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Twelve Days of Anime #6: Tekkonkinkreet

12 Days of Anime 2012   06   01

“This is my town!” – Kuro

At first glance, Tekkonkinkreet might not seem like an appealing movie with its very peculiar art style, but it is in fact my all time favourite anime movie!

Meet Tekkonkinkreet – an abstract, surrealistic, and hypnotic adventure. Based on Matsumoto Taiyou’s manga with the same title, and directed by Michael Arias, it’s about two stray cats called Kuro and Shiro (Black and White) – two orphans who struggle every day to protect their home, Treasure Town. Despite living a tough life, the two of them somehow manage to enjoy every moment of it. That is, until some yakuza and foreign entrepreneurs try to change their town.

12 Days of Anime 2012   06   02

“Be happy, be happy.” – Shiro

This fairly unknown movie is not just an epic action adventure. It’s an amazing story about friendship, morality, and life. While the main point of the movie is taking control over Treasure Town, there is a lot more to this story than that. The movie focused very often, if not almost all of the time, on Kuro and Shiro’s relationship – which to me, is the most important part of the film. Like the meanings of their names indicate, the two of them are counterparts that complete each other. One cannot function without the other. Like yin and yang, these two boys are very different from each other but they can’t be separated. Shiro, voiced by the very famous actress Aoi Yuu, is a weak but very emotionally intelligent boy. He is naïve and pure, which is completely different from his other half. Kuro, voiced by Johnny’s actor Ninomiya Kazunari, is a very street-smart, straightforward, strong, and aggressive young man who does whatever it takes in order for him and Shiro to have a decent life. Shiro’s kind heart makes him very oblivious when it comes to reality, and Kuro’s aggressiveness can cause him to become the Minotaur, a monster he fears. But together, these two cats are strong enough to rule anything. Their combined strength is as solid as “Tekkin Konkurito”, literally steel reinforced concrete – and is where the title comes from – however “Tekkonkinkreet” is actually a child’s mispronunciation of this term.

12 Days of Anime 2012   06   03

“Free the darkness.” – The Minotaur

Seeing how unpopular but well received this movie is probably makes it safe to call it a cult hit. Perhaps the character designs have scared away people? To me, their designs are not an issue. In fact, they appear to me as very charming, unique, and attractive. Oh, and let’s not forget the stunning scenery in this movie. The urban and stylish visuals are truly top-notch and the animation is simply gorgeous. Not even Studio Ghibli has been able to produce something this visually pleasing, if you ask me. While the movie looks childish, has a silly title, and centres on children, it’s definitely not a movie for a younger audience. There is a mature philosophical aspect, and an intellect in this movie that generally appeals to a more sensible audience. That doesn’t necessarily mean that others can’t watch it though. Aside from the surrealistic story of Kuro and Shiro’s emotional development throughout the movie, this is still a visually entertaining experience – so for that, most people can watch Tekkonkinkreet.

12 Days of Anime 2012   06   04

Yin and yang

So why is Tekkonkinkreet my favourite anime movie? Quite simply, this movie is captivating, stunning, and very emotional like few others that I’ve watched. The story is seen from a childish and quite naïve point of view, yet its philosophy is very sensible. While the cats say “My town” quite often in the movie, they hardly understand the meaning behind their words. To them, the town is simply their playground and they wish for it to remain as such. Their fight for their innocent dream against the cunning adults in a world where you need power to have a say is simply brilliant. And adding the surrealistic character development on top of was truly a clever story telling. Everything in this movie appeals to me, both emotionally and visually. In my opinion there is nothing but greatness in this amazing story.

Words aren’t enough to describe my love for this modern fairy tale. It’s truly a story that went above and beyond my expectations. I still remember how I stumbled upon this movie. I remember there were some students selling some of their Blu-ray movies near my neighbourhood. Having nothing to do, I went over to them and saw that this was one of the movies being sold. From the blurb on the case it didn’t seem like a good movie at all, but its odd art interested me so I ended up buying it, plus it was insanely cheap! I consider myself to be very lucky to find such a rare gem for only 10 SEK (a cup of coffee is more expensive), and there is no way for me to describe how happy I am that I bought this.

Tekkonkinkreet is an honest and childish story, but it’s so good! If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re completely missing out on one of the greatest animated adventures ever. This movie is simply a masterpiece, and it will always have a special place in my heart. Please give it a chance!

