• Akira
    1 minutes 44 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008


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Akira Reviews

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Jason G.
July 29, 2014
Very impressive animation combined with an interesting and well-paced story.
February 26, 2011
An astonishing piece of animation that is simply a must-see for anyone who loves the medium.
July 26, 2014
A real hallmark of animation, bolstered by its high production values and chilling dystopian vision of post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, as political corruption sends this city tailspinning into utter bedlam. Katsuhiro Otomo is officially one of my favorite filmmakers.
July 24, 2014
Extremely confusing and amusing
July 20, 2014
About time I watched a worthwhile film!

Akira is a 1988 sci fi fantasy epic that's drawn to life through beautiful animation and an off-beat style. I'll get this out the way: I'm not a fan of anime, really. Only two anime series I enjoy are Cowboy Bebop and DragonBall Z, along with the occasional Afro Samurai. Now, I'm not saying these are the only series I've watched. When I was a kid, I adored shows like Death Note, Inuyasha, and Full Metal Alchemist. However, as I grew up, those shows never really stuck with me and I just got over them. The only two that did stay were DBZ and Bebop. So, I'm not exactly an anime fan, but that's what makes Akira wonderful! I forgot I was watching anime and felt comfortable watching it!

Akira is a strange film... It's basically a superhero/villain (?) origin story. In the year 1988, a nuclear explosion occurs in Japan, causing World War III. In the future, 2019, neo-Tokyo is ruled by a military force and is occupied mostly by biker gangs and low-life thugs. Enter Tetsuo, a random biker who turns out to have superpowers. After a couple of government testing, things go down. The film sits at 2 hours and 5 minutes, yet it's breakneck pacing allows for a much more easygoing experience. There's not a moment in here where it feels dull (need to stop using this word) or listless. The film has to cover a lot of ground, especially considering it's rather large scope, and I felt is has succeeded it's goal.

The animation in this film is stunning. To my surprise, I found out that this film was entirely hand-drawn. Looking back at the fluidity of it, I'm speechless as to how they accomplished this, and more-so by the fact that it was made in the 80s, a time where films seemed to have a lot of effort put forth. People sat there and drew every scene, though sometimes I get the feeling they used CG for a couple of scenes. However, effort alone is jaw-dropping. The voice acting is decent at times. I watched the remastered dub, and I can say that no one did a horrible job. Sometimes they went a little overboard with the melodrama and for some reason, in a couple of scenes, some of the dialogue isn't in sync.

What makes this film amazing is it's imagination. The film begins going one direction. Then, it switches it up and now it's going in a completely different way. At times, the film can be gratuitously violent, but it adds more to the charm of the film. It makes the action scenes more visceral, and hard hitting, something that is lacking in most cartoons now. The film doesn't attempt to be something it's not. It's not pursuing to be a family friendly film, and it broke the mold of "family friendly cartoons" and really pushed the boundaries. Like it or not, this film has done more for the anime business (and even film) than most other films.

The film never takes itself too seriously, as well. It has a buoyant sense of joy in scenes not detailing the darker themes. When it does delve into it's message, the film feels a little muddled, however. Through all the rubble in the film, the film is against the thought of power. No one should have increasing power. It's an allegory on the political system of Japan(or any country) and it's corruption, but it's never fully utilizes this idea because it's easy to get lost in the violence. I know I gave the film props for it's violent tone, but I feel that it's a double edged sword. On one hand, it enhances the film's overall joy. On the other, it is distracting. Oh well, it's just me.

