Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers; Animated drama, Japan, 2003; D: Satoshi Kon, S: Toru Emori, Aya Okamoto, Yoshiaki Umegaki

Toyko, Christmas. Three homeless people; Gin, the young Miyuki and gay man Hana, find a little baby in trash. Hana immediately gains sympathy for the baby since he always wanted a daughter, but still decides to find her real parents. They bump into a businessman stuck under a car and save him, so he gives them a ride to a wedding. But there they stumble upon some guy who kills a man and takes Miyuki and the baby as hostages. Han and Gin rejoin them and continue their pursuit. In the hospital, Gin again meets his daughter who works there, while Hana and Miyuki meet a woman who claims to be the baby's mother. Then Gin discovers she lied and starts chasing her, returning the baby to the real parents who pronounce them as their godfathers.

"Toyko Godfathers", inspired by Ford's "Three Godfathers", is a more intriguing and humane anime by director Satoshi Kon than his previous film, thriller "Perfect Blue", in accordance towards his more gentler dramas like the excellent "Millennium Actress", a warm story that also manages to be realistic and socially critical but optimistic at the same time, almost equal to some Capra's classics. Kon has a special talent for cheerfully touching scenes, like when Miyuki tells how she had a grey cat she called "Angel" because it had white stripes on it's back that looked like wings or when the buildings start to "dance" in the finale in tune to a Christmas song, while the animation deserves a maximum grade. Despite a few chaotic knots in the structure and "faithful accidents", the story works and has sweet humor (gay Hana, Gin tells how he would like to eat some cat meat but then Miyuki warns him that he shouldn't even think about it, so every cat hides behind her ) while the characters all seem like real people.


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