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Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set Hardcover – October 31, 2017
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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About the Author
Katsuhiro Otomo is best known as the creator of the three-thousand page epic Akira. He also directed the groundbreaking animated feature film of the same name, as well as the acclaimed animated film, Steamboy. Most recently, he directed the live-action Japanese film, Mushishi.
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First, the box. The box cover/slip cover is well built and the graphics are crisp and the colors are deep. The cardboard is thick and sturdy. The lid opens on the top by splitting open down the middle (see pictures). The two parts to the opening (door?) have magnets in the cardboard so the two halves stay closed tight.
The novels are all hardcover. Six of them are the six volumes of the Akira story, and one of them is a hard-bound book called "Akira Club" that has loads of what could be called bonus material. It is filled with behind the scenes renderings and art from Katsuhiro Otomo. And the whole book has glossy color pages. The novels are all black and white pages, with the first several pages of each book in gloss color. The books are all sewn bound.
The content of the books is, of course, the reason you are buying this stunning collection. The story of Akira is a science-fiction adventure that is fast-paced and thoroughly illustrated. There are plenty of existential concepts for those who are looking for that sort of thing, but for the most part this story is straight forward. The plot is thick, be ready for two thousand pages of story development. Also, this edition has all of Katsuhiro's original hand-drawn sound effects, which is pretty cool to see in an English edition, and they add to the feel of the futuristic Tokyo scene.
Overall, incredible collection.
You also get “Akira Club”! It’s an art book consisting of Akira illustrations, title pages, promotional art, and unpublished work. The unpublished works section is a treat to read through. It shows tons of artwork, process, and words by Otomo himself on certain design decisions and outtakes.
On top of 35th anniversary edition volumes and art book you also get a patch with the iconic pill graphic. The box itself is also really cool. The only bad thing was the shipping of the set. My brother and I both preordered this and both of our shipping boxes were destroyed. There was hardly any package materials inside the shipping box to protect the collection. My box set has a ripped side panel (didn’t find out until I opened the box and the panel came off...) and my brother’s had extremely crushed corners.
Luckily Amazon is okay with sending replacements to us. I’ll provide an update on the replacements’ conditions. Hopefully they’ll be better packaged because if not I would recommend buying this in person instead of having it shipped to you.
UPDATE: The replacement collections Amazon sent are in pristine condition! They changed the huge shipping boxes to smaller ones, so the collection doesn't bounce around and get damaged. Hopefully they do this for all the future shipments of this box set.
The translation seems pretty much the same as the dark horse set, but the theres a lot of dialogue changed or updated using modern slang like "i'm good" instead of "thanks but no thanks"The epic comics were changed from the original japanese to sound more american but are fairly slang free then the Dark Horse bw set added some unnecessary slang and now this set has even more slang. I prefer slang free translations since slang comes and goes and adding modern slang to a story set in the future is lazy at best.
The biggest gaff has to be adding a sound effect glossary in back which translates all the sound effects. Did someone actually expect the reader to stop at every panel with a sound effect, then flip to the back of the book to read what the sound was, then go back and do it again and again hundreds of times in each book??? The obvious move would have been to drop the translation in the gutter by the sound effect or at the bottom of the page.
Good news is the actual art in the books looks great with no printing issues. The printing is far superior to the dark horse books which was loaded with clogged grey tones that turned black obliterating the line drawing beneath. They're basically HC versions of the original japanese books along with the same type of dj and with all interior color art intact on nice quality paper.
Akira needs to be printed in an absolute over sized format with some real good color work, not Oliff's oversaturated CG coloring from the epic series.
Helpful hint for storage.... The books are side by side with the spine up, I recommend the books be turned over with the spine at the bottom so the guts dont come away from the spine.
Got the box today and it’s a beautiful box set, highly recommend anyone with a love for Akira to get this. With that said you may notice there are more then a few complaining of the book box itself being damaged and I am victim to this too, if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you then more power to you, but it’s definitely something worth noting before purchasing this item.