The other night a local independent cinema screened the groundbreaking 1988 adaptation of the manga series, Akira.
The last time I remember watching the movie was in 1994, on a small TV.. possibly a 19 inch screen.
And to my 14 year old eyes it looked amazing then.
Huddled around the screen, 3 of us sat on the floor discussing our plans in case a nuclear strike happened near us.. how far fast we’d have to be to outrun it, where we’d find shelter, which one of us we’d eat first, etc.
Akira was part of our teenage ritual and even just thinking about that movie sends me back there.
It felt like at least once a month, one of us would show up at one anothers house with the VHS and some dried banana skins (that never worked).
Seeing it again, but finally on the screen all these years later, was made even more enjoyable for me because this time I had the pleasure of watching it with my teenage son, who seemed just as confused about it as I did, the first time I watched it.
Akira is set in a possible dystopian future.. Neo Tokyo, after a nuclear explosion destroys Tokyo and triggers World War III.
Then madness ensues. Trippy, psychic, violent madness.
I’m not going to give anything away about the movie, if you haven’t seen it yet.
The purpose of this report is to consider how it holds up in comparison with today’s anime.
Here’s what surprised me about watching Akira in 2016, it doesn’t look out of place.
In fact, it still actually looks better than some of the offerings from the anime world.
It still stands up in comparison, which perhaps, thanks to the astounding story telling and the high production values, makes Akira a timeless piece.
Watch the trailer: