(out of 5)
Three homeless people are rummaging through trash on the streets of Tokyo one night when they come across an abandoned baby girl in this gritty, emotional anime film. The matriarch of the group, a transsexual who has been on the streets since losing her job at a nightclub, wants to keep it, but the grizzled ex-bicycle shop owner who abandoned his family years earlier insists on giving it back. Along with their third member, a young teenager who ran away from home after a fight with her father, they decide to find the baby’s mother and figure out why anyone would abandon their child before handing the girl over to the police, and along the way they end up confronting their own demons as well. This overly complicated film sometimes trades a bit too much in unbelievable coincidences, but is still surprisingly dramatic for the animation genre. The imagery is beautiful, and the characters are all drawn with deep appeal and emotional complexity.
Story by Satoshi Kon, Screenplay by Satoshi Kon, Keiko Nobumoto
Cinematography by Katsutoshi Sugai
Produced by Masao Maruyama
Production Design by Nobutaka Ike
Film Editing by Takeshi Seyama