Akira (1988)

Akira

Akira – Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Summary:  Tokyo has been destroyed by a psychic explosion, triggering World War III.  A new city is built within its place and named Neo-Tokyo.  By 2019 Neo-Tokyo has grown into a dystopian metropolis, overrun by gang violence and anti-government terrorism.  It is one night when two rival motorcycle gangs fight against one another, speeding down vast highways, when Tetsuo Shima (voice of Nozomu Sasaki) narrowly avoids colliding with someone, or something, in the middle of the road.  The next thing Tetsuo remembers is waking up in a secret government hospital to horrifying hallucinations, suffering unbearable pain, but holding newly acquired psychic and powerful abilities.  What he doesn’t know is why this is happening or how he’s now mixed up in a governmental secret defence project named Akira.

My Review:  Not being able to recall when, how or where; I’ve always been aware of Akira’s cult presence, visually at least.  The striking red motorcycle and red leather gang outfit is apparently etched into my memory from somewhere, because when I saw Akira in a top 100 world cinema film list, I recognised it.  However, I also knew I’ve never watched it.  Having only dipped my toes into Japanese anime since my childhood love of Pokémon, and thus other anime TV shows, it’s incredible how such a landmark animation film was made just a year before I was born.  The sheer power and force of creativity in both the story and the film’s animation really is astounding; it’s no wonder why this film is so respected.  If you’re one who doesn’t ‘get’ Japanese anime, this could open up a whole new world for you.  It has me.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Are you a big fan of Japanese Anime?  Recommend your favourite anime films in the comments section below!

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