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Tekkonkinkreet cover.jpg
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Black
Written byTaiyō Matsumoto
Published byShogakukan
English publisher
MagazineBig Comic Spirits
English magazine
Original run19931994
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Anime film
Directed byKōji Morimoto
Produced byHiroaki Takeuchi
StudioStudio 4°C
ReleasedJanuary 1, 1999
Runtime4 minutes
Anime film
Directed byMichael Arias
Produced by
  • Eiko Tanaka
  • Eiichi Kamagata
  • Masao Teshima
  • Fumio Ueda
Written byAnthony Weintraub
Music byPlaid
StudioStudio 4°C
Licensed bySony Pictures[6]
ReleasedDecember 22, 2006
Runtime110 minutes

Tekkonkinkreet (Japanese: 鉄コン筋クリート, Hepburn: Tekkonkinkurīto),[a] also known as Black & White, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Taiyō Matsumoto, originally serialized from 1993 to 1994 in Shogakukan's seinen manga magazine Big Comic Spirits. The story takes place in the fictional city of Takaramachi (Treasure Town) and centers on a pair of orphaned street kids – the tough, canny, Black, and the childish, innocent, White, together known as the Cats – as they deal with yakuza attempting to take over Treasure Town.

A pilot film directed by Kōji Morimoto was released in January 1999. A feature-length anime film directed by Michael Arias and animated by Studio 4°C premiered in Japan in December 2006.


While the manga follows multiple plot threads, the film adaptation consists of most plots shown in the manga.

The film follows two orphans, Black (クロ, Kuro) and White (シロ, Shiro), as they attempt to keep control of the streets of the pan-Asian metropolis of Takaramachi, once a flourishing town and now a huge, crumbling slum fraught with warring between criminal gangs. Black is a violent and streetwise punk, considering Takaramachi to be "his town". White is younger and appears to be mentally impaired, out of touch with the world around him and often living in a world of illusions. They call themselves "the Cats". Despite their extreme differences, they complement and support each other, similar to the Chinese Taoist principle of yin and yang.

During one of their "missions", they take on thugs and Black ends up beating up three Yakuza gang members who are menacing a street gangster friend of his. The Yakuza work for Snake (, Hebi), the head of a corporation called "Kiddy Kastle". Snake plans to tear down and rebuild Takaramachi as a theme park to fit his own goals and dreams. When Black interferes once too often, Yakuza are sent to kill him, but fail. Angered, Snake then sends the deadly "three assassins" known as Dragon, Butterfly, and Tiger, near-superhuman hitmen, to finish the job.

In order to save Black and himself, White has to kill the first assassin Dragon by tipping gasoline and setting it alight, burning him alive. The second assassin Butterfly pursues White and stabs him with a samurai sword. White is then sent to the hospital. The police, who have been watching both Snake and the two youngsters, decide to take White into protective custody "for his own good", while Black watches White go knowing he would be too hard to look after while being hunted. Black later falls into a depressive state.

Alongside the children's narrative is a story is told through the eyes of Kimura (木村), an average man who gets caught up in the Yakuza, leading him to have a violent encounter with Black. Eventually, Kimura is forced by Snake to kill his former boss and mentor, Suzuki (鈴木), to remove possible competition. While Kimura fulfills his mission, he is deeply shocked by having murdered his mentor. Summoned once again by Snake, Kimura rebels and kills the Yakuza boss, before attempting to flee with his pregnant wife from Takaramachi. He is gunned down in a drive-by shooting by Snake's men.

While the police feel it is for the best for White to remain with them outside Takaramachi, White feels empty without Black there for support. In parallel, without White, Black soon begins to lose grip on reality and allows his violence to consume him. He soon develops a split personality, with his dark side manifesting as the "minotaur". Things reach a climax when White is brought back to Takaramachi by one of the officers and taken to a local fair. There, a delusional Black is trying to show people that "White", in reality a mocked-up doll, has returned to life. When Black is attacked by Snake's two remaining assassins, the doll is damaged and Black flies into a murderous rage, killing the assassins. It is then that he is confronted by the real White, and is forced to fight the "minotaur", who wishes to completely consume him. Black manages to triumph over his dark side and reunites with White, last seen playing in the beach.



