Colorful anime adaptation of manga adventures of Black and White


on July 13, 2007 by Chad Greene
The “stray cats” of Treasure Town, the superpowered street kids Black and White, strut onscreen in the visually vivid directorial debut of Animatrix producer Michael Arias, but uninspired subtitles stitched together from clichés will likely be a barrier to widespread stateside success.

“Nighttime makes me sad,” remarks the whimsical White, an orphan so otherworldly that he makes regular reports to imaginary off-planet overseers. But it's not just diurnal darkness that's falling on Treasure Town, the sprawling cityscape that White (Yu Aoi) and his down-and-dirty partner Black (Kazunari Ninomiya) battle local-yokel yakuza Rat (Min Tanaka) for control over. It's something deeper, a soulless development masterminded by the black-hearted Snake (Masahiro Motoki) that will replace the traditional red-light district with an amusement park bankrolled by Rat's bosses.

The title Tekkonkinkreet is a play on the Japanese words for iron, concrete and muscle, and in this anime adaptation of a magical manga by Taiyo Matsumoto, the metal-and-mortar muscle of Treasure Town is inexorably pushing against the flesh-and-blood inhabitants who refer to it as “my town”—including Black and Rat.

“Even if we stop, the city keeps going,” Rat tells his old enemy Black in one scene. Indeed, it seems that the opposing sides of the old guard are on their way out, and the only question is if they will leave Treasure Town dead or alive—especially after Snake summons alien assassins to do away with Black and White.
Distributor: Destination
Cast: Kazunari Ninomiya, Yu Aoi, Masahiro Motoki, Min Tanaka and Yusuke Iseya
Director: Michael Arias
Screenwriter: Anthony Weintraub
Producers: Eiko Tanaka, Eiichi Kamagata, Masao Teshima and Ayao Ueda
Genre: Anime; Japanese-language, subtitled
Rating: R for some violent and disturbing images, and brief sexuality
Running time: 111 min.
Release date: July 13, 2007 ltd
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