[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Akira (1988) - Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Akira (1988) - Katsuhiro Ôtomo [Amazon.com]

Akira (1988) - Katsuhiro Ôtomo

  • Akira (1988) - Katsuhiro Ôtomo [Amazon.com]
    Artist-writer Katsuhiro Ôtomo began telling the story of Akira as a comic book series in 1982 but took a break from 1986 to 1988 to write, direct, supervise, and design this animated film version. Set in 2019, the film richly imagines the new metropolis of Neo-Tokyo, which is designed from huge buildings down to the smallest details of passing vehicles or police uniforms. Two disaffected orphan teenagers--slight, resentful Tetsuo and confident, breezy Kanada--run with a biker gang, but trouble grows when Tetsuo start to resent the way Kanada always has to rescue him. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, military men, and politicians wonder what to do with a collection of withered children who possess enormous psychic powers, especially the mysterious, rarely seen Akira, whose awakening might well have caused the end of the old world. Tetsuo is visited by the children, who trigger the growth of psychic and physical powers that might make him a superman or a supermonster. As befits a distillation of 1,318 pages of the story so far, Akira is overstuffed with character, incident, and detail. However, it piles up astonishing set pieces: the chases and shootouts (amazingly kinetic, amazingly bloody) benefit from minute cartoon detail that extends to the surprised or shocked faces of the tiniest extra; the Tetsuo monster alternately looks like a billion-gallon scrotal sac or a Tex Avery mutation of the monster from The Quatermass Experiment; and the finale--which combines flashbacks to more innocent days with a destruction of Neo City and the creation of a new universe--is one of the most mind-bending in all sci-fi cinema. --Kim Newman, amazon.com

    Akira (film)

    Akira is a manga and 1988 anime movie by Katsuhiro Otomo, generally considered a classic of both genres.

    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 really 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, 40 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, 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. As with most science fiction, the issues in the future world are clearly treatments of contemporary social issues.

    This classic 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. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_(film) [Nov 2004]

    your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

    Managed Hosting by NG Communications