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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 (702 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.51 / 10.0
 33% (230 votes)
 25% (177 votes)
 23% (162 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 #630 increased(+76)
Monthly Pos #1064 increased(+232)
3 Month Pos #1504 increased(+221)
6 Month Pos #1806 increased(+83)
Year Pos #1897 decreased(-63)

List Stats
On 439 reading lists
On 951 wish lists
On 1623 completed lists
On 61 unfinished lists
On 350 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 usefulness ]

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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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much beter than movie   
Rating: N/A
by blue183
October 29th, 2007, 3:54pm
i seen the movie first didnt really like it , but after i read this manga i was blown away . this is a must ead
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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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probably Best Sci-Fi Ever   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Succubus
April 6th, 2007, 5:36pm
only background and design artwork is best!!

story is very good...

I would give 10/10, why it's best manga in '80 years
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by friedo.obrain
March 27th, 2007, 7:16am
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...

... Last updated on March 27th, 2007, 4:09pm
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Like a pilgrimage   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by Decel
March 25th, 2007, 7:27pm
With today's flood of mangas (especially on the scanlation scene) the story's greatness may have lost some shine. However I think it's one of those works that need to be read at least once.
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The movie butchered this one   
Rating: 8.5 / 10.0
by FuN!
November 26th, 2006, 6:27am
The art is beautiful, but not really my tastes, but the story is nice. I didn't really get too pulled into this manga, but a good read nonetheless. I'm still giving it a high score though just feels like it deserves it. I don't know, I'm not too exact on my rating system but I know what I like bigrazz Anyways, read it.

... Last updated on November 26th, 2006, 6:27am
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