Tokyo Godfathers

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Tokyo Godfathers
Tokyo Godfathers (Movie Poster).jpg
Film poster
Directed by Satoshi Kon
Shōgo Furuya
Produced by Masao Maruyama
Masao Takiyama
Shinichi Kobayashi
Taro Maki
Screenplay by Satoshi Kon
Keiko Nobumoto
Story by Satoshi Kon
Starring Aya Okamoto
Toru Emori
Yoshiaki Umegaki
Music by Keiichi Suzuki
Moonriders
Cinematography Katsutoshi Sugai
Edited by Takeshi Seyama
Production
  company
Madhouse
Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films
Release date(s)
  • November 8, 2003 (2003-11-08) (Japan)
Running time 92 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Spanish
Box office $129,560[1]

Tokyo Godfathers (東京ゴッドファーザーズ Tōkyō Goddofāzāzu?) is a 2003 anime film directed by Japanese director Satoshi Kon, and co-directed by Shōgo Furuya.

Tokyo Godfathers was Kon's third animated movie, which he wrote and directed. Keiko Nobumoto, noted for being the creator of the Wolf's Rain series and a head scriptwriter for Cowboy Bebop, co-wrote the script with Kon.

Tokyo Godfathers received an Excellence Prize at the 2003 Japan Media Arts Festival.[citation needed]

Themes[edit]

The movie puts an emphasis on the theme of "coincidences". Movie critic George Peluranee notes that "Tokyo Godfathers is a film that shows the small yet significant ties that each of us have with supposed strangers, and tells well the story of miracles, family, love, and forgiveness"

Plot[edit]

One Christmas Eve in present day Tokyo, three homeless people — Gin (ギン?), a middle-aged alcoholic, Hana (ハナ?), a trans woman and former drag queen, and Miyuki (ミユキ?), a runaway girl — discover an abandoned newborn while searching in some trash. Deposited with the unnamed baby is a note asking the finder to take good care of her and a bag containing clues to the parent's identity. The trio sets out to find the baby's parents. The baby is named Kiyoko (清子?), literally meaning "pure child" as she is born on Christmas Eve.

Outside a cemetery, the group encounters a high-ranking yakuza man trapped under his car. The man happens to know the owner of the club Kiyoko's mother used to visit; he is getting married to the man's daughter. At the wedding, the groom tells them that the baby's mother is a former club member named Sachiko. He gives them Sachiko's address, but the party is interrupted when a maid is revealed to be a Latin American hit man in disguise, attempting to shoot the bride's father with a Tokarev TT-33. The hit man kidnaps Miyuki and the baby and takes them back to his home. There, Miyuki befriends the hit man's wife and shows her some pictures of her family.

Hana searches for Miyuki and Kiyoko while Gin takes care of an old homeless man whom he finds dying in the street. The old man dies after giving Gin a little red bag. Some teenagers show up to beat Gin and the deceased old man. Meanwhile, Hana finds the girls and they go off to find a place to stay.

Hana takes them to a club she used to work at. Gin, who was found by another member of the club, is also there. The trio sets out to find Sachiko's house. They're informed of the unhappy marriage Sachiko shares with her husband. The group rests at a store until they are told to leave by the shopkeeper. Hana collapses and is taken to a hospital. At the hospital, Gin finds his daughter who works as a nurse. Hana humiliates Gin in front of his daughter and storms out of the hospital. Miyuki follows with Kiyoko.

Hana and Miyuki find Sachiko about to jump off a bridge. Sachiko insists that her husband got rid of the baby without her knowledge, and they return it to her. Meanwhile, Gin finds Sachiko's husband, who reveals that Kiyoko is actually a baby that Sachiko stole from the hospital. The chase for Sachiko and the baby begins. After an intense car chase through the city, Miyuki follows Sachiko as she escapes to the top of a building, where Sachiko reveals she became pregnant, thinking it would bring her closer to her husband. When the baby was stillborn, she decided to kidnap Kiyoko from the hospital, thinking, in her grief, the baby was hers. Sachiko tries to jump off the building, but her husband comes out of his apartment (just across the street) and encourages her to start a new life. Sachiko jumps off nevertheless and Miyuki catches her but Sachiko accidentally drops the baby off of the building. Hana jumps after Kiyoko. She catches the baby and miraculously lands safely.

