An anime directed by an American. A recipe for disaster? From the documentary included on the disc you would think so. At one point, the production team watch a rough cut of the film and it's shockingly bad. Does the director rally the troops, identify problem areas and find clever solutions? No. he goes off, sulks and has a bit of a smoke. During other problematic times he messes about recording sounds rather than actually doing anything productive.
Amazingly, Tekkonkinkreet is actually quite good. From the initial scene of a bird swooping through Treasure Town you know you are in for a visual treat. The music by Plaid for this sequence is equally impressive. The decision to have a mixture of 2D and 3D backgrounds with traditional hand drawn animation makes a refreshing change (see Sky Blue for a similar approach).
Based on a manga by Taiyo Matsumoto, the film follows the exploits of two homeless boys Black and White. It explores the themes of nostalgia, change and brotherhood. In the latter parts it explores the idea of who is looking after who. Black looks after White physically but more importantly White looks after Black mentally. The film does become very dark in the later stages as Black descends into madness.
There are some touching moments between the various characters, an execution scene in particular, strangely enough. The relationship between the two boys is also a strength. Another major character in the film is Treasure Town itself. It is a place that you enjoy spending some time in. I think this is the reason I keep coming back to Tekkonkinkreet. The music by Plaid also plays a large part in creating the atmosphere (for a review of the Plaid album Rest Proof Clockwork see our sister site intothevalleyoftheobscure).
If you look at the trailer and like the art direction you will probably get something, visually at least, from watching the film. Plus, you also get two alien psychopaths dressed in Eurotrash gear.
If you like this you could also try:
Paprika, Origin Spirits of the Past, Appleseed Ex-Machina, Sky Blue.