They’re the best Anime that 2006 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Naruto Movie 3: Dai Koufun! Mikazuki Jima no Animaru Panikku Dattebayo!, Brave Story, Bleach Movie 1: Memories of Nobody, and more!
5: Naruto Movie 3: Dai Koufun! Mikazuki Jima no Animaru Panikku Dattebayo!
English: Naruto the Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom
Japanese: 劇場版 NARUTO -ナルト- 大興奮!みかづき島のアニマル騒動だってばよ
MAL Score: 6.89
Led by Kakashi Hatake, Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno, and Rock Lee are tasked to escort the extravagant Prince Michiru Tsuki and his spoiled son Hikaru to the prosperous Land of Moon when the two return from a long trip around the world. As if guarding two whimsical high-ranked individuals was not challenging enough, the prince’s reckless decision to acquire an entire circus during their journey—mainly to entertain Hikaru’s wish of owning the saber-toothed tiger featured in the show—further propels the mission into disarray.
Just as things are finally settling down, the arrival of Michiru’s convoy at the Land of Moon is met with an unforeseen crisis—the greedy Chief Minister Shabadaba has taken over the country with the assistance of mysterious, powerful ninjas. While Kakashi’s team relentlessly fights the enemy by any means necessary, the two princes are forced to confront a new outlook on life through adversity.
One shouldn’t expect eye-opening narrative or intricate writing when faced with a vile creature that is the shounen filler movie, and yet…It still somehow manages to upset this barely tangible notion of “expectation”. The “story” (if you can call a sequence of random, incoherent, completely disconnected events that) itself was even worse than the rest of these sub-par, money-milking, uninspired Naruto movies. I had more fun in the rectal exam room than watching this abomination take on it’s convulsed shape.
The first 40 minutes felt like a REALLY long intro for the paltry five minute fight scene. Second half onwards, by means of exploring the geopolitical implications of antagonizing Siberian tigers in a holistically constructed narrative, earth-shattering discourse is brought to the table. In a sense of “why is it here?”
Sorry, I just feel like the tiger played an essential role in this post-modern tragicomedy and should not be taken lightly.
(EDIT: Six years later the Siberian tiger still haunts my dreams on a nightly basis)
On a more serious note (naruto movies are serious business) – The ending and the upcoming “plot twists” could be seen from a mile away. (Literally, you could actually predict the plot while being a mile away from your screen. Yup.)
Well to tell you the truth the story was below yu-gi-oh! story telling standards. That’s really as low as you can go. (EDIT: 6 years later – Unfortunately, that wasn’t “as low as you can go”)
Nothing out of the ordinary here. (Except for a shit-load of cash poured into multiple underwhelming five minute fights ridden with awful choreography). The overall quality was pretty high though, except I disliked the art style itself a bit. It seemed to lack consistency compared to the adapted canon material. The CG wasn’t out of place nor overused. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either.
Sound was…average. Generally, Naruto tends to shine in the sound department.I won’t go as far as to say I hated it, I simply didn’t notice the sound at all. Not in the way that it seamlessly blends in with the environment, but in the way of simply not being there. It should inspire life to the bleak wasteland of abhorrent writing, just like during the original series. Though several musical scores were taken from the TV series, that’s why it manages to score a 6.
Characters while trying to take themselves seriously, were more of a comedic relief than anything else.What this movie really lacked was the development of team Kakashi. Naruto being his usual dumb self, Sakura and Lee had as many lines as that Siberian tiger(!), which somehow managed to be incrusted into this mess of a story.
The “villains” were the laughing stock of the movie, their designs, voices, (and what’s with the wannabe Jiraya wigs?) no backstory, no motives, no nothing.
With the intention of saving you the braincells (or remnants of the aforementioned if one has already managed to watch this “masterpiece”) I’ll spare you the details regarding the so called “character development” Well, OK, I’m just being coy. There isn’t anything to spare actually.
The three things that make Naruto enjoyable are: the fights, world building, and character development. Fight choreography and composition were sub-par, any traces of character development non-existent. As for world building, it was beyond the scope of this one and a half hour uninspired filler movie from the get-go.