Tekkonkinkreet is written and illustrated by Taiyō Matsumoto. It was originally serialized from 1993 to 1994 in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits.[8][9] Shogakukan compiled its chapters into three wide-ban volumes, released from February 7, 1994, to May 30, 1994.[10][11] Shogakukan republished the series in a single volume on December 15, 2006.[12]

In North America, the series was renamed Black & White, and start publishing in the first issue of Viz Media's Pulp in December 1997, along with Strain, Dance till Tomorrow and Banana Fish. The manga completed 2 thirds of its run in the magazine, and in September 1999, it was replaced by Bakune Young.[13] Viz Media published the three volumes from March 8, 1999, to November 30, 2000.[14][15] In 2007, Viz Media released the series into a single volume, with the title Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White, on September 25, 2007.[16]

Volume list[edit]

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 February 7, 1994[10]4-09-184731-5March 8, 1999[14]1-56931-322-9
2 April 4, 1994[17]4-09-184732-3January 5, 2000[18]1-56931-432-2
3 May 30, 1994[11]4-09-184733-1November 30, 2000[15]1-56931-490-X

Anime films[edit]


A CG-animated pilot film was released in 1999.[19] The film was directed by Kōji Morimoto and had character models designed by Naoko Sugita. Hiroaki Takeuchi was the producer, Lee Fulton was the animation supervisor, and the 2006 feature-length film's director, Michael Arias, served as CG director. The entire 4-minute short was completed with a staff of 12 people.[20]

2006 film[edit]

All three manga issues were adapted into a 2006 feature-length anime film of the same name, directed by Michael Arias and animated by Studio 4°C.[21] The film Tekkonkinkreet premiered in Japan on December 23, 2006.[22] The city featured in Tekkonkinkreet was deemed as "the central character of the film" and the city's design was inspired by the cityscapes of Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong; Shanghai, China; and Colombo, Sri Lanka to give a pan-Asian feel to the city.[23] The English electronic music duo Plaid composed the music.[24] Asian Kung-Fu Generation performed the theme song for the film "Aru Machi no Gunjō".[25]

The film featured the following cast:

Character Japanese Cast English Cast**
Black/The Minotaur Kazunari Ninomiya Scott Menville
White Yū Aoi Elliot Fletcher
Kimura Yūsuke Iseya Rick Gomez
Sawada Kankurō Kudō Tom Kenny
Suzuki aka Rat Min Tanaka David Lodge
Gramps Rokurō Naya
Fujimura Tomomichi Nishimura Maurice LaMarche
The Boss Mugihito John DiMaggio
Choco Nao Ōmori Alex Fernandez
Vanilla Yoshinori Okada Quinton Flynn
Gamers Morisanchuu
Dawn Yukiko Tamaki Yuri Lowenthal
Dusk Mayumi Yamaguchi Phil LaMarr
Akutso* Harumi Asoi
Yasuda* Atsushi Imaizuma
Ocohima* Bryan Burton-Lewis
Snake Masahiro Motoki Dwight Schultz
Kimura's Wife* Marina Inoue Kate Higgins
The Doctor* Osamu Kobayashi Steven Jay Blum
The Three Assassins
(Dragon, Butterfly and Tiger)
Crispin Freeman
Dave Wittenberg
Matt McKenzie
* - Minor Role
** - Not credited on the DVD



