Cyberpunk Review » Akira

January 16, 2006


Year: 1988

Directed by: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Written by: Katsuhiro Ôtomo (comic), Izô Hashimoto

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Key Cast Members:

  • Tetsuo Shima: Nozomu Sasaki (voice)
  • Shôtarô Kaneda: Mitsuo Iwata (voice)
  • Kei: Mami Koyama (voice)
  • Rating: 8 out of 10

    screen capture


    Overview: Many consider Akira to be the start of modern Japanese anime. In comparing Akira with Appleseed (also from 1988), I tend to agree. Appleseed represents high quality earlier anime, whereas Akira is truly something different both in tone and style. Akira definitely strays to the “punk” side of cyberpunk, but has full clashes with the corporate control element and technology run amok.

    screen capturescreen capture


    Akira’s story centers around Tetsuo, a member of a biker gang in the year 2019. Along come a group of military scientist types who look to stretch the boundaries of human capability by engaging tetsuo in experiments. Unfortunately for them, the experiments prove far too successful to the point that the develop an all-powerful monster that rages out of control.

    screen capture


    The Bottom Line: Akira has terrific adult visuals and a great sound track. As a personal preference though, I wasn’t as thrilled with the later half of the movie. Some love it, I didn’t nearly as much. There seems to be a debate where people either love this or Ghost in the Shell (guess which one I love?). It almost seemed DragonballZ-like, but again, this is also personal preference. Regardless, Akira is a true giant of anime and should be considered required watching for anyone who wants to learn more about cyberpunk or anime.

    ~See movies similar to this one~

    Tags: cyberpunk movie review anime


    January 22, 2006

    amberlita said:

    Tetsuo. I thought that was a separate movie?

    SFAM said:

    Yes, Tetsuo is definitely a separate movie (Tetsuo - The Iron Man). The main character in Akira is also named Tetsuo (Maybe Tetsuo in Japan is like “Smith” in the US or something….).

    Incidentally, after posting my I.K.U. review, I’ve decided it probably makes sense to put the really graphic pictures up for Tetsuo as well. I almost think a reasonable review of Japanese Cyberpunk demands it.

    July 6, 2006

    Piotr said:

    Second part seemed totally DragonballZ-like to me.
    It soiles the whole movie!!

    July 7, 2006

    SFAM said:

    Hi Piotr, yeah, definitely it does. Although this doesn’t take anything away from Akira being Wildly influential.

    October 11, 2006

    spin said:

    Hell yeah, the Akira manga is much longer at 6 volumes and the story is much better fleshed out in it.

    October 12, 2006

    Neuromancer said:

    Ahhh yes… Akira was the first anime (back then i really thought it was manga) i ever saw. I stumbled onto it by accident in a broadcast from the BBC. I fell into the part where they fight with rival bikers “the clowns”. The music immediately drew me in. The the scenery of neo-Tokyo hit me on the head while the story started stabbing me in the back. The sheer violence kicked me in the groinal area. The ending left me numb all over. And i liked it.
    This was no Heidi and Peter. This was targeted towards a mature audience that liked a good story, wasnt afraid of some violence and apreciated the cyberpunk eyecandy.
    My life was changed.
    Influential? Outside Japan i would say THE most influantial anime for the sole fact it was the first that caught peoples attention.
    Kind of like Grandmaster Flash’s The Message being not the first but definitely the most influential rap-song outside of USA for the same reason.

    Concerning the gits-akira comparison. Thats easy.
    Gits ofcourse.
    Though this one definitely deserves an anual re-viewing.

    NekOtaku said:

    I’ve put off watching Akira for a long long time, expecting the animation to be lacking, though I figured the visuals would be okay. This is a prejudice against japanese animation that’s really working against me, I immediately assume drawn out “animated”stills, animation loops and too many flashbacks. The overuse of these items has drawn me towards reading manga instead and I’ve slowly distanced myself from most animated works.
    I watched Akira at my girlfriends house last night, it was incredible!
    I’ve only read the first book and kinda knew what to expect, but it never got boring at all, the animation was amazing, the sound was great, the cityscapes where breathtaking, there were huge hellicopters and super bikes…
    Definitly getting my own copy of Akira one I get my hands on some cash!

    November 4, 2006

    Hugo said:

    Not meaning to be picky but this review is a little briefer than I had hoped. I realise that it’s a pretty deep movie and you don’t want to spoil anything, but you can’t just tease me like that :P.

    May 7, 2007

    marcos said:

    eu curto esse anime. É muito irado!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 13, 2007

    Dyce said:

    the akira graphic novels are like Lord of the Rings to me, i read them every two or three years (wish it could be every year, but i gots bills to be payed). It’s superior to the movie in every way except one: the movie does a better job of showing tetsuo’s descent into madness, where as the comic just has him go mad instantly. hmm.
    I’d love to see a holywood movie of this, possibly made as two movies shot back to back, or even a trilogy.

    June 10, 2007

    Eugene said:

    I don’t know about a Hollywood version. There’s too many hack directors out there these days that could totally mangle a good story like this. But it would be very interesting to see the CGI animations they’d come up with for the mutation scene.

    What I think would be cool is a cheaply made Hong Kong live action version of the movie. Like what they did with Wicked City. Or what would be even better is a new 26 episode anime series that follows more closely to the manga’s storyline.

    Klaw said:

    Yes while Ghost in the Shell is considered “THE” anime that changed everyone’s consciousness regarding cyberpunk… Akira was the film that woke everyone to Anime. Seeing this in the theaters was stunning… the Dragonball-Z comment is dead on. The second half tends to meander, seems pointless, and ends up being a giant uber grudge match… Matrix style. Where the first half draws you into this seedy underbelly, there’s a fair amount of sloppy story telling for the second half. The cityscapes in the first half were insanely immersive… by the end I couldn’t wait for it to end… to say it rocked. My buzz had worn off by then anyway. :)

    randomrob said:

    Ive always felt “Akira” to be a warning against so many things… nuclear weapons, science without morality, the exploitation or abandonment of children, the Jungian ‘dark side’, the danger of an unchecked military, and the chaos of Japan’s sense of national identity …

    Too much there for one sitting perhaps. I began to really like it more after I’d seen it a few times and knew where it was going, and why each character was important..

    The restoration Lucasfilm did was beautiful, and the dub so much more coherent.

    Every animation studio in Japan at the time did a segment of this movie, so it’s something of a national treasure.

    Great stuff.

    June 11, 2007

    pretty tony said:

    Might be off the track,
    But I really want to recommend reading the original comic book first.
    The comic is a true classic.
    And there is a tremendous gap between those 2.

    The animation… for me it was utter tra.. well it was not living up to it’s name.

    randomrob said:

    one big east/west difference:

    in Anime, the original artist has final say over any creative license the director uses…

    in the case of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo wrote the manga, AND directed the anime…
    so it was his choice to jettison the last half of the manga to make a more coherent story for a movie audience…

    June 15, 2007

    Engberg65 said:

    When I saw TETSUO part 1&2 clips it scared the living daylight out of me, but when I saw Akira it was like the link between the other two movies that I saw. So the next time you wanted to Akira 2, forget it I don’t think Katsuhiro Otomo is not thinking of making of the second one because what Shinya Tsukamoto did to make his movie, but if Katsuhiro Otomo wanted to he had to talk to Shinya Tsukamoto first.
    “AKIRA, TETSUO: The Iron Man, TETSUO 2: Body Hammer” is the Trilogy of those three I don’t care what they say.

    June 19, 2007

    uber said:

    the comic books are better then the movie.

    randomrob said:

    without ‘Akira’, anime would still be a niche market… it put serious anime on the map.

    ghostjacker said:

    Love it or hate it, Akira is still a very influential movie. It introduced anime to a wider audience worldwide. Yes, it does suck compared to the manga, but the opening chase scene still sends shivers down my spine.

    June 23, 2007

    gypsyblue said:

    I think the review is paying more of an injustice then justice to this wonderful movie! I know we are all preview to our own opinions but i think this move deserves an more “in dept” review then just an few lines!

    June 24, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Gypsyblue, I couldn’t agree more - this review is not at all sufficient. Unfortunately or fortunately, as I got in to doing more movie reviews, my reviews improved dramatically, as did the depth of my reviews. Some of my early reviews, like this and Dark City, for instance, TRULY need to be rewritten. My apologies for not doing so yet. At the time I was pretty much bulk loading a number of reviews from a list I had created on Rotten Tomatoes. I did many reviews a day - and it shows!

