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Tekkon Kinkreet


The L.A. Times wrote about this film last month. We told you about it exactly one year ago.

From the studio that brought you Mind Game, here comes Tekkon Kinkreet, based on the manga known in the U.S. as Black & White.

Finally making its way to the States, The Museum of Modern Art will be screening a 35mm print of Studio 4C’s new anime feature for a one-week run from April 25–30, 2007. Director Michael Arias will appear at the April 25th screening.

While we are still struggling to revive 2-D, the Japanese are already re-inventing it. Check out the trailer and see why we’re so excited. If you are in New York in April, you have six chances to support the cause.


Wednesday, April 25, 8:30. North American premiere. (Introduced by Michael Arias)
Thursday, April 26, 8:30
Friday, April 27, 8:30
Saturday, April 28, 2:00
Sunday, April 29, 2:00
Monday, April 30, 8:30

  • I like that trailer. Nice cinematic work. Good animation too. I’m curious…

  • what do you mean – they are re-inventing 2-D animation? I don’t see anything new in the trailer, it’s the same anime like usual. and, don’t misunderstand me, I am a ‘2-D guy’.

  • Benjamin De Schrijver

    I agree… outside of some of the designs, this trailer doesn’t look that much different from other anime. Very much the same atmosphere and ideas.

    Then again, Mind Game WAS very different, and even though I only have the youtube version, it’s my favorite film of all time, period. To me, it serves as an example of almost everything that cinema can be.

  • amid

    I continue to hear very good things about the film, from people whose opinion I trust, and I’m looking forward to it. I doubt it’ll be the revolution that Mind Game was, but what can be?

  • Hollywood’s current love affair with 3D animation is certainly progressing the art of CG, but in the area of theatrical feature films there’s no doubt the U.S. has dropped the ball on traditional (hand drawn) animation. The Japanese have picked up where we left off and are clearly moving forward. Storytelling is still a weakness there, but recent work from Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, and studios like Madhouse and Studio 4c are actually moving beyond the visual cliches of anime and heading for something new.

    Though I’m encouraged by Disney’s return to musical fairy tales and comic shorts, I’m hopeful that today’s younger generation will be inspired by films like Mind Game, Tekkon Kinkreet and Paprika–and will move animated features to the next level.

  • I’ve seen this trailer before, and though I’m not fond of the character designs, the animation and the visual effects are stunning. It’s been a long time since someone created something that visually interesting in America.

  • Billy Batz

    I’ll watch Tekkon over We’re Back, or Brother Bear any day! The Japanese continue to treat animation as FILM, while we treat it as broadway musicals for babies with stereotypes of actors or comedians from t.v.(fully inbetweened got milk? jokes).

  • I have to see this.

    I agree that what they are doing in Japan in terms of animation, is going into a whole new direction. They are moving away from the cliched style of anime that Mr. Beck is talking about. I can only hope that America takes a cue from Japan sometime soon. Not just in terms of animation, but in terms of storytelling and overall originality.

  • Esn

    Yeah, I’m not fond of the character designs either. They seem too jagged and unorganic (which may be fine for some, but I prefer more organic designs personally – and that doesn’t necessarily mean “Disney”). However, the film itself may well be very good.

    What I really wish for is a proper release of Mind Game (DVD or theatrical) in North America. It’s amazing that even with the nearly universal praise that the film has gotten among Western audiences (8.5/10 on IMDB), nobody has gotten the bright idea to release it here.

  • Simon

    I saw a lot of ads and TV interviews for this when I was in Japan recently, and thought it looked really cool. Hope it gets released here…

  • victoria

    I must be one of the few who like the character designs.I won’t be able to see it in New York, however I’ll be sure to get it when it comes to DVD.

  • Alessandro

    Well, actually, there are a lot of 3D elements in that trailer… in fact, most of the backgrounds appear to be 3D.
    It seems to me that the Japanese are using 3D when and where appropriate… which is to say, they use it as a tool, and not based on some absurd notion that 2D is dead.
    And when they do mix 2D and 3D, as they have here, they ensure there is a visual and stylistic continuity between the two mediums. They appear less concerned with 3D photorealism, and more attentive to the preservation (in their 3D elements) of the artistic or graphical style that is the trademark of quality 2D.
    I’m not always an advocate of anime… in fact, i think the majority of it is quite bad. But the best works are often very good.

  • And they can have it, Jerry. This looks awful. Screaming, rotating camera angles, weak design, poor color, and no story.

  • Well Jerry, there’s why American 2D is so moribund. Some people just don’t want to recognise the revolution when it comes up to them in the street, says ‘hi, i’m the revolution’ and punches them square in the face.

    If the community can just stop wallowing in cognitive dissonance, complacent in its own heritage, and just admit that the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties all actually happened – then maybe we can get the hell on with making a film that isn’t completely irrelevant for once.

  • “What I really wish for is a proper release of Mind Game (DVD or theatrical) in North America. It’s amazing that even with the nearly universal praise that the film has gotten among Western audiences (8.5/10 on IMDB), nobody has gotten the bright idea to release it here.” –ESN

    Though a license at any point in time wouldn’t be a surprise, the reason for a delay in its western release from reputable distributors is simple: cost. The price of licensing a Japanese animated film for western distribution already fetches one or maybe two million dollars nowadays does it not? The price of a highly anticipated, excellent quality feature film, such as Mind Game, fetches…

    well, I don’t know… but I can imagine it’s huge.

  • H Park

    Mind Game and Tekkon Kinkreet have character designs which are different from conventional character designs we see from normal Anime shows. For me, it’s refreshing. It’s like having a salty food after fed with tons of sweets.

  • I remember reading Black & White in the manga anthology magazine “Pulp,” published by Viz Comics. Although they only published 2/3 of the story in the magazine before replacing it with another manga series, I remember it fondly for having a unique style, that was unlike a lot of other manga that makes it to the U.S. I look forward to seeing this movie, as it retains the character stylings of the original manga.

  • Islandarling

    Thanks for sharing this news! When I heard rumors in February that Tekkon was going to be shown in NY in April, I couldn’t believe it. I tried looking on the web but couldn’t find any definite news on it.
    I’m absolutely watching this! Any news if they’ll be using English subtitles?

  • I first read about this film in the new book by Roland Kelts called “Japanamerica.” Michael Arias, the director, and producer Eiko Tanaka are extensively interviewed. Kelts also just reviewed the film very positively for Animation Magazine in the US. Looks fascinating to me, and the word is that the story/screenplay are especially strong–which isn’t always the case with anime.

  • Hello all. TEKKONKINKREET director Michael here. Thanks for your support of our work. There are a couple US screenings of TEKKONKINKREET coming up (with English subtitles). I and some other TEKKON staff will be around at MoMA. Wish we could be at the Hawaii screenings but they coincide with our MoMA premiere.

    Thanks also for your praise of MINDGAME, but a hex ;) on those of you who got it off Youtube. MG is indeed a unique film, and still sadly unavailable outside Japan. Anyways, I hope some of you can see TEKKON on the big screen. I really think you’ll enjoy it.

    MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art
    Roy and Nita Titus Theaters 1 & 2
    Wed 4/25 (T1), Thurs 4/26 (T2), Fri 4/27 (T2) – 8:30 pm
    Sat 4/28 (T2), Sun 4/29 (T2) – 2:00 pm
    Mon 4/30 (T2) – 8:30 pm

    Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Laemmle’s Sunset 5
    Sun 5/6 – 5:00 pm

    Hawaii International Film Festival
    Dole Cannery
    Thurs 4/26 2007 – 8:45 pm

    More info regarding the MoMA screenings at:


  • louis

    There’s a copy of MindGame available on Amazon (US).

    Thought, someone felt a comment on the page questioning the legitimacy of the DVD.

    I doubt it’s real also. Someone should do something about that. Amazon selling bootleg ?!

  • i just saw this tonight at a film festival, i would love to see any making of material dealing with the 2d/3d integration. its something i do professionally from time to time and thus i am very critical of it but this was by far head and shoulders above any other 2d style animation i have seen in its integration of 3d. not a bad story either :)

    im also curious to know how a westerner came to be working directing anime since conventional wisdom is this is impossible..

  • Hi Amid.

    It was nice to see you before the Platform screening. Hope you enjoyed the film (and didn’t mind my fantastically incoherent Q&A).



  • HHH

    Yeah, way back when somebody inquired as to how they are re-inventing. It’s the amount of work put into this movie, it’s got so much hand drawn animation vs. th massive amount of CG used today. True, ghibli stud. does do similar thnigs, but the style in these films (Tekkon, mindgame) is unique. It’s straight up badass.

  • T92

    Ok, well it’s late the kids are asleep in the other room and I got a chance to watch the trailer. It looks neat; story wise I couldn’t say. Reinventing 2d animation? I think that’s stretching it. I’m a 3d guy but my roots are in 2d as that was the source of inspiration for a lot of great work thats out there.

    What I need though is for someone to explain to me how we got to where we are. I mean why is 2d almost non-existent here in the states. We’ve got great talented artists! We have software engineers that have developed great 2d tools for us to hone our craft!

    We have alot of good material to recreate into a visual medium.

    Is it cost? I would think with software like ToonBoom and a few of the other programs we could be doing alot more cheaper than how it was done with ink and paint.

    As for incorporating 3d with 2d I think if used wisely it can help enhance instead of detract. Hey, I’ve worked on jobs where they did a complicated 3d move in a shot just because they could, regardless if it helped to tell the story.

    Well that’s my 2 cents.

    Really though if someone could explain to me why we haven’t taken 2d back I would appreciate it.