Often credited with bringing anime to Western attention, 1988’s Akira is a landmark of Japanese animation.
The plot, which follows a biker gang in post-World War III Neo-Tokyo, borders on incoherence. But Akira delivers two hours of beautiful animation, trippy surrealism and visceral violence. As in the case of A Scanner Darkly, the psychedelic animation is the perfect means of sci-fi storytelling.
Packed with sight gags, great music and cyberpunk stylings, this is a film exploding with ideas. Brilliantly directed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo, it’s epic, graphic and tragic. The dreaded and fraught live-action Hollywood remake has big shoes to fill. Big, weird shoes.
This is a fascinating film, that requires and demands repeat viewings. There’s so much going on, making it quite hard to follow. The overall effect, however, is wonderfully dizzying. With eye-popping visuals and stunning originality, Akira is truly mind-boggling. In a good way. Not in a Revolver way.