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Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Animation, Drama  |  8 November 2003 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 16,888 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 54 user | 71 critic | 25 from

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tôru Emori ...
Gin (voice)
Aya Okamoto ...
Miyuki (voice)
Yoshiaki Umegaki ...
Hana (voice)
Shôzô Iizuka ...
Oota (voice)
Seizô Katô ...
Mother (voice)
Hiroya Ishimaru ...
Yasuo (voice)
Ryûji Saikachi ...
Aged Man (voice)
Yûsaku Yara ...
Miyuki's Father (voice)
Kyôko Terase ...
Sachiko (voice)
Mamiko Noto ...
Kiyoko, Gin's Daughter (voice)
Akio Ôtsuka ...
Doctor (voice)
Rikiya Koyama ...
Bridegroom (voice)
Satomi Koorogi ...
Kiyoko, the Gangster's Daughter (voice)
Mitsuru Ogata ...
Hidenari Ugaki (voice)
Chiyako Shibahara ...
Eriko Kawasaki (voice)


Christmas in Tokyo, Japan. Three homeless friends: a young girl, a transvestite, and a middle-aged bum. While foraging through some trash, they find an abandoned newborn. Hana, the transvestite with delusions of being a mother, convinces the others to keep it overnight. The next day, using a key found with the baby, they start tracking down the parents, with many adventures along the way. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Meet the ultimate dysfunctional family.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violent images, language and some sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

8 November 2003 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Héroes al rescate  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$37,127 (USA) (16 January 2004)


$128,985 (USA) (2 April 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Towards the beginning of the movie, they pass by a convenience store, in the background you can see the theatrical posters for Perfect Blue (1997), Millennium Actress (2001), and Tokyo Godfathers itself. All three films were directed by Satoshi Kon. See more »


Hana: [haiku] My mother's white breath / as she watches me set out / on a long journey.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear on billboards, store signs, truck lettering, etc. See more »


References Paranoia Agent (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Unconventional Fun
12 January 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I was able to see "Tôkyô Godfathers" at its premiere in New York. Sadly, the film was not added to the IMDb until months later, so I've had to sit on my comments for some time.

I'm a big fan of director Satoshi Kon. Both of his previous films feature stories and issues not normally seen in animated films. "Godfathers" continues this happy trend and goes even further by covering subjects not normally associated with Japan, period. Homelessness, immigrants, and homosexuality all play key elements in this tale.

Perhaps the biggest difference here is the comedy, something Kon's previous films did not approach. "Perfect Blue" was a dark thriller and "Sennen Joyû" was more of a tearjerker. "Godfathers" is played for laughs, which for me weakened the movie a little bit. Some of the more outrageous moments made the other theatergoers crack up, but I felt it was a little too silly at times.

While I would describe "Tôkyô Godfathers" as the weakest of Kon's three films to date, that's hardly a knock since his first two are among my favorites. "Godfathers" was just missing something, but I still openly recommend it to anyone, regardless of your disposition towards anime.

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