Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do You Tekkonkinkreet?

Last night I sat down with a friend to watch "Tekkonkinkreet", ( a play on the Japanese word for "reinforced concrete") arguably the best animated film ever.  She was knocked out by it - no surprise - and if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.  But, this is not a kid's film.  Especially not a little kid's film.  If you have kids, watch it alone first, then decide if yours are ready to cope.

Here's a review from Amazon that says it as well as I could...

One of the best anime films I`ve seen in years.

By Amazon reviewer Luca Vitale on September 22, 2007
This is the film adaptation of what might be the best graphic novel I`ve ever read. There are no words to describe how much I love the original comic book so I attended the North American premiere of Tekkon Kinkreet at the Moma in NY with high expectations.

Not only did the movie not fail to meet them but in fact added exciting and unexpected layers to the story. I am an animator; I`m rarely satisfied with the technical aspects of most animated features but the production on Tekkon is flawless. The animation, character design, backgrounds and camera work are all top notch. The two main characters are rendered in all their complexity and the movie doesn't shy away from the deep implications that the original story holds within its pages.

The movie is faithful to the comic book and the storyline is basically the same. However, Michael Arias and studio 4C were sometimes inventive, albeit in appropriate and creative ways. The new uniforms of the three warriors that Snake sends to kill Black and White are beautiful and reminiscent of a Moebius illustration- the final confrontation between Black and the two remaining warriors is held in the amusement park instead of the car-shelter site (which makes room for new dynamic shots) - but my favorite shift from the original material has to be the minotaur sequence. A lot of people complained that the movie is not as daring as Mind Game (studio 4C`s previous adventure into full length features) but I disagree - the animation gets very experimental during the minotaur scene showing the thin line between reality and Black's violence saturated subconscious. I loved the way they communicated the internal struggle by using the graphic language of animation alone.

Overall, Mind Game's pastiche of animation styles is probably more audacious but Tekkon more than compensates for it's more rigorous style with incredibly strong characters (MG characters came off as a little wacky at times) and a story that is so good that it hurts. If your eyes are not wet by the time Black and White get separated you are a soul-less fiend and you may want to consider a career in advertising.

I haven't been so excited about an anime since Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence hit the theaters; it's a shame that while it was one of the most important movies of the year in Japan, Tekkon Kinkreet got very limited distribution in Europe and in the US - so do yourself a favor and buy this DVD!

You can get a stream, Blu-Ray or DVD  at

Opening sequence

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