Akira poster


Japan, 1988. An explosion caused by a young boy with psychic powers tears through the city of Tokyo and ignites the fuse that leads to World War III. In order to prevent any further destruction, he is captured and taken into custody, never to be heard from again. Now, in the year 2019, a restored version of the city known as Neo-Tokyo—an area rife with gang violence and terrorism against the current government—stands in its place. Here, Shoutarou Kaneda leads "the Capsules," a group of misfits known for riding large, custom motorcycles and being in constant conflict with their rivals "the Clowns." During one of these battles, Shoutarou's best friend Tetsuo Shima is caught up in an accident with an esper who finds himself in the streets of Tokyo after escaping confinement from a government institution. Through this encounter, Tetsuo begins to develop his own mysterious abilities, as the government seeks to quarantine this latest psychic in a desperate attempt to prevent him from unleashing the destructive power that could once again bring the city to its knees. (Source: MAL Rewrite)

Ranking 207

User Count40971
Favorites Count901
Start Date16th Jul 1988
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank207
Rating Rank492
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity


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Often hailed as a classic, I can kind of see where the praises are coming from. These kind of hard hitting, apocolyptic anime always seem to attract acclaim. But personally, I couldn't really get into it that much. Or perhaps it's because I just didn't get it. My main problem with "Akira" is the vagueness of the story. I mean, I'm not the biggest fan of these abstract, philosophical stories to begin with, but "Akira" also suffers from a lack of completeness, which only serves to exasperate my confusion even more. I was watching it with a friend and he was having to constantly explain what to me what was happening using knowledge that he'd accumulated from reading the manga (and in fact my friend didn't fully understand everything himself either cos he hasn't read all the manga). My own view on this is that an anime should be made to be self contained, I shouldn't have to go digging for the manga in order to understand what is going on. The presentation of "Akira" was supposedly amazing at the time. But if it was, it hasn't aged particularly gracefully, though it hasn't done too badly either. Some of the background scenery still looks great, but the characters themselves look kind of wobbly.Even though I didn't find the music particularly to my taste, I appreciate the fact that it tries to do something different. The chant heavy soundtrack used often had a primitive and alien feel to it. In the context of the anime, it worked quite well in a weird way and didn't sound out of place. Unforunately the same cannot be said for the voices, which sounded rather horrific on the dub, with the sub sounding a little but not much better.Other than Tetsuo's character, which was quite well done, I found the rest of the character to be a little wooden, which probably affected my enjoyment of this anime a bit. And as you probably will have guessed by now, I'm not too impressed regarding the grand, complicated plot underneath that's nigh on impossible to follow unless you've read the manga.If you like those philosophical kind of anime, you'll probably enjoy "Akira". I can't deny that it's an interesting watch, but for me, that's about as far as it goes.

