Two street urchins with magical powers are pitched against the yakuza in this dark, noirish fairytale set in Tokyo. This first American-directed anime has cult classic written all over it.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
In an exquisitely realised concrete jungle, resembling a ramshackle Old Tokyo with a touch of Metropolis thrown in, two street urchins who possess magical flying powers look to protect their turf from the yakuza and the intrusive plans of a cadre of property developers.
“The first feature-length Japanese anime to be directed by a foreigner [American Michael Arias], the impressive Tekkonkinkreet has cult animation written all over it. It’s a streetwise Spirited Away, darker, moodier and more adult-oriented than Miyazaki’s masterwork, with an apocalyptic undercurrent that reminds one of the dark fairytales of Philip Pullman and a noirish urban lyricism with hints of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett… Although Arias and scriptwriter Anthony Weintraub (who adapted Matsumoto Taiyo’s three-volume manga) are American, this is no watered-down anime for foreign consumption. If anything, it seems more authentically Japanese to outsiders than recent globally-pitched anime fairytales like Howl’s Moving Castle or Steamboy.” — Lee Marshall, Screendaily