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Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White (Black and White #1-3)

4.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,725 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
2008 Eisner Comic Winner!Street urchins Black and White have skyscraper-sized chips on their shoulders, but are fiercely loyal to each other. Black is especially quick to avenge any slight against his dim-witted pal. The result? The citizens of Treasure Town are afraid of them, the police are afraid of them--even the local yakuza gangsters are afraid of them! But when the ...more
Paperback, English Edition, 622 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by VIZ Media (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nate D
Jul 14, 2014 Nate D rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nate D by: Maya
Balanced between the exhilaration and bitter ugliness, Tekkon Kinkreet is the story of two orphans who serve as the Yin and Yang of a rough city deep into a sort of perverse, mob-driven Disneyfication. The visual style is uniquely shaky and visceral, the frames packed with motion and rushing skylines with a sort of grotesque charm, and the same can perhaps be said of the motley cast of characters. Occasionally reveals its serial creation with unnecessary episodes, but much less so than a lot of ...more
Mar 16, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorites, manga
All the wildness of youth and all the beautiful decay of the big city, in one 600 page package. Nobody draws like Matsumoto -- all canted angles, loose lines, and bodies in perpetual motion. He fills his pages with sad men with bad posture, and tough kids with their mouths and their eyes wide open to the world. The book starts out as two brothers against the universe, and ends as a touching story about achieving balance and remaining true to yourself while accepting changes in the world around y ...more
Adam Wescott
Dec 04, 2007 Adam Wescott rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: manga-lovers who want something different; older teenagers
White is an eleven-year-old orphan, perpetually innocent but a bit dim. Black is a thirteen-year-old orphan, street-smart but extremely violent and slightly off his rocker. The two boys live in an old beat-up car in the worn-down district of Treasure Town, Osaka, and spend their days flying (yes, you heard that right, flying) from roof to roof, protecting what Black calls "their" city from any gang members, yakuza and alien assassins (alien assassins, right) who are unfortunate enough to cross o ...more
Joey Comeau
May 12, 2013 Joey Comeau rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
This is one of my favourite comic books. It's surreal and sort of mystical in a way that isn't lame, but is instead psychological and unexpectedly violent. I was very surprised by this book.


Two years after first reading this book, I have come back to it again and again, each time finding more to love. This has gone from being a really nice surprise and "one of my favourite comic books" to being my favourite BOOK, period.
Jeff Jackson
Dec 05, 2012 Jeff Jackson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
"Tekkonkinkreet melted my mind. Originally published in 1993 it tells the story of two street orphans who control their piece of Treasure Town through a cheerful violence. It was for me a life affirming work as I, like Black and White, spent much of my time kicking mobsters in the teeth, hanging out on building tops and wrestling with which fucked up hat to wear. Fitting restlessly into the company of Oliver Twist and Tom Sawyer with a solid dose of The Five Deadly Venoms, it teaches that you ca ...more
Anne Ishii
Aug 14, 2007 Anne Ishii rated it it was amazing
originally read it in Japanese a while ago, this is the sweetest, saddest, most beautiful coming-of-age brothers story ever.
Pete Lee
May 04, 2008 Pete Lee rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorites. Few people have clashed magical realism with street nihilism the way Matsumoto has. The story centers around two street urchins in a timeless Japanese city, trying to protect it against gentrification (brought on by gangsters and aliens?) all the while trying the survive the harsh streets. But it does not feel particularly outlandish or cartoonish because the characters, their speeches, and their struggles were all wonderfully detailed. The movie that came out this y ...more
Dec 10, 2015 Christian rated it it was amazing
They shoulda sent a poet... I can't find words to describe how good this is. It's all loose-limbed surreal manga, street kids making impossible leaps through a weird Moebius Tokyo, packed with detail. It's whimsical but there's a bite to it - you feel every punch, and the toll it takes on Black and the other inhabitants of Treasure Town. Black and his innocent other half White are surprisingly subtly sketched, and their relationship keeps the comic grounded.

Around the edges flit yakuza and cops
Dec 04, 2012 Parka rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, comics

(More pictures at

Tekkon Kinkreet was originally published as a Japanese manga in 1993. The title is a pun on "Tekkin" and "Concrete", the Japanese term for reinforced concrete.

Just four years before creating Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Matsumoto had traveled to France for artistic research. The style of art in this book was heavily the French comics he studied there. It's a mixture of French line art with Japanese manga paneling.

