Anime Vice News

Why Is AKIRA Still Popular? -- The Vice Pit

We put on tough biker gang gear to discuss AKIRA's longevity. WARNING ::: Video features telekinetic powers and shouting! TESTUOOOOOO!!!

Previous Vice Pit sessions on...

  • TIGER & BUNNY: The Next Big Thing in Anime?
  • Dub Vs. Sub
  • KIDS ON THE SLOPE
  • YU YU HAKUSHO
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    Read Tom's Retro Reviews of the AKIRA manga... Vol. 1 *** Vol. 2 *** Vol. 3 *** Vol. 4 *** Vol. 5 *** Vol. 6

    And, of course, you can watch the AKIRA "TETSUOOOOOOO/KAAAAAANEDA" cut, as well.

    Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

    Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam

    Alexei Bochenek is a lifelong tech nerd and film buff based in Los Angeles. He writes for various online publications and edits the Los Angeles events website LALookout.com. Follow his Twitter: @alexeigb.

    Elfenlied1012on Aug. 1, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.

    I ask myself that quiet a bit.

    Count_Zeroon Aug. 1, 2012 at 9 p.m.

    Minor little thing about the science of Akira - once upon a time, psychic powers were a really freaking Big Thing in SF, with even real hard SF writers like Asimov incorporating psi abilities into their work. Now, while the focus on these things eventually faded from western SF (particularly when guys like the Amazing Randi debunking Uri Geller), they never went away in Japan - and indeed, to a certain extent, are still there (Haruhi Suzumiya was looking for Espers in addition to Aliens & Time Travelers; one of the later episodes of Bodacious Space Pirates includes a pirate whose "gimmick" is that he's a psychic and is always bending spoons in any shot he's in).

    FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 1, 2012 at 9:39 p.m.

    Listening to the discussion, it almost feels as if there were some unintended comparisons to something along the lines of ROAD WARRIOR. Post Apocalypse themes holds a really weird place with cultures across the globe. I think a lot of that comes from those who really lived in that Cold War era, where many thought a world such as that could happen in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Even if it's not caused by war. It comes from some man made disaster, i.e . killer robots.

    I think GHOST IN THE SHELL also holds an important significance in culture. It blurred the lines on what humanity is. However, I think the anime series did a better job of selling that concept. The story was just structures along a similar path as a Tom Clancy novel.

    I was surprised there was no mention of PLUTO. I've heard form comic creators who call that a better story than WATCHMEN, but I guess you were mainly focusing on movies. DEATH NOTE always surprised me from a psychological point. It very often amazed me how many people would root for Light. It exposes a lot of deep seeded sadism in people. He wasn't fighting for any greater good, but he's still painted as an anti-hero. He was a punk kid who was trying to shape the world and make himself a god, using justice as his validation. It was based on his ideals alone. He was no better than a terrorist, and was willing to murder innocent people to do it.

    It's not surprising that the AKIRA manga would be better than the movie. We see that all the time. When as a movie based on a book ever really been better than the material it was based upon? More often, the movies are horrid adaptations that share little more than the title.

    What I object to with any AKIRA movie being made is white-washing the casting. It paints our multicultural nation in a bad light. The idea that only some white dude can be the protagonist. You don't need big names to sell a movie. Look at Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. Were they big names when they took on STAR WARS?

    Knowing how bad Hollywood traditionally adapts things. I for one hope the movie never gets made. It's actually a sort of weird thing that I like about ONE PIECE. Oda's characters are so wild in their designs. There is no way you could even attempt a live version.

    I hope he didn't drive after he drank that beer.

    macgetmalledon Aug. 2, 2012 at 6:12 a.m.

    Akira was my first anime. So it will be always be awesome to me. It even made into an American Vodka Ad.

    MrASSH0LEon Aug. 2, 2012 at 6:44 a.m.
    @FoxxFireArt said:
    .

    What I object to with any AKIRA movie being made is white-washing the casting. It paints our multicultural nation in a bad light. The idea that only some white dude can be the protagonist. You don't need big names to sell a movie. Look at Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. Were they big names when they took on STAR WARS?


