Artist-writer Katsuhiro Ôtomo began telling the story of Akira as a comic book series in 1982 but took a break from 1986 to 1988 to write, direct, supervise, and design this animated film version. Set in 2019, the film richly imagines the new metropolis of Neo-Tokyo, which is designed from huge buildings down to the smallest details of passing vehicles or police uniforms. Two disaffected orphan teenagers--slight, resentful Tetsuo and confident, breezy Kaneda--run with a biker gang, but trouble grows when Tetsuo start to resent the way Kaneda always has to rescue him. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, military men, and politicians wonder what to do with a collection of withered children who possess enormous psychic powers, especially the mysterious, rarely seen Akira, whose awakening might well have caused the end of the old world. Tetsuo is visited by the children, who trigger the growth of psychic and physical powers that might make him a superman or a supermonster. As befits a distillation of 1,318 pages of the story so far,Akirais overstuffed with character, incident, and detail. However, it piles up astonishing set pieces: the chases and shootouts (amazingly kinetic, amazingly bloody) benefit from minute cartoon detail that extends to the surprised or shocked faces of the tiniest extra; the Tetsuo monster alternately looks like a billion-gallon scrotal sac or a Tex Avery mutation of the monster fromThe Quatermass Experiment; and the finale--which combines flashbacks to more innocent days with a destruction of Neo City and the creation of a new universe--is one of the most mind-bending in all sci-fi cinema.--Kim Newman
Today marks the 25th anniversary of when Akira was first released in Japan. Akira was a favorite of mine for many years in the past 11 years of my anime fandom, though after giving it some deeper thought, I'll say it's good, but not the masterpiece everyone says it is. Akira's weaker points are its character and theme development, since these felt a tad rushed in some areas. However, it saves itself with its gripping action, heart-racing … more
Before I go off reviewing this anime, I'll share my personal history with it, which dates back nine years ago. I remember staying up late at night and at the stroke of midnight, the date of July 15, 2002 just started (I wanted everyone to be asleep in my house). I put a Streamline Pictures VHS copy of Akira into my VCR and had no idea what to expect out of it since I had virtually no experience with anime, with the exceptions of watching Pokemon from 1999-2000 … more
I have to admit, this wasn't the perfect film but it sure was a good anime film that it received international acclaim and now has a large cult following. The unrated edition is best as it is more violent and raw than the theatrical release. Inspired many other films as in the animated effects department. Thank goodness that Hollywood cannot get a foothold in their intended live action remake.
Akira is among the father's of anime. As the two main character's scream out each others name in a fast paced conflict, your heart will probably be racing as fast as mine. Akira deal's with, and answer's, one of the question's that has become a paradox...what if we had the power of God at our disposal. The ability to destroy, create, protect, and become invincible. Tetsuo is a youth that is plucked from his biker gang and surrendered to test's in a secret experiment that date's year's into the past. … more
As many people have said "Akira" is classic anime. But why? Is it the animation? The plot? What? Well lets take a trip back to when this was first released shall we? Back in the 80's (70's?) Disney ruled the world with an iron fist (Okay, so mabye the world hasn't changed THAT much!) cartoons were made "for kids" and nothing more! Everyone knew that the word "cartoon" ment "kids stuff" or something like that, anyway...when Streamline Pictures first released this movie people reacted with shock! … more