It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here on this blog. That’s mostly because my internet was down and I had to switch to a new ISP which pretty much took 2 whole months. When my internet finally came back, I was kind of turned off by anime. I wanted to get back into watching them but, somehow, whenever I got close to opening something in VLC Media Player, I ended up playing LoL or DoTA2 instead. That is, until last night.
After a 5 or so hours of a losing streak in DoTA2, I’d gotten tired of it and decided to watch something. Tekkon Kinkreet, also known as Black and White, was the first thing I saw in my anime folder so I went that. By the end of the hour and 50 minutes movie, I was glad to say that my fervor for anime has been revived.
Synopsis from MyAnimeList: 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.
It’s kind of weird that the only reason I had downloaded Tekkon Kinkreet a long time ago was because I had found a song titled ‘Aru Machi no Gunjo’ by Asian Kung Fu Generation which I loved to bit and then discovered that it was the ending credits song for Tekkon Kinkreet. It’s a rule of thumb that if an anime has an AKFG song somewhere playing during it’s run-time then that anime is bound to be good.
And, by God, Tekkon Kinkreet sure was something.
3 minutes into the movie, I had realized very quickly that I was in for a ride of surreal exposition when I looked at the very doodle-ish character designs over highly detailed eccentric backgrounds. Ping Pong The Animation being very high on my list of favorite anime, I had readily recognized that Tekkon Kinkreet was the brainchild of Matsumoto Taiyo – a mangaka whose art is considered to be akin to that of a Kindergartner’s but brimming with life and whose stories have that sublime to feel it that remind of you of a mild acid trip.
The story is pretty simple. The synopsis covers it all so I’m not going to go into it. What I will state is that I liked it very much. It’s just that I’m not sure how much I liked it. Sometimes it’s a lot and sometimes it’s like a ‘meh’. I guess you could say my feelings for the movie are kind of like the movie itself: moody.
The characters are the selling point of Tekkon Kinkreet. If you have seen Gintama then you would know that the life of Gintama is it’s city called Edo where the entire cast of the show mingles with each other both negatively and positively giving the city a solid shape. You could say that the city is alive. This is the same case with Tekkon Kinkreet’s Treasure Town. For me, Treasure Town is one giant character who has its many different moods displayed by the cast.
The real defining treat for many when it comes to characters is Black and White, older and younger brother respectively, and the relationship between the two and the town itself. Sure, they are the main point of Tekkon Kinkreet: balance and chaos and how it affects everything around us. But, for me, Tekkon Kinkreet’s side characters are what make the movie so special. If we only talked about the scenes regarding Kimura and his boss then I would quickly tell you that those scenes are the defining moments of the movie – well, besides the last 25 or so minutes of the movie when Black’s crossroad moment where he has to decide whether to plunge himself into his dark nature or back to his brother White who keeps him in check.
The animation is just… wow. The backgrounds are fantastically detailed and incorporate symbolism from many different cultures. There is a giant clock-tower that has Arabic calligraphy painted all over it. When the big-hand strikes 12, a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha comes riding out of the face of the clock.
Some people, who probably aren’t aware of Matsumoto Taiyo’s art style, claim that the character designs are bland and lazy. I, and majority of those who have watched Tekkon Kinkreet, heavily disagree with them. The loose doodle-like nature of the designs is what makes the characters stand out, quite literally, from Treasure Town’s own quirkiness. Michael Arias, the director (Animatrix), and the key animators and background artists have done a phenomenal job with the animation and cinematography. Kudos!
The voice acting is as Japanese as it gets. Sounds just like how your average Japanese person would on the street. To be honest, it doesn’t even seem like voice acting. Nevertheless, it works quite well with the art style.
The background music is simple yet cozy and quite energetic. Acoustic and electric guitar strumming accompanied by bells and soft drums at times. Plaid has done a neat job with the music. And, of course, the ending song by Asian Kung Fu Generation is awesome as well.
To end, I highly recommend Tekkon Kinkreet. I don’t really know what to score it but all I know that it is obviously above or equal to a 7. I’m going to have to spend the next few days recalling scenes from the movie and trying to justify a proper rating for it. Help me…