Christmas-themed movies and episodes are a staple all through the month of December for his or her heartwarming nature of offering consolation and laughter throughout the colder months. This time of yr, studios are desirous to pump out as a lot content material as potential that is stuffed to the brim with vacation spirit. Whereas this supplies an abundance of cinema to heat frozen hearts, it additionally poses a problem for creators preventing to face out amongst such an enormous subgenre. Even in anime, the place there isn’t a scarcity of Christmas or winter-themed content material, the prospect of making one thing with sufficient feel-good vibes and vacation pleasure to encourage audiences to re-watch yearly is a frightening process.
And but, the late Satoshi Kon actually made his mark with the 2003 movie Tokyo Godfathers. Diverging from his regular tone in filmmaking, this comedy-drama is an unique and thrilling take of a Christmas story which, in any case these years, nonetheless holds up and is unquestionably worthy of being referred to as a Christmas basic.
The narrative follows three homeless characters: a middle-aged alcoholic named Gin, a runaway teenaged lady named Miyuki and a former drag queen and transgender lady named Hana. The three kind a ragtag group and makeshift household making an attempt to outlive out on the streets. On Christmas Eve evening, the three uncover a new child child within the rubbish, deserted, however left with a miscellaneous key and a word to look after the infant.
Hana names the infant Kiyoko, and the three embark on an journey to seek out the infant’s dad and mom and to demand an evidence for the deserted little one. Alongside the best way, they discover themselves wrapped up in a sequence of outlandish occasions that take a look at the bonds of their companionship and drive every character to face their pasts, reflecting on the circumstances that led them to grow to be homeless.
Whereas Kon is recognized for showcasing reasonably darkish and twisted premises — as within the circumstances of Excellent Blue and Paranoia Agent — Tokyo Godfathers is a extra simple movie that manages to be dramatic, comedic and above all, charmingly heartwarming, all on the identical time. It even steps away from extra fantastical components to be fully rooted in a modern-day Tokyo. The one remnants of an exterior or supernatural drive reside within the peculiar incidents that Hana believes to be Christmas miracles, and which solely add to the magic of a Christmas movie.
Nevertheless, Tokyo Godfathers remains to be a Satoshi Kon movie and thus is not too simple. Alongside the sentimentality, there are many wild twists and turns to maintain audiences on the sting of their seats, ready expectantly for what is going to come subsequent. The absurdity within the obstacles making up their journey is thrilling as it’s stunning. It is not a straightforward feat to maintain stunning the viewers with unpredictable occasions whereas nonetheless maintaining these occasions plausible, however Kon manages to do exactly that.
Inside this loopy journey of eccentric characters, the movie isn’t afraid to current the real struggles these characters face for being homeless, each when it comes to therapy from others and the way they cope with their very own circumstances. Oftentimes, they’re ignored and seen individually from the town and society. Because of this, the homeless kind their very own group, and we see the three important characters discover consolation and stability in that and one another.
There’s a scene the place Gin is overwhelmed by a gaggle of youngsters just because they discovered it entertaining and presumably as a result of nobody actually cares a few homeless man. Hana is at one level hospitalized as a result of the poor diet and arduous way of life of being on the streets have weakened her immune system. That is an instance of how curable and common illnesses can be fatal to the homeless attributable to their weaker immune techniques. Lastly, Miyuki receives no mercy for being a youth, and her lack of expertise in the true world makes her depending on Gin and Hana to outlive.
Kon’s impeccable potential to steadiness comedy with darker subject material is what creates the scenes essential to correctly flesh out these characters. Gin, cussed and with a horrible behavior of mendacity, can be caring and protecting towards his makeshift household. Hana’s aptitude for dramatics is wildly entertaining, whereas her robust maternal intuition and sacrificial nature is as heartwarming as it’s heartbreaking. Miyuki’s bravery within the face of adversity is commendable, as she firmly believes she has extra freedom in life being homeless regardless of the risks repeatedly offered to her. Via a madly adventurous story, it’s the characters that breathe a lot life and coronary heart into this movie, bringing out the most effective — and generally worst — in one another.
Kon is internationally famend, and for good cause. With mystifying themes and beautiful artistry in his filmmaking, Tokyo Godfathers is only one of his many successes. For its uplifting themes of discovered household, love and forgiveness, this movie retains its affect and will positively be a part of any Christmas film line-up.