Akira [Blu-ray]
Akira [Blu-ray]

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Product Description

A secret military project endangers neo-tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop. Studio: Infinity Resources Inc Release Date: 02/24/2009 Starring: Mitsuo Lwata Run time: 124 minutes Rating: R Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

Artist-writer Katsuhiro ?tomo 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 Kaneda--run with a biker gang, but trouble grows when Tetsuo start to resent the way Kaneda 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

Customer Reviews:

  • One of the Top Three in Japanese Animation
    Next to Ninja Scroll and Wicked City, which I will buy on blu-ray if they ever come out on blu-ray....more info
    what can be said about a classic of a genre. it sets the standard for others to copy and use as it's basis. i like this movie so much I've purchased it 3 times...the moral of this story is DON'T LOAN IT TO YOUR FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!...more info
  • For my Boyfriend
    I got this gift for my boyfriend and when he opened up the gift he picked me up and swung me around yelling this is awesome!! I think that this is a great gift for the anime lover, and for the weird movie lover in your life. It is one of the 100 greatest films you have to see and one of the 100 greatest gifts I have given....more info
  • Great!!!
    Having read the complete manga by Katsuhiro Otomo gives you a jump start on the film itself. The film keeps up to it, even though it crops the latter half of the manga... They would have had to do almost six hours of footage.

    Nonetheless, Akira is one of the greatest animated feature films of all times. Not quite a fan of american dub in general, but the original japanese version leaves a masterful testimony, that the film is painstakingly meticulous and detailed; that you could swear that the words are really coming out of the characters' mouth.

    Having seen four versions of the film (Mexican Spanish, Castilian Spanish, English and Japanese), I'd have to say that this version is all worth it, even when spanish speakers like myself are used to the Mexican dub. Akira is worth all the way, in all the languages....more info
  • The Movie that got me into anime like when i was 10!!
    Yes thats right 10 years old, i watched the vhs copy of this in 1994. Had no idea what kind of cartoon it was just thought the front cover looked cool LOL. After watching it i was like "woah". I mean the only other cartoons i had watched were disney, thundercats, transformers etc. This shocked me deeply as a kid, but i LOVED it, actually inspired me to want to become an artist. I had never seen anything like it before. Liked it so much i begged my mum to buy the video for me hahaha ( good ol mum )

    And now 15 years later i have picked up the blu-ray copy, WOW the animation rebuff is incredible, never thought i would view akira in such stunning format. The only problem i found with this release was the exclusion of the streamline dub (which i find others on here feel the same). As i was saying before about my childhood experience watching the film, i really connected in a way listening to those voices for the characters, hearing the new pioneer dub absolutely killed my feeling and care for the characters. Yes it is a better dub in the case of mouth sync, but after having the streamline dub from 1990 (or whateva) up until 2001 , you would have so many people who would have become used to hearing the streamline (like me) and then hearing these unfamiliar voices thinking "is this the same movie?"

    Anywayz a good purchase for a long running akira fan !!...more info
    Pros: Loads of action, fluid animation, the bikes, the storyline, and the totally 1980s attitude.

    Cons: The creepy little kids, Kai and Yamagata needs a bigger part, the two main characters (Kaneda and Tetsuo) always yelling at each other names(hence my title), and the movie seems too short. ...more info
  • Classic but old
    I read the book also and the film is a little better. The concept is elaborated a little more in the film. I thought that it started kinda slow, and it's somewhat dated too. But it still stands out as a classic film.

    I recommend renting instead of buying it....more info
  • i'm sticking with Miyazaki for now on.
    That's it, no more non Miyazaki. I have never been disappointed by a Miyazaki movie, whether it be Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, or even Porco Rosso, they are all great. This is the second movie done by this guy that I've seen, the first being Steamboy and I have to say that if he is considered a great than I won't even bother in the anime genre anymore. I thought I was an anime fan, but this one made me change my mind. I am a Miyazaki fan, not an anime fan. NO MORE NON MIYAZAKI ANIME FOR ME!

    Now let's get to the movie itself. I'll break it down into pieces for you.

    Story - what story? There's this motor gang, they go out hitting people, and one of them gets hurt and taken to a government lab. There they give him power, how they never say, but they do. After some scenes of spilling his guts and getting attacks by milk stuffed teddy bears the guy escapes and starts killing people and blowing stuff up. He knocks down a bridge, a lot of buildings, blows up a stadium, and even brings down a satellite. He goes looking for Akira, some guy who did something in the past (what is never clear) for some reason and when he finds him turns into a big glob or something. Normally I like strange stories like this one, but please make it have a little bit of sense.

    Characters - there are lots of characters, but none of them get much past. Tetshuwa, the guy that turns into a glob thing, is an orphan and was beat up a lot as a kid. He is really a very angry person who takes his frustration out on all those around him when he gets his new powers. Really he's the only character in the whole movie that gets any sort of attention. The characters of Kanada, Kia, and the cornel guy, are never developed. There just . . . there.

    Setting - The year is 2015 and something happened in the 80's that did something bad so now Tokyo is a rat hole where bad stuff happens all the time to good and bad people, but then again there aren't that many good people in Japan in 2015 anyway. The city is really a nice piece of work, but I never really know what happened to everything. There was a nuclear war or something that Akira had something to do with, but I would like to KNOW what exactly took place.

    Soundtrack - I am spoiled. I own the music to the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Hayao Miyazaki Box: Princess Mononoke/Spirited Away, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and dozens of other movies. I have a very high standard for soundtracks. But I have to tell you whoever came up with this soundtrack must have been drunk. There are only a few parts where you can actually take your mind off the confusing story to listen to the music, and every time it is the same thing. People yelling dramatically. It is very annoying.

    Ending - umm, what ending? Did you see an ending? Caus I didn't. Call me whatever you want, but I just didn't get it, what ever it was. There's a ball of light, Tetshua gets sucked into it, Akira goes into it, and everything gets destroyed, the end. SOMBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I MISSED. No, really, tell me what i missed. Aparently there's suposed to be some deeper meaning that all the fans of this movie keep talking about, but I didn't see any. I really want to know what the ending was suposed to mean, so if you know, tell me. Please. . .

    Well there you have it. I just want to say that if this is the standard for anime than I'm through with the genre. THIS MOVIE IS THAT BAD!!!!! and please people, don't give me a "not helpfull" vote just because you disagree. if yuo are able to leave a respecfull coment please do so. thanks. ...more info
  • What led to so much more
    It really is unbelievable just how many animes derived and used something from this movie. Obvious origins can be compared to Dragon Ball and Elfen Lied, but so many ideas were first featured in this film that later translated into full-length anime series. Aside from setting the groundwork for future animes, this film was also one of the greatest, if not the greatest, anime film ever made (though my favorite is still Spirited Away).
    The best aspect of this film, in my opinion, is the character development of Kaneda and Tetsuo, best friends in the film. While Kaneda evolves into a more empathatic person, Tetsuo makes the most dramatic changes, from a jealous and weak individual, to an insane, angry, blood thirsty villian, to a frightened child who clearly realizes his mistakes. Tetsuo has to be my personal favorite villian from any film, purely due to how well he is developed and the absolute human, kind-natured side to him that is apparent throughout the film.
    Besides that, the movie is the orgin of anime for most anime fans, and is an absolute must-see film for anyone in my opinion, even for those who don't usually like anime. I mean, who doesn't like an awesome story line, great character developemnt, big explosions with high intensity sequences, and a great ending in my opinion. One of the greatest anime films ever made, and the film that really started it all for anime's popularity....more info
  • Akira BLASTS Into Blu-ray
    This time it really hit me. The charm of this Anime classic is real and to be enjoyed many times. I know because I bought, re-bought, watched and re-watched and after thinking, "Naaaa." I bought and re-watched it again (as a BD) and I followed the story as I marveled at the great backgrounds and effects. I'm an animator and it's hard to get past the beauty of this film; but the story really is great. And has this been imitated! The Blue-ray picture is great. I hope you get along with your neighbors because the sound is like a Big mad dog.
    I just watched Akira BD and I immediately put it back on for an antipasto. This is a happy purchase and if you act (during the first pressings) you get a styling sleeve and you get a really good [ looking and informative ] booklet. Really! ...more info
  • Masterpiece
    If you're reading this, you don't need to be told how essential Akira is for a manga/anime fan. Just buy it, you won't regret it....more info
  • The first edition that I'm passing on
    I own a Laserdisc [Japanese] and DVD [English] releases of Akira and I was thrilled to see that there was a Blu-ray release now available. I was looking forward to revisiting as much as possible the original theater experience I had when it played in art houses on a large screen. The meticulous frame by frame painted artwork on Blu-ray must be visually impressive. Unfortunately I'm going to pass on this edition in spite of what must be the best video transfer due to what sounds like inferior voice acting.

