Akira

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Apr 23, 2008
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Explain Akiras story then please.
Can you be more specific about what you want explained? I agree that Akira's story is pretty obtuse, but I can't think of any glaring holes. If anything it's probably the usual manga/anime issue where the original manga went a lot further in terms of plot details, character development etc. and the anime is more like shorthand that assumes the viewer read the manga first.
 

Risette

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Aug 27, 2007
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I'll still go back and watch my Akira DVD just for the animation/art quality. Like others here, it was one of the first pieces of anime I had watched, and it left an amazing impression.

The only bad part is that it left a very high expectation for me for what to expect from animes. They just don't make them like that anymore. Sure there was Ghost in the Shell for extremely high animation and art design but that was 1996. Big fan of Patlabor 2 as well, but again, that was 1993. I always snoop around for new anime features to see if anything strikes my eye in the same way but it never happens. I did really enjoyed the 2001 Metropolis anime though in sort of the same way, although I wasn't too crazy about the art style.

I'd mention Studio Ghibli movies but they are on a different level in my opinion. Japanese Disney. I own most of those.

With that said there seems to be plenty of quality anime series these days. Just not feature films. People have pointed me to some that they like but for me personally, as a fringe anime fan, there's really not much.
Try Sword of the Stranger. It's excellent, and recently turned five years old! Here's duckroll's post he made on the 5th anniversary a few days ago:
Sword of the Stranger - Happy 5th Anniversary!



I watched the blu-ray again to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the movie this month, and it's every bit as good as I remembered. Such a fantastic film on all levels, and a really stunning debut by a first time director. It's sad, but Masahiro Ando probably peaked way too early, and I doubt he can ever surpass this in the rest of this career. I'll like to be proven wrong, but the staff and subject matter he gathered for this seems so special and once-in-a-lifetime that I really can't see him managing it again.

There's so much that is good about the movie, from the designs, the simplicity and smartness of the script, the music, the pace, etc. Every scene feels deliberated constructed to be part of a larger flow, to either create context, to foreshadow, to inform, or to excite. The entire move builds up into a spectacular climax which is chaotic but so well directed that the audience is never lost. It is incredibly rare for movies to be able to nail the sense of satisfaction such that a film starts with a promising and exciting introdcution, and proceed to build up the rest of the film to a climax which surpasses anything in the rest of the movie and is yet something which is foreshadowed and expected by the audience.

Sword of the Stranger is probably the best action animation feature every made, and five years after the fact it hasn't gotten any more dated nor has it lost any of the excitement and emotion which made it such a joy to watch the very first time. Nothing since then has remotely approached this level of adrenaline and emotional highs. In fact, as time passes, and other movies come and go, this movie only gets better with age, just like good fine wine.

10/10


There are other good movies from recent times, but this is probably the best. The Anime thread would gladly give you other recommendations if you asked for them.

Also, there was a sequel to Ghost in the Shell in 2004 called Innocence... It was pretty good too!
 
Nov 16, 2011
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Try Sword of the Stranger. It's excellent, and recently turned five years old!

Also, there was a sequel to Ghost in the Shell in 2004 called Innocence... It was pretty good too!
I own Sword of the Stranger :)

Somehow I managed to have not watched Ghost in the Shell Innocence yet. Fucking love me some Ghost in the Shell. Seen every episode from the series.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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Sword of the Stranger had some fuck awesome animation but the story made little sense and the characters were barely explored.
It had a weird pacing, but the end fight was worth it.
 
Jan 29, 2007
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Akira made little to no sense to me, until I read the manga. Everything then fell into place. Wonderful stuff.

I remember seeing SOTS with my wife at one of those Phantom Event things a few years ago and we really enjoyed it. I just wish they fleshed out the characters a little more. Still, it has some great animation sequences and wonderful character designs.
 
Jun 8, 2004
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Ah, it looks like my DVD SE is an earlier release by Pioneer that doesn't feature the Streamline audio. Only the later rerelease by Manga has it.

Also looks like the Bluray that has it was released in Australia only. Wiki also says Bandai released a reprint in 2012, but still no Streamline audio. If that's the case, why are the prices so high?
 
Jun 25, 2009
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And where should the vocal focus be? I've always said it like "Ah-Key-Rah" with focus on key (and drawn out like key, instead of just a short I like in ring).
Yeah, i put the focus on the "Key" too, but i guess a Japanese ( i'm listening to it in my head, lol) would put it on the first "Ah" and say the rest really fast.
 
May 6, 2011
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The first hour and something was entertaining, albeit the film is convoluted but I really liked the setting and was quite into its world and interested on its themes and enjoying watch the carnage of that superpowered kid. The film felt like something quite remarkable and unique. But then the film lost me in its last minutes which I didn't enjoy nearly as much as the rest of the film. I guess the film became more and more confusing.

So positives: very unique world, probably my favorite anime visuals, great animation, soundtrack, various rather good scenes mostly including that kid going crazy, I sort of liked several of the characters even with the little given to them there was enough for some depth/enjoyment/development, story is interesting for me until a certain point of time when it gets worse and isn't but not really among the best stories in the medium by any means, all in all.

Negatives: Not sufficiently developed characters, too convoluted story, some of the above positives suffer considerably at the final minutes where things become a mess.

Verdict: Worth watching and highly recommended that people watch it, but would not call it best anime film.
 
Feb 7, 2007
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Having only heard about Akira in passing and how well regarded it is, I finally got a chance to watch it for the first time.
What an over-hyped piece of nonsense it was. It started of well and the longer it went on the worse it got. I'm not an anime aficionado by any stretch of the word having only ever fully watched DBZ and Deathnote, but the story in Akira is such nonsense it's unbelievable.
I also understand that it was released over 20 years ago and might have been revolutionary at that time, but it doesn't hold up by any stretch of the imagination.
 
