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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".

Note: Won the 1984 Kodansha Manga Award for best general manga, won the Harvey Award for Best American Edition of Foreign Material in 1993 and was nominated for the Harvey for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work in 2002.


Related Series

Associated Names
AKIRA 総天然色

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.4 by Manga-Sketchbook over 11 years ago
v.3 by Manga-Sketchbook over 11 years ago
v.2 by Manga-Sketchbook over 11 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
6 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews

3 topics, 23 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (704 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.51 / 10.0
 33% (231 votes)
 25% (177 votes)
 23% (163 votes)
 12% (83 votes)
 4% (28 votes)
 1% (6 votes)
 1% (6 votes)
 0% (2 votes)
 0% (2 votes)
 1% (6 votes)

Last Updated
July 6th 2017, 6:01am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
Kodansha (1982; 2003)

Serialized In (magazine)
Epic Comics (Marvel Comics)
Young Magazine (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Kodansha USA (6 Volumes - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #563 increased(+107)
Monthly Pos #1200 increased(+34)
3 Month Pos #1652 increased(+73)
6 Month Pos #1766 increased(+51)
Year Pos #1915 decreased(-81)

List Stats
On 443 reading lists
On 953 wish lists
On 1624 completed lists
On 61 unfinished lists
On 352 custom lists

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Forum Posts
More Info about Akira Movie about 1 year ago
The American Akira over 6 years ago
Is the darkhorse version flipped? over 9 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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The pinnacle of science-fiction storytelling   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Highway-STAR
October 28th, 2007, 7:56am
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
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Trussardi
May 20th, 2010, 9:20pm
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.
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Akira is one of the best   
Rating: 9.2 / 10.0
by Azari02
November 7th, 2009, 2:37am
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
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The classic still stands   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by residentgrigo
July 15th, 2013, 11:24am
My review is short as everything that can be said about the series has been said already:
The manga is nearly perfect is all aspects as the art is breathtaking, the narrative is engaging and the nearly all characters are properly defined. And there are many! The cyber punk setting further reaches Blade Runners level in terms of believability and the ending is also spot on. If you have only seen the the breathtaking but slightly cramped film adaptation than you earn it to yourself to read the source material and if you are new to the manga than read it right now to find out why it is among the most revered comics/manga of all time. The best one would be Berserk.

... Last updated on May 4th, 2015, 12:07pm
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Not perfect, but justifiably a classic...   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by MangaGhost
January 20th, 2013, 11:14pm
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.
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Rating: N/A
by chinookk
April 20th, 2014, 8:17pm
This manga is an absolute must read ! It has the best art and story telling I've ever seen in a manga. You could put Akira next to any movie, novel, music piece, and it would stand the comparison. This is the best sci fi work I have ever read/watched. I recommend you scroll down to Highway STAR's review, he worded everything perfectly.
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Okay, but no masterpiece.   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by MondSemmel
November 13th, 2011, 9:36am
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.
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An excellent and influential manga   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by shadowspark2
July 25th, 2016, 11:00pm
I love Akira and strongly recommend it to anyone with any interest in sci-fi.
The characters aren't initially likable, but things quickly pick up and you begin to see that the children are a product of their environment. Otomo's ability to give such a large cast of characters distinct personalities is impressive.
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Was just ok   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Theonething
December 28th, 2012, 10:55am
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
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manga first, then the movie   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Jack_T
January 9th, 2009, 2:09am
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.
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