    Hopefully another edition will be released in the future. My money is waiting for that release....more info
  • A Classic
    One of the best Japanese animation projects ever made, Akira is a true classic. The story does tend to get just a little silly at the end, but the movie as a whole is extremely entertaining, and the quality of the animation still holds a standard over today's sci-fi movies.

    A note on the "New" English Dialog: It actually makes the story easier to understand. For those of you who were hoping to find the "Original English" dub, its not provided on the Special Edition, contrary to some false info I have read on forums claiming it is. I missed the old voices, especially from the first time I saw this movie in a theater in NYC. None the less, the nostalgia holds faithful. Akira is fantastic....more info
  • Ah, blu-ray...you promised so much...
    I got this because I am an audiophile and Akira fan. Unfortunately it won't play on my LG BH200. It just spins the disk with a blank screen. I think it's because of the reported English/Japanese option at the beginning, but I'm only guessing. I've also heard the LG300 has a problem and the Samsung 5000 combo player. While I would love to totally blame LG, they are only partially at fault for not updating their players for every single movie that comes out. Ultimately, it's the disk's fault. I've thrown hundreds of disks at my player and never had a problem. This is a major disappointment and I hope can be resolved by a firmware update by LG. But who knows when that will happen? This is the pain of blu-ray, where standards change with every new release. I guess I should have gotten a PS3 after all...

    Hopefully I can amend this review in the near future.

    EDIT: A work-around! For me and my Lg BH200 I wait until it sticks on the black screen and then hit stop and stop again, then press 'disc menu'. This sequence will take me to the main menu where I can select to watch the movie. Though very irritating, I can at least watch the movie now.
    And now for the review:
    Playing the Jap TrueHd track I noticed how BIG the sound was. Huge 'in my room' sound. Clean sound too, with no harshness at all. But, it was only the front 2 speakers. Even though I bought a high end receiver (marantz sr7002) last year, it cannot play 5.1 channels in the 192khz that Akira puts out. I've never had a way to test this until now, but now the unfortunate truth comes home.
    Here's the good news: Even in Stereo it is my preferred track. It's so rich, even without the surrounds. I must warn you that I do have two full-range front speakers, so if you're using little cubes I don't know what it will be like for you.
    Bad news: Now, here's where it gets interesting. I thought I might listen in EnglishHD to get surround. It was just acceptable. What I mean is it sounded fairly harsh compared to the JapHD and the dynamic sound was pretty flat, anemic. I switched to JapDolby compressed and the sound nearly blew me out of my chair in comparison. The Dolby in Jap still sounds like a compressed sound track, but except for the brittle sound on the top it actually sounds BETTER than the EnglishHD. I heard instruments I'd never heard before. Further investigation revealed a totally new remastering for the Japanese tracks that had not been done for the English track. All the new techniques applied to make the Japanese sound so good (HD or no)had not been applied in any way to the English track. What this means is it's a slightly higher bitrate than older English releases, but is not that much better and in fact may be hampered by the space taken by the Japanese tracks. After hearing the lossy Dolby in Japanese you almost get the sense that English was an afterthought. This is somewhat disappointing, but true fans hate the pioneer dub anyway and are still crying over the loss of the original strangely translated Streamline version. I'm trying to wean myself off the English track so I can enjoy the JapHD, even in stereo. It really is that good. But I think it could have sounded 90% as good if it had been 24bit/96khz which nearly every modern receiver can play in 5.1. That 10% in quality cost me and probably 90% of every other customer their 3.1 channels of sound. So, it's future proof, but I'll have to wait some time before I can hear it completely. The picture is much better than DVD but it's not perfect. Those expecting a Disney-like cleaning of the master might be disappointed to see some noise here and there. But this is minor. Overall it's still the best release to date, and probably the best will ever be. I'm just disappointed they couldn't figure out a way to make it more compatible with select machines (see first review) and make it so people don't have to buy new high end equipment this year or next to hear it in 5.1. ...more info
  • Best, Sound, Ever
    Akira is worth buying if you're a fan of the movie, but is also one of the only Blu-Ray movies available to have a 192 Khz Dolby True HD audio track. Most people's home theaters will not support this, but if you have a high end receiver, you are in luck. The sound alone is worth the purchase.
    the movie itself is a classic, and I wont go into details, as there are already thousands of reviews of this movie.

    The blu ray lacks extras due to the massive amount of space the audio track takes up. So i have no problem with it.

    Akira on BluRay is the new showcase for my Onkyo 705 receiver, and Energy speakers. ...more info
  • I Want the Original English Back
    Or at least as an option. That's strange to say considering the original was Japanese, but you know what I mean. The voices don't have the unique sound each did on the VHS version. Now it's hard to tell who's talking much of the time. It sure looks good and this DTS DVD is the best of the current releases, but I want to hear "Tetsuooooo!" screamed like I remember it....more info
  • Amazing movie and special-edition DVD
    I preface all of my DVD reviews with the following note: There are more than enough film reviews on Amazon.com and, quite frankly, it's a bit ridiculous. A person can scroll through scores/pages of reviews without reading a single sentence about the quality of the DVD. If you want to review or discuss a film, go to IMDB. If you're reviewing the DVD, speak to the qualities (or lack thereof) of the audio and video; mention your opinions of the plot, acting, etc. but please don't write an essay!

    Now, on to my review of the Akira Special Edition DVD.

    VIDEO (A+): It's difficult to find enough superlatives to describe this anamorphic transfer. The film has been completely remastered and it shows. Who knew a hand-drawn animated film (which is fast approaching its 20th anniversary) could look so impossibly amazing? Colors, details, black levels will blow you away. Flawless!

    AUDIO: (A+): It has been said that the audio alone underwent a $1 million dollar restoration and I believe it. A perfect and fitting complement to the outstanding visuals. The music of Akira is so important, and thankfully it is featured in all its glory. Even the music and effects during the menu screens are amazing; I listened for quite some time to the music and sounds of Disc 2's menus! The new DD 5.1 mix and the original Japanese Dolby 2.0 track are both impressive.

