Akira: Special Edition

Akira: Special Edition

3.8 21
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

Cast: Katsuhiro Otomo, Mitsuo Iwara, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama

     
 

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One of the best sustained examples of "Japanimation" (or "Anime," as fans of the genre called it), Akira is based on the manga (comic book) by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story is set in the post-apocalyptic community of Neo-Tokyo. Akira is a fiercely individualistic member of a scrungy motorcycle gang. The despotic authorities, the robotlikeSee more details below

Overview

One of the best sustained examples of "Japanimation" (or "Anime," as fans of the genre called it), Akira is based on the manga (comic book) by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story is set in the post-apocalyptic community of Neo-Tokyo. Akira is a fiercely individualistic member of a scrungy motorcycle gang. The despotic authorities, the robotlike police, and even the cycle gang pursue Akira when he's bombarded with a new, insidious energy source that has rendered him telekinetic. Budgeted at $8 million (an enormous amount for a Japanese film of any kind), Akira has become a cult favorite thanks to generous midnight-movie exposure and multiple showing on cable TV's Cartoon Network.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Patrick Macias
When Katsuhiro Otomo's landmark sci-fi anime feature Akira arrived in U.S. theaters in 1988, fans and newbies alike came, saw, and often walked away with mixed emotions. Which is why Pioneer's wonderful 2001 reissue of the film, which brought clarity to various cloudy narrative issues, is such a welcome addition to the library. Upon that initial release, there was no missing that Akira was an animated work of unrivaled power; its Neo-Tokyo cityscape a media-rich, neon-lit labyrinth of plastic, glass, and concrete. Set 31 years after World War III, it was a dystopia where pill-popping tribes zipped around town on tricked-out motorbikes -- a vision destined to be regarded as the stylistic ground zero for sci-fi films yet to come. (You can bet your Matrix action figures that the Wachowski brothers are fans.) Yet, Akira's story seemed vague and unfocused when compared to the version that was familiar from Otomo's original graphic novel. The English-speaking audience could only presume that the narrative holes were a result of style over substance, and had to be content with the fact that the style was breathtaking enough to forgive substantive shortcomings. The 2001 re-release of Akira restores focus and clarity in more ways than one. The new, high-definition transfer, produced by using the original negative, captures Neo-Tokyo's postapocalyptic luster. And the new English translation and dub, far more faithful to Otomo's original text, reveals Akira's symbolic genesis in Japan's political zeitgeist. It is an epic conflict between youth and age, chaos and control, personified by two childhood friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda.
All Movie Guide
Anime has had a devoted following since its beginnings, but it didn't have much crossover appeal in the U.S. until Akira came along. The drawing style was always respected for its distinctive characteristics -- the large soulful eyes, the expressive color, the jagged representation of fantasy worlds. But it fell short of true sophistication, since many of the drawings had the herky-jerky quality that comes from animating fewer backgrounds or character movements than necessary for a seamless flow, usually for reasons of speed or poverty. Akira represented a fully realized anime film, both smooth in its appearance and coherent in its narrative, and the result was to awaken the affections of fans outside the anime kingdom. It's a thoroughly unsubtle film, with big explosions, mystical platitudes, and hysterical emotions, but it is also visually glorious in a way that far outdistanced its predecessors. Akira is never going to win converts beyond a certain age -- the overblown, angst-ridden plot, which stretches on for over two hours, is best lapped up by wide-eyed teenagers. But this brash, brave effort to bring anime to the outside world is remarkable in how well it achieved that goal, and how greatly it exceeded the modest expectations of its brethren.
Washington Post - Richard Harrington
The detail is exceptionally realistic, fluid and multidimensional, suggesting both a futuristic world and ancient quests.... Of course, Akira is not a long cartoon, but an ambitious animated feature that can be seen as a parable of scientific responsibility and cosmic rebirth, or just an action-packed serial. Or it can be seen as a visceral example of the future of animation.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/12/2013
UPC:
0704400094187
Original Release:
1988
Rating:
R
Source:
Funimation Prod
Region Code:
1A
Time:
2:04:00
Sales rank:
18,732

Special Features

Akira sound clip (1988) Director interview Storyboard collection The writing on the wall Original trailers Original commercials Restoring Akira Glossary U.S. Trailer (2013) Trailers

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Akira: Feature Film
1. Chapter 1 [3:03]
2. Chapter 2 [3:54]
3. Chapter 3 [5:12]
4. Chapter 4 [4:41]
5. Chapter 5 [6:51]
6. Chapter 6 [8:24]
7. Chapter 7 [6:03]
8. Chapter 8 [6:51]
9. Chapter 9 [8:10]
10. Chapter 10 [4:00]
11. Chapter 11 [5:15]
12. Chapter 12 [6:03]
13. Chapter 13 [:43]
14. Chapter 14 [5:10]
15. Chapter 15 [7:00]
16. Chapter 16 [4:25]
17. Chapter 17 [10:07]
18. Chapter 18 [5:49]
19. Chapter 19 [7:26]
20. Chapter 20 [5:06]
21. Chapter 21 [1:37]
22. Chapter 22 [2:17]
23. Chapter 23 [6:02]
24. Chapter 24 [:10]
Disc #2 -- Akira: Extras Disc
1. Chapter 1 [1:46]
2. Chapter 2 [2:59]
3. Chapter 3 [2:33]
4. Chapter 4 [2:02]
5. Chapter 5 [1:21]
6. Chapter 6 [2:52]
7. Chapter 7 [5:45]
1. Chapter 1 [:10]
2. Chapter 2 [4:02]
3. Chapter 3 [3:13]
4. Chapter 4 [3:25]
5. Chapter 5 [:10]

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