12 Days of Anime 2012   06   05

“Home is where one starts from.” – T.S. Eliot

December 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm
24 comments »
  • December 19, 2012 at 4:21 pmIcedTea

    I might have to check this movie out.

    • December 19, 2012 at 4:33 pmAnanas

      ASAP.

  • December 19, 2012 at 4:34 pmAnanas

    Masterpiece.

  • December 19, 2012 at 4:36 pmronbb

    The animation actually looks pretty unique. Thanks for the recommendation — will check this movie out.

    • December 20, 2012 at 11:56 amStereoman

      I’m glad it caught your interest. :]

  • December 19, 2012 at 5:08 pmJust Passing By

    Had a quick look on google and might I say, the amount of detail in the town is truly breathtaking!!! From running through the streets or looking from a high place, the art just sucks you in! Thanks for blogging this Stereoman, I will add this to my watchlist. ^_^

    • December 20, 2012 at 11:55 amStereoman

      Oh, that makes me very happy! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the film when you’ve seen it. :]

  • December 19, 2012 at 5:29 pmElmo

    I have been looking for this for a long time.

  • December 19, 2012 at 5:33 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    anyone with working eyeballs would recognize in a matter of seconds upon watching Tekkonkinkreet that it is obviously high level art.

  • December 19, 2012 at 5:56 pmsealouse

    The ending was insane

  • December 19, 2012 at 7:11 pmJunglepenguin

    For those who haven’t seen this: Drop everything you’ve had planned to watch and watch this instead. It is THAT good.

  • December 19, 2012 at 7:36 pmAnonymous

    Just checked out the trailer, the style kind of reminds me of Paprika

    • December 20, 2012 at 11:53 amStereoman

      Hmm, really? To me, they seem quite different from each other, but I love them both! :]

  • December 19, 2012 at 9:09 pmCarVac

    I just watched it…amazing. Wow. The way it is able to drag you down and bring you up along with the story is beyond words.

    …Now to take me a final exam.

    • December 20, 2012 at 12:13 pmStereoman

      I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed this film.
      Good luck on your final exam!

  • December 19, 2012 at 10:15 pmWyatt Derp

    I read the manga ages ago and absolutely hated it. Part of it was definitely the horrible looking art; the rest may have been being a high school kid but generally I had pretty good taste then and it really may have just not been for me. I couldn’t finish Mind Game either and Kemonozume took a few attempts despite being enjoyable in the end.

    • December 20, 2012 at 2:09 amJunglepenguin

      I don’t think you’ll find any horrible-looking art in the movie. The character designs may be a little bizarre but the backgrounds and animation are nothing short of spectacular and breath-taking.

      • December 20, 2012 at 12:14 pmStereoman

        And the story is amazing! :]

      • December 20, 2012 at 12:39 pmWyatt Derp

        Just going on the screenshots provided here, yeah, the art seems to be very much cleaned up to look more like Paprika (as someone said). The actual manga is incredibly hard to look at.

  • December 20, 2012 at 12:02 amba dum tish

    The art is utterly gorgeous.

    The story itself is too artsy for my tastes, though.

  • December 20, 2012 at 1:42 pmAjahn James

    You know, I showed this movie at my High School anime club years ago because I thought it was phenomenal. No one there liked it, and to this day I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t. The whole “I don’t like the art style” argument always baffled me because it’s perfect in the context of Tekkonkinkreets plot. Anyway, easily my favorite anime movie; I’ve watched it many times. Great write up Stereoman. Going to go watch it again.

    • December 20, 2012 at 3:05 pmStereoman

      I agree, the art style truly suits the movie. I’m glad to hear you like Tekkonkinkreet so much. Hopefully your high shool anime club team will have, or have had, a change of mind.
      And thank you so much for the kind words! Have fun watching the film! :]

  • December 20, 2012 at 5:30 pmThea

    Such a beautiful movie. Visually stunning with a very compelling storyline, plus bonus flawless voice acting cast (which is unusually devoid of seiyuus for the most part).

  • December 21, 2012 at 9:15 amAki-Chan

    I’ve actually seen this title appear on TV scheduldes for the channel Film4…but it was always on at ridiculous late times on a school night…
    I may try to watch it online now , if I get the time to.