Review of 'Akira'

akira.jpg On July 16, 1988 an atom bomb destroys Tokyo. 31 years later, in 2019, the ultra-modern Neo-Tokyo has risen from the ashes with a undercurrent of violence. Kaneda (Mitsuo Iwata) is a young punk leader of a motorcycle gang. His friend Tetsuo (Nozomu Sasaki) resents Kaneda's success and his high-tech motorcycle (that features on many posters for the film). When chasing the “Clowns”, a rival gang, Tetsuo gets into an accident after narrowly missing a mysterious young boy on the road. Tetsuo is taken to the hospital but is then unknowingly subjected to drugs that impart incredible powers. Meanwhile, Neo-Tokyo is subjected to riots over political reforms and a cult that worships the mythical “Akira” who they will hope will come and save them. When all of this collides the world will not be the same again…

Ok, I have to admit, this is one of my (very guilty) favourite films. Ok, it is violent. Ok, it is EXTREMELY dark. I just find it very interesting. I have seen it MANY times now and I still don't entirely know what it is about…What you immediately perceive of the story just seems to be half of it. There are undercurrents of much more here which is patently true as it is based on the long running Manga (comic) series by the director.

The film looks great with its brilliant colours, incredible action sequences, pumping soundtrack, and unrelenting action leading to an astonishing climax. It touches on many aspects of human hubris including greed, and corruption but ends on a touch of, dare I say it, hope. Along the way many, many will die in often brutal and vivid ways…

Animation is not necessarily for children. Akira is definitely one of these that I would not recommend for a child. In any case they would probably be really, really confused…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2019-06-08

Directed by: Katsuhiro Otomo

Studio: Pioneer Entertainment

Year: 1987

Length: 124 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Hiroaki Ando, Hajime Katoki, Shuhei Morita and Katsuhiro Otomo:

Other reviewed films by Katsuhiro Otomo:

Other reviewed films by Katsuhiro Otomo, Koji Morimoto and Tensai Okamura: