Tekkon Kinkreet

April 19th, 2007

As a rule, I bounce off manga. Most of it reads like a Lichtenstein parody. Black and White, aka Tekkon Kinkreet by Taiyo Matsumoto, nonetheless rocked my tiny world back in the day, with its unabashed depiction of childhood as a never-ending monster movie, with the kids as humans and the grownups as monsters, and to cope the kids develop super-powers.

Previously, that same world had been rocked by this music video for Ken Ishii, directed by Koji Morimoto (animation director on Akira). So when this teaser for an animated version of Black and White was released in 1999, directed by that same Morimoto-San, I was very very excited:

It was made in Softimage by a team of 12 people, using the same Toon Shader used in Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.

Alas, they shopped it in the States instead of somewhere where they liked anime, and it wasn’t funded, and instead we got Treasure Planet. The guy who made Toon Shader, a SoCal kid named Michael Arias, went on to produce The Animatrix (2003), for which Morimoto-San directed the “Beyond” segment, which further blew my tiny mind.

Finally, eight years after the first try, the animated feature is back for real, with a website, a trailer, music by Plaid, and everything. It’s tentatively scheduled for a July release in the States according to IMDB.

It’s still Morimoto’s studio, Studio 4°C, but this time it’s directed by Arias, who apparently all but led a crusade to get the thing made. Also, they’ve ditched the 3D cel-shader look for that old-time 2D religion. There’s a juicy making-of article in Japanese design magazine PingMag.

Arias was interviewed about the whole sordid process just before the movie was released in Japan last December in this article in the Japan Times. Salient quote: “We’re not going to pay you anything, but you can do whatever you want.”

Rock on, Michael Arias, get down with your white self.

« previously: Snow-Bo | Home | next: Space Bunny Confessions »