Welcome to Neo Tokyo **Foreword:** Part 1: Akira is one all time classic and by many considered as a must watch movie.The question most people might think would probably be "Is akira still good after all these years?",my answer to that would probably be "No" or "Read the manga,dammit!". Part 2: I didn't grew up with Akira so I really can't speak with experience about how this movie was when it first aired.I can't talk about it's influence on the west or it's anime in general probably because I wasn't even born at that time however I can compare it to the newer and my opinion better anime movies.No matter how hard I try liking Akira or how much I'm thinking about it's story and it's symbolism I really can't deny it faults and the fact that Akira is a movie which aged like no other. **Story** The story of Akira is rather complex compared to other anime movies.The story evolves around 2 biker boys in Neo Tokyo after the 3rd world war.The story of Akira is a story of friendship,madness and growing up,mixed with many after WWII Japan symbolism and what the hell not. **Sound & Animation:** The sound and animation are doing a great job with sucking one in it's world.The I would call it dirty(not dark) cyberpunk world and atmosphere work out perfectly with the creepy music and outdated(but not bad) animation.Watching Akira in the 80's probably felt futuristic,but watching it now it feels old and dirty in comparison to other cyberpunk/sci-fi anime(in a good way).It's kinda hard for me to explain but the whole atmosphere of the animation and sound is more than perfect and in fact it's so good that I dare to say that remaking Akira with newer animation wouldn't feel as good and authentic as it is now. **Characters:** I wish I could say something positive about the characters in Akira.While many characters are interesting and all unique their decisions and their way of thinking seem to me more than unreasonable. **Enjoyment:** The enjoyement of Akira is more than questionable,while I do enjoy watching some so called "mindfuck anime" I have to say that those are usually have a slower pacing(Lain for example).With Akira however we got a movie with lots of good hollywood like action and explosions which I can only describe as entertaining while I do believe that there are many distractions and scenes which will make this movie a pain to watch. **Final words:** I give Akira credit for having a great mix of animation & sound and I'll admit that it's a entertaining movie to watch.However,I can't ignore it immense flaws and things what make Akira a outdated(I would even say bad) movie not to watch but also to recommend.The lack of character developement and a story which actually makes sense is simply too high.Everyone who tries to give Akira a deeper meaning and puts philosophy where it doesn't belong to is a fool. **Conclusion:** While I would highly recommend the manga of Akira(6 volumes long)I wouldn't the movie.The movie tried too hard and failed.There was probably too much story to squeeze in just one movie, and when I watched the movie it kinda felt like a "best of scenes" video of screening the most important parts of the Akira manga,and just skipping some scenes where many things get explained and actually give the Akira manga it's spicy flavour(not to mention how the ending of Akira suffered in the movie).

This is one of the most intense films I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the themes and messages may have gone over my head and I may have missed some things. But, I really enjoyed it and it was thrilling and exhilirating from the very beginning.

Good. the animation is older but its a classic and very action packed. sci-fi genre, the characters are differently animated then now days so you might not like it.

A crazy shitstorm in the light of the story of Icarus, humans being destroyed by their own ambitions. Akira is one of the select animes that I could truthfully call perfect. From the outstanding animation to the extremely heavy themes present throughout, there's a reason why Akira is named of the best animes of all time.

The founding chapter of the Cyberpunk sub-genre, Akira is an inspiration to and alluded to in numerous sci-fi series since it's debut in 1988(Including the Matrix, Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell, Dragonball Z, just to name a few). A heart-stopping classic full of powerful representations and symbolism, this movie is worth a watch by anyone, ever. Not for the faint of heart, this show contains more than enough high-octance nightmare fuel, gore, and squick to last a lifetime for some.