    Monolithic Angel said:

    Well yeah, it seems a little bit “Dragonballish”, but that’s not the point. It’s all about power out of control and the beggining of the deification of Tetsuo, here we can see the changes that are taking place inside him, his morphing from a telekinetic angst-ridden teenager to a God-like superbeing.
    Besides i don’t see anyone complaining about the obviously Dragon Ball-inspired final battle between Neo and Mr. Smith in Matrix Revolutions, which i find to be a lot more over the top than AKIRA concerning this matter.
    AKIRA is a true landmark in animated and non-animated sci fi films, a blistering action-packed story with a chewy philosophycal nougat, and considering that it was adapted from a massive 6 volumes long manga that kicks some serious behind, i think it came out pretty goddamn awesome.


    P.D. Great site by the way!!!

    June 28, 2007

    MarkCBeauchesne said:

    I started off reading the 6 books that came out first and when i saw the movie i was pretty disappointed. The integration rate between the movie and books was like 50%.
    The movie failed to mention some very key parts that made the manga great in the first place. I would reccomend reading the manga if you enjoyed the movie, its like a completely different story.

    July 1, 2007

    PSY said:

    Yes it has to be said that once you read all six volumes of the (FANTASTIC) manga you realize the film is nothing much more than an animation showcase. It is understandable, as cramming 2000/3000 pages of story into a single film is impossible, however it does mean that there is that large gap in the film between the first half and the second half. The process is far more gradual in the actual true telling of the story and I would highly recommend the manga.

    randomrob said:

    I’ve often felt the same way about the movie they made of the Bible in the 60’s…. :p

    July 4, 2007

    project_2501 said:

    I love the storyline, especially all the cults worshipping Akira and the scene with the giant toys attacking Tetsuo. I still can’t get over the quality of animation though. It’s not like it had the best animation of the time - ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’ came out 4 years earlier and has infinitely better quality of animation. The argument about Studio Ghibli having a load more cash doesn’t work here - it’s only cos ‘Nausicaa…’ was such a success that Studio Ghibli could be set up. Anyway, I thought Akira was supposed to be a collabaration between lots of studios. I would have thought the end product would have been better…

    July 19, 2007

    Yonosoycase said:

    esta peli sta muy buena. me gusto la parte en la que tetsuo se empieza a transformar y pshsss cragghhh ohhhhhh kaneda ayudame y tambien cuando salen en las motos a madrearse con los clown, en general me gusta la historia…..puro culto chidon

    August 22, 2007

    hisami said:

    ehm to me the second half isnt like dragonballz
    just be cuz he can fly,move things with his mind and his hair standing up dosnt really mean its like dragonballz
    actually it should be the other way around
    Akira came out in 1988 and Dragonball Z came out one year later 1989

    September 6, 2007

    ROZON said:

    Ghost in the shell is a shitpool: Complicated, boring, it has no sense for me. The director spent so much time in enlarging the plot to make it wierd and psychotic, that the only thing that lasts to do is search a coushin and start to sleep. The animation and quality are good, but I think it´s just a big uninteresting mystery joined with rotten philosophy.
    But Akira has to be honored. The first minutes of the movie, I was already fascinated and worshipping its creator. Incredible animation, incredible sound, incredible content, incredible everything. Very deep emotions and ideas. Magnificent!! For loving all inside of it. Loving the characters. Loving the effects. Having no doubt Otomo is a master.
    For all people that likes intense and trascendental filmexperience I recomend to see Akira, creation among creations!!

    project_2501 said:

    Interesting, contradictory comment from ROZON: you say that Akira has ‘very deep motions and ideas’ and is ‘transcendental’ - er, what about GITS, which you describe as ‘a shitpool’? If you’re looking for deep ideas, GITS would surely fit the bill.

    I also dispute your comment about incredible animation. I would say that Akira had highly dissapointing standards of animation for such a high profile project.

    September 7, 2007

    ROZON said:

    Good day, project_2501.
    Read all my coment, and please don´t teach me how to like anime.
    The tastes about animating quality in different beings are subjective. I apperciate realism and high qualiy like the one is showed in Ghost in the shell, but it doesn´t full my plot expectatives; and Akira -As me -Has very good animation. Besides of being made on 88´s, there was a moment in which I felt the trembling, but they were the effects. The style touched me with its personality, and the plot does fulfill my expectatives. Akira is better. Woth for a ten.
    And I know GITS: It´s BORING.

    September 13, 2007

    kitty_tc said:


    Is the english of being your first language? You are sounding like your text was transfixed by the babelfish. I am freaking towards the outside.