Hana, Miyuki, and Gin are taken to the hospital. Miyuki hands Gin his cigarettes and drops the old man's small red bag on the floor, revealing a winning lottery ticket. Kiyoko's real parents want to ask the trio to become her godparents. When a police inspector introduce them to the trio, the inspector is revealed to be Miyuki's father.

Cast[edit]

  • Tōru Emori as Gin, a homeless former bicycle shop owner who claims to be a professional cyclist. He left behind his wife and daughter when his gambling debts became too large, and claimed they were dead to gain sympathy. His daughter, Kiyoko, shares the same name as the baby he and the others find. Voiced by Darren Pleavin in the English Animax dub[citation needed].
  • Yoshiaki Umegaki as Hana, a homeless trans woman. Her dream in life was always to be a mother, and thus she is the most enthusiastic about taking care of Kiyoko, the baby she finds and names. Because of her upbringing, she is the kindest out of the three main characters, but is also severely ill (Implied to be AIDS related.), a fact which she hides from the others. Voiced by Russell Wait in the English Animax dub[citation needed].
  • Aya Okamoto as Miyuki, a runaway senior high school student. During a family dispute concerning what seems to be her missing cat named 'Angel', Miyuki stabbed her father (believing him to be responsible for the disappearance), and has stayed away from her home since, losing a substantial amount of weight. She found a personals ad in an old newspaper in the course of the film that hints that her father wasn't responsible for the disappearance of her cat, and that the cat seems to have come back. That ad is the reason why she decided to call her father again but her shame of the stabbing incident has left her unable to speak with him. Voiced by Candice Moore in the English Animax dub[citation needed].
  • Satomi Kōrogi as Kiyoko, a newborn infant that was deserted in a dump. She is found by the three main characters on Christmas Eve, and Hana names her after the Japanese title of the traditional Christmas song "Silent Night."
  • Shōzō Iizuka as Ōta, a Yakuza boss who is found and saved by the three main characters when he becomes trapped under his car. As thanks, he invites them to his daughter's wedding, which leads to Miyuki's and Kiyoko's kidnapping at the hands of a Hispanic hitman.
  • Seizō Katō as Mother, the proprietor of a drag bar where Hana used to work.
  • Hiroya Ishimaru as Yasuo, Sachiko's down-on-his-luck husband and the one who left behind Kiyoko, because he discovered that Sachiko stole her from the hospital and he panicked. In the end, he fully grasped the situation with his wife with remorse and desperately sought her out to save her from her suicidal grief.
  • Ryūji Saikachi as The Old Man, a fellow homeless. He is discovered lying on the ground by Gin, and gives Gin a mysterious red bag before dying.
  • Yūsaku Yara as Miyuki's father, a police officer. He unexpectedly finds Miyuki, his daughter, at the very end of the film.
  • Kyōko Terase as Sachiko, the self-proclaimed mother of Kiyoko. When Kiyoko is abandoned by her father, Sachiko falls into despair and prepares to commit suicide before Kiyoko is returned to her. In a strange turn of events, it is revealed that Kiyoko is not Sachiko's biological daughter. It turns out that Sachiko's real baby died at birth and in her grieving delusion, she imagined Kiyoko to be her baby and took her from the hospital to start a new life.
  • Mamiko Noto as Gin's daughter, a nurse. She is on the verge of being married to the Doctor by the time she is rediscovered by Gin, her father. Her name is also Kiyoko.
  • Akio Ōtsuka as The Doctor, a doctor who takes care of Hana when she collapses.
  • Rikiya Koyama as The Groom, the son-in-law of Ōta. It is implied that he was the one responsible for Gin's past debts, as Gin attempts to attack him in rage as soon as he saw him until he was interrupted by the Hispanic hitman's shooting. The Groom took the shot meant for his father-in-law and was wounded. Fortunately, he survived.
  • Inuko Inuyama as Kurumizawa
  • Kanako Yahara as Yamanōchi
  • Rie Shibata as Nekobaba, a person who lives in Sachiko's neighborhood.
  • Kōichi Yamadera as The Taxi Driver, a chauffeur who aids Miyuki and Hana during the climatic car chase.

Additional voices by Hidenari Umezu, Mitsuru Ogata, Eriko Kawasaki, Chiyako Shibahara, Akiko Takeguchi, Kazuaki Itō, Nobuyuki Furuta, Atsuko Yuya, Toshitaka Shimizu, Bin Horikawa, Yūto Kazama, Masao Harada, Tsuguo Mogami, Yoshinori Sonobe, and Akiko Kawase

See also[edit]

References[edit]


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