Naruto is all about enjoyment, and this movie had none. The word “painful” fails to describe what kind of fucking soul-wrenching, dimension-tearing, mahou shoujo tear-inducing hurt I was subjected to. I just kept begging either the movie or my life to end.
After long and tedious work, me and my friend (yes, I needed backup) managed to count that the word “papa” was used forty-three times during the run time of one hour and twenty nine minutes of this movie. Which means you will hear the word “papa” accompanied by “dramatic” crying, on average, every two minutes and four seconds.
OVERALL: (~3.4) = 3
I am giving it a 3 and I consider this does justice to this masterpiece of modern cinema. Its lack of redeeming qualities even for a Naruto movie is really unbelievable. If you have some free time, and are bored as hell, just go and watch something more intellectually stimulating and enjoyable like…homeless dogs taking a shit on your lawn. Really, you have been warned. Watch this at your own risk.
So anyhow, the aesthetics are alright…I guess. Nothing else about this anime is even remotely decent.
The story, man, I could predict everything that was going to happen right from the start. It’s so predictable. Naruto meets a prick, does stuff to make that prick see he’s wrong, owns a bad guy with a new Rasengan, we’ve already seen this pattern in the last two movies anyway. Once you figure out the basic roles of every character, there is nothing else to learn from this movie. The background of this particular story is a joke. I mean seriously, circus animals?
The characters likewise are extremely generic, like the story, and nothing special. And honestly, do you really want to go through the agony of watching an annoying little kid being a prick? If you don’t like annoying small children in general, please avoid this movie like the plague.
I like the Naruto universe a lot. I’m appalled that this abomination would actually be considered as potential filler for this anime. This doesn’t compare to the crap filler that made Naruto last over 200 episodes. It’s much much worse.
4: Brave Story
English: Brave Story
Japanese: ブレイブ ストーリー
MAL Score: 7.44
When 11-year-old Wataru’s father leaves home and his mother is taken ill to the hospital, he decides to change his fate by traveling through the door shown to him by his friend Mitsuru. In a land of magic and monsters, Wataru must summon all his courage and embark on a journey with several comrades to meet the Goddess of Destiny and change this “mistaken fate.”
The pace of the movie was just right with the plot.
Animation wise, it was superb. The details for the effects were very impressive.
The ending song was also amazing. Best song heard from AquaTimes (but I only heard 3 so far =P)
I love this anime so much, I’m gonna start reading the manga & playing the game =D
But still, I can’t help but say this movie was a cute one. A young boy striving forward. While not particularly being talented or smart; rather much more average. He goes into a different world to there fulfill his wish.
On the road towards his goal he meets a lot of characters; which contains of different characters all in one. You see, almost all the characters he meet are animals, or well, look sort of like a animal.
Which is also one of the reasons I found this movie so cute. And I’m sure that many besides me who also have seen this movie thought the same. There’s the cute kitty, a big funny lizard and more. All in all, an interesting cast indeed. Especially like able if you enjoy seeing animals in Anime.
The movie is more than just a bunch of animals in a fantasy world; which, I forgot to mention, is a beautifully animated and quite happy world you only see in dreams.
Music and sounds are by far the best this movie has to offer. The story is already intriguing and captures your thoughts perfectly fine; the music however adds up to it and makes it even more incredible.
Besides the animations, story, sounds, characters and all of that being quite awesome and impressive. I can honestly say this movie was definitely worthwhile and enjoyable for anyone with time to spare.
The style used in the movie matches the story and just like the music; adds up to it. It’s quite a happy story and doesn’t leaves much to complaint about.
To be honest, there’s not much more to be told. Now it’s your time, your time to go and see for yourself and be enchanted by this world. Too bad I was only enchanted for a mere one hour and fifty two minutes.
Now I haven’t played the games nor have I bought any of the franchise(apart from this DVD) which all stem from the novel, yet after finishing the film I knew that a lot of the script were cut from the original adaptation, making what could have been a great movie into something I’d say as mediocre. When I had asked the 3 boys if they knew what the story was about, all 3 shook their heads and gave me 3 misinterpretations of what they ‘thought’ it was about. While I thought the answers were cute, I realized Brave story was 100% animation and CG and 0% story.
