Michael Arias (2006)

12 Certificate


Our Score
Visually gorgeous but narratively uneven, this manga-based urban fantasy from debuting director Michael Arias is a frequently mesmerising affair. The first feature-length Japanese anime to be made by an American, it sets an overlong story of friendship, devotion and childhood imagination against beautifully detailed cityscapes that leave you swooning at their technical virtuosity. Unfortunately, the violent and episodic events themselves aren't as impressive, becoming increasingly sprawling and off-puttingly surreal, as two street urchins, Black and White, try to stop the yakuza and their allies from turning their decaying home into an amusement park. The looser the scripting gets, the more the film's intricacies and emotion start to wash over you, sadly diluting its poignancy and appeal.


Streetwise Kuro and naive Shiro are homeless orphans living in a dangerous neighbourhood, which they believe they have a duty to defend. They fight gangsters, assassins and religious fanatics, but face their ultimate challenge when a ruthless corporation plans to demolish the town. Animated adventure, with the voices of Kazunari Ninomiya and Yu Aoi. In Japanese.

Cast & Crew

Kuro / Itachi Kazunari Ninomiya
Shiro Yu Aoi
Kimura Yusuke Iseya
Sawada Kankuro Kudo
Suzuki Min Tanaka
Director Michael Arias
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Other Information

Language: Japanese +subtitlesColourAvailable on: DVD and Blu-ray