★Writer: Richard K. Moe
“On Christmas Eve, three homeless people residing in Tokyo — middle-aged alcoholic Gin, teenage runaway Miyuki, and former drag queen Hana — were looking through a dumpster for Christmas gifts, when cries from a baby drew their attention. Believing this was a gift from God, Hana, not being able to have a child of her own, vowed to take care of the abandoned baby girl. They then, together, begin to search for the baby’s mother. Through Christmas Eve to the end of the year, they encounter a variety of characters and find people they thought they’d never see again”. (ANN)
Behind The Anime:
★Animation Studio – Madhouse (The Tatami Galaxy, Hanayamata, Summer Wars)
★Director – Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Millennium Actress, Paranoia Agent)
★Screenplay – Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Millennium Actress) & Keiko Nobumoto (Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain)
★Music – Keiichi Suzuki (No. 6, Saint Young Men, Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up)
- The bizarre trio who are the protagonist of the story are a lovable cast of characters who are worth caring about.
- The trio’s friendship and connection feels authentic.
- The characters are rich and have realistic traits.
- The main characters are given depth.
- The setting is very comforting and relaxing to be in.
- The human connection that all the characters share feels convincing.
- Emotional moments are captivating and human.
- Although the story is confined to just a city, everything the characters go through feels like a grand journey.
- The comedy is hilarious and heart warming.
- There are a load of unexpected twists and turns.
- Dialogue exchanges are full of life and emotion.
- The last section of the film is sensational, thrilling, and emotional.
- The dark and realistic themes work perfectly.
- The idea of coincidences binding people to one another works for most of the time.
- There are many realistic moments in the story. (E.G. One specifically is when the trio were in a bullet train and everyone around them covered there mouths and noses because of their smell.)
- The whole adventure is engaging from beginning to end.
- The pacing moves at a great speed.
- Emotional moments deliver with impact.
- The symbolism is used perfectly.
- The unexpected transitions are excellent and eye grabbing.
- The extraordinary camera work is stunning.
- The action moments are exhilarating and intense.
- Music is cued in perfectly.
Animation and Illustrations
- Everything from the character’s movements to the bustling cars looks phenomenal.
- The illustrations are highly detailed.
- The emotion of the characters are completely convincing due to the impressive art work.
- The comical expressions of the characters look great and funny in a good way.
- The city streets, the empty homeless areas, and the broken neighborhoods look fantastic.
- There are too many coincidences that help the main characters.
- There are some unanswered questions by the end of the film.
- The ending feels a bit abrupt and undone.
An excellent movie filled with excitment and adventure.
This is movie that almost everyone can enjoy and appreciate!
You can’t help but feel human after watching it.
(Reference Source for “Behind The Anime” – Anime News Network)