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Tekkon Kinkreet: Black & White

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Post  maimouna Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:19 pm

Tekkon Kinkreet: Black & White – Jungian Archetypal Analysis
Maïmouna Y-C

“Tekkon Kinkreet” essentially takes perspective of two wayward orphans, Black & White, who live in a corrupt city. Fighting to protect it from change, White is taken and the graphic novel becomes a race to protect each other.
The title, “Tekkon Kinkreet”, is a play on Japanese words meaning “a concrete structure within an iron frame”, suggesting opposing images of concrete cities against the strength of imagination; revealing to be multi-faceted to the reader who reads it several times.

Symbolic Archetypes – Black vs White
Tekkon Kinkreet within itself represents the idea of juxtaposing black and white, as well as opposing them; the main characters, Black & White are the embodiment of this. Black is a physical representation of The City’s present and future, is all action and cruelty, violence and rage; White hold’s Black’s sanity, is love and magic, managing to stay extremely child-like despite all that he’s seen; they are juxtaposed as one’s yin to the other’s yang.

The artist continually plays with this theme of Black vs White – the art itself, with it’s dark imperfect lines on white paper, and the mood and atmosphere throughout the graphic novel. Beginning with an optimistic tone of remembrance, the characters and the city continually spiral down into ‘Black’; resulting in a battle between White and the Minotaur (Black’s inner “demon”) for possession of Black’s soul.

Situational Archetypes – The Journey
Tekkon Kinkreet falls into The Journey after Black recognizes White imminent death is White is to stay with him, letting White be taken into protection by The City’s cops. Without White to anchor Black’s sanity, Black descends into a physical and psychological hell.
Barely holding onto a thread of comprehension, never eating and sleeping, fighting night and day – worn down, Black is saved by the Minotaur from near death. Recognizing the Minotaur to simply be the legendary wild child of another City, he starts to idealize the Minotaur’s strength; “…right now you’re too clouded. You don’t know the true dark…the truth can only be found there. Light comes from the dark”. Things continue to go bad when the Minotaur attempts drag out Black’s inner dark, the Minotaur, and is only stopped by White. The Minotaur reveals himself to be Black’s ‘truth’, Black drops into a vivid hallucination and pain. The Journey comes to full circle when Black chooses White over the Minotaur and White is returned to Black.

Character Archetypes – White
10 year-old White personifies love and magic, who has a childlike longing for innocence and truth – though demonstrates chilling insight at times. White is the archetype of The Child, one of the four survival archetypes.
The four survival archetypes are the Child, the Victim, the Prostitute and the Saboteur (a.k.a. the Trickster); the Child dealing with our ability to connect and shows childlike qualities of innocence, optimism, need and trust.

White also frequently voices all his momentary needs and whims, has a hidden power of joyful strength. Abandoned as a child, Black has taken on the role of mother for White. Nurturing him, fighting for him – Black tries to protect White, as well as his innocence, while both of them acts like an insane version of Lost Boys. White exhibits the key trait of The Child, with his blunt speech and blatant trust in Black. Even when it seems like Black forsakes White, leaving him to be taken by The City’s cops, White’s trust stays undying.


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Post  Jamarlikescereal Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:42 pm


I think a lot can be said about black (particularly), such as when he encounters the minotaur. The minotaur I believe is Black's shadow, and he tries to take control over black but ultimately fails when white intervenes and helps black come to terms with himself. By understanding that he doesn't have to be the shadow and that he doesn't have to channel it differently because of white he's able to face his "demons". Instead of becoming a being of instinct and staying that way, he regains his humanity and metaphorically dies. He's reborn as a more mature and understanding individual devoid of any internal conflict.


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Post  Mr. C Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:05 pm

Mai - very good analysis. The graphic novel sounds intriguing. A few questions for you: do you think White and Black are each others anima and animus? Also, given how the title means "a concrete structure within an iron frame," is the archetype of Nature vs. Mechanistic World play out at all in the novel?
Mr. C
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Post  Maï Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:48 pm

Hi Mr.C, are we supposed to give you a response, or are the questions just food for thought?

In case it's the latter; it's possible to think of it that way. But my understanding of anima and animus isn't the best (at all), so I'm going to say that I don't think so. Though they don't really exhibit the traits of what anima and animus are thought to be, they definitely complete a sort of "mother and father" role to each other. I'm not really sure if that counts or if that's what you meant though.

The archetypes of Nature vs Machanistic world only plays out in the sense that there's the sense of a passing. But this archetypes isn't literally played out at all throughout the graphic novel.


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