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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwWLOrMrJYc
AKIRA ( アキラ )
Toho Film/Bandai Visual, 1988
Pioneer/Geneon Entertainment, 2001-2002, 2004; Funimation, 2013
Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (Memories, Steamboy).
Rated R for violence and gore, nudity, suggestive sexual situations, drug use, and profanity.

Cast (Japanese)

Mitsuo Iwata (Itsuki in Initial D, Hyosuke in Please Teacher!/Onegai Twins) as Shotaro Kaneda

Nozomu Sasaki (Yuusuke in Yu-Yu Hakusho, Enishi in Rurouni Kenshin) as Tetsuo Shima

Mami Koyama (Karen in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Chiren in Battle Angel) as Kei

Taro Ishida (Duke Red in Metropolis) as the Colonel

Takeshi Kusao (The Guyver, Trunks in Dragon Ball Z) as Kai

Tessho Genda (Chief Dan Dastun in The Big-O, Sanders in Gundam 08th MS Team) as Ryu

Fukue Ito as Kiyoko (#25)

Tatsuhiko Nakamura as Takashi (#26)

Kazuhiko Kamifuji as Masaru (#27)

Mizuho Suzuki as Dr. Onishi

Cast (English)

Johnny Yong Bosch (Vash the Stampede in Trigun, Haruto in Witch Hunter Robin) as Shotaro Kaneda

Joshua Seth (Cyborg 009, Eiji in Rurouni Kenshin) as Tetsuo Shima

Wendee Lee (Faye in Cowboy Bebop, Angel in The Big O) as Kei

Synopsis
The year is 2019. Thirty-one years have passed since an experiment gone wrong triggered an explosion that destroyed Tokyo, Japan. This phenomenon was known by many as "Akira," named after the test subject of the experiment. Following this catastrophe and World War III, the city became Neo-Tokyo - a cesspool of gang violence, angry demonstrations and a corrupt government.

Shotaro Kaneda leads his motorcycle gang of juvenile delinquents against the Clowns for road supremacy. But things go awry when Kaneda's best friend Tetsuo Shima is involved in a deadly accident and taken into custody by the military. The accident unleashes physical and mental powers hidden inside Tetsuo, which he uses indiscriminately to wreak havoc all over the city. With the help of a political activist named Kei, Kaneda must stop Tetsuo before he releases the powers of Akira and destroys Neo-Tokyo.

Story: A
It's not easy adapting a manga into the big screen, but Otomo managed to keep the film as close to the original story as possible in a two-hour span. Many viewers may not understand the film at first, but they'll slowly realize its meaning.

Animation: A+
Akira became the benchmark in Japanese animation with its vibrant mix of 2D and 3D graphics. It's hard to believe that this movie is nearly two decades old, but is still technically superior to most anime titles released in the past five years.

Soundtrack: A+ (Available through AnimeTrax)
Akira is highly regarded as having one of the greatest soundtracks in film history. Composed by Shoji Yamashiro and performed by Geinoh Yamashiro-Gumi, the film score uses a perfect blend of Malay, Indonesian and Japanese instruments with synthesizers and powerful vocals.

Sub vs. Dub
When Streamline Pictures first released Akira, it was marred by horrible dubbing and a bad English script. Pioneer re-translated the script to make it closer to the original Japanese version. I'm glad to say that the new produced by ZRO Limit Productions/Animaze dub is very good.

DVD Extras: A+
If you bought the 2-disc version, you definitely got your money's worth. Disc 2 is loaded with the following features:

- AKIRA Production Report (The making of the movie).
- AKIRA Sound Clip (The original soundtrack production).
- Interview with Katsuhiro Otomo.
- Production Materials (Still images, unused storyboards & backgrounds, character design sketches, manga art, movie posters and promotional items).
- Original Japanese trailers and TV spots.
- Features behind the film restoration and English re-dub.
- Glossary.

The Bottom Line
AKIRA is one movie you must own in your film collection, whether you're into anime or not.

Reference
Anime News Network
The Internet Movie Database

Edited by areaseven
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I gave it another try after over 13 years since I first saw the film. I did understand much more of the film the second time around, but I still didn't think that much of it. It's passable at best. But I think the special features are some of the best I've ever seen on a DVD set.

