Movie Review: Tekkon Kinkreet

The general reaction of people who see the cover of Tekkon Kinkreet, a full-length Japanese animated film, is “what is that what the heck why is the art so weird that’s weird I don’t want to watch.” That was my first reaction, at least. But this movie is just one of those movies you need to watch.  Just have a little faith in me, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.  It’s amazing.

The two boys in the picture above are named Black and White, and they live in Treasure Town as orphans on the street. Black is a fierce fighter that rules the streets with force, while White, several years younger, is a dreamy, innocent boy that’s a little out of touch with reality. The boys skirt death on a nearly daily basis, mostly through their method of getting through the town (think gravity-defying parkour). Black insists that the town is “his town” and will shed blood to protect it, while White’s motto for getting through life is “anshin, anshin”, or simply “peace of mind, peace of mind”.

Suddenly, Yakuza threaten their beloved home, and following that up, a company called Kiddy Kastle that wants to tear Treasure Town down to build another one of their franchises. Black and White have to take action to save their home, but first must conquer their own inner demons.

This movie, like most others I have reviewed here, pulled at my heartstrings. I should probably mention now that there’s blood and death in this movie, so it’s not for little kids. Anyway, at one point I burst into heaving sobs because of my attachment to the characters, and Black and White go through so much suffering. This movie is very emotional, with the inner struggles of Black and the innocence of White so starkly contrasted. Nothing in this movie is black and white morality, and everything falls into a fine gray area that makes you sometimes almost question who the bad guy is. More than once I found myself horrified by the actions of the protagonists, like during the big chase scene. (Oh my god White what were you thinking?) I guess what I’m trying to get across is that this movie isn’t a standard happy anime movie- it delves into some extremely dark material and is very emotional. The movie manages to pull this off fantastically, and when the movie ended I sat there, stunned, wanting a sequel or something.

Despite the unconventional art style of the characters (personally, I still find it a little creepy, but very interesting) the movie more than makes up for it in the incredible detail in the backgrounds. For her birthday, I helped get one of my friends a book that simply had pictures of the background from this movie, and she was ecstatic. The detail put into the backgrounds is incredible, and the animation blew me away as well. I saw techniques in this movie that I’ve never seen before in an animated movie. Ever. This put so many other movies I’ve watched to shame, and I highly recommend it to anyone, even people who are not anime fans. I realize the art style is very unique, and I’m sad that it put me and so many other people off watching it. This is clearly a case where a movie shouldn’t be judged by its cover. I apologize now if my plot summary is a little off, since it’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie. I plan to see it again soon. This is very important, because I only rewatch good movies. : )

This film is rated R for violent and disturbing images and brief sexuality.

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