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.

Akira Shotaro Kaneda


*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.

Akira Tetsuo Shima


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.

Akira Kei


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.

Akira Destruction of Tokyo

Destruction of Tokyo

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 (^_^)/

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7 thoughts on “Akira

  1. Hi there guys! For some reason this particular post has been under a spambot attack for last month. So far there were more than 800 spam comments made here. That is a lot. And some of them I actually had to delete manually :/

    Why am I telling you this? Because I want to warn you that I more or less deleting any comment that looks like spam and posted here, in this comment section. So, if I accidentally delete your fair comment, I’m sorry ^^’

    Update (January 27, 2014): Another 800 spam comments. Just saying.

  2. I finally watched this movie \(^o^)/ Though I have to say that I wasn’t as impressed by this anime as you were ._. Since they put so much effort in the animation, it would have been better if they made sure that the story had a plot. I really liked the animation by the way, I can’t believe it was made in 1988. Nut if you were okay with Akira, you might enjoy Howl’s Moving Castle too. It has a better plot than Akira and I enjoyed the first half of the movie. In the remaining half though, there were just random twists and turns >.<

    • Yeah this movie has no plot :D But if you look at all supernatural stuff as decorations you can see it as a nice little story about a guy named Tetsuo, who wanted to be someone else. He wanted t be like Kaneda, who is a completely different person. Obviously Tetsuo admires Kaneda, so there is nothing surprising that he wants to be like him. But does he understand what exactly he wants to be like? =) That is the setting and it is a really life-like setting if you look at it this way. And the movie, like an old fairy tail, gives Tetsuo a chance to become like Kaneda, or even something more than Kaneda. And Tetsuo goes about trying.
      And what Tetsuo does? He is making sure to prove that he is more powerful than Kaneda. Through his actions you can see that all that Tetsuo sees in Kaneda is power. And Kaneda isn’t just a powerful individual. He has charisma, he naturally attracts people. Tetsuo doesn’t see it though, in his quest to become better than Kaneda he focuses only on power. That shows how blind he was in his admiration of Kaneda. And through his blind rush towards “being better than Kaneda” Tetsuo loses himself. He kills that girl whom he dated, he loses his humanity. I think it is a grotesque way of saying that trying to be like something else you lose yourself, and all the thing you associate with yourself. Like Tetsuo didn’t just die, he became a monster so horrible that he himself was afraid of it. Wouldn’t you say it is a nice allegory? A person who wanted to be something else and changed himself so much that he ended up fearing what he had become? =)

      By the way I looked at my post and I kinda want erase it ^^’ Wow, I better not read my other old posts.

      • If you put it like that, it doesn’t sound that bad. Actually it sounds pretty awesome, the kind of story I like watching >. < I doubt that was what the animators were trying to make though :P They were focusing more on their powers, destruction and Akira :P

        I know that feeling. I dislike a lot of my posts too T.T

        Good luck with your trip (^.^)b I'll try to make a lot of posts while you are away, just so that you would have a lot to catch up to when you come back :P

        • Akira is based on some long running manga I believe. I would not deny it being able to be smart =) But yeah you are right, anime is focused on the effects rather than the story. But as a fan of older anime I am willy no forgive almost anything for this beautiful animation. Especially in the beginning, during the bike gang chase, it was splendid *-* Did you notice that chant-like music that was playing during the chase, by the way? Do you like it? =)

          • Akira is a long running manga? o.O I didn’t know that.
            I am not a huge fan of old anime like you :P I would like it better if the anime had a decent story too.
            I just listened to the music. It sounds great :O I didn’t notice it while watching the movie, I was busy watching the awesome animation *-*

    • Oh one more thing. Tomorrow night I will be going to Prague (that is in Czech republic). That is my first time visiting Europe just for fun and not being on assignment =) I’ll be back on May 5th. Too bad I won’t be able to bother you during your preparation holidays >:(

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