Directed by: Katsuhiro Ohtomo
Starring: Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Mitsuo Iwata
Akira is a historically significant film, in that it’s one of the first really popular anime films to not use any of the cost-cutting animation tricks that they normally do. As a result, it’s beautiful, and that really helped a lot of Americans get interested in the style. So THANKS A FUCKING LOT, Akira!
In the future of Neo Tokyo (after World War III, where the original Tokyo got blown up by a nuclear blast. What is up with the Japanese and nukes, anyway??), there are a small number of people with psychokinetic powers. One of these learns about his abilities suddenly, and of course he’s also the most powerful one ever. He immediately goes crazy with power and rampages all through the city, and only his friend and some other random girl can hope to stop him. Also I guess the titular psychic guy who blew up Tokyo to begin with can help. I GUESS.
Yeah, this movie is gorgeous, and there are a lot of sequences that are amazing. As far as the plot goes, though, the only word that accurately describes it is “weird”. This movie is based on a ten billion page comic book, so there’s a lot of background information that just didn’t come through in the two hour movie adaptation. Pretty much as the movie progresses, it makes less and less sense. By the time you get to the climax you have no idea what’s supposed to be going on… but it doesn’t matter too much. By that point you’ve just given up and accepted that it’s weird and you just sit back and enjoy the neat monster stuff.