Akira (Blu Ray)

Directed By: Katsuhiro Otomo

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4 out of 5
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The Grand Exalted Poobah

on 12/8/2012

'Akira' is an example of the power of animation, so finely grained that, wherever the eye rests, there is something to consider. While it still relies on non-stop action to carry it through, the characters, drawn from the dark side of the city are equally vivid. One simply needs to ride with the action, and things gradually become clear.

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Grand anime

on 4/14/2013

Akira is one of those films that you never forget. The images are extremely powerful and graphic, so that they stick with you long after the film is over. Despite its sometimes-confusing plot line, this movie is a wonderfully written, chilling look into the future, and into humanity as a whole. The film more or less centers around a teenage biker gang in Neo-Tokyo, thirty-years after World War III.

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Product Overview

A secret military project endangers neo-tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop.


Studio Infinity Resources Inc
SKU 210411627
UPC 669198620041
UPC 14 00669198620041
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 2/24/2009
Rating Rating
Big Battles
Essential Cinema
Psychic Forces
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note 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.
Plot Summary
Summary 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.
New York Times "...A phenomenal work of animation with all the hallmarks of an instant cult classic..." 10/19/1990 p.C12
USA Today "...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 p.6E
Entertainment Weekly "...Parts of AKIRA are as well directed as anything you'll ever see..." 07/27/2002 p.51
Sight and Sound "...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 p.74
Total Film 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
Katsuhiro Otomo
Cast & Crew
Ryohei Suzuki - Producer
Shunzo Kato - Producer
Katsuhiro Otomo - Source Writer
Izou Hashimoto - Screenwriter
Katsuhiro Otomo - Producer
Sawako Noma - Producer
Katsuhiro Otomo - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1988
Catalog ID 62004
UPC 00669198620041
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 124 minutes
Color Color
Original Language Japanese
Available Subtitles English, Japanese
Available Audio Tracks English Dubbed, Japanese
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.78:1
ReviewSource DVD Times
Review This splicing of state of art cell animation with a Bladerunner-esque setting caught my imagination and never let go...The animation is superb and I haven't seen better cell animation anywhere. From the moment you see the flickering light outside of the bar you know you are in for a treat. Neo Tokyo is beautifully realised here with huge 3D animated billboards and a real futuristic feel that many live action films fail to achieve...The performances from the main actors are exemplary. The emotion in the voices is just right. Even though you cannot understand what they are saying, you really appreciate the emotion behind their words...It pains me to say this but this film isn't perfect. Admittedly the film really has only one flaw and that is the complex narrative. Now normally I wouldn't complain about that given the brainless nature of most modern films. In this case however they have taken a comic that ran for years and made it into a film. As a result certain plot elements are not fully explored and you are left wondering what was that characters purpose; you know there is more there but you never see it...Despite the films flaw it is easily in the same league as Blade Runner in terms of atmosphere and sits quite comfortably in my top 5 Sci-fi films of all time. To anyone reading this who hasn't watched Akira because it is a "cartoon" please give it a try, it is a Sci-fi classic and deserves any Sci-fi fans full attention...I rarely give out 10's in my reviews but this is a true Sci-fi classic.
Reviewer Mark Davis
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource The Onion A.V. Club
Review In spite of its increasingly daring and experimental visual stylings, the Japanese animation industry has yet to produce a film that truly rivals Katsuhiro Otomo's much-heralded animated film adaptation of his 2,000-page comic book Akira. The 1988 cyberpunk extravaganza--in which a weak, put-upon biker punk named Tetsuo is suddenly endowed with phenomenal psychic powers, and uses them to exact violent retribution on any and all perceived authority figures--certainly has its problems. Its script is crowded, rushed, and occasionally opaque; screenwriters Otomo and Izo Hashimoto tried to cram a sampling of the political and social complexities of the manga series into the film, with uneven results. While the central tragic conceits of Japan's familiar man-vs.-machine conflict are lucid enough, as is the more universal coming-of-age story, the motivations behind many of the bit players are far from clear. But the imagery remains incomparable among animated films. Post-apocalyptic Tokyo comes alive in Otomo's hands, both on the micro level, as bike gangs engage in an adrenaline-fueled duel in the film's opening segments, and on the macro level, as a massive urban area is laid waste in the finale. Otomo's masterful and creepy use of sound, music, and silence creates a variety of powerful moods without forcing them...the film itself is a landmark production that can be watched with equal satisfaction as a metaphorical psychodrama or as a sheer visual spectacular.
Reviewer Tasha Robinson
ReviewRating 9
Channel 4 Film Rightfully considered one of the greatest accomplishments in sci-fi storytelling.
Geoff Andrew, Time Out An impressive achievement, often suggesting a weird expressionist blend of 2001, The Warriors, Blade Runner and Forbidden Planet.
Janet Maslin, The New York Times A phenomenal work of animation with all the hallmarks of an instant cult classic.
Kim Newman, Empire Simply put, no Akira, no Matrix. It's that important.
Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice ...some kind of fever-dream masterpiece, easily the most breathtaking and kinetic anime ever made...
Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness A furious spectacle of lush colors and dynamic movement.
Richard Harrington, The Washington Post ...moves with such kinetic energy that you'll be hanging on for dear life...

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