Reviewer Thrashes Tekkon Kinkreet

by

Tekkon movie


Tekkon Kinkreet
鉄コン筋クリート
Black & White
Premiere Date: 2006-12-23
Release Date: 2007-09-25
Summary: “Black and White are two orphans who roam the streets of Treasure Town, beating down any thug or yakuza who gets in their way. When mysterious foreign entrepreneurs appear with the intention of tearing down Treasure Town and replacing it with an amusement park, Black and White face their greatest adversaries yet. It is up to the destructive Black to save the fate of the city and up to the gentle White to save Black from his own dark nature.” – ANN

I was really looking forward to the DVD but sadly, that’s before I read the less than spectacular reviews.

“Tekkon Kinkreet is a first in the anime world: It’s the first time an American director has ever gone and directed an entire piece of animation in Japan, at the studio. While the anime industry is no stranger to creating animated works under American creative staff, no American has ever gone over and gotten a film produced, financed and made completely within the Japanese system.

Unfortunately, the person at the helm clearly has no clue what he is doing.

The manga of Tekkon Kinkreet (released by Viz a decade ago as “Black and White”, though the actual title is a pun on steel concrete reinforcements and deep relationships) is a virtuoso work by Taiyo Matsumoto. A three volume opus on violence and the healing power of friendship between two very demented homeless children, it’s a deeply surreal and disturbing portrait of both urban and human decay. It echoed the plight of the city at the center of urban renewal booms, the sort we saw in New York and Boston in the 90’s….

Arias has somehow rendered a very emotional, very human story inert and lifeless; his approach to dramatic timing is clinical. It’s as if he’s debugging code rather than telling a story. Scenes that should leave us breathless fall completely flat, such as the beautiful opening fly-by of the city… The screenplay, written by Arias’ friend and fellow newbie Anthony Weintraub, has nearly as many clichés as it has lines of dialogue. And it has a LOT of dialogue… Together, those failings conspire to give us 110 minutes of non-stop dialogue, pounded out lifelessly in rhythm with little to no regard for its meaning or its undertones. Forget about subtext or symbolism, Arias can’t even keep his mind on the story. The backgrounds are peppered with homages to artists ranging from Edvard Munch to Thai traditional shadow puppets, but to no effect or importance. The music, a barely passable electronic score, forces whatever emotion is appropriate for the scene down our throats like a children’s cartoon.” – Justin Svakis (read the full review @ANN)

Ouch.

Even if the story sucks I’ll probably watch Tekko for the cutting-edge animation wizardry. If people watch it with that in mind, the disappointment shouldn’t sting too much like it did for Svakis. I’ll stick to the comic for the real story.

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