Akira (film)

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie Akira (Japanese: アキラ) is a manga and 1988 anime movie by Katsuhiro Otomo. In general, it is considered a classic manga; as well, the movie version is credited with starting the anime trend in America and revolutionizing the very medium.


Thematic influences

Although much of the character designs and basic settings were borrowed from the comic, the film does still manage to bring several thematic influences into itself, most notably in the plot which was somewhat different (partly due to time and budget) from the comic. An example of this would be the typeface (AKIRA) of the film and the soundtrack which bear striking resemblance to Godfrey Reggio's 1983 documentary film Koyaanisqatsi.


The manga originally began publication in 1982 in Japan's Young Magazine and finally concluded in July 1990. The collected manga totalled over 2000 pages and was released in 6 volumes by Kodansha. In 1988, it was published for the first time in the USA by Epic Comics, a division of Marvel Comics. This colorized English version ended its run in 1995. An English version of the 6 volume collection was released in the USA in 2000 by Dark Horse Comics.

Cultural impact

This movie led the way for the growing popularity of anime, and according to many people caused anime to become quite popular in western Europe in the mid-1990s. In North America, Akira was the beginning of the current wave of anime fandom and served as inspiration to the Wachowski brothers' The Matrix trilogy of motion pictures.

Plot summary

The setting is that of Neo-Tokyo, a Tokyo rebuilt (over what is today Tokyo Bay) after World War III destroyed it. As it turns out, World War III was (arguably) started by the uncontrolled growth of the superhuman powers of a child named Akira, who was enrolled in a secret government research program. In the story's current time, 30 years after WWIII, a gang of young bikers led by the cocky Kaneda is involved in a fight with a rival gang when the gang's youngest member, Tetsuo Shima, collides with a mysterious child on the highway. This child has escaped from the government psychic research program. Tetsuo is then taken to the government psychic research base with the child and subjected to various guinea pig experiments. The incident with the mysterious child as well as the tests awaken Tetsuo's own latent powers, with disastrous consequences both on the personal level, as old interpersonal conflicts with his friends resurface, and on the larger level, as Neo-Tokyo is threatened by another Akira incident.

Akira, like Otomo's other work (such as Domu (A Child's Dream)), revolves around the basic idea of humans with superhuman powers, in particular psychokinetic abilities, but much of the story does not focus on these abilities themselves, but rather the people involved, social issues and politics. The social commentary is not particularly deep or philosophical, but rather a wry look at youth alienation, government corruption and inefficiency, and a military grounded in old-fashioned Japanese honor, displeased with the compromises of modern society.

Cast and crew

Directed by

Writing credits

Cast (in credits order)

  • Mitsuo Iwata .... Shōtarō Kaneda (voice)
  • Nozomu Sasaki .... Tetsuo Shima (voice)
  • Mami Koyama .... Kei (voice)
  • Tesshō Genda .... Ryūsaku (voice)
  • Hiroshi Ōtake .... Nezu (voice)
  • Kōichi Kitamura .... Priestess Miyako, Council A (voice)
  • Michihiro Ikemizu .... Inspector, Council I (voice)
  • Yuriko Fuchizaki .... Kaori (voice)
  • Masaaki Ōkura .... Yamagata (voice)
  • Tarō Arakawa .... Eiichi Watanabe, Council G, Army (voice)
  • Takeshi Kusao .... Kai (voice)
  • Kazumi Tanaka .... Army (voice)
  • Masayuki Katō .... Engineer Sakiyama, Council D (voice)
  • Yōsuke Akimoto .... Harukiya Bartender (voice)
  • Masato Hirano .... Yūji Takeyama, Spy, Council F (voice)
  • Yukimasa Kishino .... Mitsuru Kuwata, Terrorist, Assistant, Council B (voice)
  • Kazuhiro Kamifuji .... Masaru (No. 27) (voice) (as Kazuhiro Kandō)
  • Tatsuhiko Nakamura .... Takashi (No. 26) (voice)
  • Fukue Itō .... Kiyoko (No. 25) (voice) (as Sachie Itō)
  • Issei Futamata .... (voice)
  • Kōzō Shioya .... Follower of Miyako (voice)
  • Sanshirō Nitta .... (voice)
  • Hideyuki Umezu .... (voice)
  • Satoru Inagaki .... (voice)
  • Kayoko Fujii .... Girl A (voice)
  • Masami Toyoshima .... Girl B (voice)
  • Yuka Ōno .... Girl C (voice)
  • Tarō Ishida .... Colonel Shikishima (voice)
  • Mizuho Suzuki .... Doctor Ōnishi (voice)
  • Johnny Yong Bosch .... Kaneda (voice: English version)
  • Joshua Seth .... Tetsuo (voice: English version)
  • Wendee Lee .... Kei (voice: English version)
  • Sandy Fox .... Kiyoko (voice: English version)
  • rest of cast listed alphabetically
  • Emily Brown .... Kaori (voice: English version)
  • Bambi Darro .... (voice: English version)
  • Barbara Goodson .... (voice: English version)
  • Jean Howard .... (voice: English version)
  • Mona Marshall .... (voice: English version)
  • Georgette Rose .... (voice: English version)
  • Lisa Tarulli .... (voice: English version)

Produced by

  • Haruyo Kanesaku
  • Shunzo Kato
  • James Yosuke Kobayashi
  • Yutaka Maseba
  • Yoshimasa Mizuo
  • Sawako Noma
  • Ryohei Suzuki
  • Hiroe Tsukamoto

Original music by

  • Geinoh Yamashirogumi

Cinematography by

  • Katsuji Misawa

Book references

  • Akira, Volume 1 : Publisher: Dark Horse ISBN 1569714983 Release: December 2000
  • Akira, Volume 2 : Publisher: Dark Horse ISBN 1569714991 Release: March 2001
  • Akira, Volume 3 : Publisher: Dark Horse ISBN 1569715254 Release: June 2001
  • Akira, Volume 4 : Publisher: Dark Horse ISBN 1569715262 Release: September 2001
  • Akira, Volume 5 : Publisher: Dark Horse ISBN 1569715270 Release: December 2001
  • Akira, Volume 6 : Publisher: Dark Horse ISBN 1569715289 Release: March 2002

External links

es:Akira fr:Akira ja:AKIRA ko:아키라 nl:Akira no:Akira pl:Akira sv:Akira zh:亚基拉


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