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Gotta say I didn't like it.

Got the DVD, watched it once...don't even know where it is now.

I can't comment on the manga, but the movie was just...not good. Too many things going on, with not enough attention given to any of them.

At first it was boring, then when things picked up I wished they would go back to being boring...

Soundtrack and animation were good though.

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its a visual tour de force but not much else. Don't make it more than it is. From what little I read of the manga the story seemed much better there. but hell the manga isn't a graphic novel its a graphic tome! :blink:

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Sorry, I still dig the old 'bad' dub... I was bummed the remaster didn't at least have it included for old times sake.

Like folks say... don't read to much into the film. Just like Blade Runner isn't the be-all-&-end-all of sci-fi flix... nor is Akira the best that anime has to offer. Doesn't mean it's any less impressive, tho! Remember: it's all CEL animation!!! No computer cheats! And I still say the billowing smoke in this flick is the best...SMOKE... EVER!!!!! :lol:

Edited by Amped
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had to see Akira 3 times to understand (most of) it

(hey 1st time was on the BBC with english subtitles :blink:, while I barely got english at school)

in a time before internet, and Holland anime-less I treasured it

maybe it's overrated by the diehard fans of it, I do not consider it the "end all be...blah", luckily never read the manga (believe me that helps, killed the "awesome" in the GitS anime) and I still enjoy it to this day

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Is this the area where i write how lame the movie really is and its overated or the area where i say "yea it was good /shrug"

I first saw Akira 1989 ...i was 10ish . I was blown away , at 10 i knew anime was different then american animation. Back then getting ahold of anime was very hard especially at that age. Blah blah blah.....

This movie is incredible...the story is top notch, i never had any problem even at ten understanding it. The way the story music and visual collide together is what makes a movie and this movie is perfect.....The soundtrack IS the greatest cinema soundtrack ever made. The movie flows perfectly and people always tend to have a problem with the lack of action in the middle half of the film... a problem i dont understand.

I think people are jaded with anime.

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I also hold the believe that a very large number of those that are quick to say that Akira was lame and overrated are simply jaded or have fallen into the trap where it's now trendy to think it's lame, just like it was trendy to think it was the best thing ever years ago. Not everyone, mind you, just most of them.

Still, it's to be expected as Akira did suffer from overhype, especially in the late 90's. Once anime started becoming really big, Akira was being praised left and right, more than it deserved.

Personally, I think the actual visuals and animation are far beyond anything except possibly Disney's Fantasia movies. Every movie that's hyped as being a "modern day Akira" falls far short in the animation department. Ghost in the Shell comes quickly to mind. Great animation, but Akira still puts it to shame. The motion is just so fluid, and details just so incredible, there's very little that compares.

Storywise, I never had any problem understanding it, but then again I tend to understand books and movies fairly easily. Stuff like Dune, 2001, etcetera just clicked for me. Then again, I'm the type that will know the end of a movie like Jacob's Ladder, Existenze, or Sixth Sense about 5-15 minutes into it, much to the chagrin of anyone who asks, "Oh yeah, then how will it end?" Still, the story in Akira, while interesting and intelligent, never really grabbed me. Of course there's a lot missing from the story that was in the Manga, but whenever you take a story that long and condense it into a 2 hour movie, you're gonna lose a lot. Still, Akira pulled it off a lot better than Oshii's Ghost in the Shell movie, and the GitS manga wasn't even nearly as long as Akira.

I'd reccomend at least one viewing of Akira to anyone who's a fan of anime, or animation in general. I'd especially reccomend it to those who know a thing or two about animation and might critisize the Japanese style of animation with it's particular brand of shortcuts (I'd also remind them that American animation has it's own shortcuts that aren't present in Japanese animation), as a good example of big budget animation out of Japan. Also the mood and cyberpunkish theme of the movie is something that is sorely lacking in our current trend towards bright, shiney, happy, clean futuristic worlds (the recent Bubblegum Crisis series compared to the original BBG is a sickeningly blatant example of this trend, though that's an extreme case) that we're currently in.

The story I can easily see people loving, hating, or being simply indifferent towards. I like it, but it's truly the animation itself and the outstanding music and the world that the movie presents which put it high on my list.

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