This is one of my favorite anime of all time and definitely my number one favorite holiday anime. It’s a heart warming story that is filled to the brim with holiday magic, though it isn’t a fantasy anime and doesn’t feature maho shojo, or wizards, or fairies, or really any actual magic at all. It has three “heroes” though it isn’t a hero anime, there are no princes, no super heroes, or even super powers.
And though the main characters certainly have to go through some hard times, have monsters from their pasts that they have to defeat, and struggle greatly for their happy endings, there isn’t any villains in this anime. There’s only regular people trying to survive. And that’s what I love so much about this anime, it is so over the top, and unbelievable, and such a wild adventure, but it is also so down to Earth and real. So this holiday season, while you are enjoying all the wonderful stories holiday anime as to offer, I hope you include Tokyo Godfathers by Satoshi Kon in to your anime watch list!
Found in the Trash
This is a story about three homeless people. It’s about a baby thrown away in the trash. It’s about facing long held fears. It’s about finding a family. Tokyo Godfathers starts with Miyuki, Hana and Gin. Miyuki is a teen girl that ran away from home after stabbing (non fatally) her father. Hana is a former drag queen lounge singer that became extremely depressed after his boyfriend died. Gin is a former bicycle shop owner that ended up losing his business and becoming an alcoholic. It’s Christmas Eve. The Three are at a church Christmas soup kitchen for the homeless. After they ate their meal and were unimpressed by the sermon, the trio head to a trash dumping site to find Miyuki’s Christmas present.
What they find instead is a baby and a bag filled with baby supplies. Hana picks up the baby and takes the little one back to their tent with thoughts of keeping them, he even names the baby girl Kiyoko, but Gin thinks it’s better to find the parents and return her back to them. After looking through the bag, they find some clues as to where the parents might be including a photo and so they start their adventure to get the baby back home.
One Crazy Journey
The journey to find Kiyoko’s parents certainly wasn’t a straight forward one!
With so many twists and turns it’s a wonder they found anyone. One of the clues they found in the baby bag was a locker key, so they head to the train station and track down the locker it matched. In the locker the trio finds some house keys and business cards. They board a train, but while riding Miyuki spots her father and kind of freaks out. She bolts from the train while it was stopped due to snow and Hana and Gin are left scrambling after her. In the confusion Kiyoko’s food gets dropped. The three are left stranded walking along the train tracks in the snow, when the baby starts crying. Taking refuge in a cemetery, they find all the baby supplies they could need on one of the graves. Hana believes it’s because Kiyoko is blessed, the other two are not so sure about that. Leaving the cemetery, they find a wealthy man trapped underneath the bumper of his own car. His car had become stuck on an icy hill and when he got out of his car to try to push it free, the car had slid backwards and ran him over! The three pushed the car off of him, and as a reward the man (who ends up being in the mafia) asks if he can do anything for them. The trio asks about the location on the business cards and the mobster says he knows the place and offers to take them to his daughter Kiyoko’s wedding which is at the club named on the business cards.
The three are enjoying the food and drinks at the wedding and the groom tells them about the woman in the photo found in Kiyoko’s (the baby not the bride) bag and even gives the heroes the woman’s address. That’s when a hit man dressed as a maid tries to shoot the mobster, but hits the groom instead! The hit man takes Miyuki holding Kiyoko (the baby) hostage to make his get away. He leaps into a taxi with the girls in tow. Hana contacts the taxi company to try to track down Miyuki and Kiyoko, but Gin thinks they should just call the police. Not being able to agree about what to do, Gin walks away. Meanwhile, the hit man ends up leaving Miyuki and Kiyoko with his girlfriend/wife, who ends up being really nice!
Gin, comes across a dying homeless old man and tries to make the old man comfortable in his last moments. In the old man’s tent Gin finds a photo of a building that looks the same as the background of the photo that was in the baby bag. That’s when a bunch of delinquents trash the dead old man’s tent and beat up Gin. With the help of the taxi driver, Hana finds Miyuki and Kiyoko safe and sound. As they were leaving the hit man’s hide out Hana and Miyuki hear a paramedic talk about finding a dead homeless man, and they worry that it’s Gin. Meanwhile, Gin who is not dead but is in pretty bad shape, is rescued by a lady dressed as an angel. Hana, not feeling well and needing some help, takes Miyuki to the lounge where he used to sing, where they find Gin safe and sound and being taken care of by Hana’s old friends. Now, having a good idea of where they should go, the trio heads to where the parents should be. Unfortunately, when the get there they find the parents’ house, but it’s been demolished. They talk to the neighbors and find out that the parents were in debt and the husband had gambling problems, so they had to move.
Back to square one, they go to a drug store to get out of the cold and end up getting in an argument with a random guy. The trio were shooed out of the store just before an ambulance ran into the store right where they had been sitting! Hana once again claims that Kiyoko is blessed and that’s what saved them. And then Hana collapses. He’s taken to a near by hospital. Gin doesn’t have much money, and what little he did save he had been planning on giving to his daughter if he ever found her again, but Hana needed treatment, so he decided to use it for Hana. When Gin went to the hospital reception to pay for the treatment, the nurse taking his money was his daughter (Also Kiyoko!) that he hadn’t seen in years.
Wanting Gin to patch things up with his daughter, Miyuki, Hana, and Kiyoko leave without him. As Hana and Miyuki were crossing over a bridge, they stop a woman from jumping off, and find that it’s the woman in the photo and Kiyoko’s mom! They give Kiyoko back to the woman, but strangely the baby won’t stop crying. At the hospital Gin sees a news report about a kidnapped baby that looks just like Kiyoko. Following another lead, Gin finds the husband and after talking to him learns that the baby was indeed kidnapped by the couple in the photo! Having second thoughts the husband had left Kiyoko in the trash hoping that the police would find her. The trio end up meeting at a temple and Gin explains what he learned. They search for the woman and end up going on a bazaar car chase, after the woman steels a truck! The woman crashes the truck and flees to the roof of a skyscraper. The woman planned to jump off the roof with the baby, but is talked down by her husband. Unfortunately, as the woman teeters on the edge of the roof she drops Kiyoko!
The three lunge for Kiyoko and Hana follows the baby off the roof. Through nothing short of a Christmas miracle, Hana manages to grab the edge of a banner and the wind caught it just right, for the banner to work as a parachute and the two land safely on the sidewalk. Later at the hospital, the three heroes are getting patched up. The real parents are re-united with Kiyoko and decide they want the three people that saved their baby to be Kiyoko’s godparents. The police officer in charge of the case guides the real parents to where the heroes were being treated and it ends up the police officer is Miyuki’s father!
Finding a Family
So in the end each one of our heroes managed to find their families once again. Hana found his family in his lounge singer friends that he had been too depressed and embarrassed to stay in contact with. Gin found his daughter that he had lost due to his personal problems. Kiyoko had finally been brought back to her parents, though there had been a lot of dead ends and red herrings along the way. And even Miyuki was re-united with her father.
So do you have any holiday anime that brings the magic of the season? Leave a comment below!
Hey, this will be my last post until after Christmas! My next post will be next Monday after Christmas weekend.