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Akira (2001)

Nozomu Sasaki , Mami Koyama , Katsuhiro Ohtomo  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (931 customer reviews)


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Blu-ray 2-Disc Version $17.55  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Mitsuo Iwata, Tessh˘ Genda, Hiroshi ďtake
  • Directors: Katsuhiro Ohtomo
  • Writers: Katsuhiro Ohtomo, Iz˘ Hashimoto
  • Producers: Haruyo Kanesaku, Hiroe Tsukamoto, James Yosuke Kobayashi, Ry˘hei Suzuki, Sawako Noma
  • Format: Anamorphic, Animated, Color, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 4.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (931 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MAM2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,385 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Akira" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New Film Transfer From Original Negative
  • Completely Restored & Re-Mastered
  • New English Translation of Original Screenplay Used For Dubbing
  • Disc Two:
  • Production Report (The Making of "Akira")
  • Sound Clip (a documentary on the creation of the soundtrack)
  • Director's Interview (conducted in 1988)
  • Production Materials
  • Restoring "Akira," a Documentary
  • Akira Glossary A-Z

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira is often described as the movie that created a mass audience for Japanese animation in America. Akira looks better now in this remastered DVD than it did on its original release: dust, dirt, and scratches have been digitally removed and the color has been rebalanced. It also makes more sense in a new translation. The ending still leaves many questions unanswered (which is not unusual in anime), but the convoluted plot is easier to follow than it was in the initial English version. Pioneer has included numerous special features in this two-disc set, some more special than others. "Capsule mode" offers brief explanations of some details and translations of signs in Japanese during the feature. "The Akira Production Report," an old Japanese making-of film, comprises interviews with staff members who explain the basic animation process (the footage of artists inking and painting cels by hand looks almost comically dated). "Restoration" provides a behind-the-scenes look at the people who prepared the remastered version, but it's pretty superficial. "Production Materials" contains more than 4,500 still images: storyboards, early character designs, background art, etc. There's also an interview with Otomo and an assortment of trailers. This Akira is the definitive version of a landmark film in the history of Japanese animation and anime fandom: it's a must-have not just for otaku, but for anyone interested in the medium. --Charles Solomon

Product Description

In 1988, the landmark Anime film AKIRA, by director Katsuhiro Otomo, defined the cutting edge of Anime around the world. By today's standards, Akira remains the pinnacle of cel animation and retains the explosive impact of its highly detailed animation and its intensely violent saga of power and corruption. Neo-Tokyo has risen from the ashes of World War III to become a dark and dangerous megalopolis infested with gangs and terrorists. The government seethes with corruption and only maintains a token control over the powerful military that prevents total chaos and hides the secrets of the past. Childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda plunge into Neo-Tokyo's darkest secret when their motorcycle gang encounters a military operation to retrieve an escaped experimental subject. Tetsuo, captured by the military, is subjected to experiments that make him a powerful psychic, but, unfortunately for Neo-Tokyo, Tetsuo's powers rage out of control and he lashes out at the world that has oppressed him! Nothing can stop the destructive forces that Tetsuo wields except possibly the last boy to destroy Tokyo. Insert: 1) Black BRC response card (regular version).

2) Todd McFarlane Toy Insert (limited to 300,000 total inserts) * Anime masterpiece first time ever on DVD for North American release! * Created and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. Special Features: * Digitally re-mastered including High Definition film transfer, High Definition restoration. * THX Certified * New English dialogue, new 5.1 mix (on the English audio only), scene access and more. * Disc 2 contains supplementary materials including "Akira" Production Report, "Sound Clip," director's interview, trailers, production materials, Restoration of "Akria", and "Akria" glossary. * Widescreen format (1:78) and enhanced for widescreen TV's (anamorphic). Akria The Special Edition (DVD9, 2 discs)


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
197 of 201 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funimation 25th Anniversary Blu-ray review October 30, 2013
Format:Blu-ray
Since Amazon condenses the reviews of multiple formats into one pile, I hope this one stands out. It covers the new 25th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Funimation, NOT Bandai'a 2009 Blu-ray or one of the many earlier DVD releases. I was able to get an advance copy from Funimation and also used it to write a separate full-length review of this title, listed below.

"Akira" still holds up perfectly well after 25 years. The film condenses a LOT of material into two hours; not surprising, since writer/director Katsuhiro Otomo's long-running manga series was still being written after its 1988 release. This epic, violent, mind-melting slice of animated history is chock full of terrific visuals, an amazing soundtrack and, of course, the sci-fi tinged story that introduced many to Kaneda, Tetsuo and company. Those new to the film will find it an exhausting experience, but don't give up: the eye candy will suck you in, but there's a real heart and soul to the story that has made countless fans worldwide return to "Akira" again and again. It's practically the grandfather of modern anime.

