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Akira (Widescreen)

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,235 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
Price
New from Used from
DVD
(Nov 12, 2013)
"Please retry"
25th Anniversary Edition
1
$11.50 $12.50
DVD
(Jul 24, 2001)
"Please retry"
1
$10.00 $0.32
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Editorial Reviews

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.

11537 + Sticker and Insert as Follows (15,000 units only)

Sticker: Akira Tattoo Included Insert: Akira Tattoo

Amazon.com

Artist-writer Katsuhiro Ôtomo began telling the story of Akira as a comic book series in 1982 but took a break from 1986 to 1988 to write, direct, supervise, and design this animated film version. Set in 2019, the film richly imagines the new metropolis of Neo-Tokyo, which is designed from huge buildings down to the smallest details of passing vehicles or police uniforms. Two disaffected orphan teenagers--slight, resentful Tetsuo and confident, breezy Kaneda--run with a biker gang, but trouble grows when Tetsuo start to resent the way Kaneda always has to rescue him. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, military men, and politicians wonder what to do with a collection of withered children who possess enormous psychic powers, especially the mysterious, rarely seen Akira, whose awakening might well have caused the end of the old world. Tetsuo is visited by the children, who trigger the growth of psychic and physical powers that might make him a superman or a supermonster. As befits a distillation of 1,318 pages of the story so far, Akira is overstuffed with character, incident, and detail. However, it piles up astonishing set pieces: the chases and shootouts (amazingly kinetic, amazingly bloody) benefit from minute cartoon detail that extends to the surprised or shocked faces of the tiniest extra; the Tetsuo monster alternately looks like a billion-gallon scrotal sac or a Tex Avery mutation of the monster from The Quatermass Experiment; and the finale--which combines flashbacks to more innocent days with a destruction of Neo City and the creation of a new universe--is one of the most mind-bending in all sci-fi cinema. --Kim Newman

Special Features

  • New Film Transfer From Original Negative
  • Completely Restored & Re-Mastered
  • New English Translation of Original Screenplay Used For Dubbing
  • Capsule Option - English Translation of Graffiti
  • THX Optimizer

Product Details

  • Actors: Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Mitsuo Iwata, Tesshô Genda, Hiroshi Ôtake
  • Directors: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
  • Writers: Katsuhiro Ôtomo, Heidi Wilbur, Izô Hashimoto, Kevin Seymour, L. Michael Haller
  • Producers: Haruyo Kanesaku, Hiroe Tsukamoto
  • Format: Anamorphic, Animated, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,235 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JG6Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,147 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Akira (Widescreen)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randall F. Miller III on 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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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 16×9. 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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34 Comments 343 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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