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?tokyo Godfathers?: A Subtle Social Commentary

Tokyo Godfathers is the perfect choice when a sappy, feel good movie is required. Surprisingly it hasn?t really gotten the recognition in the States that it deserves from anime fans. It?s one of those anime that can be told in any medium, so no giant robots or being flushed away to strange kingdoms here. Despite that though, the animation is top notch in it. Satoshi Kon?s ?Of Millennium Actress? and ?Perfect Blue Fame? works are always quite impressive. He always does a great job, be it as writer, director or both.

The story follows a merry band of Tokyo?s (and Tokyo here is a microcosm of Japan) outcasts: a transvestite, a hobo and a runaway. One day they discover an abandoned baby and decide to do the ?right thing?. However, they aren?t exactly sure what the ?right thing? is, or how to accomplish it. This initiates an odyssey into the lesser known, or at least the lesser talked about, depths of Tokyo. The story exposes what lies behind the gleaming, high-class facade that the metropolis presents to the world. As the story progresses the characters and their shaky, unlikely, yet true friendships do too.

This movie is actually a really good critical look at the undesirables of Japan. It shows things that people wouldn?t know about unless they lived there. For example, there are a huge amount of Brazilian slums in the country. There are many things in Japan that are not talked about and this movie does a fine job of subtly poking at that mentality. It is judgmental, but softly so and never misses the focus of the movie: the story. The social commentary is properly in the background and seeps through the viewers peripheral.

Tokyo Godfathers is a solid story. It could appeal to anyone no matter their culture or interests. Ironically it was made by the same gentleman that created Perfect Blue ? a story that gushes horror, so unlike this one. It is especially interesting for those with an interest in Japanese society beyond animated high school love stories. As previously stated, the story could have been told in any medium, so even non-anime lovers could walk away with something positive. It?s touching, moving and may even bring a tear to viewers? eyes.

*Original content written by Michelle Tsuki. Posted with author?s permission*