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A classic animated movie adapted from the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo. This film is often credited as the trigger that gave rise to the growth of anime fandom in the western world during the 90's.

In 2019, Tokyo has been rebuilt after World War III. As the city prepares to host the Olympics, it is rocked by anti-government terrorism secretly organ-ized by power-brokering politician Nezu. Juvenile delinquent Tetsuo is out racing against a rival gang when he crashes his bike into a child with the face of an old man. He is swiftly taken away by the military, while his friend Kaneda allies with a cell of the terrorists to track him down. Tetsuo begins to develop psychic powers and discovers that he is just one of many experimental subjects in a secret government program to replicate Akira, the human bioweapon that obliterated Tokyo in 1988. Tetsuo escapes to the Olympic stadium, where the remains of Akira are kept in a hidden chamber. Losing control of his powers and absorbing several of his colleagues, Tetsuo causes the return of Akira and a second destruction of Tokyo. Kaneda is one of the survivors, while Tetsuo absconds to create his own universe.

Adapted from the early part of the long-running manga by director Otomo, Akira is almost singlehandedly responsible for the early 1990s boom in anime in the English language. Echoes of the seminal Blade Runner are undeniable (the film is even set in the same year), but Akira owes less to an alleged "cyberpunk" sensibility than it does to the young Otomo's perspective on 1960s counterculture-rioting students, crazed biker gangs, and corporate intrigue. The military conspiracy in Akira carries elements of the 1963 live-action film Japan's Longest Day, while other themes include the wartime Unit 731 human guinea pigs and nuclear contamination covered more directly in Barefoot Gen. Even the Olympic stadium is a historical marker-Tokyo was due to host the games in 1940 but only got to do so after postwar reconstruction in 1964. In many ways, Akira is also a retelling of Otomo's Fireball, an unfinished 1979 story about scientists fighting terrorists for control of an apocalyptic energy source.

Akira was a visual tour-de-force, including experiments in digital and analog animation that were to stun audiences worldwide, enjoying greater success abroad than in its country of origin. With a production budget that ran wildly out of control, it was defeated by its very success-few of its lower-budget imitators compare favorably and Western distributors have difficulty replicating its success. In 2001, Akira was re-released with a new dub, closer in meaning and tone to the original Japanese version.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Kaneda Shotaro ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Johnny Yong Bosch ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Mitsuo Iwata ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Akira ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Tetsuo Shima ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Nozomu Sasaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Joshua Seth ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Kei ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Wendee Lee ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Mami Koyama ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Lara Cody ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Kai ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Takeshi Kusao ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Bob Bergen ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Matthew Mercer ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Joker ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Kaori ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Yuriko Fuchizaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Barbara Goodson ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Michelle Ruff ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Colonel Shikishima ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Jamieson Price ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Taro Ishida ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Yamagata ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Michael Lindsay ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Takashi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Barbara Goodson ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Mona Marshall ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Ryu ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Tesshou Genda ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Steve Kramer ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Bob Buchholz ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Masaru ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Bob Bergen ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Doctor Onishi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Kiyoko ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Sandy Fox ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Nezu ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Mike Reynolds ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)

Credits

Add a credit to Akira. (No voice actors. Add voice actors to characters above.)
Shinji Otsuka Key Animator
Katsuhiro Otomo Director
Yasuomi Umetsu Key Animator Animation Director.
Tatsuyuki Tanaka Key Animator Animator and Illustrator
Izo Hashimoto Writer
Toshiharu Mizutani Art Director
Takashi Nakamura Animation Director

Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name: Akira
Release Date: Jan. 25, 1991
Name: アキラ
Romaji: Akira
Release Date: July 16, 1988
Rating: R
Runtime: 124 (mins)
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