Akira (1988) Poster


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  • 'Akira' focus in the conflict of two teenager friends in a cyberpunk japan during a civil war, while one aquires god-like power to gain respect, the other acts instinctly to defeat him.

  • 'Akira' is based on a manga series created by Katsuhiro Otomo. It was first published in 1982, was concluded in 1990 and is considered by many to be one of the best mangas of all time. The manga is over 2,000 pages in total and is able to give an in-depth explanation about certain characters.

  • In the movie storyline, the so called 'Akira' was a boy who was used as a test subject as well as many other orphan children (including Masaru, Takashi and Kyoko) in a military experiment in 1988 in an attempt to investigate the potential for human supernatural ability. Akira proved to be the best of the group and one of the few who survived the experiment. However, Akira's powers were too destructive and he did not want to be used as a weapon. Extensive tests on Akira's body rendered him progressively unstable to the point that he was no longer able to control his own gifts, causing a nuclear explosion and the destruction of Tokyo. After Japan's downfall in the ensuing Third World War, Akira was subjected to numerous experiments attempting to discover the secret behind his immense power. Akira eventually died under experimentation and his organs were harvested and concealed underground for safekeeping.

    There also seems to be a collective consciousness growing in Neo-Tokyo among its residents when the story picks up in 2019: the people in the city believe in Akira as a messiah, seen as a power that will one day save them from the poverty, corruption and civil unrest that Neo-Tokyo is plainly rife with. For that reason, the actual power of Akira is fed by the populace's collective fear and belief. Akira, as an intangible consciousness due to his extreme power, also appears to reach out to Tetsuo telepathically in order to be freed.

  • The city was teleported to another dimension by Akira in 1988 and 2019. One of Akira's greatest powers is to create energy fields and teleport anything inside of it.

  • He theoretically caused another Big Bang with Akira and "died" along with the three strange looking children, although it's theorized that he was elevated to another form of being and created a new universe of his own. The three psychic children do mention inexplicably that one day they would be able to bring Akira and Tetsuo back...but for now they become ultimate energy.

  • The lead scientist had hopes that Tetsuo would be able to unlock the key to figuring out what made Akira so powerful and, likewise, reveal secrets about the creation of the universe, since Tetsuo now possessed almost the same powers that Akira originally had. The scientist was given a warning that Tetsuo was to be killed if his powers were to grow beyond his and their control... and as the expression goes, "curiosity killed the cat". In the end, his persistant attempts to unlock the secrets of Akira's power cost him his life.

  • There have been several rumors sparked around the Internet about a potential Akira live-action adaptation, but there will not be one coming out any time soon, at least in the United States. It ultimately comes down to the massive budget that would be required to make the film. There is, however, a fan made trailer for Akira which follows both the manga and the film which can be found on YouTube.

  • Akira is based on a six volume manga which is over 2,000 pages in length. Because the manga gives an in-depth explanation of the origins of Akira, and the movie is already about two hours, certain minor characters and backstories had to be cut/switched in order to fit the time limit of the film, leaving only the important details of the manga and giving abbreviated backstories of minor and major characters. The best way to understand the film is to either re-watch it a couple of times or read the manga.

  • We learn about this information briefly during the memory sequence witnessed by Kaneda: during the 1980s, the children, including Akira, were part of a secret military program dealing with experimentation in supernatural mental powers. The physical toll on their bodies due to the experiments caused them to age drastically, though their growth was stunted and their voices remained child-like. Both Masaru and Kiyoko's bodies suffered the effects of old age, rendering them unable to move without the assistance of mobile chairs/bedrests, respectively.


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