7.8/10
30,553
67 user 98 critic

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Tôkyô goddofâzâzu (original title)
Trailer
0:58 | Trailer
On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo discover a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Directors:

Satoshi Kon, Shôgo Furuya (co-director)

Writers:

Satoshi Kon (screenplay), Satoshi Kon (story) | 1 more credit »
8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bears a strong similarity to 'Three Godfathers', an American West story produced several times since 1916, and in development again (as of August 2020). See more »

Quotes

Hana: I am a mistake made by God.In my heart, I am a woman. Women can have children. What if a miracle like the Virgin Mary getting pregnant... was to happen to a homo? Better give me a little extra. After all, l"m eating for two.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

User Reviews

 
Sensitive and beautiful
4 September 2005 | by itamarscomixSee all my reviews

Having suffered through the painfully pretentious and shallow, pseudo-Lynchian mess of Perfect Blue, I was understandably skeptical about watching another film by Satoshi Kon (I have not yet seen Millennium Actress, but am now quite intrigued to do so). Tokyo Godfathers (a title which at first struck me as belonging most probably to a pseudo-psychological mafia thriller) was not only a pleasant surprise; it was the best anime feature I've seen in many years, probably since Ghost in the Shell, excluding anything by Hayao Miyazaki. Like the classic Grave of the Fireflies, Tokyo Godfathers struck me as unusual in the fact that it draws much from European cinema – English, Irish, German or Italian – while most commercial anime features try to mimic American film-making. But while Grave of the Fireflies was painfully sad and bleak, Tokyo Godfathers is irresistibly charming, and manages to be funny and incredibly touching at once like few anime films – few animated films, at that – ever achieve.

Tokyo Godfathers is remarkably non-violent, as pacifistic perhaps as Miyazaki's films. You won't find any grand futuristic structures or fantastical creatures here; in fact, the animation may seem crude at first. But the characters are where the film really hits its mark. Kon triumphs, like in his excellent series Paranoia Agent, by not succumbing to the accepted prototypes and standards of how characters should look in an anime film; the lead characters in the film are all gorgeously ugly, in a way that even Miyazaki had not yet dared to do. Even the child character, Miyuki, is chubby, and not cute and beautiful in the way little girls 'should' be, by the unwritten laws of anime. Thus, Kon's characters are believable and true to life; they are three anti-heroes, outcasts from society, each running away from their pasts. Especially charming is Hana (AKA 'Uncle Bag'), the golden-hearted transvestite, who supplies much of the film's comic relief but also some of its most touching moments.

Tokyo Godfathers – despite some far-fetched but amusing plot twists and coincidences – is at its core a very simple story, a beautiful little story about family, love and friendship. Few anime films are so unpretending; and thus, few anime films manage to be so strong. Watch Tokyo Godfathers; you'll laugh, you'll cry. And believe you me, ten minutes into it you'll forget it was ever animated.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | Spanish | English

Release Date:

8 November 2003 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Godfathers See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,259, 18 January 2004

Gross USA:

$367,131

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$453,133
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Madhouse See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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