A book by Kazuo Koike
AKIRA (アキラ?) is a black and white serial manga or graphic novel by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the work uses conventions of the cyberpunk genre to detail a saga of turmoil. Initially serialised in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected in six volumes by Japanese publisher Kodansha. The work was first published in an English language version by the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics, one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety. Otomo's art on the series is considered outstanding, and the work is a breakthrough for both Otomo and the manga form. An identically titled anime film adaptation was released in 1988, shortening the plot, but with its structure and scenes heavily informed by the manga and its serial origins.
The manga takes place in a vastly larger timeframe than the film and involves a far wider array of characters and subplots. Through the breadth of the work, Otomo explicates themes of social isolation, corruption and power.
Otomo's Akira projects – the manga and its film adaptation – marked his transition from a career primarily in the creation and design of printed manga to one almost exclusively in the creation, direction and design of anime motion pictures and television.