Plot: It’s Christmas eve in Japan and three tramps stumble upon an abandoned baby. The trio take it upon themselves to reunite the child with his family, but unfortunately it isn’t that simple.
Review: Wow, that’s possibly the shortest plot summary I’ve ever written. The three tramps are made up of a ruined gambler – “Gin”, cross dresser – “Hana” and a teenage runaway “Miyuki”. The story closely resembles the story of an old Western from the late fifties entitled “3 Godfathers”, where three outlaws come across a dying woman and her baby.
One of the greatest parts of this movie is the character development it’s wonderful, the baby acts as a key element opening up each characters heart warming/breaking past stories. These stories act as a back burner as it provides us with the fuel to far more satisfying story development later on in the movie.
The movie does have some great little moments where you can’t help but laugh, a fine example is the scene where the trio come across a heavy set gentleman trapped under his own car! The mans explanation of the incident truly cracked me up. Even some of their throw away gags like the “I’m carrying for two” joke from the beginning is rather funny in its pay off. My favorite side character would have to be the poor Taxi driver who is driven to his wits end by our overly dramatic cross dresser aka “Madam Hana”.
The first time I came across this movie I was trying to look deeper into the Anime genre rather than just skimming the surface. Now being a little more familiar with the work of Satoshi Kon, I found a deeper appreciation for this movie and purchased a few more movies directed by Mr. Kon.
With this movie being set around Christmas I could easily consider this as a classic Christmas movie, sure the element of Christmas is merely a after thought, but I wouldn’t mind watching this every year along with “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Home Alone”.
Rounding up this short and sweet review, this goes to show that Anime is more than just over the top Sci-Fi and Children’s movies. Enjoy!