Archive for August 16th, 2012

Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

Acrobatic street orphans Kuro and Shiro (Black and White) known as The Cats live in an old abandoned Fiat car in Treasure Town, a violent city where various factions are vying for control. The two kids support each other with Kuro acting more as a protector to Shiro. Kuro believes that he owns Treasure Town and must confront the people that he believes are going to ruin it whilst Shiro wants to make enough money so that they can both buy a house by the sea. Things turn dark for the pair when slimeball company boss Mr Snake wants to demolish Treasure Town to create a massive theme park. He intends to stamp out any troublemakers in his way and sends 3 powerful assassins to kill Kuro and Shiro. Shiro is seriously injured by one of the assassins and is taken into care by a kindly gangster. As Kuro is now separated from Shiro, he grows more and more violent with the other gangs in his Treasure Town.

Based on the manga by Taiyo Matsumoto and directed a Westerner – Michael Arias, this is a brilliant anime which looks at 2 characters’ dependence on each other and their fight against an organisation intent on destroying their habitat.  The story blends crime, humour and fantasy to make an absorbing adventure filled with beautifully detailed urban landscapes, exciting action and chase sequences plus a touching tale about friendship. It has bouts of violence alongside moments of tenderness. The animation though it looks different from normal anime movies you may have seen is unique and wonderful to the eye and the shots of Treasure Town which have apparently been modelled after Osaka looks a sight to behold and is so full of details as the camera swoops through alleyways, buildings, nooks and crannies. Not a pixel it seems has been wasted on the canvas. The story touches on the Chinese aspect of ying and yang in that Kuro and Shiro need each other to survive. When the two are separated, their mental stability begins to break down. The symbolism of their dependence on each other is clear when Kuro is struggling to come to his senses and we get images of a Minotaur and a pack of black crows with a white dove leading from the front to signify the balance coming back into Kuro’s mind after dark inner demons of hatred has temporarily taken over his life. The story can also be interpreted as a clash between old and new traditions. The directing by Arias in which he uses rich vibrant colours is fantastic and the action set pieces are excellently crafted.  Quite a few of the characters’ names in the movie have some duality attached to them including the assassins (Dawn and Dusk) sent to kill the two kids.

There is a lot for anime fans to enjoy in this movie. It’s a visual feast with a fantastic and interesting tale of hope and friendship at its core. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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