Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers
Release Date: December 29th 2003
Director: Satoshi Kon
Rating: 12
Animax/Madhouse

A baby abandoned at Christmas, a truly horrible thing. Thankfully in this incident, the little girl is found by three homeless people, all who know their own share of abandonment with society, and with an aim to find her mother. A tale of love, joy, sadness and miracles. The perfect Christmas gift.

The film may be set around Christmas, but the adventure is painted in a very drab and realistic light. The art for the film can almost seem like photography of the miserable shades of a city. Trash litters the street, thugs roam about, broken needles on the floor and three homeless people with gloomy pasts. The three characters aren’t the prettiest, nor the nicest, but together they make one happy family.Their interaction, over the top expressions and progression of their stories make them memorable characters to warm to.

On the journey for the mother, we see the three characters pasts and why they are now homeless. We have Gin, the man abandoned by his family due to money troubles, but the story changes as the truth comes out. Next we have Hana, the drag queen who wants to be a mother. Thirdly is Miyuki, a teenager on the run from her family for doing something terrible. The reasons aren’t those designed to make you feel sympathy, but they way they act in hope for the child makes you hope they get something by the end.

The quest to find the mother is littered with coincidences. Every progression is because of some incident which has some relation to their hunt and it does it in such blatant ways. Cheap coincidences they are not however, as they all show a bright hope in the Christmas season and that miracles can take place for anyone. While the path is rarely happy, full of emotional swings in the journey and shocking moments, the rays of hope these coincidences bring some cheer. Each coincidence is met with a smile rather than rolled eyes.A truly spectacular accomplishment.

Watching it on Christmas Eve felt like the perfect time. I could have watched some overly cheery festive fluff, but this is the sort of thing which makes you appreciate and aim for your best.

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