JTurner's Movie Review of Akira

Rating of


Controversial Anime classic.
JTurner - wrote on 05/31/09

This ambitious, multi-million dollar animated adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's best-selling graphic novel series is spectacular, both on a technical and visceral level. A lot of effort was obviously put into making the animation as fluid and lively as possible, with stunning results. This gritty, post-apocalyptic tale about juvenile delinquents, corrupt government politicians, and a cautionary message about the misuse of supernatural powers is obviously targeted at a mature audience. Good thing, too, because the film contains an extreme amount of intense graphic violence, especially the last thirty minutes. Such scenes drove me away from AKIRA when I first saw the movie at the age of thirteen. To be honest, I disliked it. When I saw the movie again five years later, it wasn't the bloodletting or the plot that offended me, but the dubbing from Streamline Pictures, which grated on my ears and a script that confused me to no end. But after obtaining this more polished, professional sounding version by Pioneer (with far better voice acting and a more coherent script which helps explain things I was so puzzled by the first time), I at last came to accept AKIRA as a remarkable achievement in animation with strong, universal messages resonating within its turbulent, gory nature and multi-layered storyline. Even so, I wouldn't recommend this movie for the casual fan, but for animation buffs and as an exercise in artistry, action, and morality for adults, few films match AKIRA as a worthy contender in that category.

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