By definition [and what this website is based on], anime has always been a Japanese endeavor. Sure, the West has had its imitators, but the true classics have always come from Eastern filmmakers. ‘Tekkon Kinkreet’ was directed by Michael Arias, an American who has lived and worked in Japan for more than a decade, building up his own anime street cred working as a Visual Effects Developer on ‘Princess Mononoke’ and as a CG Additional Sequence Director for the “Beyond” short from ‘The Animatrix.’ So this film is a particularily unusual film.
The film itself is based on the manga from Taiyo Matsumoto, and tells the simple tale of two children named Black and White who live on the streets of a dreamlike city called Treasure Town. White is a savant of sorts — an optimist who has trouble tying his own shoes. Black is an aggressive youth with a quick temper who will do anything to protect his brother. Think of it as Goofus and Galant, but their lives aren’t fun and games — the boys form a gang that faces off against other factions on a regular basis. After a brutal confrontation with a local yakuza gang, Black inadvertently leaves a void in the city’s power structure. As a pale villain named Mr. Snake takes over with a platoon of genetically altered soldiers, Black and White have to face their new enemy and come to terms with their own purpose in Treasure Town.
Tekkon Kinkreet is chockfull of symbolism. It just shows how living on the streets can be incredibly fragile for young children, and yet the two boys somehow manage to mentally survive by depending on each other. The only real bad point comes from some supernatural elements that get introduced near the end of the movie, most importantly the final bad guy. Their symbolic value is huge, but I would have liked to see a bit more development in this department, as it feels a bit strange and out-of-place. Also, reality is stretched in this one, pulled thin so that you are never sure what might happen next. With odd angles and shifting colors, the younger characters fly and dance across rooftops while the adults have their feet firmly planted on the ground. Well, except for the purple alien guys who are never fully explained and I just have no idea about them.
I am viewing this movie on Blu-Ray format and the animation is fluid and fantastic, the visual elements simply stunning. I have heard people exclaim that animation does not get the full benefits from Blu-ray. I can say that that statement is false and if anything, the newly released Akira Blu-Ray is a good indication of that. Hell, even South Park on Blu-Ray looks fantastic! That aside, the end feels rushed, and when all is said and done though, Tekkon Kinkreet is unique, violent, strange, and worth watching. At the time of this review Amazon.com has the Blu-Ray version of this movie on sale for $15.99, which is a steal, however the price rose back up to $26.99. Keep your eyes peeled for fluctuating prices as Amazon seems to go up and down with its prices at random intervals. Nonetheless, I recommend you snag a copy of your own. Support anime on High Def formats. Recommended.