Tekkonkinkreet has been generally well received by critics, for its story and particularly for Matsumoto's artwork and style. Jason Henderson of Mania.com, reviewed the third volume of the manga. He noted Matsumoto's influence by French comics and writing, and how he was able to create a "truly remarkable story that mixes Japanese sensibility with a European look and pace".[26] Matthew J. Brady of Manga Life, gave the series an "A" grade. Brady praised the series for its unique and expressive artwork, stating that it is more like something seen in independent American or European comics than in standard manga, also comparing his style to Western artists Brandon Graham, Corey Lewis and Bryan Lee O'Malley. He also wrote that the relationship and character of the main protagonists is very believable, despite their superhuman acrobatic and fighting abilities. Brady concluded: "It's a rich book that you can pore over absorbing at all the content".[27] Shaenon K. Garrity wrote: "Tekkon Kinkreet is one of the most visually stunning comics I know. Matsumoto can draw the hell out of anything, and the warped, kinetic, graffiti-influenced style he uses here is perfect for the loopy action-packed story". Garrity added that it also got a strong story, and the two central characters are "surprisingly lovable and touching", and that their "odd, clumsily affectionate, ultimately powerful relationship" is the core of the manga.[28] Scott Campbell of activeAnime, said that the manga is "one of those books that everyone will get a slightly different feeling from, and a different idea of what the point of it all was". About the art style, he wrote that it does not fit anything exactly, and "it gives a feel of grunge, cyber-punk, and our confusion over the separation of ourselves from nature – or whether a cityscape could now be described as nature to humankind". Campbell concluded: "It’s masterful at what it does in both telling a compelling story and being so visually unique. A mature work worth giving a chance to entertain you".[29] Sandra Scholes, of the same website, wrote that the art is "rough and rugged, much like the character's personalities", but that "there is room for fun in this huge epic novel of life in neo-punk Japan, its sprawling place, urban people and slightly dodgy nightlife", making it a "one off masterpiece".[30] Joseph Luster of Otaku USA, felt that the brotherly bond between the protective Black and the endearing White was the heart of the manga. Regarding Matsumoto's artwork, he wrote that it could be "an acquired taste for some, but I also doubt anyone that gets into it will ever want to let it go". Luster concluded: "Tekkonkinkreet is a mighty achievement that should be inspirational to artists and just plain absorbing to anyone else."[31] Deb Aoki of About.com, gave the series 4.5 out of 5 stars. Aoki was less enthusiastic about Matsumoto's artwork, and wrote that his dreamlike vision of a Japanese city "chaotically" defies the laws of perspective, and it is like "Las Vegas on acid". Nonetheless, she affirmed that the main appeal of the series is its story and "how it touches the heart"; "two orphans become symbols of a struggle between opposing opposites: innocence and corruption, hope and cynicism, imagination versus reality".[3]

Kai-Ming Cha of Publishers Weekly, ranked Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White first on the "Top 10 Manga for 2007".[1]


The film holds a 76% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews, and an average score of 65 on Metacritic based on 9 critics.[32][33]

Chris Beveridge, writing in Mania, declared: "While it may not be what anime fans have come to expect for a traditional film, the end result is something that while predictable is surprisingly engaging."[34] Chris Johnston of Newtype USA wrote: "Regardless of how much you watch this one, though, this is a film that no serious anime fan should miss".[35]



The manga won the 2008 Eisner Award for "Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan".[36]


Tekkonkinkreet won the "Best Film Award" at the 2006 Mainichi Film Awards.[37] It was also named Barbara London's top film of 2006 in the annual "Best of" roundup by the New York Museum of Modern Art's Artforum magazine.[38] In 2008, it received "Best Original Story" and "Best Art Direction" from the Tokyo International Anime Fair.[39] It won the 2008 Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.[40]


  1. ^ A child's mispronunciation of "Tekkin Konkurito" [steel-reinforced concrete].[7]


