Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

Tekkonkinkreet 2006

Directed by Michael Arias

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.

Japan In Japanese with English subtitles
111 minutes 35mm



Ando Hiroaki


Anthony Weintraub. Based on the manga by Matsumoto Taiyo


Takemiya Mutsumi


Nishimi Shojiro
Uratani Chie
Kubo Masahiko


Aoi Yu
Iseya Yusuke


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