    September 15, 2007

    Ak!mbo said:

    Bloody Hell?
    Akira has some of the most beautiful animation I ever saw, the fluiity of the bike scenes, the level of detail when corridors are suddenly filled with balls of invisible energy and cruble to pieces, the amazing cityscapes..
    Did we watch the same movie?

    ROZON said:

    We did, dude.

    project_2501 said:


    I do agree that the first fsection of Akira was excellent, but for me the film went downhill after that . Don’t get me wrong, I do like Akira, I just think it’s just a bit overhyped (I know GITS is too). Refer to my first comment on this page (4th July) regarding the quality of animation.

    The reason I liked the animation in GITS was because of the gloomy alleys and sombre colours which supplemented the mysterious storyline. In Akira I felt that for a post-apocalyptic setting and a dark storyline, everything was just too colourful (Why is Kaneda’s bike so bright? It’s virtually pink in the 2nd screenshot). I also thought that in some sections the animation was just blocks of colour. I don’t dispute that the cityscapes are amazing (3rd screenshot) but I thought that the animation was frustratingly inconsistent, ranging from incredible to mediocre.

    In regards to the complex storyline, I found Akira more confusing than GITS. Can you explain to me the ending? What happens to Tetsuo? I genuinely have no idea. I understood almost all of GITS and I will explain it to you if you want.

    There is also the ‘Dragonball’ factor. Yes, I know Dragonball came out after Akira (hisami already said that) but that doesn’t make the final fight scene any less ridiculous in my view. Flying up into space to destroy a satellite? Come on, how can you take that seriously! Tetsuo can seemingly do anything. In GITS, the main character’s deficiencies are never hidden eg her body gets broken/is destroyed.

    The seemingly endless fight scene at the end of Akira reduces the impact of any violence. It is supposed to be the climax of the film but it stuck less in my mind than the earlier scene where Tetsuo and Kaori get beaten up. No, that’s not because of the briefly exposed breasts, more because of the sharp, sudden, unexpected violence. The Kaneda and Kei vs Tetsuo fight dragged on far too long.

    The violence in GITS is less frequent so has a greater impact and contrasts well with the non-violent scenes. The climax is genuinely exciting and does not outstay its welcome.

    For the record, I would give Akira 7/10 and GITS 9/10. I definitely don’t hate Akira. I haven’t watched it for several months so I’ll watch it again and see if I like it more. Whatever the quality of Akira, it was heavily influential on Japanese animation so I am grateful for that.

    Well, that’s my rant over. I may as well take this oppurtunity to thank SFAM for such a great site. Unlike most other forums where people resort to pointless insults, CR is host to intelligent and interesting debates. So thank you!

    ROZON said:

    So… …You´re welcome. As a response of what are you almost suggesting, I say I didn´t insult anybody. I simply don´t like the idea of debating about static subjects, like movies, and then I think it´s inapropriate to discuss against an opinion supported about your own taste.
    And I have not such a complete knowlegement of anime.
    About the ending, I say it´s a good alternative option to leave the public have their own explanation of it. It follows the nature of the film.
    I´m aware of the releasement of Akira Toriyma´s work not much after the releasement of the Akira movie; and I think it has no relation at all, because this kinds of works delay years to be made, and then I can deduce Toriyama could have be making his flying fighting humanoids since before. But this is very uncertain.
    I´m also a great lover of realism, but I´m a lover of epic and exaggerated scenes too, in equal parts. GITS has the realism, Akira has the exaggeration.

    Remember that the color and the capacity to get impressed are subjective, project.

    For me, Ghost in the shell has too much sadness. It´s true it has very good scenography and animation, but, I don´t like it more than Akira.

    September 25, 2007

    Ak!mbo said:

    Rozon: It’s a long gap between simply writing a movie off as “a shitpool” and “not wanting to debate” it. Right now you’re just threading water.
    Writing GitS off as a shitpool just shows your lack of understanding of a movie besides its effecs, this is further amplified by your hopeless defense of Akira’s second part.
    Don’t get me wrong, I loved Akira to bits, but the whole second part of it was Testuo and Kaneda battling it out with their super human powers. Saying this leaves it up to the audience to make any real narrative meaning out of it is flogging a dead horse. You can call a fist fight whatever you like, in the end, it’s still two guys slugging it out.
    I must admit its cool, but not very interesting to the story.
    Its screen time could have been halved to leave more space for the story to be told, instead of cutting it short.
    I understand the epic manga that is Akira could never be brought to the screen in its full form, but the story should really have had more time on screen.
    Ghost in the Shell manages to transfer an equally, if not more, complex story from a massive manga format in to animation without loosing its integrity as a narrative.
    there is action, but it doesn’t draw on and on and on, it’s kept at a level where it doesn’t deafen out the story, but the movie still keeps its cool and keeps you on your toes.
    If you think a movie is a shitpool because it presents you with questions on the nature of mankind, post humanism, the border lines between human and machine and the troubles, both physical and ideological once machines become intelligent and humans exchange their body parts for cybernetic replacements, because it doesn’t have non stop action and batters you with amazing special effects which do nothing in the way of making you think or getting some narration going, but lets you watch the pretty display on screen without developing the story or the characters, I recommend you stick to style over substance movies.
    Again, I have to admit to enoying this genre if you will, in movies like Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Alien VS Predator. You might want to check those out. They have cool effects and little to no philosophy, religious themes and intelligent narration.

    Dr. Pepper said:

    I don’t really see how Tetsuo’s durability is over-exaggerated in the later half of the movie given that his mind, body, and whole existence is far normal at that point in the film. Like other posters said, the books go into WAY more detail on this among other things. As for the white flash at the end of the movie, it is apparently supposed to be a newly formed universe that those three kids summoned Akira (the other kid who looks normal) to make to take Tetsuo and himself back into given how incredibly power Tetsuo is becoming. Put simply, if Tetsuo’s power continued to grow in that plain of existence, nuclear war wouldn’t be the biggest worry of mankind anymore. He was basically becoming a god.

    The same case happened with the character Akira and they barely managed to stop him. I think of one the big messages in this movie and the books is that power can, and will, most of the time corrupt, so people should be careful with what they are doing with the fragile world we live on. I think it portrays this in many ways. That or everything I just typed was bull crap.

    project_2501 said:

    1) Sorry ROZON, I realise now that my comment in the last paragraph sounded like it was aimed at you but that wasn’t the intention. The reason I wrote that was because I had just been on youtube, where all the comments are along the lines of:

    “Fuck you, cunt. [insert band name] are much better than [insert other band name] you fucking fag” etc etc

    2) ROZON, you say that you think “it´s inapropriate to discuss against an opinion supported about your own taste” What else can I do? In the end, everyone has their own opinions. Of course I’m going to argue the case for GITS if I like it more than Akira. If everyone totally rejected all other points of view because they were just someone’s personal opinion, then this whole site would be pointless. I think everything (or almost everything - ie girly girl’s comment…) on this site is worth reading. People, conciously or subconsciously, base their views on other peoples’ views. I would say that there hasn’t been any totally original film for a VERY long time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Good films take something old and mix it with something new, or show it in a new perspective, or go into more detail, or are more realistic.

    3)I see your point about GITS having a very sombre feel. I think that’s one of the reasons I like it so much. I prefer dark and serious anime. I’m a gloomy person myself, so it fits well with my personality. I’d suggest watching a couple of episodes of the GITS series. There’s much less philosophy and lots more action. The series is also much funnier than the film. Whatever you do, don’t watch the second film. It will bore you to death - yes, it has EVEN MORE PHILOSOPHY :)

    3)Dr Pepper, did you miss out the word ‘from’ between ‘far’ and ‘normal’? It makes a lot more sense that way. Yeah, I definitely need to get the manga. Most anime based on manga misses out big chunks of the original plot. Also, thanks for the explanation of the end of the film

    September 26, 2007

    Dr. Pepper said:

    …Yeah, I just noticed that project_2501. I always miss little things like that. Could SFAM edit that or something or can he do that?

    There’s 6 TPB books put out by Dark Horse that range from $15 to $20 that are black and white like the original Japanese release and supposedly have a better translation. The Marvel release was colored, had censoring done, and the ending changed from what I read. The marvel ones are also harder to come by since they aren’t produced anymore.

    Dr. Pepper said:

    Argh…”how incredibly power Tetsuo is becoming.” Change power to powerful. This ear infection is bugging the hell out of me.

    “Fuck you, cunt. [insert band name] are much better than [insert other band name] you fucking fag” etc etc


    September 27, 2007

    ACK said:

    The movie is good but the graphic novels are far from the movie, they are fantastic.
    Don’t think that seeing the movie is enough , it is an oversimplification of the graphic novels.