Story – 5
Brave Story is mostly about Wataru and his adventure into a fantasy world known as Vision. As the synopsis had already mentioned, prior to Wataru entering this world, his own was already on a brink of collapse with his father running off with another woman and his mother falling ill due to the situation. Having heard that he can change his destiny if he completes a certain quest, Wataru decides to take on this quest and that’s where his adventure starts. This part of the story I really never cared for, and the way they had presented things I believe was in poor taste anyways. I mean who wants to know that your dad was cheating on your mom at the age of 11? It’s like Disney sending subliminal messages for kids not to smoke in Snow White(or else you’ll end up ‘short’ like the seven dwarfs)
Anyways, that’s not where the plot-holes and bad pacing start to show up. It’s when Wataru enters Vision that really gave me angst. We are introduced to a myriad of citizens from Vision who embark in the journey with Wataru which you can tell there is a story to them that’s waiting to be heard and hopefully fulfilled. Yet isn’t. I really found that frustrating as it was like watching someone play an RPG and taking on side quests but not completing them as that player heads to the main goal. Another thing I hated(without giving too much of a spoiler) was how they “brushed” everything in the end to give us a happy ending. If I was 10 years old, I wouldn’t really have cared about this, but I’m not.
Art & Sound – 7
The art and sound for Brave Story is its saving grace. From studio GONZO, well known for their collaboration with CG in their work, I have to commend how they implemented the world of Vision. The cities were given a European-esque look, and each towns citizens were nicely detailed giving you that feeling of how life is in that world. For a movie that had been created in 2006, Brave Story excels with its beautifully rendered landscapes making some series I had seen in 2010 pale in comparison.
As I mentioned, another saving grace for Brave Story is with its sound. Brave Story had utilized Juno Reactor(performers well known for their music in The Matrix trilogy as well as other anime), to do the score for the movie. This was a plus for BS as the BGM blended naturally with the animation giving you the sense of adventure that was encountered. With the ED “Ketsui no Asa ni” performed by J-pop band Aqua Timez at the end, the OST for Brave Story would make a nice collection for any music enthusiasts.
Characters – 4
This is where it REALLY fell short for me. The characters introduced in Brave Story were one-sided and there wasn’t enough profiling to give the characters depth.
First you have Wataru: an 11 year old boy who’s world seems to be crumbling due to events rifting between his parents. A very nice sob story indeed, but somehow I just couldn’t empathize with him due to that everything seemed to fall in his lap like a stroke of good luck(courtesy of bad storytelling). Then you have his friend(and semi-antagonist for the film) Ashikawa, who he meets at the beginning of the film. Apparently he has gone back and forth from the real world to Vision and is on the same quest like Wataru. Unfortunately this is never explained as the focus is more on Ashikawa’s sob story instead. Inconsistencies continue in this fashion for both characters which really became a minus for me.
Then we have the supporting characters who Wataru meets. This is the part that had really frustrated me the most as we are introduced to people like you would in an RPG’s side quests; who have their own problems waiting for the hero to help fix and to which unfortunately for them, he doesn’t(like I mentioned earlier). Now this could be due to that there wasn’t enough time to do these quests as the movies running time was close to stretching on 2 hours, but if that were the case why introduce them at all? For the sake that they were in the adaptation?
Enjoyment – 6
Whilst Brave Story has its faults, this doesn’t mean its not entertaining and I believe the movie has met their quota when reaching its targeted audience: kids under 10 who like big bangs and pretty animation. The foundation to which the film provides, gives viewers who are into fantasy and RPG’s like Dungeons & Dragons a nostalgic feeling with its presentation, and the breathtaking art and music would get even the harder-to-please kids glued to the screen. Unfortunately for bigger kids like myself, the weak storyline and poor execution just didn’t leverage to how good this film could have been which set my score back from an 8 to a 6. I wish I could say good things in this review like those before me, but then I’d be lying to myself.
Overall – 5
The Good – Great animation and CG for a movie that’s as old as my son, accompanied with a great soundtrack.
The Bad – Everything else. The DVD would make a great Christmas or birthday present for anyone under 10. Of course, anyone over that age may think you have it in for them.
3: Bleach Movie 1: Memories of Nobody
English: Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody
Japanese: 劇場版 BLEACH MEMORIES OF NOBODY
MAL Score: 7.44
When a life ends, its soul departs to its final resting place known as the Soul Society. However, if a soul is left to wander in the human world for too long, it ends up turning into a corrupted “Hollow” that feeds on other souls. In such cases, spirits called “Soul Reapers” are needed to eliminate the Hollows and guide the lost souls to the Soul Society.
Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki are two Soul Reapers who are used to dealing with Hollows that appear in Karakura Town. But when they encounter the hostile “Blanks”—souls devoid of memories and immune to the “soul burial” used by Reapers—they are thrown for a loop. Senna, a fellow Reaper that neither Ichigo or Rukia are familiar with, comes to their rescue and manages to fend off the Blanks. The mystery deepens when a mirage of the human world suddenly appears over Soul Society. What could be the reason behind the strange phenomena, and how is it connected to Senna, who avoids any questions about her identity?
I really like the story, about the Memory Rosary, the bad dudes, and of course Senna. I really liked her interaction with Ichigo, and it made me start thinking of shipping IchigoxSenna. Of course, she was a movie-only character… unfortunately. I liked the beginning of the plot, and how it moved along during the movie.
Of course, they could’ve used at least twice the amount of time to give it some more meat around the bones, but they actually did pretty well the way they did it, and I’m satisfied with what came out.
So, this is a great movie, and if you like Bleach, you shouldn’t omit watching this movie.
The first thing you will notice is that it feels like a movie, and not just because of the beautiful animation. When someone is sent to soul society in the series, most of the time it feels routine; just something they always do. In the first scene, however, everything is different. I was completely moved. The main reason for this was the way they cut into the title screen. As I watched the girls’ spirit rise through the air, they began playing an original theme song. I always say that anything can be enjoyed more when you feel the connection between audio and animation. From the moment I heard that song, I knew this film was one to be remembered.
I liked how you get to see all the characters from the series again, most of whom were not seen after the end of the soul society rescue arc (Kenpachis’ entrance is just awesome). Although most of them do not get much screen time, it is not a problem. The focus of the movie is on Ichigo, a shinigami named Senna, and these mysterious white figures. It does a good job providing us with the background of Senna. We get just enough information to keep us curious. The villains are somewhat typical, but I do not want to spoil anything. It is for this reason that this gets a 9
Bleach: Memories of Nobody is an unexpected treat that is very enjoyable, and does the series a great justice. An overall amazing movie.
A generic, so Bleach-like story about blanks, a random girl getting kidnapped, and Ichigo going rambo one-man-army to save the poor kid. And yeah, expect to see the famous "we-hog-screentime" team, which is Hitsugaya, Renji, Matsumoto, Yumichika and Rukia. Byakuya makes a 1-minute appearance and Zaraki even gets cut!! Righhhhttt..
–> Animation (7/10):
Personally I found nothing really great in Bleach: Memories of Nobody (MoN). The animation is not bad, but it’s not extremely good too. The backgrounds are well drawn and somewhat beautiful to look at. The character design and environments are well done too. There are some issues here and there about badly drawn things, specially body parts. Like ridiculously small feet for example, or ridiculously small hands. Nothing very serious, but who strike out at you if you are careful.
–> Sound (8/10):
As always, I never really pay great attention to sound in anime. I didn’t find anything bad here too. The sounds fit the storyline. The action scenes are ok, although sometimes the music lacks the energy, or the punch to really highlight the action. Character voices are satisfactory. And SFXs are used in the correct places. Nothing to complain here. Complaining comes afterwards.
–> Story (6/10):
Now, I am gonna complain! I’m going to avoid spoilers, but I need to say it: The story is extremely predictable, if you have ever watched Bleach (anime) before. In fact, according to me, it’s just the same as the Soul Society arc. Swap Rukia with Senna, swap Soul Society with the Whispers Canyon or whatever it was called. The 3/4 of the time of the movie is plain boring. They just elaborated on Senna and why the "Dark Ones" are around. No great details are given before the very end of the movie. You’ll just sit there, and say "Why doesn’t it go faster?". And yes, if you are careful, you can know from the beginning itself what role Senna plays in the story. As you might guess, since she’s the main female lead, she’s got the principal role. Same as Rukia in S-Society arc.
