So we were in the video store and nothing really good was grabbing us. Then I saw Tekkonkinreet, and on the box it claimed it was one of the best animes ever. So we picked that up, along with Bender’s Big Score to make it an animated double bill.

Wow, what a great find! (Tekkonkinreet, I mean). Gorgeous animation, done by the folks who did one of the Animatrix sequences. And characters you care about, namely two street kids, Kuro and Shiro. They’re like brothers, looking after each other and working together as “The Cats” to keep the streets safe from other wannabe thugs. Life is idyllic, to a point: they have the absolute freedom of living on their own terms, and the friendship that keeps each of them in balance. Kuro has a dark streak in him (get it?) and Shiro floats away into his own imagination, and doesn’t let the violence or ugliness of the street ever get to him.

Then Kuro gets mixed up in some bad business and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, who in turn are getting over their heads with a sinister guy with bad eyebrows and three huge henchmen.

It’s got plenty of action and weirdness, but it always comes back to the two boys. In fact, a large part of the beauty of the story is that the fragility of human caring is never taken for granted. Lovely.

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