Tokyo Godfathers is easily my least favourite movie by Satoshi Kon, but that doesn’t mean I disliked it or thought it was bad. Compared to most other anime movies it’s actually really unique in a way that I guess you’d be more likely to see in Western (and probably European) cinema. It tells a heartwarming story about a group of homeless people who find an abandoned child and go on a journey to find the child’s parents. To me, at least, that doesn’t sound very “anime”.
And that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. The bad side is that compared to Satoshi Kon’s other movies with their psychological thriller elements and dreamscapes, Tokyo Godfathers doesn’t really stand out at all. Indeed, it didn’t wow me nearly as much as Millenium Actress or Paprika, and I found Perfect Blue to be a fantastic thriller even though I had a lot of trouble piecing it together.
The good thing about Tokyo Godfathers, however, is that it’s one of the few anime movies that I’d be relatively comfortable showing to my parents or friends. Sure, it has some aspects to it that not everyone might be familiar with, such as Hana being trans, but I think it’s a movie that could be enjoyed by a pretty varied audience. And the Christmas-related themes and setting don’t hurt either.