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

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,335 ratings  ·  94 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 2,390)
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Nate D
Jul 14, 2014 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Adam Wescott
Dec 04, 2007 Adam Wescott rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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.
Anne Ishii
originally read it in Japanese a while ago, this is the sweetest, saddest, most beautiful coming-of-age brothers story ever.
Jeff Jackson
"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
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
Pete Lee
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

(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

(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
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
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.
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.
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
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 &
Mambabasang Miong
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
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
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
Spork Jr.
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
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars
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
Phillip Goodman
just finished this fantastic story, its a three volume work, but really must be read all in one go, and as such this compilation book is very useful, but perhaps i would view it differently had i read them seperately, perhaps i would see it differately, see the structures that made the end of each volume the end of a story within the greater story instead of just turning the next page and moving onto the next episode....but i've waffled on enough, so to cut to the chase, the story is about two, ...more
Pete Foley
I can't tell if this just delivers it better than the film, if I knew more of what to expect or if I've just grown up, but I appreciated the contrast of Lost Boys vs horrible gang violence.
The unexplained flying, the constant changing of headgear, this manga was so charming.
I love feeling like I've been thrown into the middle of an existing situation and then slowly working out what's what.
The minotaur, the three assassins, the curly guy (?), the falling into animalism / monsterism, make this a
Amazing. I've never read a book that delivers a story in the tones that this book uses. Flying through rooftops, beating thugs and kids alike, hallucinations, downward spirals and rehabilitations; this book delivers a poetic look at violence, boyhood, power, and individual understandings of humanity without losing momentum for a second. The art is fantastic and consistent, and the story is delivered with perfect pacing– it never feels rushed or cut off, unless it's supposed to feel that way. Mat ...more
Freakin' adorable from the beginning! A fascinating story about orphaned boys Black and White, possibly brothers who live on the streets, and own it in Treasure Town. They kick the crap out of adult hooligans or anyone with a few bucks so they can buy necessities and steal valuables.

I just heard about this, and found the movie first, but have started the series instead; I am not disappointed. It's got so much heart. More violent than Tank Girl! It ties Kic
I'm not sure if this counts as manga, but I don't think it really matters. This is a smashing and fairly lengthy book showing the relationship between two violent, vagrant children slumming in Tokyo. The story's pretty decent; the best comparison, whether it's appropriate or not, is a magical realist form of narrative, which leads me on to the book's strongest point: the artwork. Really, really stunning loose line work, warped angles and child-like substitutions of faces for suns and nightmarish ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comic
This book was great! This wasn't my first foray into Manga, but it was my first successful one. I wasn't sure about the illustration style at first, but it grew on me; toward the middle of the book it was almost equal to the story in why I continued to read. The writing used a lot of tropes about duality (would you expect any less from a book subtitled "black & white"), but it manages to find a fresh presentation for them.

One thing about Manga I found difficult was the translation. For exam
Dark and at times disturbing. The Yin and Yang of Black and White pulls no punches. Violence intertwined with innocence as a struggle for the heart of a city plays out in the struggle for the salvation of Black and White.
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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
More about Taiyo Matsumoto...

Other Books in the Series

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