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REVIEW: Tekkon Kinkreet


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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:27 pm Reply with quote
Been seriously looking forward to it, heard a mixture of reviews (positive, for the most part), but this turns it all upside down.

I'm curious to see the clichés mentioned in the review, since the original manga is pretty fresh in that regard (well, outside of Matsumoto opting out near the end with spoiler[Black/Kuro being tempted by his "dark side," though I wasn't put off by it]).

But, uh, why is the final grade a "C-"? The animation and art are respectively given "A+" apiece, the story gets a "C," and the music gets a "C-." So, would it at least get a "C+," or at the very least a "C"? Eh, whatever.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:08 pm Reply with quote
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There is no problem with the visuals. The problem is, frankly, the lack of attention the director seems to have paid to everything else.


If recent U.S. anime trends prove anything, this just means TK's going to be more successful than Paprika.

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Even the violence itself -- the story's most important element -- pulls its punches.


Guess Arias was hoping for a PG 13...

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And it has a LOT of dialogue -- in fact, nearly every scene is crammed to the brim, to the point where we're well into the second hour before the characters shut up at all.


But is the dialogue as banal as it is in Death Proof?

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Tekkon Kinkreet is the spiritual successor to X: The Movie. It's very pretty and pushes the envelope of visuals animators can create, and does so at the expense of anything that makes us care.


I actually liked the movie, but the source material wasn't that great in the first place. Kawajiri's version just seemed lifeless, but again, the source material's not that special.

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It's a vanity project by a computer artist, and consequently, it's entertaining only as a CG demo.


But is it at least better than Spirits Within?

Anyway, apparently Justin's not the only one who feels that way about Tekkon Kinkreet, as it only got a 6.8 at http://www.imdb.com/​title/​tt0831888/​.
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Kagemusha



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:50 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

But is it at least better than Spirits Within?

Anyway, apparently Justin's not the only one who feels that way about Tekkon Kinkreet, as it only got a 6.8 at http://www.imdb.com/​title/​tt0831888/​.


Well that site also has the same movie you made fun of on its top 250, so I don't see your logic.
I actually was kind of suspicious that something like this would happen. Like Justin mentioned, the manga is without a doubt one of the finest examples of what the medium can accomplish that is available in English; a perfect blend of style, substance, emotional resonance and imagination. It isn't even like the story is an acquired taste, since every single review of the manga has pretty much said the same thing as above. But a HUGE reason it was so good is because of Taiyo Matsumoto's storytelling, which is pretty much impossible to replicate in the film medium as far as I'm concerned. There's so many things that can go wrong with a film adaptation of a manga like this, but I was at least hoping they'd pull off a solid adaptation that captured the spirit of the manga. But since Justin seems to be a smart guy and shares my take on the manga, I can only assume that he's right about this. I'm still going to see it, and maybe its good that my expectation have been lowered, but it probably won't be usurping Ping Pong's (which is also being released by Viz) position as the best Matsumoto adaptation.
On the other hand Viz is reprinting the manga this fall (I believe in a one volume edition), so that's something to look forward to.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:03 pm Reply with quote
Kagemusha:
Quote:
Well that site also has the same movie you made fun of on its top 250, so I don't see your logic. I actually was kind of suspicious that something like this would happen.


The geeks tend to inflate vote totals before the rest of us come in to give an accurate assessment.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:21 pm Reply with quote
HellKorn wrote:
But, uh, why is the final grade a "C-"? The animation and art are respectively given "A+" apiece, the story gets a "C," and the music gets a "C-." So, would it at least get a "C+," or at the very least a "C"? Eh, whatever.


Because a lot of what made it mediocre didn't fit into any of those categories. The STORY is great, of course, but the dialogue is atrocious. The symbolism is forced and doesn't work. The pacing is nonsense. How do you grade that?

I was really looking forward to this film. I wanted to love it, I really did. I also absolutely love the live action Ping Pong movie.

Gatsu wrote:
But is the dialogue as banal as it is in Death Proof?


Worse, actually. Death Proof had something of a method to its banality, whereas this is just plain lazy writing. I mean, there's one scene where a yakuza thug has to kill his boss (for reasons that are not adequately explained). The boss (Rat) is full of resignation and love, and while the guy is trying to pull the trigger, he just keeps firing off clichéd "daddy advice" lines, one after another. It just DOESN'T STOP and serves absolutely no purpose.

I don't think this storytelling style is impossible to pull off in film, but it really requires someone HUGELY talented to do it. A Koji Morimoto or a Satoshi Kon. It requires extreme, ugly visuals and high emotional and visual contrasts and forced, unnatural perspectives. This movie has none of that.

