Friday, February 17, 2012

Akira (1988), Katsuhiro Ohtomo

This review will be critically analysing Katsuhiro Ohtomo's classic anime called "Akira". By Jeffrey M. Anderson's words it is: "Not necessarily the first nor the best anime, but certainly the one that introduced most Americans to the genre" (August 9, 2001). This review is based on Richard Harrington's, Jeffrey M. Anderson's and J.R. McNamara's reviews.


This movie is so good not without a reason. Ohtomo's graphic novels derived the whole style and fluidity of the animation. Usually anime style is just an excuse for lower quality and cheaper animation, but "Akira is definitely not one of those examples. Richard Harrington says that:  "Otomoto's neon-lit Neo-Tokyo is a marvel of post-apocalyptic tension and desires. "Akira" is equally astounding for its color design, whether in the brightness of Neo-Tokyo, the damp darkness of its underground or the steely edge of its scientific outposts and military hardware. It's a complete world sprung from Otomoto's pen and imagination" (December 25, 1989). This world have taken reference from western movies such as "Blade Runner" (1982) with it's remarkable Los Angeles that looks almost like Tokyo. Similar colour palette and mood works extremely well. The environment art is truly remarkable, but characters doesn't seem to be very special. Anyway this is classic and at the time it had a different value, so there is no point to bring it down for typical anime character design.


Sometimes this movie even reminds "Metropolis" (1972) because of this futuristic classification of rich and poor people surrounded by hypocrisy. J.R. McNamara notices that: "Akira has so many staples of dystopian future sci-fi, it is almost like a checklist: crazy religions, rebel forces, psychic powers, nuclear war, fascistic police forces, drugs, cool vehicles… I could go on, but at no time does any of it ever feel overcrowded." (March 03, 2010). The only a bit disappointing thing about all of this is just that the whole story with all of the smallest details doesn't fit very well in two hours and sometimes it feels like the story is rushed. Never the less just like the most anime movies "Akira" is not that much about a good story as experiencing what is happening on the screen which it does really well.


All in all this is truly amazing creation of animation that came from Japan. Japan is full of anime, but it rarely has as good cinematic quality as "Akira". Derived from fantastic comic books huge story stuffed only in two hours might be hard to understand, but it is still very imressive.



1) Jeffrey M. Anderson (August 9, 2001).

3)J.R. McNamara (March 03, 2010)


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