The ending of the movie, frankly, was expected. You have all the great battle scenes of the movie crammed in the last 20 minutes of the movie. Just Ichigo and the usual team fighting the bad guys, and a soul society intervention at the very last moment. Sometimes, you ask yourself what the hell these guys of S-Society have been doing all this time.
–> Characters (8/10):
The characters, if you have watched Bleach, have no secrets now, excluding Senna. If there was one thing I liked about MoN is the character development. It was well done, slowly and feeding you the details droplets by droplets. It’s kind of nice, and keeps you stuck to your screen till the end of the movie. Even at the very end, there are some more secrets revealed. Check the end of the credits too. A few seconds of video, just to ease up on the dramatic ending. Senna is a fun character to know about. A nice blend of humor, suspense and action makes her a cool character. Only negative point: She completely loses her fighting role at the end of MoN.
–> Enjoyment (7/10):
Since the story was sooo predictable, I didn’t really enjoy it. However, I appreciated the last battle scenes and the elaboration of the story. I’ve learnt not to expect too much from Bleach. Usually, the plots are very predictable and often mimic the Soul Society arc. MoN makes a good watch if you have nothing better to watch at that time (eg. no episode of your fav anime out).
–> Overall (7/10):
I gave 7/10 for some enjoyment value, beautiful backgrounds and good battle scenes at the very end. The story line is ok, although very predictable. And the Senna character is fun to watch evolve. Now, go check and rate for yourself. As always, thanks for reading my review!
2: Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen
English: Fist of the North Star: Raoh Side Story Junai Arc
Japanese: 真救世主伝説 北斗の拳 ラオウ伝 殉愛の章
MAL Score: 7.46
Kenshiro is the heir of the legendary martial arts known as Hokuto Shinken, which can kill a man with a single blow, by striking the pressure points in the enemy’s body. Hokuto Shinken can be passed only to one successor at a time. When he was chosen as the successor, he parted ways with his brothers, Toki and Raoh. The former decided to use what he knew of the art to cure people… while the latter has chosen to use his supreme strength to install peace in the world by power.
Kenshiro is accompanied by Lynn and Bart, and the movie’s story begins when an overlord starts kidnapping children to use them as slaves for building his own pyramid…
I hate to admit, but I have not seen the original show. I tried, I struggled with it as it is just (sorry to say but) too old…
Therefore, I was so delighted when I heard that they are making a movie series out of it.
Hokuto no ken is the grandfather of all fighting animes, the most testosterone-filled anime I have ever seen (Jojo’s bizarre adventure being a close second).
This story is like a living fossil. I have no second thoughts if I say, that the creator was one of the few masterminds who came up with the universal recipe for a great fighting anime:
The ingredients are pretty much:
– An epic and righteous hero
– Some beautiful girls (just to mess with their minds)
– Lovable supporters
– An epic antagonist
– A unique fighting style
When all of this is mixed together in the right proportions, something amazing will be born.
The story might seem a bit of a cliché, however, most likely, everything else that is similar was inspired by this show.
The post-apocalyptic world filled with anarchy where people live in fear and despair, waiting for the one hero that will save them. It is pretty clear, not much to explain.
I personally love the art style (Jojo’s bizarre adventure is very similar to this). The modern art and character design make it very enjoyable. Remaking this show was probably the best thing ever. Also, it is surprisingly well done for something made in 2006…that was 10 years ago!
The background is also very nicely done but everything apart from Toki’s home is very dark and depressing. Also, to my greatest joy, there is no 3D effects whatsoever in it.
Hokuto no ken Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen has all the arch-types of characters that are needed for a good show. The righteous hero, rivaling brothers, the badass female hero (a bit like Casca from Berserk), lovable background characters and lots and lots of evil ones.
It is very interesting to see the relations between the main characters. I am not entirely sure who is good and bad at this point. I hope to see lots of character development in the next movies.
Hokuto no ken Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen is a true legend in the anime world. It focuses on such pure and fundamental values that I just cannot give it a lower review score.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to see where most of today’s animes came from.
In addition to all of this, needless to say, there is absolutely NO fanservice in it.
Do not be afraid that it is old. It is truly a unique masterpiece.
