After a nuclear blast in which the whole of Tokyo was all but destroyed the opening scene then fades into the present day in which biker gangs rule the streets, corrupt politicians rule the masses. Akira is one movie in the anime ranks which is “mainstream” by people’s general awareness.
The undercurrent is what is life? What does it mean? Who are “we”? These rather complex questions are employed into the overall narrative, lack of identity, lust for power and human condition of what is beyond the mortal realm of flesh and do you carry on?
The main plot is around a teenage biker gang that rules the streets by night and goes to a rundown high school by day, they pop pills, drink alcohol and are generally annoyed with the society in which they live in. It is a grim stark future dominated by skyscrapers, neon lights, technological advancement but no soul.
The plot splinters from then on into areas of government control of the “Akira” project and also military crackdown on the people like “Akira” who have aged due to the countless drugs and tests that have been bestowed on them. One young man from the gang meet up of up with one of the “project” in an explosive collision and he begins to change, gaining powers and later melding with machinery.
Additional areas of exposition human relationships are revealed friendships, companionships, the seemingly eternal friction between teenagers identity and adult authority, the human condition of knowing “where you come from”. This is not merely a static anime movie that dishes at violence with no substance or meaning.
PICTURE & AUDIO
The picture quality is a stellar achievement from Manga the colours are rich, consistent, vibrant and detailed complementing the already high quality animation that is joy to watch. . The movie was viewed on a HD TV (1080p 24fps Blu-Ray Manga UK Relase) this blows the DVD edition out of the water (but you may want to keep for the special features) the audio was clear, crisp with a amazing surround experience with depth, clarity, bass and of equal quality to the picture.
Akira is an amazing movie that captures the essence of the problems with the human condition, friction, ideals, governments and military force and the overall meaning of life itself, it deserves repeated viewing. The other aspect is the quality of animation being pre CGI the fluidity of something to behold and level of detail and clarity is complemented by an amazing high definition release by manga entertainment. High Recommended