Akira is a very famous movie from 1988. Chances are that you have already seen it or read about it. On the other hand, I fell that new anime fans, such as myself, don’t watch anime from 80s quite as much as people used to, so it would be wrong to assume that everyone knows what Akira is.
So, what Akira is about. This movie tells us a story about a guy Shotaro Kaneda, who is a delinquent (just how many anime characters are delinquents?.. I kinda miss Light Yagami..). Kaneda has a friend, Tetsuo, who is weaker and has inferiority complex. Also he meets a girl named Kei, but she is not important, unfortunately.
*Spoilers start here*
During the movie, for some reasons that are so poorly explained that I don’t even want to repeat that stuff Tetsuo gains supernatural power. What power? I would say just power. Raw thing. He can move objects, almost can’t get hurt, can fly, can change the form of his body. And he starts chaos, trying to prove his power. Here I must say that it is not so simple in the movie, but again, all the actions of people are random and don’t have much explanation.
In the final act of the movie Kaneda tries to stop Tetsuo, but fails. But at this point Akira, another super being, awakens and saves the day.
*Spoilers end here*
Now, what I think about this movie. First, the animation. It is great. For its time it should have looked like a miracle. Even now we don’t see such a rich and generous animation. Lots of people praise Attack on Titan for the quality of animation of dynamic scenes. But look at people when they speak. Simple and cheap, they just use a few frames in a cycle. But here, in Akira, they actually draw facial expressions for each syllable. Sure, there are reused frames here too, but the amount of unique frames is amazing. But note that I am not a professional animator, so I might very well be wrong when I am talking about the technical details.
Then, the character designs. I am not a big fan of this style. By the way, am I the only one who sees resemblance between Akira Toriyama’ character Vegeta and Tetsuo? I dunno, I just had this idea.
Music, sound effects and dub. All of it is not impressive. But it is not bad either.
Writing, pacing and the idea of the anime. As I said before, the story doesn’t make sense if you try to think about motivations of individual characters. Things just happen, and characters do what is convenient for the plot. As for the ideas, there was a moment where they tried to deliver some sort of an ideological lecture through one of the characters. That was such a failure, I would have been ashamed to put in the show if I was the director. But the pace of the anime is good, you won’t get bored.
Overall thoughts. Akira is a good anime. It is not deep or full or interesting ideas. No. It is interesting in the same sense as JJBA is interesting. Also, if you are really into Akira, I would recommend you to read the manga. Some characters, like Akira himself, were not shown to the fullest in this anime. It is only two hours long, what would you expect.
Also, look at the picture below. I don’t remember seeing it in the anime, so it must be from the manga. Don’t know what you think about it, but I see here written in big letters that Akira is a like a modern Rome emperor (but this time it is Tokyo instead of Rome) and that all what is happening is the start of a new empire. Correct me if I’m wrong.
If you have 2 hours of free time, watch this movie. See you next time (^_^)/