Monday, May 26, 2008

Tekkonkinkreet (anime movie) - Watch-alikes

Well, I watched Tekkonkinkreet for the fourth time, in English again. Then I watched parts of it for the fifth time, this time with the commentary track on. As it turns out, the Japanese cast's relative inexperience in anime voice acting was actually something the director had done on purpose. From the sounds of things, this movie was a first (or near first) for many people - the director's first time directing, the group Plaid's first time doing a soundtrack, etc. It really is amazing that the movie got done, much less got done so well.

Anyway, as I was watching it for the fourth time, I tried to come up with a list of similar movies and TV shows. I can't think of anything that's really like Tekkonkinkreet, since it's very much unlike anything I tend to gravitate towards, but I did think up a list of movies and shows with at least a few aspects in common with this movie.

  • Tokyo Godfathers (anime movie) - On Christmas Eve, three of Tokyo's homeless (a middle-aged drunkard, a teenage girl with an attitude, and a cross-dresser) find an abandoned baby. The cross-dresser, Hana, has always wanted a baby and vows to take care of this one as though it were "her" own - in Hana's head, they'd be like a family, with the drunkard as the father, Hana as the mother, and the teenager as the older sister. Hana gets talked out of this idea easily enough, but insists that they find the baby's mother. Although there's a little bit of violence (some guys beating up homeless people for kicks), it's a pretty heart-warming movie. The biggest thing it's got in common with Tekkonkinkreet is the homeless people and a small bit with, if I remember right, a hallucination that interrupts reality. Since the director, Satoshi Kon, was also responsible for the (much darker) reality-bending Perfect Blue, it's a bit surprising that there's only one "weird bit."
  • Paranoia Agent (TV series) - In this series, a mysterious kid with a bent golden bat is going around attacking people. Two detectives are investigating, trying to stop him, but their investigation uncovers a lot of strangeness. There's still something about the artwork in this show that reminds me of Tekkonkinkreet, although most people probably wouldn't agree with me. I think it's got something to do with the crazy happy smiles in the opening credits. Anyway, for the most part this series is a bit creepy, dark, and strange, although some of the episodes are darkly humorous. Some of the things that get uncovered about the characters remind me of Tekkonkinkreet. For instance, one woman discovers a hidden dark side of herself, another personality, that reminds me of Black's discovery of his dark side. Also, if you liked the aspects of Tekkonkinkreet that inspire additional thought and analysis, you might like this watch-alike best out of the four I've listed.
  • Kakurenbo (anime movie) - This short film centers around a mysterious game only kids can play, a game of hide-and-seek in which everyone who plays disappears. If I had to pick a genre for this, I'd say something like dark horror or suspense. The CG aspects of this film are, in my opinion, more obvious than those in Tekkonkinkreet, although that doesn't mean it's not a good-looking film. In Tekkonkinkreet, Treasure Town is almost another character, and so is the dark and sinister town in this film. The detail on the buildings also reminds me of Treasure Town, although Treasure Town is more of an explosion of color than this town is. If your favorite part of Tekkonkinkreet was the action scenes, especially the scenes involving the alien assassins, then this film might be a good fit. It's got persistent and scary demons.
  • Moon Child (live action Japanese movie) - This movie focuses on the relationship, over time, between Sho (a street child) and Kei (a vampire damned to walk the earth forever). Their friendship becomes strained as they both fall for the same woman, but they reunite years later. This film is most enjoyable if you already like the Japanese pop/rock stars who play the main characters - Gackt is Sho and Hyde is Kei. If you don't know who they are, or even if you do, you might find this movie to be a bit too cheesy, but get a group of friends together to watch it and I'm sure you'll still have fun. I chose this as a watch-alike because of the friendship theme, the presence of yakuza, the messed up reality bits (courtesy of a drug trip), and the action scenes. Also, the place Sho lives has some of the corrupt, yakuza-run feel of Treasure Town, although it's not nearly as gleeful about it as Treasure Town can be.
Well, that's about as far as I'm going to stretch trying to think up watch-alikes.

Heh, as I was setting up the links in this post, I realized that Satoshi Kon was not only the director and person who came up with the original story for Tokyo Godfathers, he also did the same things for Paranoia Agent. Basically, this list is 50% a Satoshi Kon list.

No comments:

Post a Comment