    Yes, but it definitely helps to sell.
    samweller999 staff on Aug. 2, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.

    @FoxxFireArt: Don't worry, Tom put me in a Sharpshooter until I sobered up, I guess we both watched that Tiny Toons special where 1 beer makes you go completely insane. I'm fine!

    @Count_Zero: One of my favorite SF animes was Now and Then, Here and There. I thought that was pretty poignant, wasn't it expecting it to be. I felt they did a realistic take on science fiction ideas. Though I hear Infinite Ryvius is pretty good? Can someone give me an up or down vote for that?

    @macgetmalled: Yeah, vodka ads work wonders on me too. What's funny is that I developed a pretty big love for Steamboy later in life as well, but it doesn't hold a candle to Akira. HEY! Listen to FoxxFireArt! Don't drink and drive!

    heyalexei staff on Aug. 2, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.

    @Count_Zero: Awesome comment. Thanks for the info! I stand corrected-ish. And didn't Uri Geller sue the Pokemon people about a decade ago over a creature clearly based on his likeness/"abilities"? I remember reading that, and it was indeed the first time I'd ever even heard of Mr. Geller... which just goes to show the cultural divide you speak of.

    Count_Zeroon Aug. 2, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.

    @heyalexei said:

    @Count_Zero: Awesome comment. Thanks for the info! I stand corrected-ish. And didn't Uri Geller sue the Pokemon people about a decade ago over a creature clearly based on his likeness/"abilities"? I remember reading that, and it was indeed the first time I'd ever even heard of Mr. Geller... which just goes to show the cultural divide you speak of.

    Indeed he did - there was a Psychic pokemon who bent spoons, Kadabara, which he sued over. I don't remember if Geller won or not. I'd heard of Geller before, but the peak of his fame was well before my time. By the time I started watching TV, the Amazing Randi had already thoroughly debunked and discredited the guy.

    FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 3, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.

    @samweller999:

    I'll have you know that I've seen all the TINY TOONS ADVENTURES, and that includes the short lived Plucky Duck spin off.

    No_name_here staff on Aug. 8, 2012 at 7:59 p.m.

    @Count_Zero said:

    Minor little thing about the science of Akira - once upon a time, psychic powers were a really freaking Big Thing in SF, with even real hard SF writers like Asimov incorporating psi abilities into their work. Now, while the focus on these things eventually faded from western SF (particularly when guys like the Amazing Randi debunking Uri Geller), they never went away in Japan - and indeed, to a certain extent, are still there (Haruhi Suzumiya was looking for Espers in addition to Aliens & Time Travelers; one of the later episodes of Bodacious Space Pirates includes a pirate whose "gimmick" is that he's a psychic and is always bending spoons in any shot he's in).

    Well, come to think of it, the psychic dominance we're exerting on all you AV lunatics is VERY real.

    @MrASSH0LE said:

    @FoxxFireArt said:
    .

    What I object to with any AKIRA movie being made is white-washing the casting. It paints our multicultural nation in a bad light. The idea that only some white dude can be the protagonist. You don't need big names to sell a movie. Look at Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. Were they big names when they took on STAR WARS?

    Yes, but it definitely helps to sell.

    Hah hah.... and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

    @FoxxFireArt said:

    I was surprised there was no mention of PLUTO. I've heard form comic creators who call that a better story than WATCHMEN, but I guess you were mainly focusing on movies. DEATH NOTE always surprised me from a psychological point. It very often amazed me how many people would root for Light. It exposes a lot of deep seeded sadism in people. He wasn't fighting for any greater good, but he's still painted as an anti-hero. He was a punk kid who was trying to shape the world and make himself a god, using justice as his validation. It was based on his ideals alone. He was no better than a terrorist, and was willing to murder innocent people to do it.

    Still need to read that. 20TH CENTURY BOYS has had amazing storytelling so far, but it hasn't been as sophisticated, narratively.

    sotyfan16on Aug. 31, 2012 at 1:09 a.m.

    I feel Akira will always be relevant. For the longest time it was the only anime movie I had seen. While it strays from the manga there is just something to the movie that makes it a must see for anime fans. Just one of those staples. Still need to watch my BD of it though.

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