    FILM (A+): I bought this SE DVD back in high school when it was first released, out of curiousity. I was not (nor am I now) a fan of any sort of anime or manga, but I am now entering my senior year of college and this film and DVD set continue to impress me. Yes, the story/plot is obtuse, and you'll probably have to be in your late teens, at least, to understand and appreciate it. That said, I don't take this film as seriously as some people. Its tone is certainly serious and there is virtually no humor to be found, but by not taking it as seriously as some I mean I don't search for its concrete meaning(s). Ultimately, Akira is what you want it to be. Of course there are the obvious cautionary themes of greed, corruption, and abuse of power and nature, but the end is vague and mysterious and lets you draw your own conclusions. Sure, like many people, I thought to myself "What the hell?!" after watching it, but time and thought have lead me to believe that that reaction is the appropriate one. You don't have to overanalyze the movie to enjoy it. It is a work of art in every sense of the word, and historically important, especially in Japanese cinema and the world of animation in general. I would venture to say that is it the most ambitious, impressive, and beautiful animated film in the history of movie-making. And oh the extra features. This special edition is worth every penny; Pioneer spared no expense in restoring and producing this DVD set...it's a true reference standard which will probably never have an equal....more info
  • way back when
    this is like the classic that killed other classics. for some reason this is around the time when characters started dying off more in anime. so anime was never the same around this time. based off the manga loosely. i mean some parts are changed or edited. over here the manga was rare so try it if you like this type of animation. still one of my favorites in terms of anime classics. beware this is a type of movie that will kick you in your face and start to laugh. a very hyper violent film. lot's of action! ...more info
  • "The thing about Akira's power is that it exist in all of us from the start"
    For those that didn't understand the plot or the ending , here goes. The Government did not give the main character powers. His initial contact with the escaped test subject awoke what was already in him...in all of us. If this is true then we all must carry the same genetic code as the one who created us. When in the holding cell, Kaneda was asked " we use knowledge & energy to create all types of things. where does all this knowledge & energy come from???" The main character just happened to evolve to the point where he was using the other 90% of his brain becoming more like the one who created us(GOD?). When his power became fully mature(he could not handle it, before then & up to this point)It took Akira to stop him . When the test subjects said Akira was taking Tetsuo away & "It's too big for us as we are now". They meant they were going away to create their own universe. Validated by when the professor actually looked & mentioned that the merging of Akira & Tetsuo's enregies was how the universe was created according to his readings...(BIG BANG THEORY???). So when their universe is created their genetic code,knowledge & energy will be passed down to their creations. Their creations will evolve to the point where they will be using 100% of their brain as well & the cycle would continue. This movie is interesting as it fuses religion & science. Precursor to intelligent design,evoulution or whatever they call it these days. This movie was way ahead of it's time...more info
  • Disappointing conversion from the print version
    I'll make it short; there is no reason to fully restate the contents of this, as it's available from countless other authors and places.


    I read the original comic (in Danish, though, and later in English), and in watching the Anime adaptation, I got severely disappointed. Yes, I know that you can never make a perfectly 'honest' translation of something from one form of media to another, but still, I had my hopes set for something more than this.

    One part of it is the way the plot and storyline of the print version is torn apart and odd stuff that seems out of place is inserted in the animated version instead. Fx. (probably the most noticable difference, in retrospect) why is Akira reduced from a living being to a collection of formaldehyde specimen jars? Why has the foreign intervention been erased (the US Aircraft carrier in Japanse waters). Why is Lady Miyako changed from a withdrawn and insightful person to what appears a religious lunatic cult leader (i for some reason, found this insulting!)? Why was the Post-Nuke Neo-Tokyo cult following around Akira/Tetsuo toned down to the point of annihalation?

    Too much of the good stuff that gave essence to the comic has been ripped out, and it shows.

    Sitting back and seeing the movie end, and the scrolltext enter the screen, I felt robbed. I expected more than this. (Sure, it's an open ending, but you can surely make open-ended movies much better and more telling than this!).

    Even though this classic is obviously praised by many of the old-timers, I wouldn't recommend watching it if you haven't already. (If you haven't read the print version, you may like it better that I have, but on the other hand, if you go ahead and read it afterwards....). I also expect to get a few flames directed at me too, judging from other responses to critical reviews on this board. Oh well. :I...more info
  • Awesome flick, but not for the faint of heart....
    I first saw this movie when I was very small with my older brother. Later on, as I began really getting into anime, I began searching for the series and films that I'd seen those lazy afternoons of babysitting. After seeing this film for the first time in over ten years, all I can say is...AWESOME!! This film is full of action, suspense, philisophical thoughts on the very nature of life itself, AND a scene where someone trips out! Who could ask for more?! However, if you are easily offended by animated blood and violence or are under 15 or 16 years of age (mentally) and are extremely impressionable, do not view. I tried to watch this movie with my forty-something-year-old mother once, but the violent sequence at the beginning of the film freaked her out so much that I had to stop the DVD and pop in "Castle in the Sky" instead. So, if you don't mind blood and gore, and love movies with a deeper message hidden within them, rent it, buy it, do what you must, just see this anime masterpiece....more info
  • I Want the Original English Back, TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If you have seen this movie when it came out like i did then this is a big deal!!! what was wrong with the english dialouge that it had to be re-recorded??!! i saw this at a local theater here in san antonio when it came out years ago, and when it came out on DVD i snatched it up to my dismay i realized that it had a new audio track. what a travesty, it has never been the same. a classic destroyed!! you wouldn't replace the audio to Casablanca would you? ...more info
  • A classic that beats the test of time
    Looks amazing on blu ray they did a good bit of work to make it look so good...more info
  • Overpriced, Under Producing. Anyone wanna buy my copy?
    I thought this would be a great step up from my DVD special edition (tin box). The only thing better was the picture. The sound was terrible. The Dolby 5.1 Japanese was too soft in places and too loud in other places. Sometimes I couldn't hear the voices very well. Yes, I made sure it was the correct Dolby 5.1 track and not Dolby TrueHD. The Dolby 5.1 English track was totally new with new actors... What's wrong with the old English actors? NOTHING! Why on earth did they change the English track? I'm so used to the English voices this annoyed me! I traditionally watch Japanese animes in Japanese, but Akira is the only anime I enjoy in English.

    Stay away from this Blu-ray unless you really want the better picture -- maybe play the special DVD on another player and sync the audio.

    Note: I don't have an HDMI sound system (Logitech Z-5500), however, every other Blu-ray movie plays fine and I expected this to play fine, too....more info
  • All the hype, nothing on the delivery...
    Won't go into lengthy description (plenty of other reviews for that), but as someone admittedly new to anime, I was told that I HAD TO see Akira (and read numerous reviews that said the same). I was very anxious to watch it, but found it to be anything but what the reviews said. I have chalked it up to one of those films that is a classic because everybody says it is because everybody says it is because everybody says it is......more info
  • An anime classic
    This classic anime film was released in 1988 and became a landmark in the genre. For its time, the animation was highly advanced. It was also one of the few productions done in Japan at the time using prescoring.

    This is a story that takes place in Neo Tokyo in 1988 (a new Tokyo that was built after Tokyo was destroyed by a mysterious explosion). In the course of this anime you see biker gangs and mutated children with precognitive abilities. And for good measure, there is a corrupt government and terrorist insurgents trying to destabilize the government.