Behind Star Wars, Star Trek, and Dungeons and Dragons, Akira is one of the classic cult hits worshiped by geeks in their 40's. As someone who was late to the show due to their age, I decided to watch Akira a total of three times (with the three different dubs) to form my own opinion on the film that got so many Americans into anime and paved the way for scores of other science fiction works. Story: 8/10: The story in this film is really incredible, but it also had even more potential than it actually cashed in on. Adapting 2,200 pages of manga into 120 minutes is pretty much impossible, giving the story a very rushed feel. This isn't bad--its the kind of film that needs to be fast-paced, but it really neglected some depth it could have had. This movie is pretty deep, but not deep enough to warrant tons of commentary. Themes of arrogance, abuse of power, and whether or not rebellion is actually necessary are explored, but never expounded upon. The plot is extremely original and immensely enjoyable, but you can see a lot of chances the film had to become something greater that it just did not take. Animation: 10/10: If there is one reason that you HAVE to watch this film, its the animation. Every single frame is colored so richly, and the quirky, gritty art style of the manga is realized fully throughout the entire movie. Some cells of animation are so incredible that they could just be hung in art galleries, but instead the filmmakers opted to animate the movie using techniques so advanced that the animation has both tons of personality and insane fluidity. Worry not that this 1988 movie has aged--after you see it, modern anime will look bad by comparison. The movie also makes great use of color to convey the dirtiness and standout violence of 2019 Neo-Tokyo. Sound: 9/10: The OST of this film is unconventional, memorable, and very intense. One of the tracks is very fast and atmospheric, with hints of Japanese influence, mirroring the motif of the film well, and another track, played during the movies most over the top scenes, sounds like desperate, rhythmic gasping. The soundtrack covers every base from crazy to creepy to perversely pretty, and it all works well. In terms of dubs, the original Japanese is great, but the 2001 English dub is best. The 1989 English dub is fun, but poorly written and acted, which sort of ruins the movie. Character: 7/10: The characters have the same problem as the plot: there's a ton of missed potential. Both of the teenage leads have interesting character--both the irresponsible, skirt-chasing Kaneda and the rebel-without a cause Tetsuo, but the best they are in this film is as sorts of Archetypes rather than fully complex characters. The most compelling, in my opinion, was the Colonel--his conflicted feelings about Neo-Tokyo really helped drive the film's themes home. The rest of the characters were largely just archetypal or skimmed over. Enjoyment: 9/10: Akira really is a groundbreaking and original film that deserves most of the praise it gets. Although the rushed nature of its characters and plot hamper the film's ambitious themes slightly, the film shines most in its brilliant animation and awesome soundtrack, making this film an experience that all fans of anime, animation, or film in general would be doing a disservice to themselves by missing. **Overall: 9/10**

Technically brilliant! Garbage narrative. Hope you enjoy symbolism and making heads or tails of nonsense, because that's all this movie offers you for your attention. 

Akira is perfect: Story is perfect and unique, animation is mind-blowing, action is awesome, but it's not a action flick but a masterpiece and the Blade runner of anime.