Fist of the north star is probally one of my favorites of all time. The legend series was a good rebuild for the anime and it has some good parts and some parts that were less. Also please correct me on some parts since it was along time after i watch the movie also i’m suck at memorizing
The story was based on the original anime although it has some additional characters into it so the story were more enchanted since there were new characters like Raoh’s retainers from the gaiden series
I like how the art was well-drawn and it looks like a more condesed version of the anime’s artstyle following the Souther arc. But the fight scenes were not crispy enough, that’s why i gave it an 8
Most of the characters are brave men whom fights for either glory or other people’s sake. The additional characters were Raoh’s retainers, Soga and Reina. There were also a cameo character from the season 2 anime, Akashachi(Shachi’s father). Soga’s trick to get himself killed were also a good plot twist
The sound is better than the sequel which takes place after the events of the souther arc. This one is genuienly better, the voice acting wasn’t rushed and the soundtrack is good
No matter how i watched this before, this movie still enjoyable and entertaining. The original might be had more emotions but i like to see them in high defitinition
1: Tekkon Kinkreet
MAL Score: 7.97
The streets of Treasure Town are said to belong to “The Cats.” They know everything that goes on in the city, and no one can stir up trouble without going through them first. In reality, The Cats are a pair of orphan boys called Black and White, who aren’t afraid of anything or anyone.
But their rule of the streets is challenged when the Yakuza come to town and start making changes. The wild Black and the carefree White have no one to rely on but themselves to get their Treasure Town back to the way it was. But their bond is tested as they quickly realize going back to how things were may no longer be an option.
Tekkonkinkreet is also known as Black and White, and so named are the two main characters; both being delinquent street kids who live out of a rusty old used car in the concrete city-scape Treasure Town. Despite being mere children, their gang, the (stray) Cats, dominate the violent underbelly of Treasure Town’s yuppie society, their attentions feared by thugs, police and yakuza alike. As is immediately clear, Black and White aren’t normal kids at all; for a start, they can fly, but mostly, they are defined by their emotional eccentricities.
Black is just that; a black-hearted, blood thirsty thug who is constantly looking for a fight; his attraction to violence borders on sadism and often he can be seen with a giant crow perched on his shoulder, the meat-eating birds that feed off of human garbage aptly symbolizing his pessimistic views on life. His snot-nosed buddy White is the exact opposite; optimistic, innocent and constantly laughing, he has dreams of a future outside of Treasure Town; a vision of rolling blue seas and sparkling golden sand. Black and White live for each other; Black protects White from the city’s violent undercurrents, while White’s very existence anchors Black’s true departure into darkness.
The plot is simply a means to that end, and quite frankly, isn’t so important. Treasure Town is being steam-rollered by an unscrupulous theme park franchise and hence, they need to get rid of the tourist-scaring delinquent kids. Unfortunately for them, Black sees the city as his town too, and his unrelenting intent on causing trouble begins what is a gradual descent into violent madness. The heart-rending characterisation extends to an entire cast of misfits, not least of all a scar-faced ex-yakuza struggling against the tide of violence to forge a better future for his pregnant girlfriend. Early in the movie, this same yakuza shows his professional streak when he gleefully removes the ears from one unlucky fellow.
The tragic and emotionally intense characterisation is well balanced by extended sequences of brutal and kinetic action, not least of all an Akira style opening scene that sees Black and White chasing a group of rival punks across colourful roof-tops and moving traffic. The gravity defying jumps, flips and kicks are well complemented by an emotive electronica score courtesy of British dance group Plaid. Of special note is that the music really captures the beautiful and surreal elements of Tekkonkinkreet, whimsical dreams of a flower-laden future totally at odds with Treasure Town’s overflowing urban metropolis.
A truly three dimensional effort; the excellent Tekkonkinkreet is a rewarding and exciting movie that offers bitter-sweet moments of friendship and family, morals and loyalty, set in an unrelentingly violent and cruel world dominated by industry and capitalism. Animated with beautiful perfection and stylized to the point of surrealism, it’s a great looking film that both exploits and cherishes the inherent contradictions of the human spirit.