    The story itself is interesting, but yet it is also on the strange side and a bit confusing. Ultimately, while this film is an anime classic, this is a film I probably wouldn't really give repeat viewings to....more info
  • A classic and a must-get for anime fans of nearly all ages!!!
    This movie is timeless. The characters are easy to relate to and the animation is so flawless you would have a hard time figuring out it was released in the 80's. Otomo's view of the future it's so fascinating you will wonder why they made only one movie....more info
  • Hate anime, loved this.
    WOW, just WOW..... the HD transfer of this 80's animated movie is unreal. story is still relivant and the art is unlike anything ever produced. cant say enough about this. A+++!!!!...more info
  • Really disappointed with the redub...
    This has been a point of contention since its re-release, but I'll fight this one until the end of the Earth. For the most part, it seems that whichever version you saw FIRST is the one you like. This is the movie that got me into anime and it will always be on my top-5 list (with the original dub). I would give the original 4.5 stars, but this one just didn't work for me. I watched all the "behind the scenes" stuff and I know the new voice actors really put their all into this, but very little sounded genuie to me. Not only that, but they redubbed the movie in order to make it more similar to the japanese dialogue. This always leads to problems. There is one line that really sticks in my head - in the original dub, Kay tells Tetsuo "You must not abuse the powers you've been given," but in the redub she says "the way in which you are using your powers is not correct." Give me a break! I must admit, however, that the sound and picture quality are immaculate! The colors are brighter, the darks are deeper, the surround sound is used to its full extent - fantastic! If they had redone this movie with the original dialogue, I'd give it 6 out of 5 stars easy. The original version was released in a two DVD special edition in the UK. If you manage to get one (ebay - $25-30), you'll still need a region free DVD player. What a pain just to watch a movie I used to love. I've tried watching the redub a few times, but I usually turn it off after the end of the fight scene where Tetsuo wrecks. Highly recommended to anyone who hasn't seen the original, otherwise, be warned. ...more info
  • TetsuoooOOO! KinedaaaAAA!!!!
    This will always be one of the best. This one popped my anime cherry when it an untranslated comic in the 90's. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO POSE AS AN ANIME ENTHUSIAST IF YOU DO NOT OWN AND HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE. We won't like you! LOL!...more info
  • Perfection
    Akira is one of the best anime movies that I have ever seen. I originally saw it in some hotel room a very long time ago when I was probably eleven or twelve years old when we went on some family trip. Ever since I saw it I knew that someday I would own it somehow. I had seen it on DVD a couple time before but it was just too expensive at the time. Everything about this sale went perfectly. I bought the movie, the price was very reasonable and I had it in my hands within a reasonable wait period. I am 100% satisfied with my purchase and hope to keep this DVD for as long as I possibly can!...more info
  • Amazing Must See
    An amazing trend setting Animated film; intense, believable characters, deep story line, incredible animation, sound, and music. A pivotal, groundbreaking work that has inspired animators and film makers since. ...more info
  • Remastering a genesis of animation
    Now Akira may be twenty years old but it's power has not wavered. This release of the Special Edition is amazingly detailed. I got serious satisfaction with the in depth behind the scenes. Though the behind the scenes material was made at the same time in 1987 it too has been remastered for total clarity. The behind the scenes of the movie alone is over 45 minutes long. The original trailers are all accounted for. There's also a whole section of the behind the scenes DVD just for the restoration of the original film. This is just the second disc.

    The first disc is the newly remastered movie with 5.1 THX mastered sound. The sharpened film makes even the most minor of details you couldn't see in the 1980's release clear as day. Watching the DVD release of this movie you won't know it was made in the late 80's.

    I can't put how this movie feels in words. However take my word for it, this is worth every penny and every second you watch it. This is in the top ranking of the greatest animated movies of all time. This DVD Special Edition DOES NOT DISSAPPOINT!! ...more info
  • Telekinetic Armageddon
    Akira is frequently cited as the best Magna of all time. This is probably due to the barrage on the senses that lasts for well over 60 minutes in the second half of the movie which is a non-stop smash down of Neo-Tokyo done in the style of the day of reckoning.

    The story revolves around the mysterious Akira, which gives people special powers so dangerous that they can basically nuke buildings by thought alone.

    The film takes place in Neo-Tokyo where the government is using the military to shutdown a revolution that is taking place of the streets. Biker gangs cause chaos and are involved in constant reprisals. One gang of teens finds themselves becoming embroiled in a conspiracy involving a scientific experiment of a magnitude that threatens civilization as we know it.

    Not everybody is a fan of Akira the first time round but some of this movie's most ardent supporters found themselves suddenly taken aback by it only after subsequent viewings. Akira grows on you, and over the decades remains a classic example of how Manga changed all action movies forever.

    Akira is up there with the likes of Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll and Ghost in a Shell, so if you are looking for the best of the best Manga, or even just outrageously good mayhem, then Akira is a must see....more info
  • Blu-Ray will be amazing, but with drawbacks.
    Akira is a groundbreaking movie that turned the anime genre upside down back in the late 80's. When it came to the United States it changed everything and created the fan base we all see now for Japanese animation. Akira had a lot of different themes going on that just seemed to fit right in the way they put it together. You had the dystopic Neo-Tokyo, rife with violent street gangs and militants. You had these near-omnipotent people that came from the result of the "Akira Project". You have high tech vehicles and weapons, political intrigue, and a pretty deep metaphysical element all in one movie.

    The animation is still the benchmark to rate what follows with it's high detail and frame rate as well as matching dialog to animation. After all this time there are still movies and animes that come out that don't measure up. The English dialog from the original release was a bit quirky and had it's fair share of mispronunciations and stereotyping. While the newer English dub fixed most of that I feel it's a more dry version and lost a lot of the emotion the original was able to put out.

    Now there is plenty to get hyped up about for this blu-ray release. For one it's going to be a completely updated remaster. Even though the Special Edition DVD was printed from a 1080p high definition master they decided to go further and use the latest technology to get the detail and color that is closest to the original cels. Sound good? But wait, there's more. The soundtrack is also getting a major remastering too. Shoji Yamashiro himself has been working on it and the result is a 192k/24bit 5.1 PCM uncompressed audio track that retains all the warmth and power of the original score. The English dub will be in Dolby TrueHD and the Japanese dub will be in Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital and two channel PCM. Wow.

    Now with all that awesome remastered video and audio goodness there comes a price. No more will you get the Akira Production Report; the awesome making of documentary that was on the Special Edition DVD. Actually you won't be getting ANY of the special features found from that disk. There just isn't any more room after all that uncompressed audio! Also I don't think you will get the original English dub here either, which is a shame considering the format (the Geneon Signature Series is still the only DVD where you can get that). You will however get trailers, TV spots and a ton of production drawings though.

    Akira is one of those must have movie for any anime or science fiction fan. It has set the bar for tons of movies that came after it. It's too bad this Blu-Ray release didn't come with a second disk to make room for all of the special features found in the Special Edition DVD. It also would have been nice to do away with one of the inferior Japanese dubs and make room for the original English dub. That would have made this the ultimate release. ...more info
  • geneon droped the ball
    When i got this DVD i was SHOCKED to hear the new voice acting they done for it 2001 if your a first release die hard like me of the voice char done in engilsh u would now what im talking about. Geneon droped the ball on the re doing of the engilsh format. Words cant begin to express my hatered for what they done. yes i agree they made the movie much more clear and crisp looking, but the new voice over just plan down needs to be trashed then burned BRING BACK the first engilsh version. over all akira is a great movie but try to find it before the 2001 version u will thank me trust me....more info
  • must buy!
    I'll keep this short and sweet. No need to review the movie it self as there are already like 800 reviews singing its praises, and chances are if you're buying this on blu you've seen it before.

    So I'll just give my opinion on the blu-ray release itself. The 1080p AVC MPEG-4 transfer is amazing, easily the best this film has ever looked ( on home video). Watched on a 60" screen and the details were crisp and the colors are vivid and accurate. I've only listened to the Japanese True-HD track so far, but it sounds great on my surround sound home theater set-up. Great immersive experience. Wish they would have put more of the extras from previous releases on here for the price, but I still found it worth every penny.

