The story takes place in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on Christmas Eve. Middle-aged has-been Gin, aging transvestite Hana, and teenage runaway Miyuki are three homeless friends who have formed a kind of makeshift family structure.
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Beautifully animated, the main characters are interesting and unique. The tragic, sad, emotional and humorous (even hilarious) elements are craftily balanced. The only minor complain I have is that some coincidences that take place are extremely unlikely and feel forced - but then, after all it's a magical night... ;) The story is a reminder of a serious social problem (and stigma) in Japan - homelessness.
A gripping and moving Christmas movie with shades of Almodovar (All about my mother) produced by an anime genius. Redemption, love and miraculous coincidences abound, but the visceral and quirky depiction of homeless dereliction saves it from Hollywood sentimentality.
It's painful to imagine an artist that produced unequal efforts that demonstrated the human heart in such exposure with it's weaknesses and strengths. Remembered as one of the most humble and creative directors in anime that reinvented cinema in animation. In my opinion, a name that will forever hold a big referance in modern animation. This is the kind of movie I'll want to watch with my kids one day. An example!
After the roller coaster journey of Millennium Actress, Kon's follow-up is still zany but more endearing. When you meet the titular characters, you assume everything about them. But as their journey progresses, you (and even themselves) learn more abut them & understand the importance of their mission. You eventually don't mind the unlikely & crazy coincendences of their one holiday night. Highly underrated!