But that's not what most people want to know; they're probably just curious how this Blu-ray stacks up to previous releases (pretty well, as it turns out). Video quality is ever-so-slightly better than Bandai's 2009 Blu-ray: the image is no longer "picture-boxed" (thin black bars on all four sides) and the colors appear more well-defined and evenly saturated. It's the same 2001 master, so don't expect a night-and-day difference...but it's there. On the audio front, we get two excellent DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio versions of the original Japanese track and the 2001 Pioneer English dub, as well as a new DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio version of the older 1998 Streamline English dub.
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272 of 305 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
[PLEASE NOTE: THERE WERE TWO BLU-RAY RELEASES FOR "AKIRA", THE BANDAI BLU-RAY REVIEW OF 2009 and THE FUNIMATION "AKIRA: 25TH ANNIVERSARY" RELEASE OF 2013. I AM GOING TO INCLUDE BOTH ON THIS REVIEW BECAUSE AMAZON DOESN'T ALLOW FOR SEPARATE REVIEWS]

[THE BANDAI "AKIRA" BLU-RAY REVIEW]

"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!

VIDEO & AUDIO:

For one, the film is now in 1080p and 16Î9. 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.
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85 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Akira November 22, 2001
Format:DVD
Akira is one of those movies that you never forget. The images are extremely powerful and graphic, so that they stick with you long after the movie is over. Despite its sometimes-confusing plot line, this movie is a wonderfully written, chilling look into the future, and into humanity as a whole. The movie more or less centers around a teenage biker gang in Neo-Tokyo, thirty-years after World War III. The main characters, Kaneda and Tetsuo, are two childhood friends who are constantly in competition with each other (Tetsuo being the weaker, taunted one.) Regardless, Tetsuo still looks up to Kaneda. As the introduction moves out of the chase scene, an interesting encounter with an odd looking child (who awakens the physic abilities lying dormant within Tetsuo's mind) truly begins the movie.
The animation quality in this movie is almost enough of a reason to buy it. The detail is incredible, umparalled even by Disney?s standards. No one background or setting is used twice, and the environment is in constant change, be it blinking lights or a person exiting a random building. Oddly enough, the Bladerunner-esque buildings throughout the movie also help to establish the feeling of urgency, and the sensation of teetering on the edge of something great, something that we cannot possibly understand. The characters also move in a realistic, smooth motion, something that is missing from many anime television shows, like Pokemon or Digimon.
The music in this movie is also an aspect that really stands out, with a sound all its own. With this new DVD cleanup, you can hear every bell, whistle and drum beat. It sounds more Japanese than most animes out there, and that is not a bad thing.
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No Streamline dub, no sale.
I totally agree! Akira was the first anime I ever watched and I am extremely dissapointed that I cannot find the Streamline dub anywhere. What I wouldn't give to make my old VHS copy work again....
Feb 24, 2009 by Bashar09 |  See all 172 posts
Why is this still over $30?
It's out of print (as well as the blu-ray) because Bandai's anime department is now defunct. The only way it will ever get re-issued is if another company buys the property gets permission to release it here in the US. There's a new DVD version out that's around $15 (just search for "Akira... Read More
Feb 24, 2012 by Dawn Huestis |  See all 12 posts
Issues with Japanese TrueHD track
Actually after doing research I've found that, the problem is definitely because of outdated amplifiers. Our amlifiers are mixing down the 192khz streams into AC-3 2.0.

In order to listen to the Japanese Dolby TrueHD, you need to use a Blu-Ray player set to send PCM audio over HDMI (PS3... Read More
Feb 25, 2009 by J. Murray |  See all 16 posts
DVD re-re-release?
I agree sweet pea. I don't own a Blu Ray player yet, so I want this on DVD, but it isn't available new directly from Amazon anymore. God Bless. :D
Apr 8, 2010 by compsciguy |  See all 5 posts
31.99?
That's perfectly understandable, but I think "Akira" is expensive not because of corporate greed, but simply because it's anime. I remember just a few years ago, nearly every anime title on DVD was somewhere between $20 to $40, often for indivdual volumes of TV shows. Complete box... Read More
Jan 30, 2009 by AMP |  See all 32 posts
Akira Blu Ray Code Free Be the first to reply
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