The story is about two orphans, Black and White, who li
Feb 20, 2008 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
Matsumoto Taiyo's work enacts a beguiling poetic of violence. This manga, initially serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits, has never before been printed in one volume and we are lucky to finally see it. Kuro and Shiro (Japanese for Black and White) veer from roof to roof and from surreal, bloody encounters to those strangely endearing; it's best though when these collide into something new and powerful. Frenetic and breath-taking, Tekkon Kinkreet is what proved to me that manga can be som ...more
May 31, 2008 Angela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorite
If you love sequential art, give this one a try. It's a unique and touching story, exploring the question of what love brings out in us (both the good and the bad.)

Summaries of this book make it seem simplistic, but there is a lot here. The art, and the story, are messy, violent, sad, and beautiful. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

(Aren't they cute? :D)

I think that picture seems to resonate with the essence of this book since I see a glimpse of love and peace in the midst of extreme violence. Formerly, it’s hard for me to follow the storyline since its narrative style is somehow dreamlike and Matsumoto adds some elusive elements, such as Black and White’s ability to fly, or three (alien?) assassins that are greatly strong and humongous. So, I decided to watch the movie first (a bit tricky, eh? :D). I agree with Gabriel’s
Mar 28, 2008 Gabriel rated it really liked it
After watching the movie, I picked up the manga with high hopes. Most of those hopes were shattered in the first few pages. The storytelling feels disjointed (purposefully so, as the different threads of the story are all told at the same time, weaving the different plots through two or three panels on one page), leaving me with that much more work to piece together all the characters and their motivations. While the movie fixed that problem (while jumping around enough to match the manga it was ...more
Printable Tire
Apr 20, 2016 Printable Tire rated it really liked it
I'm not a big manga fan but I saw this on the shelf in the comics section of the school library and the raw, unusual art style intrigued me. Read in two days (it would've been one but I fell asleep). Sort of an Urban Peter Pan meets Of Mice and Men children's gangster allegory, well done.
Jan 21, 2012 Nnedi rated it it was amazing
an awesome movie and even more awesome manga. I love the style of art. The violence is disturbing and simultaneously unrealistic and realistic. the story is about balance and imbalance. youthfulness and youth (in child and adult). love and hate. the fluidity of realism and fantasy (i loved that especially). there were really no female characters and that was perfectly alright because the book didn't FEEL like it hated women. and i'll add the fact that, on their own, several sequences simply didn ...more
May 05, 2016 Ghostcat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally read this unique artwork, years after falling in love with the animated movie.
I thought maybe the lack of ambient music and vivid colors would be very different from the atmosphere of the movie, but I was wrong, this is perfect in its original version.
The drawings are fascinating, mastered at an impressive level, and this author really has talent to instill life and emotions to his characters. It is as dark and tortured and realistic while dream-like than his other book I read, but here
Cdhrreiws Alan
Jan 28, 2015 Cdhrreiws Alan rated it really liked it
I did really like this book, but I must admit that I was not a fan of the ending. The art is beautiful, and uniquely stylized by Matsumoto. The presumably post-apocalyptic and/or dystopian world and its characters are rendered in simple and elegant yet grotesque details, and the perspectives he takes are really striking and cinematic. I really enjoyed the addition of a few pages of colorized content, as color is something I often miss in manga (and any other b&w comics). I also thought the s ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Peter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Reading this was a learning experience. I spent 4/5ths of it confused about the point the artist was trying to make, then it paid of with an incredible conclusion, which tied everything together, and left me deeply impressed. A truly visionary work.
Apr 22, 2010 Alienne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Tekkon is a great combination of interesting story and terrific characters. Taiyo Matsumoto immerses you in the world of Treasure Town, and the book is unexpectedly good at getting emotional responses out of you. I couldn't put this one down.
Mayank Agarwal
Aug 28, 2014 Mayank Agarwal rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga
Was expecting a lot from it being the most popular of Taiyo Mastsumoto's work but disappointed.

As with all his work he exterminates with the Art. It's unique and ugly. Not to my liking. By the time i took to it,the manga was over.

The story about the two kids having polar personalities living in the crime filled town seem meaningless in the beginning but as you start Volume 3 it start's making sense. The subtle way the story unfolds and the conclusion to all the plots (Black & White , Rat &
Jedi JC
May 06, 2014 Jedi JC rated it really liked it
Tekkonkinkreet has a unique charm that engulfs you whenever you read it. It is outright violent, yet there's a calm and visceral tick you will feel. Black and White and the whole of Treasure Town will really get into your heart in an odd way, and I really cannot explain it, but certainly gave me a smile by the time I finished reading the book. There may be some skirmishes (chapters) which I think are unnecessary, and annoying HYUUUUUs, plus really, really weird things which the author didn't bot ...more
Jun 10, 2016 Emilio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-manga-au, comic
Me ha dejado un regusto extraño.
Es la historia de dos niños en una ciudad extraña y violenta. La narración tiene el ritmo de un cuento muy naif con toques de acción. Muy al estilo de realismo mágico. Pero roto cada pocas páginas por violencia extrema, física o social.
En resumidas cuentas son dos niños gran capacidad de lucha. Viven en una ciudad que está siendo conquistada por algún tipo de capo mafioso que manda a sus matones contra nuestra pareja de niños. Entre heridas y golpes, los niños, má
Variaciones Enrojo
Fragmento de la reseña de Okubo para su blog Mundos Hipotéticos:

