Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

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Released 13-Sep-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Dolby Digital Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Steamboy, Metropolis, Cowboy Bebop, Memories, Cyborg 009
Trailer-Astro Boy, Warriors Of Heaven And Earth
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 88:11 (Case: 92)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (50:02) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Satoshi Kon
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Toru Emori
Aya Okamoto
Yoshiaki Umegaki
Shz zuka
Seiz Kat
Hiroya Ishimaru
Ryji Saikachi
Ysaku Yara
Kyko Terase
Mamiko Noto
Akio tsuka
Rikiya Koyama
Satomi Koorogi
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Keiichi Suzuki


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Slovenian
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

This is a strange, but touching, story. Its basic premise is most easily described as Three Men and a Baby in the world of the Tokyo homeless.

Our protagonists are three homeless people in Tokyo. They are, in descending order of height:

Each of these people has a different reason for being homeless, and we learn each of them slowly during the course of the movie.

It's not quite Christmas, and our little group is fossicking through rubbish looking for something they can sell when they discover a discarded baby. Gin says they should turn it in to the police, but Hana is vehemently against this, for "she" fears that the baby will go through the same loveless upbringing "she" had, being shunted from one foster home to another. So they fall into the idea of discovering the parents of the baby and returning it. This turns out to be far from straightforward. There are sub-plots about an encounter with a gangster, an attempted assassination, and a gang of teenage delinquents, all of which complicate things considerably.

This is not a happy movie even the happiest moments are bittersweet, and there are a couple of quite confronting moments. However, the characters are involving, and you end up caring about them, which is something of a surprise, because each one is unpleasant in one way or another. I can't say why, but this is an interesting film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with 16x9 enhancement. That's the original aspect ratio, so there's nothing to complain about there.

The picture is mostly clear, with a little bit of softness to smooth the image. There does not seem to be any film grain. There is no low level noise.

Colour is nicely rendered, but there's a distinct dearth of bright colours, as you might expect among homeless people about the only bright colours seem to be advertising posters and signs they walk past. There are no colour-related artefacts.

There are no visible film artefacts.

There is minimal aliasing, perhaps due to the touch of softness. The most noticeable artefact is occasional mosquito noise on lighter colours. There is some background shimmer, but it's tolerable. There are no other MPEG artefacts. One copy of this disc exhibited some digital break-up at several points between 43:55 to 50:02 (the layer change), and again at 74:10, but a retail copy showed none of these, so they were probably one-off errors in a bad pressing.

There are subtitles in nineteen languages, including English, plus captions in English. I watched the English captions. They are easy to read, and seem to be well-timed, but it's difficult to judge how accurate they are they certainly tell a coherent story.

The disc is single-sided, dual layered, RSDL-formatted. The layer change is nicely placed at 50:02, inside a fade to black/fade up it is essentially imperceptible.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack is provided in Japanese and Spanish no English, unfortunately. The Japanese is provided in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448kbps and in dts 5.1 at 768kbps, while the Spanish is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448kbps. I only listened to the Japanese tracks I didn't notice any big difference between the Dolby Digital and the dts.

The dialogue sounds clear enough, but I don't know enough Japanese to know if it's easy to understand. There are some moments when there's a noticeable mismatch between the sound and the animation.

Keiichi Suzuki's score uses varied styles, but does a good job of supporting the story.

There are few examples of directional sound, but it is still worth having a 5.1 soundtrack for this, because those few moments are quite effective. Even so, the surrounds are really a "nice to have", rather than an essential, for this film. The subwoofer, though, is unnecessary it gets no significant use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu is static and silent, but simple to use.

Trailers

There are eight trailers on this disc:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 version of this disc was released in April 2004, months before the Region 4 release.

The Region 1 disc is missing:

The Region 4 disc is missing:

It's unclear, from what I have found on the web, whether the Region 1 release includes the dts soundtrack (it seems not). Also unclear is whether the Region 1 includes a postcard (it seems so). I like having dts soundtracks, so I'm happy to buy the Region 4 (which is also noticeably cheaper).

Summary

A superficially simple story with superficially unlikeable characters whose backgrounds are slowly revealed through the course of the film. This interesting film has been given a decent transfer to DVD.

The video quality is good.

The audio quality is good.

The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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