  1. ^ a b Cha, Kai-Ming (January 1, 2008). "Top 10 Manga for 2007". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Donovan, Hope (June 23, 2020). "TEKKONKINKREET Goes Digital". Viz Media. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Aoki, Deb. "Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White". About.com. Archived from the original on March 22, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Browne, Nicoletta Christina. "Tekkon Kinkreet". T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  5. ^ Osmond, Andrew (July 29, 2014). "Tekkonkinkreet and Poppy Hill Screenings on Film4". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Koulikov, Mikhail (July 19, 2007). "Sony Confirms Tekkonkinkreet Blu-Ray Disc, DVD Details". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Wallace, Julia (April 24, 2007). "Tracking Shots: Tekkonkinkreet". Film. The Village Voice. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
  8. ^ "Michael Arias's Tekkonkinkreet". The Museum of Modern Art 2007 Film Exhibitions. MoMA.org. 2007. Archived from the original on May 3, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
  9. ^ 若月佑美、乃木坂46として最後の舞台「鉄コン筋クリート」開幕「未来が少し見えた」. Natalie (in Japanese). November 18, 2018. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  10. ^ a b 鉄コン筋クリート 1 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. February 7, 1994. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  11. ^ a b 鉄コン筋クリート 3 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. May 30, 1994. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  12. ^ 鉄コン筋クリート All in One (in Japanese). Shogakukan. December 15, 2006. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  13. ^ "Pulp Magazine reviewed". Anime News Network. June 24, 2000. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Matsumoto, Taiyo (March 1999). Black & White, Volume 1. ISBN 1569313229.
  15. ^ a b Matsumoto, Taiyo (November 30, 2000). Black & White, Volume 3. ISBN 156931490X.
  16. ^ "TEKKONKINKREET: Black & White". Viz Media. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  17. ^ 鉄コン筋クリート 2 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. April 4, 1994. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Matsumoto, Taiyo (January 5, 2000). Black & White, Volume 2. ISBN 1569314322.
  19. ^ "Black & White to become anime: "Tekkon Kinkreet"". Anime News Network. September 2, 1999. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  20. ^ Rumi Hiwasa; translated by Alun Simpson. "XSI User Profile: Studio 4 °C". www.softimage.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  21. ^ Amid (March 21, 2006). "Studio 4°C's TEKKON KINKURITO". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
  22. ^ Schilling, Mark (December 21, 2006). "Outlander gazes into Showa's soul". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2007.
  23. ^ Wallace, Bruce (February 4, 2007). "His adopted home is called Treasure Town". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2020. He sculpted his images from the Tokyo neighborhoods he knows and loves but also borrowed from cityscapes in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Colombo, Sri Lanka, to give his metropolis a pan-Asian feel.
  24. ^ "North American Premiere: Tekkonkinkreet at the MoMA". Anime News Network. April 23, 2007. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  25. ^ "ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION 映画「鉄コン筋クリート」主題歌を担当! !". Hot Express (in Japanese). Plantech, Co Ltd. August 14, 2006. Archived from the original on July 6, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  26. ^ "Black & White Vol. 3". Mania.com. September 6, 2000. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  27. ^ Brady, Matthew J. (March 5, 2008). "Tekkonkinkreet: Black And White". Manga Life. Archived from the original on March 12, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  28. ^ Garrity, Shaenon K. (August 2, 2007). "Overlooked Manga Festival!". shaenon.livejournal.com. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  29. ^ Campbell, Scott (September 23, 2007). "Tekkon Kinkreet – Black & White (Advanced Review)". activeAnime. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  30. ^ Scholes, Sandra (July 28, 2008). "Tekkon Kinkreet Black & White – All in One (Advance Review)". activeAnime. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  31. ^ Luster, Joseph (September 11, 2008). "Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White". Otaku USA. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  32. ^ "Tekkonkinkreet". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on December 10, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  33. ^ "Tekkonkinkreet". Metacritic. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  34. ^ Beveridge, Chris (October 5, 2007). "Tekkon Kinkreet". Mania. Archived from the original on September 25, 2010.
  35. ^ Johnston, Chris (October 2007). "Tekkon Kinkreet". Newtype USA. Vol. 6, no. 10. p. 97. ISSN 1541-4817.
  36. ^ Loo, Egan (July 26, 2008). "Tekkonkinkreet Wins Eisner Award". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  37. ^ "映画「鉄コン筋クリート」OFFICIAL BLOG - TOL ブログ(Blog) 芸能人・有名人・ツタヤのお店がエンタメを語る~" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on May 9, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
  38. ^ "GreenCine Daily: Artforum. Best of 2006". Archived from the original on July 23, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
  39. ^ Mikhail, Koulikov (February 26, 2008). "Eva 1.0 Wins Tokyo Anime Fair's Animation of the Year - Anime News Network". Archived from the original on June 27, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  40. ^ "Animation of the year" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 16, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wong, Amos (January 2007). "Tekkon Kinkreet". Newtype USA. Vol. 6, no. 1. p. 99. ISSN 1541-4817.

External links[edit]