Login to add items to your list, keep track of your progress, and rate series!
From Dark Horse: Akira is set in the post-apocalypse Neo-Tokyo of 2030, a vast metropolis built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by an apocalyptic blast of unknown power that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when dormant paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, who becomes a target for a shadowy government operation, a group who will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like that which leveled Tokyo. And at the core of their motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear: a fear of someone -- or something -- of unthinkably monstrous power known only as...Akira.
This series has won a great deal of recognition in the industry, including the 1984 Kodansha Manga Award for best general manga. It was also nominated for the Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work in 2002. Won the Best U.S. Edition of International Material for the Eisner Award in 2002.
You must login to comment for this series! Register an account.
Not perfect, but justifiably a classic...
I love the movie even with its flaws. For an anime from the 1980s it looks great, but it needed about another 20-30 minutes to flesh out some of the story. The opposite is the case with the manga, it drags for the last 1/3 of it. Some of the good stuff is that it throws a lot into the mix: gangs, drugs, delinquency, political corruption, human experimentation, etc. Its not a clear good vs bad situation either. Kaneda ain't a sweetheart he leads a gang after all and he's a skirt-chaser. The last third of the story seems to get bogged down a bit and I get the feeling that the author wasn't too sure at first how he wanted to end it or maybe he did but wasn't sure how to get there. Still its a classic and if you are a manga collector it should be on your shelf along with Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Parasyte, and others. We are all maybe a little spoiled with what's come after these works, especially with what we sometimes see in the movies. They may not be perfect, but there's a reason they are award winning works.
Was just ok
I also wouldn't call it a masterpiece. It had a decent plot but the characters were kinda bland. It was very drawn out towards the end. Could of been better if they would of given Kaneda some ESP. but even then. probably a good series for 1982.
8/10 being generous
Okay, but no masterpiece.
There are some good elements. It's an epic story of apocalypse with a very cinematic feel - the action flows very naturally, the artstyle is generally good (except for the characters themselves - e.g. the 1-2 kissing scenes in this manga are pure creepiness simply due to the way faces are drawn).
But the characters suck. They have no substance nor depth. That may have been the standard of manga/comics in the 1980s, but it just doesn't cut it anymore. There are some old manga that show their age yet are still perfectly enjoyable 20 years later (like YuYu Hakusho). But I don't feel that way about Akira. Neither Kaneda nor Akira nor Kei nor Ryu nor any of the other children with powers are particularly interesting. The only thing special about Kaneda is that he is the main character. Tetsuo is the only one whose character really evolves somewhat, but even in his case that mostly means power-ups... And the manga is far too long for what it tries to convey. I wish more of those ~2k pages had been devoted to real character development instead of the 100th time navigating through some sewers or the 1000th similar action scene. Or that it were condensed to half its length.
In the end, I completely understand that this work is a classic. But I'm glad manga has evolved a lot in the past 20-30 years, and I definitely don't wish that today there were more manga like Akira.
My first introduction to AKIRA was the movie version, which I thoroughly enjoyed and still do. After reading the manga, I think it is safe to say that as exception as the movie adaptation is on its own, it really does not do the manga any justice.
Akira is one of the best
Absolutely a fantastic read, great story, great intro, body, climax, and conclusion. It gave me the whole feeling of epic... absolutely beautiful mixture of psychology, action, plot, and yes my favorite, even romance. Obviously in my top 10 favorites of all time, especially since the post-apocalyptic atmosphere really catered to my personal tastes.
... Last updated on November 7th, 2009, 2:39am
manga first, then the movie
i didnt care for the movie much and the manga is a bit boring at the begining but once you make it through the first volume or two the series goes crazy. id write a more formal review but i wanted to just shout this out real quick while i had the chance to.
akira is a classic manga, i personally dont regard many mangas as classic but this is definitely one of them and is definitely worth reading.
i highly reccomend reading it first before watching the movie since the movie is a stripped down version of the story.
much beter than movie
i seen the movie first didnt really like it , but after i read this manga i was blown away . this is a must ead
The pinnacle of science-fiction storytelling
Akira is one of the first manga I ever read, and certainly the first to truly impress me so I apologise if this review comes off a little biased.
It goes without saying that Akira is one of the most beautifully drawn comics to grace the medium. Otomo was perhaps the first to incorporate influences from French comics master Jean 'Moebius' Giraud; thus was one of the first manga-ka to introduce a whole new level of realism and cinematic approach to manga creating, that would later be seen in legends such as Masamune Shirow, Jiro Taniguchi, Junji Ito, and more modern artists such as Taiyo Matsumoto and Hiroki Endo. His pacing is unparalleled, his panel structure and composition fluid and clear. Otomo's rendering of characters is somewhat simple, but ultimately effective and expressive, with a precise understanding of anatomy. His decision to outline characters with the same size nib pen as his backgrounds is key to the believeability of Neo Tokyo. After a few volumes, the reader becomes so acquainted to the sight of certain buildings and areas, its a little upsetting to see them reduced to rubble later on.
The story is as complex and multi-layered as Neo Tokyo itself. Teenage anarchists, biker gangs, corrupt politicans, devout religious extremists, psychic children, hardy military officials, underground movements, the lot. Amidst this melting-pot of cultures and generations, Otomo never fails to expertly convey the lives of honest, ordinary people (as seen in his earlier short story anthologies) affected by this nightmarish chaos.
In Akira, the character development is fantastic and wholly believable. The tension between childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda becomes increasingly more interesting with each volume, as each is confronted by their own personal issues, and the rising differences between them. What's even more intriguing is the problems that arise from this sustained conflict, the unwillingness on the behalf of both characters to face the problem before it escalates. In Akira, the characters are defined by their actions, and often is the case that central characters will go unnamed for the entire run of the series. Even our first impressions are soon radically altered, and it is the unpredicatability of them that makes Akira so engaging.
I also have to commend Otomo for successfully tackling romance, action, philosophy, religion and morals, and blending them together seemlessly. No relationship ever feels forced; none of the action is overstylized; none of the scientific discussion is poorly-researched.
Akira is perhaps the epitome of what one would call 'epic' storytelling. At six volumes long, with each volumes ranging around 400-600 pages, it's a series that draws you straight in, to a point where you may as well be walking around the alleyways of some run-down lamp-lit section of Neo Tokyo itself.
Nearly thirty-years since Katsuhiro Otomo began drawing it, has Akira become far too dated? Well, the fashion and perhaps aesthetic design may be (although some may dig this retro-futurism, as I do!), but it was a post-modern work back then and certainly is a modern work in today's eyes, and the story still holds up and even betters some of the science-fiction epics of recent years.
Fans of the film will lap this up, and newcomers will find a poweful piece of science-fiction unrivalled in scope and artistic value in Akira.
... Last updated on March 19th, 2010, 4:31pm
probably Best Sci-Fi Ever
only background and design artwork is best!!
story is very good...
I would give 10/10, why it's best manga in '80 years
Simply great! Like the friggin holy bible of Manga! The drawing is excellent and for a change not everything's black and white ( in terms of character personality and view of the world ) The plot jus rocks the world and the ending oh that ending...