    Amazon shipped 2 days before release date and it got here one day after, that was a plus too :)...more info
  • Im not one to write reviews but.....
    Akira (Special Edition)

    I hate writing bad thing about classics's but theirs nothing classic about this DVD. Orion was the original owner of this film and now pioneer owns it. don't get me wrong even I as a business person would of seen that as great way to make money without think of what might come next.

    I am a huge fan of the original Akira that Orion made back in the early 90's, but this re-master BS has no place on the market. They complete change the dialog and voices that most other fans loved it made the movie, but the thing that really makes me angry is the fact that the pronunciation of names was completely off, Its not Canada its Kanada with a K. Plus the famous bike everyone loves was destroyed by changing all the stickers no I'm not so keen on it. I pawned my special edition Akira that cost me almost $50 when it first came out on DVD I wish I would of rented it first... sigh... If your thinking about buying just flush your head down a toilet you get the same effect as you would with the re-master Akira DVD or you can spend a lot of money and find the original made by orion but be warned its not a DVD its a VHS.... btw the quality was much better on the VHS than the DVD sad really is. ...more info
  • Fantastic piece of classic Anime
    Akira in many ways put Anime on the map, at least in the US, but is deserves to be recognized as more than a gateway film into the world of Anime. It is the classic post-apocalyptic setting, a story about what happens when science and teenage hormones run amuck. The film tells the story of a teenage motorcycle gang, and their troubled, latent psychic and second in command Tetsuo. It is an examination of diverse psychology, The Will To Power, corruption in various forms, and ultimately, sacrifice. The artistry of the animation is still amazing almost twenty years later, and the story is just as compelling now as it was then....more info
  • All I can say is "WOW."
    I have been watching a variety of Anime over the last year or so since I finally got around to trying it out and deciding I like much of it-- ones that I've found to be truly great are RahXephon, BoogiePop Phantom, Gungrave, Cowboy Bebop, Ranma 1/2, FLCL and Evangelion. Others that kept me entertained but were not as mind-bending good that I've seen are Argento Soma, Betterman, Crest of the Stars, Inuyasha, El Hazard and 12 Kindoms. I tend to prefer episodes to movies because I don't have to spend quite as much time focused on the TV-- I'm usually on the computer or doing other things at the same time. But I've seen the movies Laputa: Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke both of which were really great.

    I was vaguely aware of Akira while getting into Anime, but had the impression that since it wasn't one of the newer bleeding-edge titles that while it's probably good it was not particularly on my "must see" list. However, I finally decided to spring for it here on Amazon, and just finished watching it over the weekend. The word that comes to mind to best describe the experience is simply "WOW." A real roller-coaster ride unlike anything else I've seen. It took me by surprise as to how really good it is... It definately goes in my "best of" list, and if I'd realized it was this good I would have gone for it sooner. I don't want to go into details and spoil the fun, and none of the descriptions I've read did it any justice anyway-- it was a real surprise (not that I expected it to be bad, I just didn't expect to be quite so impressed by it...).

    Caveats: there is a fair amount of violence, including blood & guts, etc., and some things in the "gross" category as well, though all relevant to the story. And a little bit of nudity. If such things offend then by all means pass it up......more info
  • still a great anime
    i got this a while back, and to this day i love to watch it over and over, but there is a wierd plot here. but i recomend it for anyone....more info
  • Pioneer dub = Horrendous.
    I do not understand why on earth pioneer decided to ruin what was one of the most perfect animations ever. Some genius producer decided, hey, lets change the excellent original (orion/streamline) english voice actors and replace them with horrible new english voice actors.

    Of course, eventhough pioneer is not releasing this bluray, bandai in its infinite wisdom decided to use the pioneer dub as well..

    If you are a fan of the original VHS, do not, I repeat do NOT buy this bluray, they completely ruin the experience. Those great voice actors, and their catch phrases are no longer present.

    If you prefer listening in Japanese, as I do in for most anime (Akira obviously not included), then go ahead and buy it. Otherwise pull out the old vcr and pop in the original.. :)...more info
  • AKIRA!!!
    This movie is a must-see for any anime fan. It's as simple as that. The makers of Akira were ahead of their time. Akira inspired and influenced many other films. It's the movie that brought anime to the US. It is a wonderful classic. However, I will say, if you have read the print version, expect changes as you would any time a story's format changes. Even if some viewers end up disliking it, Akira is a film all anime fans should experience....more info
  • not original voice actors
    I really, really, loved the original voices for this anime. To me, it made AKIRA stand out from other anime movies. The voices were slow and cool sounding, kaneda's voice WAS unique and the best voice in the anime, and Tetsuo also had a really neat voice,(if you've seen the dvd version then you know) Now they have these average voices. they even pronounce kanedas name different. Well i only saw like 20 minutes and i couldn't bare the vioce acting anymore....more info
  • It's okay.
    When I first saw this in the early '90s, I thought, "What a load of over-rated technotrash." I thought the underlying plot about a government conspiracy of psychics, a dystopian future, and some kid getting messed up on pills before turning into a giant tentacle machine was retarded.

    And I was right. I rented the movie again, about a decade later, wondering if perspective would change my mind. Nope. It's still a bad film. Sure, it's pretty and all, what with the awesome motorcycle and... Uh... Damn, that and the giant psychoturd at the end are really the only two visuals to come out of the film, aren't they?

    Man, this thing's horrible. Just don't even bother with this hot mess. Instead, here are some useful things you could do with your money: go buy some Uniball 207 medium point gel pens and draw your own hentai; pick up the first two volumes of "100 Bullets" and get hooked; "Sea Monsters" for the Wii; light some cigars with some Lincolns.

    One star. But only because I can't give it fewer....more info
  • Akira remastered
    The Blu-ray version of this classic Anime is more than worth the price, with the added bonus of the included booklet was awesome....more info
  • AKIRA on Blu-ray is the first film (animated or live) to be featured in 192kHz audio! Don't throw away your DVD's just yet!
    "AKIRA", the 1988 anime film that became the masterpiece of mangaka and director Katsuhiro Otomo.

    My first viewing of "AKIRA" was back in 1993. I have to be truthful, it was one of those films that I had to watch several times because I felt I was missing something integral. Each time I watched the film, there was always something new that I picked up and for anyone who has seen this animated film, just how much was put into the animation, the detail for an animated film.

    In 1988, Disney had "Oliver & Friends" and being touted as the first animation to utilize hand drawn art and computerized graphics and as the film incorporated some darkness that may scare the kiddies, in Japan, "AKIRA" was a film that would set records in the Summer and eventually get a limited release in theaters.

    The film would surprise and shock people because this was not a children's animation, this was geared for adults. And did it look awesome at that time!

    Flash forward over 20-years later for the Blu-ray release!


    For one, the film is now in 1080p and 169. Having seen this film evolve with each release from the VHS to LaserDisc and then DVD and now Blu-ray, for a film created back in 1988, "AKIRA" just looked amazing.

    From the action scenes and just watching it on a large screen, I was amazed of how great it looked. Again, this is a 1988 release and I compared it to Disney's "Oliver & Company" which was remastered and recently released on DVD
    . But for an animation of that time, it looked like an animation of that time. "AKIRA" looked fantastic!

    The colors were vibrant, I swear I was noticing background art from the film for the first time and that's considering that I watched this film probably two dozen times already.

    As for audio, this is where Bandai Entertainment has really gone out of their way to create a top-notch product. Being audiophiles themselves, the full capacity of the Blu-ray disc was used for the audio. "AKIRA" is the first film on Blu-ray that is released in 192 kHz/24-bit in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound. The highest level of sound quality attainable right now on contemporary media.

