Friday, February 13, 2009

Tokyo Godfathers

I've come to associate Kon's work with bizarre, supernatural plots and lots of mind trickery, and Tokyo Godfathers doesn't really feature either of those characteristics. Regardless, it's now my favorite thing he's done and one of the best anime films I've seen, period. I seem to usually enjoy the medium when it's blowing my mind with some crazy imaginative imagery, although that's not what you'll find here. It's a story of three immediately interesting and likable homeless people who find an abandoned infant on Christmas. What follows is a very enjoyable and heartwarming story filled with amazing coincidences (It wouldn't be a Kon film without at least a couple moments that prompt a "What the hell?") that propel it towards a very exciting and satisfying conclusion. It's often annoying when a plot needs someone to magically step in and help the heroes get to the next scene, but something about the way Godfathers is put together makes it totally work and ties in well with the overall tone of the film.

It's not too easy to explain why I loved the movie so much, I just felt like everything worked and I enjoyed every moment of watching it. The different characters were sympathetic and developed well in the quick running time, and seeing how their different stories would end up turning out was a big part of what propelled it forward. The animation is generally quite good as it usually is when Kon's involved, a good mix of realism and stylized goofiness when required. The movie is quite funny in places, and never takes itself too seriously, although important scenes are treated with the proper respect. The last part when everything finally comes to an end was a little more out there than I expected, but it worked and more genuinely thrilling than most more elaborate action scenes. Not much else to say other than I'd recommend it to just about anyone.

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