Friday, December 14, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Tokyo Godfathers

On X-Mas Eve in Tokyo, three homeless people, find an abadonned baby lying in the rubbish. The trio: Gin, an ex-gambler; Miyuki: a runaway teenage girl; Hana: a drag queen, decide to find the child's parents. They name her Kiyoko, and then look through some belongings that were left with the child for clues to her origins. A trip to a family cemetery finds them running across a yakuza boss who they help out from nearly getting run over by his own car. He takes them to a club that they found a business card for with Kiyoko, which turns out is where the dom's daughter is getting hitched that day. Once there, Gin realizes that the groom is the man who caused him to become poor years ago from a jibbed bet, but before he can try to get at him, a hitwoman accidently shoots the groom while trying to kill the dom. Miyuki and the baby are kidnapped by the hitwoman, while Gin and Hana seperate after arguing. Gin runs into an older homeless man, and he gets injured while protecting him from some punks. Hana meets up with Miyuki who escaped with Kiyoko, and they go to an Hana's old bar for drag queens, where they find Gin who was taken into care for his injuries. They later run into a woman who appears to be Kiyoko's actual mother, however she's instead suicidal, and it's up to the homeless trio to save Kiyoko in a great comedy/traumatic fashion.

This movie was directed by the late but great Satoshi Kon, who also did the movies Millenium Actress, Perfect Blue, Paprika, and the Adult Swim series, Paranoia Agent. This was a distinct departure from his normal supernatural/surrealistic thrillers. It was partially based on the western movie, 3 Godfathers. For Kon, this was a great piece of storytelling. The characters are very entertaining and believable. His appear to be more realistic looking than most anime characters. Not all the girls are thin with big hooters, and not all the guys look like girls with long spikey hair.

What makes this a great movie for X-Mas is there are so many points in it where you actually believe some of the plot devices or coincidences are genuine "Christmas Miracles". There's so many revelations about the characters lives as the story moves along, and how the all culminate at one of the most satisfying anime movie conclusions ever is really special. The other reason its a great title for the holidays is because its one of the few ones that isn't the special "Christmas episode" of an already existing anime series, and is great to see on its own merit.

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