Vol: 6; Ch: 120
1982 - 1990
4.489 out of 5 from 1,791 votes
Rank #274

In the aftermath of WWIII Tokyo was re-built as Neo-Tokyo; thirty-eight years later it has become a major metropolis. With the memory of the war and reconstruction fading, corruption, criminality and civil strife are threatening to tear the city apart. The military has a secret project developing humans with psychic powers which they hope will help Neo-Tokyo solve its problems. However, when one of the test subjects escapes and hides with one of the biker gangs plaguing the city, the military does everything it can to recover its test subject and cover up the existence of its research program...

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I'll be very brief because there's so much that this manga does right, if you liked the movie then for sure you'll enjoy this, it expands even more on what happend in the movie. I'm not going to give away any of the story as you really have to read this for yourself to experience it. War is something that truly leaves a scar, even after world war 3 destroyed most of Tokyo, humanity still rebuilds. Of course this new world becomes something of a dystopia in which war is something that is ever present, these themes are what are often brought up throughout the story and this is done through mostly visual storytelling, in fact you have to pay a lot of attention to the backgrounds as they themselves have a story to tell. At the centre of the stroy is Kaneda and Tetsuo and here we have an instesting duo, Kaneda is one who adapts well to change and we see this multiple times. Let's be real here, this world treats both of these guys like shit and the early chapters does such an amazing job at setting this up, we see how the school system teats them like crap and even society neglects them, this does not only apply to Kaneda and Tetsuo but rather everyone. This is the dystopia that they live in. On the opposite end there's Tetsuo who is the opposite of Kaneda, he often struggles with change and this often leads to him making quite a lot of bad decisions. The story really kicks off when Tetuso awakens his psychic powers and they story unravels as they try to discover the mystery of Akira. Tetsuo even develops a god complex as later on he and Akira get worshipped by a bunch of fanatic followers. Obviously I was being very vauge up there, the story is really amazing and there's so much dynamic and intresting characters, my favourite if the bunch is Kaneda and how he often acts like an ass towards everyone, he's pretty smug and clever, all of this makes him sound like a bad character but in fact its the opposite. And you often realise that he acts this way beacuse of this dystopian world that they live in. It's really adapt or this world will leave you behind, this of course becomes a problem with Tetsuo. There are a lot of hidden messages and themes, one huge theme is drug abuse and is ever present throughout the story. There realy isn't a villan, or not a villan in the typical sense, everyone has understandable motives, despite all the destruction Tetsuo brings, can you blame him? He's often reacting towards everything. Even the colonel isn't that much of a bad guy, yeah he does a lot of shitty things but he never gave of the impression of a truly evil guy, his motives were clear cut and you can even get behind and support him. That's true for nearly all of the characters, they are extremely well done. The artwork itself is also of a very high quality, at the beginning it was pretty rough but oh boy does katsuhiro otomo get into it as the series progresses. In the later chapters there's a lot of insanely detailed drawings, from the mass destruction to the extremely expressive faces. Probably the one complaint that I do have is that some of the faces look like potatoes with eyes on it and some of the body proportions are a bit off, so some people look like little gremlins. But holy shit the artwork for the most part is really detailed. Akira is considered to be one of the most influential and important anime movies ever and even today it's considered a classic. But does it live up to its legacy? Yes, it absoutely does, katsuhiro otomo has created a masterpiece.


The one anime movie that I saw on Toonami that got me hyped a few years back will forever be remembered as the day I first saw Akira. As soon as I heard it had a manga I had a feeling I would read it sooner or later and now that I have its time to share my thoughts on why Akira deserves to be called a masterpiece. Story- In the aftermath of World War 3, the city known as Neo-Tokyo is built as a replacement for Tokyo. However, it doesn't take long for the war to start fading as corruption, crime, and civil strife start to tear the city apart. The military has started a secret project in developing humans with psychic powers in hopes of helping the city with its problems. When one of the test subjects escape, they will do whatever they can to recover the subject and to keep the project hidden. Tetsou, one of the guys from Kaneda's biker gang gets directly involved with the escaped subject, and from there that's where everything begins. The movie feels abbreviated compared to the manga itself because of the difference in detail. There are so many characters and story details that get fleshed out more in the manga because the author has much more time to tell the story in comparison to the movie. And you never have to wait long cause the pacing has the ideal quickness to it, going from one event to the next. Actually had to pace myself slower because of that, take my time so I could enjoy it longer. And the ending itself was pretty satisfying, wrapping up on a strong note that'll last with me for a long time to come. Art- The way Otomo sets up the panels for the series is actually what helps revolutionizes the manga industry, as well as some of the scenes that left an impression on me, both the ones that were beautiful and the ones that were horrifying. Otomo had the ideal artstyle that fit the thriller vibes I had with the series, fitting the characters and the atmosphere of the series. Characters- The author was very smart with how he wrote his characters. I really loved Kaneda, how he was funny and how he reacted humanly to the changing situation, when he's honest and straightforward with other characters, he is the character that takes matters into his own hands, even when he fights against Tetsou, making me cheer for him more and more. There is Kei, the girl who was involved with rebelling against the hidden millitary project, that grows closer with Kaneda during the course of the series. Then there is Tetsou, the main antagonist and childhood friend of Kaneda who becomes the driving force for him throughout the series. Even the side characters get some good development, showing how epic the author is. Overall- I was extremely satisfied with Akira the manga. It showed society at its worst, the strength of the human spirit, how politically intriguing during its story. I can see why Akira got reissued, it sets the ideal standard for other manga. I am even willing to recommend this series to those who are more watchers than readers, cause this is a series you have to read, one way or another. Akira is just that awesome!

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