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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.

Director:

Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Writers:

Katsuhiro Ôtomo (screenplay), Izô Hashimoto (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,577 ( 42)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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 Hiroshi Ôtake ... Nezu (voice) (as Hiroshi Otake)
Kôichi Kitamura Kôichi Kitamura ... Lady Miyako / Committee A (voice) (as Koichi Kitamura)
Michihiro Ikemizu Michihiro Ikemizu ... Inspector / Committee I (voice)
Yuriko Fuchizaki Yuriko Fuchizaki ... Kaori (voice)
Masaaki Ôkura Masaaki Ôkura ... Yamagata (voice) (as Masaaki Okura)
Tarô Arakawa Tarô Arakawa ... Army / Committee G / Eiichi Watanabe (voice) (as Taro Arakawa)
Takeshi Kusao ... Kai (voice)
Kazumi Tanaka Kazumi Tanaka ... Army (voice)
Masayuki Katô Masayuki Katô ... Engineer Sakiyama / Committe D (voice) (as Masayuki Kato)
Yôsuke Akimoto Yôsuke Akimoto ... Harukiya Bartender (voice) (as Yosuke Akimoto)
Masato Hirano Masato Hirano ... Committee F / Spy / Yûji Takeyama / Terrorist (voice)
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Storyline

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 <tzung@hugo.att.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

2019, Neo-Tokyo: a never-ending puzzle begins. The trump card is... top secret. Film to be treated as hazardous material. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

16 July 1988 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Akira: The Special Edition See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

JPY 1,100,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$553,171

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$80,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| DTS (re-release)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (2001 re-issue)| Dolby (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was chosen by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "100 New Classics ranking as #74 in the June 20, 2008 issue. The issue ranked the greatest movies of the previous 25 years. See more »

Goofs

When Kaneda shoots Tetsuo, the laser makes a hole in Tetsuo's shirt. After Kaneda fails to shoot him again, the hole vanishes. See more »

Quotes

Tetsuo (1988 Streamline Pictures dub): [shouting] I'm not Akira!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits roll with Big Bang-like footage of stars and galaxies, in the background. See more »

Alternate Versions

The British VHS box set includes the "Production Report" and the film in Japanese language, subbed in English, the credits are in Japanese! See more »

Connections

Spin-off Akira saiko bôru (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Kaneda
Performed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The One and only Anime classic -- 10 (classic)
22 March 2005 | by jimboduckSee all my reviews

When I first grabbed the cover box for AKIRA off the shelves of my local video store, I had never heard the word "manga," (Japanese comic book) nor "anime" (Japanimation) for that matter. Back then I would have given that movie a 9 (excellent), since it was like nothing I had ever seen before, was true graphic violence, but was still a bit too long and too hard to understand. Ten years later, having watched a slew of other anime productions, I would have given this movie an 8 (very good) from memory had I not seen it again yesterday. After seeing AKIRA for the first time in the original Japanese language, I have come to fully appreciate its cultural and artistic merit.

Ten years ago, I watched the English dubbed AKIRA and understood absolutely no Japanese. Ignorance of the language made for funny jokes with my brother ("Just as my bullet was reaching the red line! You think you're so tough") but added nothing to the movie. Ten years later I understand both the language and the country, thanks in part to AKIRA, and I have finally realized that Katsuhiro Otomo had created a classic. While critics may know the director Kurosawa, it may take another 10 years for the name Otomo to make its way to the forefront of American cinematic consciousness.

From here on out, I have nothing but praise for this historical milestone. No other hand-drawn movie I have ever seen is done as meticulously. The pillar lined coliseum comes to mind. It's apparent on first viewing that an immense amount of effort was put into the hand-drawn animation. It seems as if every detail within the frame is in motion. This stands out in the ANIME industry, where so many directors don't bother with effort and instead choose to have a still frame frozen over five seconds. In my mind AKIRA's animation is peerless on an international scale.

Second, the Neo Tokyo depicted in AKIRA is definitely the one that should exist today. Nightlife is dark and violent. Fundamentalist Buddhist sects roam the streets chanting dogma and searching for answers. And most importantly, the medicated punk teenagers speak a crooked, thuggish Japanese slang that I haven't heard in any movie of recent memory. 1988 was Japan's heyday, what with the bubble economy and all, but since then the artistic vision of Otomo's AKIRA seems to have gotten stuck in an economic recession. I feel as if modern Tokyo and its Anime has diverged quite a bit from the Neo-Tokyo depicted in AKIRA.

My final comment is DO NOT rent the English dubbed version, as I did long ago. If by chance you've developed a familiarity with Japan's language and culture, AKIRA makes so much more sense, as it was animated for the Japanese language. The poor English dub job does nothing but distract BIG TIME. As Japan's economically exuberant and excessive 80's heyday fades further into the past, AKIRA will prove to be a relic of a cult imagination that may be fading as well. To watch it in English would be sacrilegious.

In homage to this classic, I've titled my homepage AKIRA-TETSUO, which is named after that demonic anger and guilt you feel when you fail -- the emotion that you can harness to wreak atomic havoc upon this green planet earth. No happy ending with this cataclysmic movie.

JY

Jimboduck-dot-com


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