    CD's are sampled in 44.1 kHz and reproduces at 20 kHz. This Blu-ray is sampled in 192 kHz and reproduces at 96 kHz. CD's are 16-bit, this Blu-ray Disc, the audio is 24-bit. The original soundtrack of "AKIRA" was originally recorded as a master tape that contained frequencies up to 100 kHz and so, with Blu-ray technology, this soundtrack on the Blu-ray is how the composer intended for people to listen to it.

    With that being said, the audio of "AKIRA" is just phenomenal. From the music and the taiko drums, the the various sound effects of the motorcycles to the crowds that are protesting. The film just comes alive with this soundtrack on Blu-ray and really, was floored by the outstanding quality.

    I watched both Japanese and audio soundtracks. A few things I need to let people know is when you see the menu being offered in Japanese or English, if you select Japanese, you get four choices of audio. If you select English, you get only three selections (Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1ch track is not on the English selection but the Japanese menu selection) of audio but I'm sure that most fans will be listening to the Dolby TrueHD tracks.

    Also, another note is that this release features the Pioneer 2001 English audio dub and not the 1991 Streamline dub. Having been subjugated to the Streamline English dub which was terrible in my opinion, this Pioneer dub is more to my liking.

    With that being said, with the Blu-ray disc focusing so much on audio quality and using the Blu-ray disc for that purpose, that would mean that special features that fans were accustomed to on the VHS or DVD release will not get on the Blu-ray disc, so don't toss your DVD's out just yet.


    The Blu-ray disc was utilized completely for audio, thus there is not much room to put anything else. Included are the two teaser trailers, the TV commercial, two trailers, storyboards (Still images) and a 32-page color booklet.

    The 32-page color booklet features 16-pages that go into the science behind the creation of the audio for "AKIRA" and "Hypersonic" which is "a medium that allows for the expression of something that was never possible for conventional sound limited to 20 kHz". Also, an "Interview with Katsuhiro Otomo", "The Effect Animation That Made AKIRA Shine" and more.

    So, missing are the "Production Report (The Making of Akira)", "Sound Clip (a documentary of the creation of the soundtrack), director's interview and the documentary on the Akira restoration that were included on the DVD. So, don't throw away your black tin DVD special edition just yet.

    The Blu-ray case comes with a slipcase (front cover shown above and rear-side features the image below) and according to Bandai Entertainment, the slipcase and the 32-page booklet are part of the first press only.


    "AKIRA" will always be regarded as one of the top animated films of all time. It set a precedence in animation quality in the late 80's and the 90's due to its detailed scenery, the vocal dub matching the lips ("AKIRA" was the first anime production featuring voice acting done before the animation was completed) and utilized over 160,000+ animated cels in order to achieve the fluid motion throughout the film. Again, this was animation geared for adults and has become a classic, must-own animated film.

    I have to admit that having watched the film so many times, by the time the DVD came out, I think I was burned out on "AKIRA". So, watching it nearly eight years later on Blu-ray and hearing the audio really bringing the film to life.

    It's hard to explain but having watched this film nearly two dozens times, this was the first time that I actually watched and thoroughly enjoyed the film. I was excited because of how much life the TrueHD audio brought into the animation. Just sitting down and hearing the taiko drums, the motorcycles revving, the people talking and to hear the overall soundtrack, it made a big difference for me watching it now than any of those times watching it before.

    I was amazed by the vibrancy of the colors of the film, but I admit that I was waiting for the dust and the scratches and to my surprise, there were none. They cleaned this film up pretty good. So, aside from the much talked about audio, the video is no slouch either.

    Last, I know that the direction of the Blu-ray in terms of going for superior audio quality is exciting for the audiophile but for those who want the special features that were featured on the DVD or fans of the original Streamline dub have a valid argument for them wanting inclusion of those features. Personally, I love releases that managed to include as many features as possible but in this case, having something unprecedented for a film and getting superior audio quality, it may not matter to casual viewers/listeners but I totally agree with the Japanese reviewers, this new audio makes a big difference when you view this film on Blu-ray.

    So, superior audio quality versus older special features that probably would be in regular 480p anyway, personally I would rather go with the superior audio quality. Again, the production report has been offered on VHS and DVD already (and the DVD release of "AKIRA" was just too cool to own and by no means will I ever toss that release out).

    What has made me even more excited is that the process invested in order to create this 192 kHZ process on "AKIRA" can hopefully now be used on other Blu-ray releases. "Mobile Suite Gundam" movies on Blu-ray anyone? How about those films in 192 kHZ, 24-bit ala Dolby TrueHD. That would be awesome!

    So, "AKIRA" has opened up possibilities for Bandai Entertainment and overall, although not loaded with special features, the improved audio and video quality can't be ignored. Again, "AKIRA" belonged on Blu-ray and it's a solid release.

    What can I say? "AKIRA" on Blu-ray has definitely made me excited for this film all over again. An incredible Blu-ray release that is simply a must-own!...more info
  • The way its ment to be seen
    Perfect transfer, wish i had seen it in cinema but this the closest it gets. I have an average av receiver and the sound is just incredible, what can i say, awesome picture quality for such an old movie and ubsolutely unreal sound. Recommended to every fan of animated movies on blu-ray. Oh, and there are no extras, very sad......more info
  • it doesnt get all that praise for nuthin...
    i hate the fact that i'm repeating over 100 people right now, but this movie is not only one of the best anime's, but just plain out one of the greatest films of all time. this is true classic sci fi that will never be missed by anyone. this film will certainly be on everyone's must-see list next to the godfather, clockwork orange, american beauty, & jaws (no i'm not comparing, i'm stating as in a "films that must be seen" list)

    this film is much more than a those popcorn "classics", or even classic american sci fi for that matter, this is a film that falls more into that category of cinema for people who think.

    its certainly not a film everyone will like, but like i said before, its probably the most famous, or at least the most talked about anime & it draws upon some interesting concepts of a "cyberpunk" future, such as violent street gangs, government conspiracies & corruption, civil war & terrorism all within a dystopian metropolis. i mentioned cyberpunk, assuming that the film had taken much influence from sush early 80s cyberpunk as william gibson's neuromancer(ghost in the shell did so much much more) but particularly blade runner, which is technically considered in the same genre, but is assuredly one of the first masterpiece's to place a lot of the same subject matter in cinema on the map (futuristic, visionary, diverse, dystopian metropolis, humankind clashing with artificial intelligence, the protagonists are often "low-class" so to speak).

    all in all, if your looking for science fiction that'll make you think more than keep you at the edge of your seat, or your in love films like blade runner & ghost in the shell, than this one is up your alley....more info
  • Great picture, lame English dub
    Had a chance to look at this Blu-ray release of what is arguably the greatest Anime movie ever created. After the thoroughly disappointing Pioneer release on DVD, I was hoping somebody would have gotten a clue and included the original English audio track (as the Region 4 DVD release does).

