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Akira (1988)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 6

Akira is distractingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 3

Akira is distractingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 145,257

My Rating

Movie Info

One of the most influential examples of anime, Akira is based on the manga (comic book) by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story is set in the post-apocalyptic community of Neo-Tokyo. Tetsuo is a fiercely individualistic member of a scroungy motorcycle gang. The despotic authorities, the robot-like police, and even the cycle gang pursue Tetsuo when he's bombarded with a new, insidious energy source that has rendered him telekinetic. Budgeted at eight million dollars, Akira has become a cult favorite in the

Jul 17, 2001

Streamline Pictures

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (6) | DVD (29)

Pounding away, it becomes monotonous.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A compendium of the worst cliches of Japanese animation -- two hours of chases, laser attacks, machine-gun battles, spilled stage blood, computer-animated backgrounds and hokey dialogue.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie, even at 124 minutes, has the densely packed sweep and go-for-it pep of a pop epic.

September 7, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Grade-school violence freaks may find a few kicks here, but even they may have trouble coping with this ugly movie's ending about eight separate times.

April 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (25)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A lavish animation extravaganza produced at a cost of $8 million, this futuristic exploration is a followup by author-director Katsuhiro Otomo to his tremendously popular comic books.

April 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An impressive achievement, often suggesting a weird expressionist blend of 2001, The Warriors, Blade Runner and Forbidden Planet.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While its typically convoluted sci-fi plotting and sprawling ensemble of characters occasionally lead it to border on the incoherent, it's hard not to be in awe of the giant hand-drawn cityscapes that make up the backdrop for the eye-popping action.

July 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

[Akira] is a blast and a half, a twisted dystopian parable of violence and rock and roll, Japanese-style. It's Disney on PCP, mean, rotten, psychotic, but incredibly vivid.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Extremely violent classic introduced anime to Westerners.

March 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Moments that can only be captured as animation make Akira still worth watching: gusts of wind from chopper blades, ka-tooming bursts of fiery explosions, Tetsuo's visions.

January 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Plenty of superb recent blockbusters, including The Matrix, The Dark Knight, Minority Report, Dark City and Inception, are all in its debt - not to mention a fair number of shockers, like Star Wars Episode II and the most recent Resident Evil atrocity.

June 25, 2011 Full Review Source: News of the World
News of the World

Put it up there with the most astonishing animated features ever made.

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Style and substance run neck and neck in this thrilling, bold landmark film that just refuses to become dated.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

The cityscapes are awesome, the camerawork is dizzying. If you're new to manga, prepare to be converted.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Akira is pure concentrated cinematic excellence - accept no substitutes.

June 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

When you absolutely, positively have to get some anime in your life, accept no substitutes; 23 years on, Akira is still the genre's crowning achievement.

June 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Like Snow White before it, Akira was a step change in what animation could show.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Eye for Film | Comment (1)
Eye for Film

Un film qui plaira autant aux fans du genre manga qu'à ses détracteurs.

August 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Panorama

Rightfully considered one of the greatest accomplishments in sci-fi storytelling.

March 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comments (3)

Simply put, no Akira, no Matrix. It's that important.

March 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comments (2)
Empire Magazine

Still one of the best techno science fiction thrillers of all time

August 9, 2007
Film Threat

There is a moral here about mankind's lust for power, but it never clearly emerges from the spectacle of destruction and violence.

April 16, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comments (9)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Akira

Government experiments turn a punk biker into a raging telekinetic maniac who trashes the depraved future city of Neo Tokyo. Never mind the plot, this groundbreaking anime is a neon feast of ultraviolence, hallucination and destruction; the Japanese have been trying to remake this gory cyberpunk classic for over two decades now, but nothing really matches the original.
December 4, 2013
Greg S

Super Reviewer

November 8, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Overshadowed by a lot of excessive violence, "Akira" is one anime film where I honestly could have pictured it being one of my favourite films of all time, if it hadn't done certain things throughout. The premise of the film is awesome and every character has traits that you can easily connect with right away, but the action kind of takes over and turned into this epic film that it really did not need to become. It felt so overdone at times that it kind of wore me out and I began to get bored. The action is cool, the characters are fantastic, and the story is some of the best I've seen in anime, but there is too much going on for me to say that I loved it. It's well-written, and well made in every other aspect, but it just feels like too much. Still, a very solid anime!
June 16, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

I think its the best way to adapt 6 volume of comic into 124 minutes movie.
still better in comic
December 3, 2012
    1. Tetsuo (Japanese Version): Kaneda!
    2. Kaneda (Japanese Version): That's Mr. Kaneda to you, punk!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (8 months ago)
    1. Tetsuo (Japanese Version): I am Tetsuo.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (8 months ago)
    1. Kai (Japanese Version): WAAAAAAAAH?! KANADAAAAAAA! YOUR'RE ALIVE! I thought you were there, I thought your're in there for sure.
    – Submitted by Jack Z (18 months ago)
    1. Yamagata (Japanese Version): Yeah Right! Drink your dog piss?
    – Submitted by Danny M (23 months ago)
    1. Tetsuo (Japanese Version): A fish out of water dies, huh.
    – Submitted by Erjon S (2 years ago)
    1. Tetsuo (Japanese Version): A fish out of water dies, huh.
    – Submitted by Christopher H (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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Latest News on Akira

July 14, 2011:
Jaume Collet-Serra in Talks for Akira
The "Unknown" director could step in for the departed Albert Hughes.
May 26, 2011:
Albert Hughes Quits Akira
But the project remains on Warner Bros.' fast track.
May 17, 2011:
No Akira for Keanu
Warner Bros.' live-action "Akira" is still in development, but Keanu Reeves is no longer in talks to...

Foreign Titles

  • Akira (CA)
  • Akira (FR)
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