If there's one good thing to come from all this, at least it's getting Viz to re-release the manga, which has been OOP for a few years now.
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Kagemusha



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

Worse, actually. Death Proof had something of a method to its banality, whereas this is just plain lazy writing. I mean, there's one scene where a yakuza thug has to kill his boss (for reasons that are not adequately explained). The boss (Rat) is full of resignation and love, and while the guy is trying to pull the trigger, he just keeps firing off clichéd "daddy advice" lines, one after another. It just DOESN'T STOP and serves absolutely no purpose.


Out of curiosity how how did you feel about the dialogue in the translated edition? I've encountered some people who didn't like how Viz handled the translation, while others (including me) loved the somewhat unconventional script. Either way the description of the movie's script doesn't make me any more enthusiastic. I somehow suspect that this is going to be like seeing Innocence all over again (though Oshii's direction was interesting as pretentious and muddled as it was).
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:24 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
I actually liked [X: The Movie], but the source material wasn't that great in the first place. Kawajiri's version just seemed lifeless, but again, the source material's not that special.


I think without the television series or having zero knowledge on the manga itself, nobody (or not much more than a handful) could actually appreciate X: The Movie outside of, yanno, looking pretty. I mean, even then it's not like people do, but I watched it after viewing the whole series, and I'm damn sure it was more enjoyable to me than it would've been had I walked into it blindly.

Oddly enough, I actually like the movie's ending compared to the one in the series. Weird.

Quote:
Anyway, apparently Justin's not the only one who feels that way about Tekkon Kinkreet, as it only got a 6.8 at http://www.imdb.com/​title/​tt0831888/​.


Anime titles in general aren't too hot on there (obviously a few exceptions and some obscure stuff that nobody ever votes against because only the creator, director, and fanboy/fangirl stooges vote for them)... Admittedly 6.8 is kind of scraping toward the bottom of the barrel, or it's heading in that area.

jsevakis wrote:
Because a lot of what made it mediocre didn't fit into any of those categories. The STORY is great, of course, but the dialogue is atrocious. The symbolism is forced and doesn't work. The pacing is nonsense. How do you grade that?


Thanks for the clarification.

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If there's one good thing to come from all this, at least it's getting Viz to re-release the manga, which has been OOP for a few years now.


Unflipped in one humungous edition, no less. The page count and price tag'll scare away some customers if not for being alienated by the art, but it's just good to know that Taiyo Matsumoto is going to get his name out into the English market again. I've said it before since learning about it, and I'll say it again: WE NEED MORE WORKS LIKE HIS AVAILABLE OVER HERE.

Kagemusha wrote:
I've encountered some people who didn't like how Viz handled the translation, while others (including me) loved the somewhat unconventional script.


Which reminds me; is Viz going to use their original translation from Pulp or going to give a full overhaul?

Quote:
I somehow suspect that this is going to be like seeing Innocence all over again (though Oshii's direction was interesting as pretentious and muddled as it was).


They both have pretty pictures. That's gotta count for something.
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Kagemusha



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:34 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

Anime titles in general aren't too hot on there (obviously a few exceptions and some obscure stuff that nobody ever votes against because only the creator, director, and fanboy/fangirl stooges vote for them)... Admittedly 6.8 is kind of scraping toward the bottom of the barrel, or it's heading in that area.


6.8 isn't all that bad actually; remember, those charts have a pretty harsh quality scale compared to how most people look at a 1-10 rating. I've always found most anime to be rated pretty highly myself. Anyways, like gatsu mentioned you have to watch out for fan boys and the fact that a lot of films are just going to be overrated by the public (The Shawshank Redemption is freaking number two on their top 250 chart).

Quote:
Which reminds me; is Viz going to use their original translation from Pulp or going to give a full overhaul?


No idea. I don't see why they'd pay for an entirely new translation when the old one is so good (in my opinion).
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:52 pm Reply with quote
Kagemusha wrote:
6.8 isn't all that bad actually; remember, those charts have a pretty harsh quality scale compared to how most people look at a 1-10 rating.


Yeah, I think ANN has kind of tainted that for the little time that I browse around on here.

Quote:
I've always found most anime to be rated pretty highly myself.


"Masterpiece" seems to get thrown around so easily... Of course, I'm somewhat guilty myself of rating things higher than I would honestly think them to be.

It would be more useful if there was more than just one single comment there. The only really good, in-depth review that we've received so far is from Mr. Sevakis (well, from what I've seen), and I'd like to have more of a feel of what exactly to expect when I watch it (which has turned into a rental right now).

