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Akira (1988)

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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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1,855 ( 150)
Top Rated Movies #250 | 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:

38 years after World War III... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

After Pioneer Entertainment remastered the film in 2001, the original Streamline dub was unavailable for 12 years until Funimation re-instated it for their 25th anniversary edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack in 2013. See more »

Goofs

When the camera is far away from Akira's capsule, the nameplate is in katakana (a Japanese alphabet). When Tetsuo walks closer, it has mystically been translated to Romaji (English) characters. See more »

Quotes

Kai (2001 Pioneer dub): Something seemed strange the second I saw his face. It's odd. He was wearing what looked like a white hospital gown. He acted like a different person. Yamagata asked him if he was really Tetsuo or if he was someone else.
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 »

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

Featured in Akira: Production Report (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Kaneda
Performed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
An animated masterpiece, without the sing-alongs of Disney fare
25 January 1999 | by BradeSee 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.


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