Akira is, without doubt, the Citizen Kane of Manga films. I’ve read quotes that said “Without Akira, there would be no Matrix” and I can well believe it. I’ve also heard that it’s craftsmanship and attention to detail pretty much saved the Japanese animation industry, and I can well believe that too. Akira, as a movie, stands apart.
I first saw it on the big screen when I was at college, and I’m so glad I did. The epic scale of it’s design cannot be fully appreciated on the small screen. I also saw it in Japanese with English subtitles, and I would certainly recommend this too. The dubbing into American English is pretty average and detracts a little from the intended idea.
I don’t want to go into too many details about the story, because it’s many twists and turns are all part of the magic of this movie. It’s a proper, grown-up, emotional film, with universal themes and unique, interesting characters. The look and feel of the movie is full of style and finesse, and like Close Encounters it’s musical soundtrack, done in the main part by a Japanese vocal choir (check out the clip), is at the same time outstanding and a excellent compliment to the on screen action.
Want to see what I mean? Check this out…
How cool is that? (ps: the answer is… “Very!”)
This is not just a film for teenage boys, as so many manga movies are. This is a film for anyone who likes good design, good ideas, epic tales and heroic struggles, well rounded characters and intelligent subtlety, a creative soundtrack and some of the most arresting on screen visuals you will ever see. I don’t mean to over-sell it, but I stand by my opening statement, this is the Citizen Kane of Manga films. Go see, now!