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Varagauzer

  • Joined Apr 12, 2012
  • ? / M

Akira

Feb 26, 2017

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.

10/10 story
8.5/10 art
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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