Tekkonkinkreet isn’t baffling. It isn’t difficult to understand and it wont make you question the meaning or the balance of your life.
It wears its philosophy on its sleeve and this detracted from its appeal at first but it does so in a knowing way. The animation and the sound design are beautifully done and – even though it was made in 2006 – it shies away from the glossy approach of many modern anime. Arias’ direction of the film and the animation has a surprising amount in common with Aronofsky‘s The Fountain [also from 2006]: where Aronofsky chose effects made by organic materials over CGI, Arias chose watercolours over CGI; where Aronofsky had echoing time periods, Arias charts the cyclical progression of a year’s passing; Aronofsky has two characters inextricably linked throughout time, so too does Arias but psychically linked; the connections are surprising considering that both films were in production at the same time.
To say that Tekkonkinkreet is on par with The Fountain would be spurious to the Aronofsky-hard fans and facetious at best but it is important to acknowledge their similarities, if only for an Amazonian ‘If you liked The Fountain then you may like Tekkonkinkreet‘.
After I’d accepted its earnest philosophy, I enjoyed the film thoroughly: it was beautifully done throughout and by the denouement, I really cared about the characters – it’s also the denouement when Arias brings out the animation he’s been waiting to show you. That 5-10 minute stretch alone is fascinating enough for your attention.
Go out, go get it.
“Be happy be happy.”