    Alas, this version only provides the "new" English audio track -- the politically correct version made just for America. What's the point of having 50GB of room if you can't even include the original English track? I don't recommend this for anybody who really cares about the film. 5 stars for the improved picture, but minus 3 for the horrible "new" English audio track being the only option. Wanna produce dubs for repressed Americans? Then start making your own animated movies!...more info
  • Akira, not all it's cracked up to be
    Ah yes, Akira. After many years of anime fandom and having watched great movies like Perfect Blue and Vampire Hunter D, I expected this acclaimed anime to be best I had ever seen. I read tons of reviews and decided it was time I watched it as well. I sat in anticipation in front of my computer as the opening credits ran. But when the ended, I wasn't surprised by the 80s animation (I experienced plenty of that with Vampire Hunter D). As the story progressed, I got attached to the characters and thought damn...WHEN DOES THIS END?!?! The movie drug on and on and was FAR too long. In the end, I felt like the writers just dragged out the plot for the animation (that isn't even really that great). In the end, I was left thinking, "What the hell just happened?" Oh well, I wasted 2 and a half or so of my life. At least now I know what everyone is talking about...I just don't idolize Akira like everyone else. ...more info
  • crystal clear perfection
    The first few times I saw Akira were either on VHS bootlegs or in art theaters in NYC. Those copies or prints blew my mind despite any quality deficiencies they had. Eventually a new dub was released on DVD and that served as the benchmark for how best to view Akira as long as you had a great TV or a projector. Now the mark has been taken higher than ever before with this pristine crystal clear copy of one of the greatest animated films ever made. Any fan of this film will enjoy this new copy. re-buying every DVD one owns on Blu-ray is a ridiculous practice. There are some films however where this behavior is necessary to get ahold of the finest quality copy of some of the greatest and most beautiful films ever made. Akira is one such film. This copy is necessary and overdue. ...more info
  • Buy this movie.
    One of the greatest films of all-time. Blu-ray version makes is that much better with a flawless picture and amazing revisions to the soundtrack. Even if you don't like anime or animated films, you should still buy this movie for its contributions to film and it's enthralling story....more info
  • Still one of the best...
    In the years since Akira was first unleashed, a lot has changed in anime - and movies in general, animated or not. Animation has become more sophisticated, voice acting has gotten much better and I think Akira is a big reason why (along with the likes of Ghost In The Shell and Armitage III).

    I picked this up a couple years ago, and was mostly happy with my purchase. It sill looks as good as I remember, and the option to translate some of the grafitti and signs is nice for gaijin like me. However, I'm not as fond of the new English dub. While I don't remember the original dialogue line for line, this isn't the same. Some of the voices sound *off* and I'm pretty sure some of the dialogue was changed.

    I consider myself a fan of anime, not a fanatic. I'm not familiar hundreds of titles, I don't know everyone's name and I don't worship everything that comes out of Japan. I guess that's part of why I prefer dubs over subs. Even with the best translations, you don't get the full meaning unless you're familiar with the original language, in which case you don't need to be using the subtitles anyway. With the right voice actors and the proper way of translation and localizing the dialogue (and other things, if needed), you can convey the exact same thing, even if it's not a 100% accurate, word for word translation. Subtitles can't do much beyond tell you what the person is saying; they can't tell you how they're saying it, what they're stressing, stuff like that. Some things don't translate very well, and changing them to something that makes sense in the subtitles doesn't always work; you need something more, which English voice acting has a much better chance of doing.

    But that's just a matter of personal opinion. The English dub is the only thing I find flawed with this release. Of course, the movie itself has issues of its own - namely the rushed feeling that the end that seems as though the Akira Committee started to run out of steam. Some may point out that this doesn't tell the whole story that the manga version does or remain faithful to every detail in it, but that shouldn't stop you from seeing this movie.

    20 years later, Akira is still a must see if you're into anime that's not of the non-sensical sort. And even if you're not into anime, it should still be worth a watch or two. Just go into this with an open mind and be prepared to see or hear something new each time.

    Sure, it may not be the best anime ever, but it's still up there as one of the best around. Top 10 material, even....more info
  • The Quintessential Anime Film
    It is 2019, 31 years after World War III, and the citizens of Neo Tokyo are plagued by crime, gangs, and terrorists. A teenager named Kaneda is the leader of his own motorcycle gang, and weakling member Tetsuo is one of his closest friends. On what seems like a typical night for the group, they find themselves in a high-speed battle with rival gang "The Clowns," but the night takes a frightening turn when they cross paths with a powerful, mysteriously aged child moments after his adult companion is gunned down in the street. Kaneda and his gang soon find themselves in the hands of the police, and Tetsuo, injured, is taken away by no less than the army. Tetsuo escapes from their clutches with the help of some newfound psychic powers, but when the gang is reunited, it's clear that their old friend is not well. Plagued by pain and hallucinations, not to mention years of frustration from always having to be rescued by Kaneda, Tetsuo is slowly becoming something no one can predict or trust. He is soon recaptured by the military, as Tetsuo has become a very important and dangerous part of the secret Project Akira. Meanwhile, Kaneda has troubles of his own. His attraction to a young girl he met at the police station has led him into the dark underworld of anti-government terrorism. It seems the new paths of Kaneda and Tetsuo are linked, though. When Tetsuo escapes again with thoughts of discovering the mysterious child called "Akira" on his mind, Kaneda decides he must try to save his friend once again, before his ever-growing powers completely overtake him.

    "Akira" is one of those films anyone with even the slightest interest in Japanese animation, AKA Anime, has at least heard of. It's widely known as THE "must see" Anime film. One need only see the "Production Report" (making-of featurette) in this 2-disc Special Edition to understand why. The amount of work and attention to detail put into this animated feature is phenomenal! Katsuhiro ?tomo explains in the featurette, and in the included interview, all that went into the production of the 1988 film, which is based on his comic series started in 1982. The film is a fascinating and dark tale of post-apocalyptic, urban survival and evolution. While not hard to follow, some details may feel left out here and there (perhaps to be found in the pages of the long running graphic work), and aspects of the ending can be seen as slightly unclear. However, the excellent production values, including the most fluid animation I've seen from Japan and the most widespread on the picture screen, along with Disney style pre-animation voice recording, heart-pounding action and music, excellent performances, and no fear in the violence and gore department, will likely please most viewers to no end! Akira is Anime eye-candy at its best, except for one crucial factor: No gorgeous, big-eyed schoolgirls! Oh, well. This DVD 2-disc Special Edition has so many extras, it's about to explode! In addition to the Production Report and creator/director interview, we get a thorough glossary, an unbelievably huge gallery, sound topic clips and restoration topic clips, and a load of trailers too! This DVD set is on par with and in some ways an improvement over the typical Disney Platinum Edition release of one of their films (and this is coming from a Disney fanatic). I WISH Disney's "making of" featurettes were like this one, showing the creators actually working on the film rather than the after-the-fact stuff Disney has been giving us lately. Presented here in widescreen with subtitle, dub, and original language options, and even a capsule info version, "Akira" is undoubtedly a must own for fans of Anime, but also for animation and film fans in general. It's not like your typical animated feature, and not even like your typical Anime feature. "Akira" is something all film fanatics must experience!...more info
  • Great but shouldn't have messed with the original dialog
    Akira was my first anime movie and I've been hooked ever since; I'm always on the look out for good anime flicks. The version I saw was on VHS, with the original dialog. Had it on tape for a long time, but with the rise of dvd, I went and replaced all my VHS tapes with dvd's, including Akira. To say that I was disappointed watching it for the first time on dvd and hearing all the new english dialog is an understatement. All my favorite lines were gone. Yeah, the new lines kind of help flesh out the story more but man, it just wasn't the same movie I remember. As far as the story goes, I can see where people get confused with it, but that's what makes the movie interesting to me, trying to figure out whats going on. It's really not that convaluted as some people would like you to believe. The government has been doing experiements on people who have superhuman powers. One of these people, Akira, either by his own choice or through the governments experimenting, turned himself into pure energy and destroyed Tokyo in the process, as seen in the beginning of the film. Fast forward some years and we see that Neo-Tokyo has arisen from the ashes of the once great city. The city is in turmoil though, lawlessness is everywhere. Biker gangs seem to rule the streets, which the main characters are all a part of one. The government, fighting rebels and amongst itself it seems, is still conducting experiments (specifically the Army), now trying to find someone with the same potential as Akira, in the hopes of controlling this person and harnessing their power. Enter Tetsuo, who comes into contact with one of the test subjects as they are trying to escape. The government seizes Tetsuo and is soon doing tests on him. The tests release Tetsuo's inner abilities (that he must have been born with) but as the powers grow, he slowly loses his sanity and decides to fight back, against everyone. Eventually, he begins to lose control of the power within him and what follows towards the end of the movie is some of the most amazing and startling scenes ever produced. I don't want to give away any more details about the movie, but its great. Some say Akira is old, that it's not the classic many consider it, but Akira paved the way, in my opinion, for the anime film in America. Lots of great animes have come out since Akira, a few that could and can rival Akira in greatness; but none have that epic feel of size and scope like Akira. The animation itself is just as great if not better then ever. The visuals are still stunning. Overall though, the special edition is a huge disappointment. I give it four stars because the movie to me is great, but this new version with the new dialog, as a fan of the original, it's a let down. I've only watched it twice since buying it, its hard to sit through. Unless it gets re-released with the original dialog here in the states, I may have to wait a long while before I pop it in, so as to not compare it to the original. Of course, for anyone that hasn't seen it, the dialog change really shouldn't affect you at all and I hope you will come to love the movie like I do....more info
  • the film that changed Anime forever!
    Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira was (and in some respect still is) years ahead of its time. Akira is to anime as the Matrix is to action films.
    neo tokyo, bike gangs, gov't conspiracy, the cult, superhuman powers and battles that level the city.
    there is a reason why this move is loved by both anime and none anime fans. ...more info
  • That's Mister Kaneda to You, Punk!
    The Good Things
    *Loads of fantastic action.
    *Fair (but notable) amounts of bloody violence.
    *Despite the age, the animation quality is good. Backgrounds are extremely detailed and artistic. Video remastery has made the colors very vivid.
    *Art design is great. Even though the characters look a little weird, they are memorable. Above all, the city stands out and the bikes are cool.
    *Interesting story. It's actually very thick with politics and far-out ideas, and may come across as convoluted at first. It's good, because it keeps you thinking (could be bad too, because it may be confusing).
    *Some deep themes to think about (about society and humanity, for example). Lots of fascinating ideas.
    *Interesting cast of characters, which are fairly well-developed.
    *Although die-hard fans may prefer the original 1988 dubbing, I believe that the new English dubbing on this disc is great. The voices match the characters better (Kaneda no longer sounds like a sufer dude), it's not as goofy (the General no longer growls all the time), and some phrases sound better.
    *Bizzare (but good) music.