Debo reconocer que, si bien en otros tiempos compraba y leía una gran cantidad de manga, con el tiempo he perdido casi todo el interés que sentía por el cómic japonés. Quizá esto se deba a la política de las editoriales españolas. [...] Por fortuna, algunas editoriales son conscientes de la demanda de los consumidores que buscan una lectura que trate temas alternativos o una erstética que se a
Erik Angle
This is the story of the Cats, a two-boy gang that sails on the wind from rooftop to rooftop, watching over the cluttered and faltering city of Treasure Town. Kuro (Black) and Shiro (White) are just kids, but they can back up their reputation as formidable protectors of their turf, and as the yin to the other's yang. As the darkness of the conflict encroaches on the light and the police, the street toughs, the yakuza, and the real estate developers all wrestle for control, the nature of truth it ...more
Michael Scott
Sep 05, 2009 Michael Scott rated it it was amazing
Tekkon Kinkreet investigates the premise that true friendship can conquer all hardships. But this is no easy friendship and the hardships are not of a regular kind. In a magical realist style (think Gabriel García Márquez, Haruki Murakami, and Salman Rushdie), Matsumoto introduces to the reader Black and White, one pessimistic and destructive, the other optimistic and ... part destructive, part helping creation. The two live in the streets of a concrete-cum-slum city, which they nevertheless lov ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Smith rated it it was amazing
I saw the parts of the movie but didn't know what was happening at the moment. I loved the style of the setting and decided to watch it later. I picked up the book first, however, and the art tempted me to put it back down again. I was inclined to overcome it after reading a few random phrases from the manga that I liked. I decided to give some of it my time.

Turns out I gave it ALL my time. I ended up finishing it in 3 hours. Surprisingly, I was admiring the art after finishing each page. Now I
Larry Wentzel
Jul 25, 2009 Larry Wentzel rated it really liked it
I've glanced at this from time to time in the past, intrigued by the name and cover, but I could never get past the style of the art.

Then I saw the anime version and holy Godzilla, that's amazing. It inspired me to go to the library and get the manga. Bearing in mind that Taiyo picked up on the Moebius style of drawing, and knowing the story already, I was able to make my way through the book, and it's pretty damn amazing.

The art is weird, black and white line drawings, all the same stroke weigh
Feb 28, 2013 J.souza rated it it was amazing
My expectatives on this one were very low from what I've seen in the reviews and on the when I finally started to read it, it just blew my mind!

At first I bought it for the art. And the art is beautiful! The mix between manga and european comics makes Taiyo Matsumoto style different from everything I've ever seen!

It starts the way I expected: with a lot of nonsense violence. But the story develops, becoming deeper without loosing it's funny and violent side. It has a lot of symbolic st
Apr 01, 2009 Damon rated it it was amazing
Amazing. A masterpiece, and I don't say that lightly. I can't believe that there isn't more stuff by Matsumoto available in English
- his work is totally unique in manga, and in comics in general, combining a heavy European influence with a very Japanese style, he manages to create books that have a feel completely different from anything else out there. I also can't believe that I wasn't going to read this, and when I read part of it previously, I wasn't that impressed (in my defense, though, it
Oct 04, 2010 Deb rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who sing "the world is a vampire" under their breath and aren't referencing Buffy
This is a non-traditional manga set in a pre-apocalyptic Japanese city called Treasure Town; it starts right before the apocalypse happens, even though there's no official threat of one. It's about a city that is passing on and two kids who take living in the midst of it all to be the same as breathing. The phrase "this is MY city" comes up quite a bit.

The reason why this book is so good, though, is that it starts out with two main characters: kids named Black and White. You think you immediatel
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Although Taiyo Matsumoto desired a career as a professional soccerplayer at first, he eventually chose an artistic profession. He gained his first success through the Comic Open contest, held by the magazine Comic Morning, which allowed him to make his professional debut. He started out with 'Straight', a comic about basketball players. Sports remain his main influence in his next comic, 'Zéro', a ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Black and White (3 books)
  • Black and White, Vol. 1
  • Black and White, Vol. 2
  • Black and White, Vol. 3

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