    Dr. Pepper said:

    I think it would be cool to have another animated take on the original Akira comics storyline. instead of a movie about two hours long it could be a 10-20 episode series or maybe just another movie but done differently than this one. They could fit more of the original plot in too. Some people might hail it as an abomination of the original film but I wouldn’t think they would be trying to replace it in the first place since it’s obvious the movie wasn’t trying to replace the graphic novels.

    It would just be another take on Akira as this movie was, and we would still have the original movie and graphic novels. After all, the graphic novels weren’t even finished at the time the movie was released as I recall. I THINK the graphic novels were a little more than half finished. I’m not sure so don’t quote me on that. I have no idea why I started talking about this…I’ve just seen some people in the past who are afraid of the idea of another entry in this franchise. Well, a Hollywood remake would make me worried.

    February 5, 2008

    manu said:

    no is dragon ball what remains of akira, many mangas later had been inspired in akira

    Example: Gaara from the manga Naruto is in some way inspired in Tetsuo

    March 5, 2008

    wiredcoma said:

    New news on the live action adaption by warner brothers.

    The film will be split into two parts. First set for a summer 2009 release.

    wiredcoma said:

    adding onto my last post, I’m actually glad they’re doing this. I love Akira and all, but my biggest problem with it was that it needed stretched out, because everything seemed to fly by so fast.

    PSY said:

    I’d rather they turned it into an animated series than a 2 live action films (there is MORE than enough content) because they will still have to cram if they wish to get the entire plot out there. However I’m still optimistic about this.

    May 28, 2008

    Flash Freddy said:

    I love Akira. I saw that when I was maybe 14/15 and it completely infected my imagination. One of the comments earlier mentioned the fluidity of the bikes another mentioned the apocalypse cults, SRAM mentioned the cityscapes and I loved the hallucinogenic hospital scene with the giant teddy bear bleeding milk.

    I was waiting for that kind of sci-fi kick again and when I saw GITS I got a flavour of it. The animation in GITS is sharper, smarter, harder and more reflective of the times. Akira came out of another time with certain stylistic leanings and technical possibilities and I think it shares many of those leanings but it excels them and came up with somethings truly apocalyptic, weird and cyberpunk.

    I love both the films but I think Akira should have a hallowed place. It was the first of a kind. I never really saw anything like that before it and I had to wait a long time before seeing anything else like it.

    I never noticed the second half dragging but when I saw it first I’d never seen anything like it before so it was all new to me. Now I probably look back with rosy eyes… even still at least a 9 ;)

    July 14, 2008

    Urufu said:

    The second half of Akira was amazing I guess it’s personal preference like the review said…

    September 11, 2008

    Jacktr2.1 said:

    Well Dyce…Coincidentally there are supposed to be two back to back Hollywood movies based on this. nice call

    Jacktr2.1 said:

    Never mind i see this has already been pointed out

    September 30, 2008

    gimpy said:

    i love this movie. before i saw this movie i thought all anime was about imature things like pre-teen ninjas runing around in orange jumpsuits turning into women (and to think that people actualy watch that shit). but this is probably the first movie ive ever seen with a meaning, something tangible. it has a definate purpose. all movies should be like this.

    December 10, 2008

    Just_a_Dude. said:

    I loved the anime. Its true that some of the momentum built up in the first half is lost in the ponderous conclusion, but the comparison to DBZ isnt entirely fair. True, it does get a little over the top, but that is to emphasize the already obvious necessity of stopping Tetsuo. In all, it was an excellent picture through and through, and is several cuts above Dragonball. Granted, the final-final sequence with the explosion was supremely confusing, but with a little thought and reading the interpretations of others, all becomes clear.

    Truthfully its the only full length anime movie ive ever seen, as i discovered it on Encore on a bored summer afternoon. Even to me, the messages of dehumanization, desperation, corruption and rebellion were excellently conveyed by this enchanting film. The ending was a little dissapointing, but didnt really take away from the overall feel of the anime. The animation itself was beautiful, and bespoke of an eons worth of corruption and fear, in the forbidding skylines and themes of childhoods ending.

    “Damn, that was good…”

    kabukiman said:

    I love GITS. And I like (but less) the first part of Akira; it discuss several important issues (education, irresponsible science, militarization of the society), but the second part of the movie was stupid with all those super-powers (personally opinion, I have friends who see it as the logic conclusion, as an alegory to the power of the youth if not controlled).

