Warning: watch the film first – you won’t be disappointed
When I decided to write this blog, I decided to do so because, to be honest, not many people I know share this passion of mine, and those that do usually have different tastes etc. What I’m trying to say is I wanted to express my thoughts and opinions about the anime that I watch with a community that would actually want to listen and enjoy talking about it as well. I wanted to ‘share the love’, per say, and most importantly share the anime that I enjoy the most to other people so that they could enjoy it too. I really enjoyed this anime movie, and so before you read this, I want you to go and watch it first, because to be honest if you read the review and watch it afterwards you’ll walk in with such high expectations that I feel like it’ll ruin the impact a bit. There aren’t any spoilers in this review, but the amount of merit I gave the film for being awesome would take away the impact in a similar way that spoilers do.
It’s only a film-length film if you get my drift, so it won’t even need to give the usual time-investment that watching an entire anime series requires, so go away and watch it first – you won’t be disappointed!
Now for the review!
Black and White are two brothers who are trying to survive in the dark and constantly changing world of treasure town. Now, this is a largely character-based story so I’m not going to delve too deep into the world of our two main protagonists right at the start of the review – I’ll let you guys discover that for yourself. The film is set in a fantasy city called Treasure Town. The city is, for the most part, old and undeveloped, showing signs of a once vibrant and frequented place. However when a new gang moves in – a far more professional and cold-blooded one that those that already exist in the city, things take a turn for the worse: for the police, the gangs already occupying Treasure Town, and of course, Black and White, our two protagonists. However, it clearly has a friendly and vibrant community Treasure town undergoes a lot of change in the movie as this is much of what the film is about: change. Tekkonkinkreet, a play on words of the word ‘tekkonkinkurito’, or ‘metropolis’, focuses on the subject of change and how it affects those involved.
Our two protagonists are Black and White. They are pretty much opposites, and this is employed by the writer to create a great ‘yin-yang’ style of chemistry between the two which was really nice to watch as the story progressed. A great ‘older brother/ younger brother’ bond is seen between these characters which is always nice to see between characters in any story (for me, anyway).
Black is the older, more serious, more violent character. As the ‘older brother’ figure in the unexplained relationship between the two, Black is always looking after White and planning ahead. Very broody, Black does not mess around much and we don’t really see any sense of care-free behaviour from him in anyway, again because he bears the responsibility for his and White’s wellbeing.
White, on the other hand, is the younger, much more child-like character. Though very care-free, White is very dependent on Black to both survive and also feel happy and secure. White is one of the sweetest characters that I have seen in an anime to date and kind of reminds me of Setsuko, the younger sister character in Grave of the Fireflies.
Again: this is a character-based story. Pretty much everyone in the movie has a fairly important role and more than a few carried with them some kind of message – about human nature, morality and of course change and how it affects the people involved. And because they are all quite true-to-life they felt quite likeable and relatable in one way or another.
I will say, however, there is barely any back story development for our main characters, and I personally would have liked to know more about our protagonists, White and Black, especially the relationship between them and how they met, among other things.
Another thing that I would like to say about the story is that there really was no telling about how the film would end – it had me guessing and stressing for the majority of the movie, which I actually found really refreshing. It certainly wasn’t forgiving, which doesn’t surprise me as the whole entire story revolved around the subject of change through the passing of time; but it wasn’t unfair either.
Animation and sound:
Now there really isn’t a story/animation trade off to report here. Tekkonkinkreet has a very different art style. It is very crude and almost childish, which in a way compliments the world view of our main characters. It really compliments the animation, too – especially in the fight scenes. The animators were in no way afraid of using wild and dynamic ‘camera angles’ which were always different and often moving, as if the viewers themselves are being thrown around with the subjects in said shots. Again – fantastic fight scenes. Another area in which the animation and art shone was in the detailed and vibrant backgrounds, which always did well to fit the mood. They were honestly really, really nice to look at. All I can say is that it sucks that they don’t sell the art books in the UK (we seriously miss out over here).
As for the soundtrack, there are a couple of exceptional tracks in the OST for this film, namely “This City, “This city is hell”, “Where?” and “White’s dream”. Thank the band, Plaid, for this soundtrack. If you’re interested in their music, look them up on You Tube – it isn’t for everyone, but their sound tracks never fail to disappoint. Just like the artwork, it always fitted the mood nicely, but as with most soundtracks, only the better ones are worth listening to on their own, whilst some are better suited to simply accompanying the movie.
Tekkonkinkreet is a great story with endearing characters. Despite the lack of development back story-wise, I did feel that the characters were fleshed out well enough to just roll with from the get-go, because they were all developed in their own way as the movie progressed. I’m giving Tekkonkinkreet a:
9/10 for characters
8/10 for story
9/10 for animation and art
8/10 for soundtrack
…and a 10/10 for personal enjoyment. Now, remember, this is personal enjoyment. However Tekkonkinkreet connected with me really well. Also, I realise that I gave this film a 10/10 and I for one realise the gravity of such a statement. I was seriously conflicted about this rating as I have never (not just on this blog, but in general) given anything a ten out of ten, just out of principle that there is no such thing as a perfect film – but you know what? Tekkonkinkreet found itself pretty damn close.
That said, go in with your expectations low and watch the damned thing. I kind of feel bad because the clear bias going on here will have set your expectations too high, but I did promise to review this on Twitter and also there was that warning at the start, so yeah. I hope you enjoyed reading about my thoughts on the movie, and make sure to comment with your opinion on the film – it’s always nice to hear you guys’ opinion too and get a conversation going down in the comments section below!
As usual, you can expect me back soon!
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