Akira (1988)

logoDirector: Katsuhiro Otomo

Writer: Katsuhiro Otomo, Izo Hashimoto (Screenplay) Katsuhiro Otomo (Graphic Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tessho Genda, Hiroshi Otake, Koichi Kitamura, Michihiro Ikemizu

Plot: A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Visually Beautiful Film

Story: In the aftermath of World War III in 1988 Tokyo has had to build again and 31 years later in the 2019 New-Tokyo is on the edge of the next war. We follow Kaneda and school student the leader of a biker gang including Tetsuo and Kei. When Tetsuo ends up involved in an accident after getting distracted by Takashi a young boy with certain abilities he gets taken by the government.

When Colonel Shikishima is running an operation to find Akira the cause of the previous World War the three children Takashi, Kiyoko and Masaru must prevent this happening while Tetsuo ends up becoming power and a threat to the whole city. Kaneda teams up with the resistance against the government through Kei and we follow as every side comes to a battle that will need to stop a future war.

Akira reaches levels most action films could never imagine with the number of character in the overall battle each having their own motives behind being involved. The look at what a future could have been all looks great and coming from a graphic novel everything works for what the film is trying to achieve. The violence is unlike anything you would have seen in an animated film which helps shows the world we will be entering.

Character Review

Kaneda: Kaneda is the leader of the school aged biker gang who drives the iconic red bike, when one of his gang is kidnapped by the government he joins the resistance against the government movement. Once we see what happens with his friend Tetsuo he must fight his old friend to stop the next World War happen. Kaneda is a great leading character that even after nearly 30 years is still one of the most iconic in all of animated film history.kaneda

Tetsuo: Tetsuo is a member of Kaneda’s biker gang but after he has an accident the government takes his away to use in their latest experiments. What happens to Tetsuo leads him to become a threat to the city as he searches for Akira a threat not just to Neo-Tokyo but the world. Tetsuo starts of as just a member of the gang wanting to become more and once he has the powers he learns he isn’t ready to have the leadership when he ends up turning on the people he once considered friends, a great villainous character without being a true villain.tetsuo

Kei: Kei is a member of the resistance that Kaneda rescues from the police before joining forces Kaneda to stop the government and rescue Tetsuo from bring Akira back from the dead. Kei is the potential romantic angle for Kaneda who is also as tough as they come, she also has a connection to the children with the abilities.kei

Support Characters: Akira has a large amount of supporting characters which include Kaneda’s gang who all stick with him when he needs to fight. We also have the resistance who help Kei and Kaneda achieve the battle. We have the three kids who have to abilities in their own right that together making the deadly but also fighting for the right thing. We also have one last group and that is the government who want to bring the Akira power back as a weapon.

Director Review: Katsuhiro Otomo – Katsuhiro brings us his own graphic novel to the bring screen which offers one of the most entertain and well developed characters in recent film.

Action: Akira has action from start to finish, we have a motorbike chase to open the film, constant chases to either reach someone or escape from them and the final fight oh my god what a brilliant conclusion.

Animation: Akira has simply brilliant looking animation that help bring the action to life and once more I refer to the final scene which is just breathtaking visual moment.

Sci-Fi: Akira brings us into a future world where the world has been through another World War and had to rebuild in a new future with the Neo-Tokyo.

Settings: Akira creates a futuristic looking world that helps us identify just how far into the future we have gone with the story.

Suggestion: Akira is one for all the animated fans to see because it really is a visual treat with a stunning story that will stick with you. (Animated Fans Watch)

Best Part: The final battle which will leave your jaw dropped with how amazing it looks.

Worst Part: I would say this is going to be too violent for certain animated fans.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final battle is easily the best scene in the whole film and could easily be the best one in action animated films.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: Signal Traced to Tokyo!

Trivia: The movie takes place in 2019 and depicts Neo-Tokyo creating a new Olympic stadium. Coincidentally, Tokyo is scheduled to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Overall: Akira really is one of the best animated film that ever got made that will still be talked about for years to come.

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  1. Good review! Glad you got to see it. While well-drawn, I didn’t find the characters all that compelling, but the visuals were astonishing.

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