Akira

A lavish animation extravaganza produced at a cost of $8 million, this futuristic exploration is a followup by author-director Katsuhiro Otomo to his tremendously popular comic books.

A lavish animation extravaganza produced at a cost of $8 million, this futuristic exploration is a followup by author-director Katsuhiro Otomo to his tremendously popular comic books.

The action takes place 30 years from now, in Neo-Tokyo, the reconstructed version of the Japanese capital, previously destroyed in a 1988 nuclear war. The shape of the city has changed but not its problems, as the social fabric is falling to pieces, students organize demonstrations, unemployment generates constant unrest and terrorists conspire to overthrow the government.

The military is developing a new and more powerful source of energy, ESP. The problem is that they don’t quite know how to control it, and when a young biker with natural talents refuses to co-operate, the entire world is in a lot of trouble.

A remarkable technical achievement in every respect, from the imaginative and detailed design of tomorrow to the booming Dolby effects on the soundtrack, pic’s only drawback is the slight stiffness in the drawing of human movement.

Akira

Japan

Production: Akira Committee. Director Katsuhiro Otomo (sup.); Producer Ryohei Suzuki, Shunzo Kato; Writer Katsuhiro Otomo, Izo Hashimoto; Camera Katsuji Misawa Editor Takeshi Seyama; Music Shoji Yamashiro Art Toshiharu Mizutani

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 124 MIN.

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