    December 13, 2008

    gimpy said:

    *the second part of the movie was stupid with all those super-powers

    the beuty of the movie is the fact that, the thought of a teenager using his mind to fly, destroy, predict, ect.. would be concidered downright stupid to some people. the fact is, humans only use 20% of their brain. in the movie tetsuo is given “pure energy” (wich im guessing is 100% brain capacity) so in theory, its not that un-realistic.

    feel free to belive what you want though.

    April 2, 2009

    Dr. Pepper said:

    The book elaborates on how Tetsuo’s power works much more than the movie and it didn’t have much to do with the old “we only use so much of our brain’s power” idea if I remember correctly.

    April 10, 2009

    TranscendentalAwakening said:

    I actually thought the first half of the movie was boring with all the Espionage/Political mumbo jumbo and from the trippy hospital scene forward the movie is just fantastic. I love the interaction between Kaneda and Tetsuo, Kaneda is the only mortal that can stand up to Tetsuo because Tetsuo won’t kill him on sight since they were childhood friends even after he is driven mad with power. When his power overtakes him he even begs Kaneda for help.

    The scene where Kai is a medium for the Espers in the jail cell explains where the power comes from, they are taping into the source of the universe, the power of an amoeba and giving it to the sophisticated human mind even though it can barely handle it.

    Remember Japanese culture doesn’t have a religion that believes in a God, so their idea of using science to tap into the energy from the big bang, or to achieve god like existence through technological advancement is a rather unique one. To me that part of the story reminds me of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    Simply the best Anime and Mange of all time.

    TranscendentalAwakening said:

    One more thing, sorry I have to say this, it’s pretty crappy that you rated those two half-assed, quick money grab Matrix sequels above this.

    July 6, 2009

    downer88 said:

    First issue of nvision magazine Summer 2009, says Akira will come as a live-action movie in 2011.

    November 23, 2009

    fukuro said:

    you are so crazy AKIRA its the same to say CIBERPUNK ARE 10 RANGE AND A MASTER OF THE GENERE

    August 25, 2010

    Old School Akira fan said:

    One hopes Akira is re-released with the original dub. Less coherent? Yes. In a way I like that, like how much more enjoyable some movies are when you MISS the exposition and watch with rapt attention, trying to figure things out.

    But coherency aside, the new dub KILLED this movie. All the passion, quirkiness, and fun is drained right out. The new voice actors are dull hacks compared to the originals. I was astounded at how inferior the “new and improved” Akira is.

    February 1, 2011

    MegaTech said:

    WOW! 8/10 for the most influential Animation ever!? Seriously?


    July 16, 2011

    Daniel Jonsson said:

    I really liked the first half of the movie, with the terrorist attacks and how the city was almost in ruins. But then came all super power mumbo jumbo, and that was pretty boring. Reminds me of Ergo Proxy. :/

    August 9, 2011

    ISO 3166-2:f-i said:

    gosh i got goosebumps watching it ,it was great

    wanna watch it again.. and then some :)

    Anonymous said:

    Why remake? when youll make a botch of it……….already happened.

    September 10, 2011

    Mathadar said:

    Ergo Proxy was 2006. Akira was 1988. Dragonball Z was 1987. Akira had already entered post production by the time the First Episode of Dragonball Z aired. The psychics were breaking reality obviously, since they were both tied to the beginning and the end of the universe and thus when united the big bang happened, and everything restarted.

    November 6, 2011

    Rob said:

    Picked up the blu ray of akira yesterday and i must say that there just isn’t anything like it (animation-wise). it’s animation is of a much higher standar than any anime that you will encounter today, hand drawn at least. The atmosphere that it manages to give out through it’s dark toned landscapes is insane. yeah sure, the movie picks up a dragon ball z -like pase in the second half of the movie but it’s pretty awesome if you ask me. The fluidity of the animation and the detail put into it’s environments is much, MUCH higher than the detail that you’ll find in Ghost in the shell, nevertheless the story in GITS is much more complex, (maybe too much). Both great movies. Great site BTW!!

    January 9, 2012

    not an anime fan said:

    Akira is a 10 out of 10 film. You cannot consider Ghost in the Shell 10 out of 10 with it’s weaker story and lesser acting, and then give Akira an 8. Did you watch this dubbed or something? I suggesting learning Japanese if you haven’t and re-watching this.

    June 7, 2012

    tigrum said:

    this movie is badass, here is a link to watch it

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