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Anyways, like gatsu mentioned you have to watch out for fan boys and the fact that a lot of films are just going to be overrated by the public (The Shawshank Redemption is freaking number two on their top 250 chart).


I remember a time when the second and third movies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy were both in the top ten list on IMDB... Yeah, popular opinion is frequently unreliable and can be quite shitty. (Hey, I like those movies, but really, folks...)

Kind of nice to see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Seven Samurai, and Dr. Strangelove high up there, though.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:10 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis:
Quote:
I also absolutely love the live action Ping Pong movie.


But that's a different director.

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Worse, actually. Death Proof had something of a method to its banality,


There was a method? Rolling Eyes

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The boss (Rat) is full of resignation and love, and while the guy is trying to pull the trigger, he just keeps firing off clichéd "daddy advice" lines, one after another.


So you're saying it's as dumb as that game where Mega Man let Wily ramble on instead of shooting him? Wink

Hellkorn:
Quote:
The only really good, in-depth review that we've received so far is from Mr. Sevakis (well, from what I've seen), and I'd like to have more of a feel of what exactly to expect when I watch it (which has turned into a rental right now).


Hopefully, I'll be able to throw in my two cents after next Sunday.
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jsevakis
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:06 am Reply with quote
Kagemusha wrote:
Out of curiosity how how did you feel about the dialogue in the translated edition? I've encountered some people who didn't like how Viz handled the translation, while others (including me) loved the somewhat unconventional script.


I like their translation, but having never read the Japanese (and not really being literate enough in Japanese to do so), I have nothing to compare it to. People always bitch about translations, especially if their adapted, but I tend to prefer slightly more adapted scripts, as they read better in English, which is the point in the first place.

GATSU wrote:
So you're saying it's as dumb as that game where Mega Man let Wily ramble on instead of shooting him?


.... why, actually, YES! That's EXACTLY what it was! Wow, if that doesn't discourage confidence in a screenplay, I don't know what does!

It's still a film worth seeing for the visuals, I think. Maybe some people will enjoy it more on that level, but lacking everything else, I simply couldn't enjoy it.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:15 am Reply with quote
On a side note, I remember it being part 7 for the SNES.
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dentedonion



Joined: 19 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:37 am Reply with quote
I'm not familiar at all with the original manga, so I have nothing to compare it to but this movie was one of the best animated films (story and effects wise) I have ever seen by far. It doesn't seem very fair to compare the art presented in a movie with the original art since you can include much more detail in a still manga drawing than on a frame by frame basis in a film. I also don't see what made the dialoge so horrible. It wasn't any different from any other anime film, but I felt it served it's purpose in this story well enough. I'm not exactly sure which side characters seem to be neglected, but I think it should be noted that you can only include so much information about a character in a single feature film so it's a bit harsh to be critical from this standpoint. The appeal of this film for me was the contrast made between the children's playful world and the harsh reality of the adults. The whole experience over all felt like watching a waking dream, a dream that is both whimsical and nightmarish.

Frankly, I'm disappointed with all the dismal reviews.
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jsevakis
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:57 am Reply with quote
dentedonion wrote:
I'm not familiar at all with the original manga, so I have nothing to compare it to but this movie was one of the best animated films (story and effects wise) I have ever seen by far. It doesn't seem very fair to compare the art presented in a movie with the original art since you can include much more detail in a still manga drawing than on a frame by frame basis in a film.


Hey, you're entitled to your opinion. I wondered if I was being too harsh because I was familiar with the (far better) original work, but I went and saw it with a film critic friend of mine who was completely unfamiliar with it, and he had much the same reaction I did. C'est la vie.

GATSU wrote:
jsevakis wrote:
I also absolutely love the live action Ping Pong movie.

But that's a different director.


And also a much better screenwriter, the famous Kankuro Kudo, who also wrote the dramas Ikebukuro West Gate Park and Kisarazu Cat's Eye. "Kudokan" was, strangely, a voice actor in Tekkon Kinkreet. Too bad, they could have used him much earlier in production as well.
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nicomorr



Joined: 21 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:05 am Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
Hey, you're entitled to your opinion. I wondered if I was being too harsh because I was familiar with the (far better) original work, but I went and saw it with a film critic friend of mine who was completely unfamiliar with it, and he had much the same reaction I did. C'est la vie.

Thank you for your review & I'm glad you're not averse to stating your reactions.

Can you tell me - does your film critic friend regularly watch anime? May I know which anime films or series he does like? Since you offer his reaction in support of your review I think this is relevant.

Regards,
Nico M Cool
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