    The Bad Things
    *Even with the new English dubbing, some of the dialogue is goofy or corny. Some of it is laughable (could also be a good thing, because it's fun and memorable).
    *The two main characters like to scream at each other a lot ("Tetsuo!!!!!" "Kaneda!!!!!!!"). It's kind of funny.
    *As noted above, plotline can be confusing.
    *Storyline is shortened for the film format, and is therefore different from the manga (albiet the movie is a good adaptation anyway; both the comic and the film were made by the same man).

    It is easy to see why this film stands out as one of the most essential anime films ever made; it is to anime what "Star Wars" was to live-action movies. It is loaded with innovative action scenes; most of them still blow me away. It is fast, furious, and completely unrestricted. Above all, it has exceptional quality in all respects (art, story-telling, music, sound, etc). The story may be hard to follow in some spots, and the characters may not be as well-developed as in other films (like "The Ninja Scroll" or "Berserk"). Still, it is wildly entertaining and somewhat thought-provoking. I highly reccomend this film to anybody who is even remotely interested in anime (and doesn't mind seeing some blood).

    It is English dubbed (the new 2001 dubbing, not the old 1988 dubbing), but I am sure that it also includes the original Japanese dubbing with English subtitles.

    Disc one includes a cool subtitles track that translates background graffitti. Disc two includes shed-loads of still image galleries (something like 4,000 images!). It also has a few feauturettes and the trailer....more info
  • That's Mr. Kaneda to you, punk!
    In the year 2018, World War 3 has passed, and the world is still around. Everything seems about the same, but just a lot crummier. Kaneda and Tetsuo are friends from a young age that are now around 18 years old and in a biker gang with some of their other good friends. They are at war with another biker gang called the Clowns, and get into fight with their bikes in the middle of the streets and highways. While Tetsuo is chasing down another biker, he almost runs over a little kid in the middle of the street, except that his bike blows up and leaves Tetsuo flat on the ground... thanks to the kid. The military comes to grab the child and also takes Tetsuo back to a military installation to perform some experiments on him that unlocks a great, though lethal, power inside of him. As Tetsuo is trying to break out, Kaneda is trying to break in to find and rescue his friend. The power though that is swirling inside of Tetsuo is beginning to take control of him and what Kaneda finds later is not the Tetsuo he remembers.

    I remember seeing this 1988 movie somewhere around 1994 and being absolutely blown away. The attention to detail was something like I had never seen before in movie cartoons. The backgrounds were robust with moving people, cars, papers, lights, anything really. The movements in the actual drawings that we were supposed to be watching were so fluid and meticulously drawn it was mesmerizing. Even after 20 years, this movie still holds up. Just last night as I was watching this I looked at my friend many times and said "Holy crap man, that looked so good". The first thing I remember from this movie from so long ago was the bike fight scene at the beginning. The first time I saw the trail of light from the break lights as a bike zoomed off, I believe my nipples got a little hard. That's how awesome it was. And there are even some pretty `gross' scenes in this movie. Like when a guy gets his face bashed on a drive by with a lead pipe. I "OOOOOOO'd!!" out loud to that... haha. The story itself though can get a little confusing. I think it took me 3 or 4 seeings to actually get it. Mainly cause I was to in awe the whole time just watching the movie.

    In the end, I would definitely give this movie a shot. I own it and love that I do. If you are an anime fan, you'd better have seen this cause this movie has to be in the top 5 best animes ever.

    P.S. - I own the tin can 2 disc edition. LOVE IT. Also the scene that ALWAYS sticks out in my head in this movie is the hallway scene where he blows people up. It was drawn so fluidly well it's ridiculous.
    ...more info
  • Strike of Brilliance
    In most anime, as many fans know, anime has violence, gore and inappropriate images that factor into the film or series, of course, that is why many people like anime. That being said, this movie takes extreme dives off that concept.

    For example, from the start of the movie, a biker gang lead by Kaneda, a boy of about seventeen are shooting at each other and trying to ram other bikers into the sides of a highway road. And then there's the abuses the girlfriends of the boys face when the other biker gangs seek revenge. Then the loyalty of the gang kicks in to protect their fellow member's girlfriends.

    But the loyalty doesn't last. Kaneda's best friend, Tetsuo is tested on by scientists after being captured by the police for a shoot out. Then Tetsuo is dragged into a series of experiments that melt together his bizzare dreams and reality. And the other patients of the experiments try to kill Tetsuo, only letting loose the worst inside Tetsuo, the jealousy of the strengths of his best friend, Kaneda. Tetsuo acquires a deadly power to blast beams from his hands and body to blow up the whole city, and what's worse, is Tetsuo seeks to strike not only the whole city, but namely, Kaneda.

    Akira is one of the first anime films to be released, and master director, Katsuhiro Otomo, who is right at the top with Miyazaki, spins a master tale of friendship and the tests of loyalty. I also reccomend Otomo's "Steamboy", another brilliant film with breathtaking art. This film is awesome!...more info


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