A landmark film that introduced much of the Western world to modern animé, AKIRA is a marvel of modern animation. Based on Katsuhiro Otomo's 2,000 page manga, AKIRA begins on July 16, 1988, when what was believed to be an atomic bomb was dropped on Tokyo, completely destroying the city and marking the beginning of WWIII. Thirty-one years later, Neo-Tokyo has sprung from the ruins of the old city and is experiencing a prolonged period of civil unrest caused by student uprisings, political instability, and, most destructively, biker gangs. One of the members of these biker gangs, Tetsuo, is detained by the military after a near accident with a strange young boy. After recognizing innate psychic ability in him, the military begins using Tetsuo as a test subject to channel Akira, a source of unimaginable power and the cause of the explosion that destroyed the original Tokyo. However, the military's plan backfires, and instead of locating the source of Akira's power, Tetsuo becomes a medium for it. Endowed with incredible psychic powers that make every one of his destructive impulses a reality, Tetsuo begins to go on a rampage that threatens to completely annihilate Neo Tokyo. Combining a complex science-fiction universe with intricately detailed animation and phantasmagoric images, AKIRA is a stunning visual experience and a disturbing vision of the future.
Main Cast & Crew
Katsuhiro Otomo - Director
- Format: Blu-ray (DVD)
- Run Time: 124
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 704400094187
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Rating: R (MPAA)
- Release Date: July 2001
In this landmark classic of Japanese animation, a race of children with special powers is being used by the government -- following the nuclear devastation of a world war.
Original theatrical release: July 16, 1988 (Japan). Copyright 1989 Akira Committee.
"...A phenomenal work of animation with all the hallmarks of an instant cult classic..." - 10/19/1990 New York Times, p.C12
"...The movie's strengths are speed, attitude and incessant dazzle -- so much so that this expensive post-World War III urban fantasy is widely regarded as Japan's greatest animated feature..." - 07/27/2001 USA Today, p.6E
"...Parts of AKIRA are as well directed as anything you'll ever see..." - 07/27/2002 Entertainment Weekly, p.51
"...The film itself is well worth revisiting, if only to admire how well it stands up next to more recent genre classics such as METROPOLIS and SPIRITED AWAY..." - 10/01/2003 Sight and Sound, p.74
5 stars out of 5 -- "Pretty much every frame delivers startling new peaks of animation, and the sheer ambition of the thing takes the breath away." - 06/01/2011 Total Film