The film carries a surprising amount of emotional depth as well. There is an interesting dynamic between the two main characters, Kaneda and Tetsuo, and it's strange how depressing it is to watch their friendship slowly break apart. And that's what can be said about this film, there is strong characterization in this film, especially from the two leads. Kaneda is a witty, heroic kid looking to help his friend. It makes the final result more pulse pounding and suspenseful. Akira is not for everyone as mentioned before. In the first 20 minutes alone, a kid is decapitated, there's a rape scene, and there's strong language. The film is a social critique. If you see the violence there for no reason, you're missing the morality aspect of this film. Oh, there I go again. Defending the violence right after I had antagonized it. I still hold my stance that the violence does shroud the overall theme, but the violence holds it's own reasoning. Is that different enough? Well, I felt that the brutality of the film held a weight, revealing the harsh reality of what goes on in street gang warfare.

Overall, Akira is one of the hardest films I've had to review in a while. It's negative aspects can also embellish the film, making it tough to find real criticisms on this film. The dialogue can be a tad...silly. "Look! It's blood!" Yeah, thank you for telling me as if I didn't know. It's not for everyone. It's gory, sexually explicit, and foul mouthed. If you can get past that, this film is a beautifully animated, imaginative, electric film that shouldn't be missed. It has a wonderful social commentary on gangs and features a nice political allegory. This is a great film!
July 21, 2014
Kubrick's "2001" of animes.
July 10, 2012
Expecting a movie about a gang and their bikes.... Akira didn't give me what I was expecting and surprised me with a Long, Violent, and Explosive ride! I didn't even think I understood the full story. But wow that is some amazing animation and art. Like seriously best looking anime ever! The movie is just very satisfying.
August 25, 2012
Katsuhiro Otomo's genius lies in linking the apocalypse with the rage of disaffected teenagers, the story is fueled by society's fear of its youth. In this respect, it can be seen as a teensploitation homage of sorts in the vein of The Lost Boys as well as the pinnacle of animated science fiction.
July 18, 2014
Strange but watchable.
July 18, 2014
one of the greatest anime movies of all time. if it wasnt for this movie anime wouldnt have gone mainstream like it is today. amazing animation, gory scenes and a story line that fits a takashi miike movie. this movie is amazing on so many levels i highly recommend this movie.
July 15, 2014
Expertly told in a mature fashion while exploiting breathtaking stylized animation. "Akira" is an intensely cool action-thriller and a spectacular science fiction epic that will undoubtedly entertain anime and non-anime fans alike.
Romeo H.
July 15, 2014
Expertly told in a mature fashion while exploiting breathtaking stylized animation. "Akira" is an intensely cool action-thriller and a spectacular science fiction epic that will undoubtedly entertain anime and non-anime fans alike.
Ben D.
April 30, 2014
Akira has some cool moments, but the story and characters weren't interesting enough to keep my attention. However, I simply adore the animation. Whoever drew that should win something.
August 15, 2013
A violent, crazy, visually stunning acid trip. And even after 25 years it's one of the best techno science fiction films ever made.
June 9, 2014
Woah. WOAH. I can see where Chronicle (2012) got it's inspiration from. This film is frigging awesome! The action sequences are beyond belief, like I felt I was going through some major drug-fuelled episode at some points. Some of the blood was a tad distracting in it's gore but the sheer imagination put into making Akira made up for it all. I am actually blown away. Possibly one of my favourite anime films. Ever.
July 6, 2014
this movie cannot be described with words, it is a true masterpiece of anime
July 5, 2014
A classic and maybe the best anime of all time. Looks great remastered!
Jonah R.
June 27, 2014
This movie was kinda confusing, but I liked it.
May 27, 2014
BEAUTIFUL but not my favorite movie ever: The Return Of Godzilla
Robin Brown
May 23, 2014
Akira is a must-see for die hard anime fans who enjoy the classics or those who like the grungy punkish '80s dystopia settings. It was one of the founding fathers of anime in the US, and to this day it holds up as a meaningful sci-fi movie with characters that, while not beacons of humanity, are people you as an audience cares about.

I highly recommend the 25th Anniversary Edition released in 2013. The dubbing has been redone and the visuals have been cleaned up for a masterful Blu-Ray presentation. Even more, the discs contain the original dubbing from the 1988 Japanese as well as the 1990 English version.
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