Story: Black and White, Kuro and Shiro are orphans, and they’re the "Cats." In a word they’re street thugs and it’s mainly Kuro (Black) who does the fighting. Shiro (White) is missing something in his head and he constantly "phones" outer space to let them know how he’s doing. The main relationship is between these two and it’s expertly crafted. There are two police officers who really do a great job of balancing the anime. Their presence really keeps the movie level. The antagonist is Snake, he’s trying to milk Treasure Town for all it’s worth, to do this his plan is to create an amusement park. Kuro doesn’t want that to happen. I’m finding it very difficult to explain the story and I really don’t think that I can do it any justice at all. The story is multifaceted and multilayered. There are no scrap characters and every conversation is important. There are absolutely no wasted scenes in this anime. I was getting a huge Steinbeck vibe, I was feeling that this anime was doing a great job of channeling his "Of Mice and Men." White’s dream of going to the ocean is a lot like Lennie’s dream of owning a farm and tending rabbits.
Art: The art is amazing. Every scene is breathtakingly beautiful. The backgrounds are detailed so well that I occasionally paused the screen just to admire their beauty. The art is probably the best I’ve seen in an anime and the details are beautifully rendered. The characters style is slightly minimalistic. Compared to the backgrounds the characters are very bare, but this suits the feel perfectly. The characters fit in so well with the backgrounds and interact with the world so well. The art is absolutely beautiful. Every scene of animation is beautiful. There are so many sequences that took my breath away, there is never a choppy scene, no scene feels clunky. The animation is so perfectly fluid and I cannot express how amazing it is, it has to be seen to be believed. The one thing that I thought was perfectly done was how the art and the mood of the anime clash wonderfully. The colours are very bright and vivid, and if you really weren’t paying attention you’d think that this is a very bright and happy anime. But the anime is dark, it’s quite dark and the art only shows that darkness at certain intervals, but for the most part the anime is bright and colourful, whereas the mood is dark.
Sound: This is one of the first anime that I’ve seen where I was activally paying attention to the background music. It was all perfect, it was all fast and just amazing. I’m a firm believer in that music in anime does not make or break it, it either makes a good anime better, or worse; or a bad anime better or worse. In Tekkon Kinkreet, the music makes an already excellent anime even better.
Character: Every character is incredibly, and sometimes painfully, human. With the exception of the alien assassins of course. The relationships between the characters, especially between Black and White are so beliveable and so incredibly real. I found myself caring so much about all of these characters, which is not something that I regularly do. It’s amazing because every character changes and every relationship changes as well, it’s rare to see how realistically each character’s change is portrayed.
Enjoyment: If you haven’t noticed already, I love this anime, it’s completely and utterly perfect. There is not a boring or meaningless scene. There are no pointless characters, every character is unique and human. Kinkreet is very original and it really does an amazing job of everything that it does. I cannot express how enjoyable this anime is, you really need to watch it for yourself.
If this isn’t at the top of your list, put it there. I believe that in order to appreciate anime you have to see both terrible and amazing anime. To me there are very, very few perfect anime, I would have a hard time listing them on my hands. However, this anime is so close to perfection that I would myself, call it perfect. Watching this anime reconfirms the reasons why I started watching anime in the first place.
This isn’t going to be an easy one to review. I have very mixed feelings towards Tekkon Kinkreet. It’s one of those anime that to me wasn’t great and certainly wasn’t bad. However, that isn’t to say it was average. It’s more accurate to say it was simultaneously spectacular, and a total piece of shit…so it ended up in the middle.
Oh and Spoiler alert! I can’t really talk about why I’m conflicted with this film unless I go into some spoiler territory.
Plot and characters:
We are introduced to a wild and beautifully animated city. According to the director, this city was created by taking elements from Japan, China, and India. Our main characters are 2 orphans named Black and White. Black is an angry, brooding, violent anti-hero. White is a special needs kid who remains pure and innocent despite being surrounded by crime and poverty. Together they balance each other out and form a very obvious Yin-Yang dynamic. The first 1/4th of the film is Black and White living together in the slum called Treasure Town and defending their turf from Yakuza. We get some very touching scenes of brotherly bonding. We’re introduced to the city and Tekkon gets to demonstrate its beautifully fluent animation and vibrant colors. Everything is going great. The movie at this point is safely in 8/10 territory. Then everything starts going wrong.
