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A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.


(as Katsuhiro Otomo)


(screenplay) (as Katsuhiro Otomo), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mitsuo Iwata ...
Kaneda (voice)
Nozomu Sasaki ...
Tetsuo (voice)
Mami Koyama ...
Kei (voice)
Tesshô Genda ...
Ryu (voice) (as Tetsusho Genda)
Hiroshi Ôtake ...
Nezu (voice) (as Hiroshi Otake)
Kôichi Kitamura ...
Miyako / Council 1 (voice)
Michihiro Ikemizu ...
Inspector / Council 8 (voice)
Yuriko Fuchizaki ...
Kaori (voice)
Masaaki Ôkura ...
Yamagata (voice)
Tarô Arakawa ...
Army / Committee G / Eiichi Watanabe (voice)
Takeshi Kusao ...
Kai (voice)
Kazumi Tanaka ...
Army (voice)
Masayuki Katô ...
Sakiyama / Council 4 (voice)
Yôsuke Akimoto ...
Masato Hirano ...
Committee F / Spy / Yûji Takeyama (voice)


Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo's supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira's secrets were buried 30 years ago. Written by Tzung-I Lin <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Signal Traced to Tokyo! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

16 July 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Akira: The Special Edition  »

Box Office


JPY 1,100,000,000 (estimated)


$439,162 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (re-release)| (35 mm prints)| (2001 re-issue)| (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Katsuhiro Ôtomo also wrote the manga of the same name. See more »


Near the beginning of the film, in the street bar, the sign on the jukebox changes from "MASTAR" to "MASTER" between shots. See more »


Kei: Amoebas don't make motorcycles and atomic bombs!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The date of the first coming of Akira is the exact same date as it was released originally in Japan. See more »


Spin-off Akira Psycho Ball (2002) See more »


Tokyo Shoeshine Boy
Performed by Teruko Akatsuki
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An animated masterpiece, without the sing-alongs of Disney fare
25 January 1999 | by (St. Louis, MO) – See all my reviews

It amuses me that so many people are appalled by the "graphic violence" of this film when they are the ones who will turn around and glorify a movie like "Silence of the Lambs" simply because it is live-action. Akira completely dispels the myth that animation must be replete with characters who are super-deformed and randomly break into song. This is a true emotional experience the likes of which Hollywood could not duplicate even if it tried.

A gang of young motorcyclists get involved in a government plot involving the resurrection of "Akira," a force which once laid waste to Tokyo. Now, in the Neo-Tokyo of the future, the youngest and lowliest of the gang, Tetsuo, ends up harnessing this extremely destructive power and goes on a rampage of telepathic mayhem to earn the fear of those who once bullied him relentlessly. Beneath the violence in this movie lies the very touching story of this young man and his reconciliation with Keneda, his best friend.

One of the most moving scenes in the film is a flashback that shows the first meeting between the two when they were very young. Though the other kids had bullied and harassed Tetsuo, Keneda was there to stick up for his now lifelong friend. If those who watch Akira can discard their preconceived notions of what animation should be, they will find one of the most exciting, emotional, and rewarding films they will ever have the fortune of seeing.

As a special side note, I personally prefer the dubbed version, which is executed very well by a talented cast of voice actors. My favorite line in the movie belonged to the Colonel: "They don't teach tact at the academy." Though it was adapted from a huge body of manga work, Akira was executed perfectly, being directed by its original creator, Katsuhiro Otomo.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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