The year is 2019, and about 30 years since World War III. The place is Neo Tokyo, built on the ashes of the previous Tokyo destroyed in the war. Underground rebels are in a constant fight with the government. And aside from that many delinquents roam the street looking for trouble, the leader of a biker gang named Kaneda is just one of those people. Through a sequence of events one of the other members of the gang named Tetsuo ends up being experimented on by the government.
Tetsuo however ends up attaining power no one can control - possibly including himself. And with his feeling of inadequacy toward this friend Kaneda, even this gang can't get him to keep it down. And so Tetsuo goes on a rampage that is unstoppable by anyone. But that won't stop Kaneda from trying. He is one of the gang after all.
Akira is one of the most monumental films in anime. As a cornerstone of anime it's hard to deny much about this title. I mean it's well thought out and the animation is outstanding. Akira is also one of those titles that has crossed boundaries few anime titles ever had. Any TRUE fan of sci-fi in general has seen Akira. Should you see Akira? Of course you should. It's one of THE definitive anime titles.
I might get blasted for this, but this IS my review site and as such I said I would always post my opinions - because if I held back that wouldn't be fair to you dear reader, now would it? Yeah, actually I didn't much like Akira. And that's funny because I consider myself a sci-fi fan, and an anime fan. I think a lot of it has to do with the whole cyber-punk thing which just automatically turns me off. The philosophical aspect failed to delver much to me, and the violence and gore just wasn't my thing.
Over time I've come to view Akira as the most over-rated title ever. You'll often see it on top lists of all sorts, particularly it's an anime title that gets on regular film and sci-fi lists. I think anime fans often follow this lead, but ask any anime fan (who is an anime fan FIRST) what their favorite titles are and I doubt you'll find many that name Akira. In the circles I run in, none of them would.
From a sci-fi perspective it's a must see, and I would tell you to watch it anyway just on the merit of animation alone. No seriously, Akira is untouchable in how amazing its animation is. As a heavily violent cyber-punk story I can't say it was my cup of tea, but certainly a title every real fan of anime should watch at least once.
Bottom line: recommended
Kaneda: He's not your friend, he's ours! If somebody's gonna kill him, it should be us!
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