Around 1/3rd through the movie, an evil foreign real estate developer is introduced. This guy wants to destroy the slum where our heroes live in order to build a giant amusement park. That’s right! It’s time to rip off the plot of such great films as “Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo and basically every Disney TV movie from the 90s. It gets better. The evil real estate tycoon introduces 3 super powered assassins who can fly. We’re just going to throw in super powers and kick any small sense of realism out the window halfway into the movie. The tycoon’s plan is to have the assassins kill Black and White. Once the 2 orphan defenders are dealt with, the rest of the slum will give up hope and evict themselves…I guess. The first assassin is dealt with when White pours gasoline on him and sets him on fire. White is pretty pleased with himself and says “Maybe this whole rotten city should burn!”. WTF Tekkon!? We’re over halfway through and out of fucking nowhere you turn the sweet retarded kid into Rorschach?! White ends up getting injured by the 2nd assassin and is taken into protective custody. We also get a touching, tragic scene in which one Yakuza thug is forced to kill his old boss at the behest of the tycoon. The Yakuza guy loved his old boss, but the Tycoon will kill his family if he doesn’t obey. The boss understands this and accepts his fate. It’s probably the best scene in the entire movie and if had ended here, we would still be in 7/10 territory.
Now we enter act 3 and here is where things REALLY fall apart. The foreign real estate tycoon succeeds in tearing down the Treasure Town slum and building an amusement park…surrounded by more Chinese/Indian slum. I can’t wait for Disney World to build a park in the endless, sprawling slums outside Bengal! The tycoon though is STILL obsessed with killing Black and White! He develops a plan to kill Black in the middle of his own amusement park using his remaining assassins. Never mind the fact this would create a massive panic and badly hurt visitor numbers to his park. Character motivations in this film make zero sense. Speaking of which, the yakuza thug reports back to the tycoon and just decides “fuck it! I hate this guy too much!”. The thug kills the tycoon and gets shot in return. Whelp, his family is fucked. It also completely undermined the best scene in the movie. We aren’t done yet though! Black goes completely insane without having White by his side and develops multiple personality disorder. We’re 90% in and its time to just throw in multiple personalities. Since we have no time left, Black quickly kills the assassins and banishes his dark personality in 5 minutes simply by thinking about White’s innocence. This is definitely the fastest and easiest I’ve seen dissociative identity cured in a movie! It’s almost like it had no reason to be here! Black reunites with White and the film subverts expectations yet again by ending perfectly happy with them playing at a beach. As for the 5 or so murders and 12 assaults Black commits in this movie with tons of witnesses? Who gives a shit?! It has zero repercussions! The film just kind of ends and I don’t feel like anything was really learned or accomplished.
Art and Sound:
The art and animation is amazing! This film just oozes with style and personality. It has a very unique aesthetic that kind of reminds me of Yuasa’s style. The soundtrack is honestly nothing special and I wasn’t impressed with the voice acting. This anime was written and directed by an American guy. If this anime is famous for anything, it’s that little bit of trivia. So I went with the English dub. Big mistake. White’s voice actor is a 6 year old child who had no prior acting experience and according to IMDB has never worked again after this. The dub is just fucking painful in places and the soundtrack does this film no favors.
Tekkon Kinkreet is a visually stunning film! If you consider anime to be a purely visual medium and ONLY a visual medium, you can still love every second of this film. I just want to make it clear that I’m not some uncultured asshole who gives low ratings to purely visual experiences. I didn’t go on Letterbox or IMDB and give low ratings to “Man with Movie Camera” or “Olympia”. Those are great films and I rated them accordingly. Tekkon is in fact a narrative story and to me doesn’t just fail in telling that story, it failed HARD. It still has individual scenes that are good, but the total project is just…ugh. It has this weird obsession with subverting expectations in the stupidest possible ways. I think the director just gets giddy to jerk the wheel and send us all over a cliff. Tekkon Kinkreet is like watching City of God as written and directed by a drunk Rian Johnson. No matter how pretty it looks, I just can’t personally rate this one above a 6.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Tekkon Kinkreet
2. Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen
3. Brave Story
4. Bleach Movie 1: Memories of Nobody
5. Naruto Movie 3: Dai Koufun! Mikazuki Jima no Animaru Panikku Dattebayo!