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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kaneda (voice)
...
Tetsuo (voice)
...
Kei (voice)
...
Ryu (voice)
Hiroshi Ôtake ...
Nezu (voice)
Kôichi Kitamura ...
Miyako / Council 1 (voice)
Michihiro Ikemizu ...
Inspector / Council 8 (voice)
Yuriko Fuchizaki ...
Kaori (voice)
Masaaki Ôkura ...
Yamagata (voice)
Tarô Arakawa ...
Army / Committee G / Eiichi Watanabe (voice)
Takeshi Kusao ...
Kai (voice)
Kazumi Tanaka ...
Army (voice)
Masayuki Katô ...
Sakiyama / Council 4 (voice)
Yôsuke Akimoto ...
Masato Hirano ...
Committee F / Spy / Yûji Takeyama (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:

Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 July 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Akira: The Special Edition  »

Box Office

Budget:

JPY 1,100,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$553,171 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (re-release)| (35 mm prints)| (2001 re-issue)| (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1 (VHS version)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is widely credited with breaking anime into mainstream Western audiences. See more »

Goofs

When Kanada and his crew are walking from school, Kanada's shoes change color in the same shot. See more »

Quotes

Colonel (2001 Pioneer dub): Enough! Open up your eyes and look at the big picture; You're all puppets of corrupt politicians and capitalists. Don't you understand, it's utterly pointless to fight each other.
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Crazy Credits

Credits roll with Big Bang-like footage of stars and galaxies, in the background. See more »

Connections

Featured in Anime Abandon: Roujin-Z (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Shohmyoh
Performed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An animated masterpiece, without the sing-alongs of Disney fare
25 January 1999 | by (St. Louis, MO) – See 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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