April 25, 2008

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Perhaps the most accessible of acclaimed anime director/writer Satoshi Kon's work, Tokyo Godfathers is a heartwarming Christmas story, a detective mystery adventure, an action thriller, a comedy, a comment on society and a film-noir all in one. More light-hearted and less ambiguous than Kon's usual work, the film manages to be thoroughly entertaining without being cheesy or too childish. This is definitely not anime for kids, as it deals a lot with the more underground aspects of Tokyo society, but it manages to humanize the main characters and make us care about them to the point of being on the edge of our seat by the time the film is in its last 20 minutes. The ending is nicely wrapped up as well, and it could even work as a tear jerker for the more sensitive audience members. It is not anywhere near the psychological rollercoaster ride of Perfect Blue or the psychedelic extravaganza of Paprika, but it nevertheless has Kon's signature all over it. Kon once again proves that there is more to anime than mechas and tentacles, and along with Miyazaki provides another building block towards a veritable auteur-cinema in anime.