Tekkonkinkreet: Black and White

by Taiyo Matsumoto

Publisher: Viz

Format: Softcover, partial color, $29.95

ISBN: 978-1-4215-1867-1

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Black and White are like Peter Pan brothers, flying hoodlum kid vigilantes who frolic through the high-rise surreality of TreasureTown in cool, urchin-chic getups. Respected and feared by both cops and yakuza gangsters, they kick butt and bust heads when threatened by other hoodlums or just dopey bystanders. Black's tough and savvy dark karma complements White's more childlike, sweetly intuitive nature, and their deep love for each other drives the plot amid neurotic cops who shift loyalties and gentrification-prone yakuza. The textured layering in plot and characters recalls Watchmen  in complexity, and nearly everyone has nasty and noble aspects—from street boozer Gramps with his spiritual advice to outsider yakuza Serpent, who wants to replace strip parlors with kiddie amusement centers and sets his alien assassins on the boys. This lush reissue includes color insert sections and an interview with Michael Arias, director of the recent anime. First translated in the mid-1990s in PULP magazine and then in three Viz volumes from 2000, this classic and innovative manga reflects European and indie comics influences. The art's unpolished, detailed crudeness represents how the characters see their world and comes off as appropriate, even perversely charming. With (nonsexual) nudity and frequent violence; recommended for older teens and adults. (The title is also written as Tekkon Kinkreet.) —Martha Cornog