Akira (1988) The Real Neo-Tokyo

Hello everybody!
Welcome back to Anime Wednesday! If you have a suggestion for the name, comment below! This week, I finally got around to watching Akira. On all of the top ten lists about anime I watch, Akira is almost always number one. So after having the film buffered on my computer for almost a week, I finally decided to watch it.

AKIRA

GENRE: Cyberpunk, Action

DIRECTOR: Katsuhiro Otomo

MANGA AUTHOR: Katsuhiro Otomo

NUMBER OF EPISODES: One Film.

YEAR: 1988

COUNTRY: Japan

Akira is a very interesting film about a number of various controversial subjects in Japan (specifically Neo-Tokyo in Akira). Akira is considered the fist anime film to fully garner the attention and influence of Western audiences. The film essentially follows four main characters, all with different goals in mind. The main characters are: Kaneda, a leader of a biker gang, Tetsuo, his best friend and member of his biker gang. Kei, a member of a revolutionary faction, and The Colonel, a member of the executive council who wants to discover humanity’s hidden power. The plot is kind of convoluted, as it took me almost an hour to piece everything together.

****************************************SPOILERS****************************

The film begins in 2019, years after the end of World War III and the destruction of Tokyo. Kaneda and Tetsuo are in a fight with a rival biker gang when Tetsuo is severely injured in an accident caused by crashing into an Esper (a human with psychic powers). The Colonel appears and hospitalizes Tetsuo in order to subject him to human testing. Meanwhile Kaneda runs into and unintentionally joins Kei’s revolutionary group with one goal in mind, stop the birth of Akira (one of the original Espers). Tetsuo is shown to have developed his psychic powers and is in a race to destroy Akira, killing everyone in his way.

I actually enjoyed Akira very much. If I were to make a top ten list (which I will be doing very soon shhh), Akira would be in at least the top three. There are many trails that make Akira a brilliant masterpiece. First, Akira is beautiful. It is one of the most beautifully animated films I have ever seen. Second, the direction that was followed is unique and amazing (I really need to stop using that word). I have never seen silence used so well in a film before, and I have seen quite a number of films. Lastly, the film’s plot and characters are interesting and entertaining.

Even though I enjoyed Akira, there are still a few things that bothered me. One, the plot was convoluted and difficult to understand at first. Like I said above, it took me about an hour into the film to fully understand what was going on. Secondly, some of the characters that should have died didn’t and some the characters that died didn’t need to. It was pretty irritating that one of the characters (not going to say who) didn’t die when the antagonist’s love interest, who mind you didn’t have a huge part in the film, dies. What the hell?

PROS:

  • Beautifully animated.
  • Interesting characters.
  • Interesting technology.
  • Amazing story.

CONS:

  • Convoluted plot.
  • Unnecessary character deaths.

SCORE: 9.5 / 10

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Brandon Stuhr

Who am I? Just some guy who decided to start writing on the Internet years ago and now operates his own brand and site. Owner/Operator of Modern Neon Media, I make all kinds of niche content to suit my interests at the time. DIY Enthusiast, Brewmaster extraordinaire, and avid freak for geek culture. Follow on my socials for a more "on" version of me.

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