Critic's Log - Earthdate: December 3, 2012. Review #25: AKIRA The time has come, This is my 25th review and I have a special movie to talk about. I will now review the 1988 landmark anime film... AKIRA! In the year 2019, 31 years have passed since the outbreak of World War III. In the city of Neo-Tokyo, all authority is waging a never-ending struggle against underground forces that virtually rules the shattered city, A top-secret child with amazing powers of the minds breaks free from custody and accidentally involves a biker gang in the project. The incident triggers psychic powers within one of the bikers named Tetsuo, and he ends up being taken by the army and being experimented on. Tetsuo's mind has been warped and he is on a path to destruction. To be technical, this is a TMS Entertainment production and  this anime film is directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (who also created the manga of the same name). It is also a landmark anime for one obvious reason. For 1988, the animation blew everyone away. When I first saw Akira, I was blown away. I knew it was made in 1988 before I saw it but I find it almost hard to believe that it was made in the late 80's. It has fluent animation, the action scenes sometimes looks badass. I love the Bike Chase scene in the first 15 minutes of the film. The animation still looks amazing. If you didn't research this movie on Wikipedia, I'll tell you this then. This anime film has more than 160,000 animation cels throughout the two-hour experience. There was a whole lot of effort put into the making of this film. This film was one hell of an achievement.  The animation is not the only good point in the movie, although it may be the contributing reason on why most people would like this movie. The music by Yamashirogumi Geinoh really fits the movie well. I like some of the ominous themes in this movie. The music is mesmerizing throughout the movie.  As far as voice acting goes. This will be a lengthy topic to discuss. Oh well, here goes... The Japanese Cast is not bad, in fact it's pretty good. Mitsuo Iwata is fine as Kaneda, Nozomu Sasaki is good as Tetsuo, and Mami Koyama is not bad as Kei. There's a lot of seiyus that are not really big names but they play their roles just fine. Here's a little fun fact about the subtitled version, the voices were recorded before the animation was finished. Also, the animation staff focused on matching the characters' lip movements match the dialogue (which was a first for an anime production). As far as the English Dub goes, there are actually two dubs to Akira. The Streamline dub (which was from the 90's) and the Animaze/Pioneer Dub (which was done in 2001) I will actually state my opinion on both dubs. It is going to be very difficult for me to comment on the Streamline dub because I know there are some people that have grown up watching the Streamline dub and they actually liked it. I am more familiar with the Animaze/Pioneer Dub because that was the first dub I saw. I have seen a little bit of the Streamline dub and I tried to get used to it. There are some people that like the Streamline dub and there are some people that don't like it. I personally didn't like the Streamline dub, I'm sorry for those that like that dub, but the voices sounded way off to me. I was surprised that Cam Clarke voiced Kaneda though. So what do I think of the Animaze/Pioneer dub? I think it's a good dub. Johnny Yong Bosch fits the role because Kaneda is a punk and Johnny was a perfect choice for Kaneda, Joshua Seth is also great as Tetsuo. Wendee Lee was also good as Kei but I felt Kei sounded a bit older than her age in this dub, this is just a minor nitpick but Wendee Lee's performance was pretty good. as far as other performances go, Jamieson Price was great as the Colonel, and there were some well-known dub actors in the movie such as Michelle Ruff, Michael Lindsay, Mike Reynolds, William Frederick Knight, Skip Stellrecht, and Steve Blum. The Animaze/Pioneer dub is good, but I sort of prefer the subtitled version on this one. Kevin Seymour really did a good job as ADR director in which he didn't disappoint in the later dubs that he worked on with animes such as <strong>Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex </strong>and **Code Geass**. I've said enough on the voice acting  As far as characters go, the characters (in a way) have personalities that would fit the setting of the story that which the movie presents. Kaneda is a street punk that has a sense of humor. His best friend Tetsuo really has some problems which I really can't blame him too much for since he has a inferiority complex. I almost found Tetsuo as a whiny little bitch but there is a slight cool appeal that I see in Tetsuo and it was somewhat fascinating to see Tetsuo progress in character development. Kei is an alright character of all the bunch, She doesn't have too much development compared to how she developed in the manga. The Colonel on the other hand is a pretty good character from start to finish. He may be tough and ruthless but he has his reasons. I like how he is pragmatic to recognize the danger that Tetsuo's fledgling powers pose. I also like his sense of honor that reflects on the Military. Call it a soldierly sense of honor if you may. I like the Colonel. The other characters are pretty good for the most part.  The story of Akira is a bit hard for me to describe because the animation is what most people remember about Akira. There's definitely a lot of style with some substance to go with it. The story does have a post-apocalyptic setting and most of the scenes you see or will see does fit that setting. It's obvious that this is an adaptation of the manga of the same name and Otomo-san took some liberties from turning his 2,162 page manga epic into a 2 hour film. It's not completely faithful to the manga but since Otomo-san directed this film, I don't have much room to complain. I will say that the manga has a far more complete story, this movie does have a story but it can be a little hard to remember for some people. I guess it's good for the most part. There are times I just get blown away by the animation and totally forget about the story. Akira was available by Pioneer/Geneon before it went out of print, it was later picked up by Bandai Entertainment until they went under. It was rescued by Funimation. At the time I'm writing this review, it will soon be available from Funimation. The manga by Katsuhiro Otomo was available by Dark Horse Comics until the rights expired and it was picked up by Kodansha Comics. The Akira manga is available from Kodansha Comics. An American live-action film was in the works but it is in development hell. With all that said, Akira has incredible animation that ended up as one of the most popular anime films today. This film has garnered a cult following which I think the animation contributed to that. The music is mesmerizing and a tripfest in some themes. The movie has a couple badass characters as well as some badass moments. The story may have not been faithful than the manga but it is directed by the creator of the series so there's really no need to complain about that. This is a really cool movie and anyone that likes anime should see it. You won't be disappointed for the most part. I give Akira a 9 out of 10, It is EXCELLENT! Feel free to comment below.

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