Director Michael Arias manages to translate the visual quirks of Taiyo Matsumoto’s serial manga to the screen, but his story is both too cute and too rambling. We get endless scenes of death and regeneration, mostly centered around street urchins Black and White. Black is a teenager with visions of grandeur—he has already cast himself as a comic-book hero—while the younger White is supposed to be something of an idiot savant, an icon of innocence, but his maniacal giggle gets old fast. These vigilantes-in-training wage war against mobsters who want to build an amusement park in the ancient heart of their beloved city, Treasure Town. This metropolis, a sprawling, gorgeous mess, is the film’s saving grace: Like many classic superhero cycles, Tekkonkinkreet harnesses the dramatic power of the decaying city to spectacular effect.