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My Review of "Akira"

A high concept animated movie that I don't think I would put on repeat.

By Brian AnonymousPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

Akira is a famous Japanese anime that came out in 1988. I have heard about this movie all my life but have been afraid to check it out. That's not to say people haven't tried to push me to watch this movie before. While I was in high school and university people wouldn't shut up about this movie.

I generally didn't like anime at the time. They seemed pretentious and boring. This was the pinnacle of those types of animes. That's why I'm not exactly sure what got me to check this one out. I found the 4k release of the movie and decided to see what I was missing all these years.

The movie starts off with a little description of what had happened to the city of Neo-Tokyo. Apparently there was a huge destruction of the city in 1988 (the time the movie was made). This movie is supposed to take place in 2019. I found that a bit amusing because we're way past the future date they were predicting.

Neo-Tokyo is now a conflicted city. There are constant anti-government protests throughout the city. They never really get into what exactly they're protesting about with the government. When they do go into it they just say that all of the politicians are corrupted capitalist sociopaths. So everything is in turmoil.

While all of this is happening, there are a number of teenage biker gangs. Two of the bikers they focus on are Tetsuo and Kaneda. They are friends but seem more little bitter sweet friends. Kaneda seems like the leader of the pack and Tetsuo is the one that gets picked on and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. I guess he's got a big Napoleon complex.

There's a certain incident that ends up with Tetsuo being taken by the authorities. Kaneda and the gang don't know what's happened to him and are determined to find him. Little do they know, Tetsuo has been taken by some scientists for testing. Apparently, he's got got some "force sensitive" powers. Yeah think of the Star Wars "force" powers.

The doctors are trying to see why he's manifesting this power so quickly. Unfortunately for Tetsuo it's coming in way too fast and he's not able to control it. Pretty soon all hell breaks loose because he's starting to have crazy because he thinks he's hallucinating. Before long he discovers the true powers he's gotten. That's a horrible combination when you mix it with his Napoleon complex.

As the movie progresses we learn more about what is Akira, and how it's all connected to the powers that Tetsuo has discovered. This discussion can get a little new age but not really something we haven't seen or heard before. Basically it's very close to what they've been doing with the Star Wars "force" powers. Though they talk about internal power like "Chi" and how it contains memories of the past, etc. That area never gets explored but they decided to add it to the movie anyways. I told you these animes can get pretentious.

I liked how they were able to give the world a bit of a realistic twist with the concept of people not naturally able to take orders. There will be people that will naturally fight against authority. We see it today and this movie does a good job in talking about this. They added this to fuel Tetsuo's motivation and it works.

There were some wacky scenes that felt a little off but then again it is an anime and you're kind of expected these antics. Much of the characters and characterizations of authority figures are quite stereotypical with only one dimension. Though this movie tries to think it's complicated there are a lot of complications that it glosses over. I get it though, you're trying to tell a story not tell a news report.

The movie is also a little disjointed. It's still comprehensive and cohesive but they jump from point to point without too much care as the flow of the movie at times.

One of the most beautiful things about this movie is the visuals though. The amount of detail that goes into all of the fantastic animation is unbelievable. I just enjoyed some of the scenes because of the animation. At times I was just mesmerized by the amount of work that they pulled off to get this thing going.

Overall, this was a complex animated movie that had some interesting conversation pieces in there. I truly appreciated it for that and the animation but this is not something I would watch over and over again. This is kind of a one time deal unless I had to write a book report about it. I have to give this movie a 6.5 out of 10. Not my cup of tea but I understand why others would love it.


About the Creator

Brian Anonymous

I have tons of opinions that change constantly. I watch a lot of movies and play video games. There are some articles on my struggles with languages and dance as well.

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  • Kendall Defoe 3 months ago

    It does go to places most other animated films tried to avoid (and I once heard from my mom that she wanted to see it - oh boy).

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