Tekkonkinkreet is a film from Studio four degrees Celsius. A studio that I have watched nothing whatsoever from but have heard of a lot of their work. I’m not sure if this is a good introduction to them or not so feel free to enlighten me about how typical of their work it is.
The story is pretty simple. Two orphaned boys, Black and White, claim control over a small town and that’s when the Yakuza try to muscle their way in. It probably sounds like more happens than actually happens. The film’s biggest problem is that it’s tedious. Really, really tedious. There are long stretches where nothing of interest or relevance happens. Then there are story segments that drag on far longer than they need to and some of the worst action sequences I’ve ever seen. Seriously, those scenes that aren’t over within seconds are padded with the characters running away from each other. The longest action sequence involves Black and White running away from a huge assassin who could’ve killed them both with ease if he wasn’t the slowest person on the planet when it comes to unsheathing his blade. It quite literally takes him a good minute to get around to it. There are some less pressing issues as well. There are some side-story plots that don’t go anywhere or that receive very rushed and unsatisfying conclusions. The entire ending is rushed, for that matter, and pretty lazily done.
The characters in this are dull and one-dimensional. The villains are evil for the sake of being evil. Black and White are pretty clearly supposed to have a symbolic as well as a literal connection, but the symbolic connection is really over-stated. That type of thing just isn’t interesting when they beat you over the head with it. And they’re too one-dimensional to make them interesting aside from that connection so it’s just unsatisfying to watch. The side characters are barely worth talking about. Most of them just represent very shallow stereotypes like the gangster seeking redemption or the elderly mentor.
The art… Well, I have to split it into two categories. The backgrounds are decently done with some good details. The characters look terrible. Their proportions are way off and not in a good, stylized way and to top things off the faces just look bizarre.
The voice acting is pretty emotionless. The actors mostly sound like they’re reading the script instead of, well, acting. I’m not sure whether to blame the direction or the actors themselves for that one. Either way it doesn’t sound good. The music does little to help with the tedium, generally blending into the background noise.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s no yuri here.
My final rating for Tekkonkinkreet is a 3/10. I really can’t recommend it to anyone unless you’re having trouble sleeping. I almost fell asleep several times while watching it so it just might be good for that. However, it is a pretty harmless form of bad. There’s nothing in it that’s offensive or that’s so bad that it’s infuriating, just a lot that’s poorly thought out and incompetently executed.