The Amazing Tekkon Kinkreet

Jul 30 2008

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I just watched the anime film Tekkon Kinkreet. I’m not going to review it.

Instead, I’m going to talk about its history. It was originally a somewhat sketchy manga, picked up by an expatriate American freshly dropped in Japan ten years ago. It hit him. Hard. Right between the eyes.

He’d just closed down his own company and moved to Japan. The manga told the story of an outsider, a kid, in a world that he no longer knew. It described this kid’s dark side, and his power, and his tenacity.

This American ached to make a movie out of this. So, he worked his way up through the anime industry, getting to know folks, until he convinced the right people that he should direct an adaptation of this manga. And he got four million dollars with which to do it.

Anime films are rare in Japan. You’ll get a yearly Pokemon or Naruto movie, and every so often something from Studio Ghibli, but outside of that there are precious few movie-length anime. So this was remarkable.

Then, halfway through production, the crew reviewed the movie so far. The film was confusing and muddled. Most of the animation was still incomplete. They suffered a major blow. I saw the video; they all looked like they’d just been told their mother died.

So they talked about it, and thought about it, and rallied, and moved forward.

And they made it. They released a film of beauty, depth, and emotional power. Oh, I could point out flaws; so what? He achieved his dream. And his dream is beautiful.

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