“Blood As Thick As Water” – Tokyo Godfathers (anime) – 10/10 Disco Balls


Family is just accident…. They don’t mean to get on your nerves. They don’t even mean to be your family, they just are. ~Marsha Norman

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Review Status: Complete (1 Movie/1 Movie)

Licensed: This anime is licensed in the US

Art/Animation: Typical Satoshi Kon. Realistic, if not always pretty-looking characters. The animation is excellent.

Summary: Three homeless companions — a runaway girl, a transvestite, and an alcoholic — find an abandoned newborn on Christmas Eve while foraging through trash. Using clues found next to the baby, they fan out through Tokyo to find the parents, along the way confronting reminders of their own lives they have nearly abandoned. (MAL.net)

Review: On Christmas Day was born a savior. On Christmas Day, a newborn is found by three homeless friends. They in turn go through a wild adventure to try and find the baby’s family, and in turn find their own.

This was one of the first anime I was ever exposed to, and it got me from the start. The three are a band of misfits, who’ve had their lives destroyed in some way and feel that they can’t go back to before. They are eachother’s family- they may fight, but they care for eachother. Each is a distinct person, from the happy and determined Hana, who loves being the ‘mother’ of the group, to Gin who’s very much a cynical man with a soft spot for the other two and still hold hope of being able to do something for his daughter, and then Miyuki who feels an incredible amount of guilt and shame over what she did that caused her to leave home- and makes her feel that she can never go back again.

The baby throws all of this in sharp relief as they try to find out why the baby was left to die. Miyuki covertly is a tad jealous since the baby obviously had a family at some point, a happy one by the looks of it. Gin gets wrapped up in his feelings for Miyuki, and through her, his daughter that was her age when he last saw her. And Hana showers the baby with the love that she can’t give her lover since he died.

But the baby seems to be a Christmas miracle- as they travel around Tokyo, strange coincidences and bouts of luck happen to keep them going on their quest. Even when things seem to be at their worst- deception and danger are the special of the day as the baby is cast into a catalyst for one woman’s grief and loss- there is always hope, and people are brought together by the small miracles that happen.

Overall, this was a heartwarming Christmas story about family and friends.

Recommended: 16+, as the English word for cigarette is thrown about as a slur for homosexuals. One of the character is a homosexual and is referred to as such many times. Various other light swears are thrown about occasionally.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Haibane Renmei (anime)
A Distant Neighborhood (manga)
Bunny Drop (manga)
Yotsuba&! (manga)
Minami-ke (anime)
Kure-nai (anime)
A Distant Neighborhood (manga)

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