’s overall outlandish nature.

Animation and art: 7.5/10 – The visuals are based on realism with a tinge of caricature influences AKA realistic-looking character models with exaggerated movements and expressions.

Music: 6.5/10 – Honestly, I can’t remember a single piece of music from the film. This could mean either one of two things; A) it was just so incredibly bland that it went in one ear and out the next or B) the plot was so exciting that my ears stopped working and all the blood rushed straight to my eyeballs to not miss a single scene. Whatever it is, it still means the soundtrack was forgettable.

Characters: 9/10 – I always like it when characters reveal hidden sides of their personalities as the story unfolds. The main cast members are just so different from each other and yet, they end up meshing well and creating a fascinating relationship dynamic.

Personal enjoyment: 9/10 

Overall rating: 9.5/10 – Check it out if you want a fast-paced, funny, boisterous movie that is ultimately feel-good without it all being sappy rainbows and sunshine.  Damn well a near masterpiece, though I felt it could have gone a bit more in depth for the character flashbacks, namely Hana and Miyuki.

Written by Faelan

Share This:

Post Tags:

No Comment to " I'm Coming Home – Tokyo Godfathers Anime Review "