Sep 27, 2007
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Can you be more specific about what you want explained? I agree that Akira's story is pretty obtuse, but I can't think of any glaring holes. If anything it's probably the usual manga/anime issue where the original manga went a lot further in terms of plot details, character development etc. and the anime is more like shorthand that assumes the viewer read the manga first.
I guess I should say explain the final 30 minutes of the movie, without it sounding like a convoluted mess.
 
I guess I should say explain the final 30 minutes of the movie, without it sounding like a convoluted mess.
eh, I'll give it a shot.



When Kaneda and Kei are in the prison, Kei gets possessed by Kiyoko, the little esper girl. She explains that scientists tapped into the evolutionary power of an amoeba 30 years prior. These were the initial Akira experiments. Akira eventually exploded and created this blackhole-like vaccum in the city.



The Colonel is trying to prevent the same thing from happening, so he tries to put an end to Tetsuo (or at least subdue him). Tetsuo, who's been on a pill-induced high for most of the film, gets his final, painful migrane and starts to lose control of his abilities and his rebirth as a giant amoeba begins.



Kaneda, the best and only friend he's ever really had, is dead set on killing him. When he gets a clear shot, Tetsuo cries out for his friend's help. This shocks Kaneda and despite what this giant fucking blob looks like, it's still his friend.



Meanwhile, the espers are trying to channel Akira's spirit to stop and encompass Tetsuo's explosion.



Then the craziest thing happens. Akira returns. He basically wills himself back into mere existence to help his childhood friends and save the world. With the knowledge of how to control his power, he envelopes Tetsuo's explosion.



Tetsuo cries for his friend's help and uncontrollable absorbs Kaneda.



Then he gets further sucked into Tetsuo's psyche and re-experiences some of his long-buried memories. One of the most important being that as an orphan, Kaneda was his only friend.



Having saved the Colonel and Kei, the espers then sacrifice themselves to bring Kaneda back, too.



After most of Neo Tokyo is destroyed, we're left with the final words, "I am Tetsuo." While this is open to interpretation, I just think it means that he's transcended to the same form of existence that Akira's reached.

To me, the main thing this film is about is friendship. Tough-love, strong-bonded friendship. I've watched a stupid amount of times, but each viewing leaves me with something new. It's just so super-saturated with details. If I've misinterpreted anything or anyone has something to add, please do. Yeah, it's a little convoluted, but it makes sense after about a billion viewings. >;P
 
Sep 27, 2007
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I must say you explain it much better than the movie ever could. So Tetsuo was just transforming into an amoeba? I don't remember them ever stating why the dude mutated the way he did.

And why exactly did Akira explode anyway? That was never really explained either. Also, if Akira actually did help them, why then was most of Neo Tokyo destroyed anyway?
 


Yeah, when they're in the prison cell, the little esper girl possesses Kei and tries to explain this to Kaneda. Most viewers, much like, just don't get it. So yeah, that's why he looks like a giant grotesque baby in some shots of his transformation. It also explains how he rebuilt his arm by absorbing nearby technology after it got shot off.

As for why Akira originally exploded, we're left to assume that he went through the same thing that Tetsuo did: debilitating migraines and that forced re-evolution black-hole bomb thingamabob. I always thought it was cool how mostly only the espers and the Colonel know the truth about what happened: Akira's explosion set off WWIII. If Akira hadn't intervened, his absorption mass would've just kept spreading and spreading.



That little special effects diagram shot shows Tetsuo's spreading aura. Basically, it's hinting that he'll reach Akira-levels of destruction. Akira bubbled around Tetsuo's implosion and contained it.
 
Aug 30, 2010
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Having only heard about Akira in passing and how well regarded it is, I finally got a chance to watch it for the first time.
What an over-hyped piece of nonsense it was. It started of well and the longer it went on the worse it got. I'm not an anime aficionado by any stretch of the word having only ever fully watched DBZ and Deathnote, but the story in Akira is such nonsense it's unbelievable.
I also understand that it was released over 20 years ago and might have been revolutionary at that time, but it doesn't hold up by any stretch of the imagination.
no.
 
Sep 27, 2007
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That little special effects diagram shot shows Tetsuo's spreading aura. Basically, it's hinting that he'll reach Akira-levels of destruction. Akira bubbled around Tetsuo's implosion and contained it.
But doesn't he reach akira levels of destruction anyway since he destroyed all of Neo Tokyo just like what Akira did before?

Talking about this makes me want to watch the movie again. And then curse at the ending like I do every time, especially how Tetsuos dumbass girlfriend randomly gets crushed inside him and no one bothered saving her.
 
But doesn't he reach akira levels of destruction anyway since he destroyed all of Neo Tokyo just like what Akira did before?

Talking about this makes me want to watch the movie again. And then curse at the ending like I do every time, especially how Tetsuos dumbass girlfriend randomly gets crushed inside him and no one bothered saving her.


ha, yeah, it always gets me when Kaori gets crushed and her body bursts. :/ I keep saying how Kaneda was his best friend, but Kaori really cared for him and for her to die that was just so fucking tragic. And it's worse for Tetsuo because he basically absorbs her pain, too. She couldn't be saved, though. The espers were still summoning Akira and the only reason Kaneda made it out of the blob at first was because of that random laser blast he left off before he got crushed.


This is Akira's ground zero. I think Tetsuo's explosion was a little bigger than Akira's. You can gauge the size of Akira's by the old crater in the olympic stadium).


That's the Tetsuo's ground zero. There's a pan before this, so it's larger, but see all of the flooding? But that's not the point, Kiyoko the esper knew that the city would be destroyed. Akira eventually contained his explosion from becoming larger than what it became, something Tetsuo couldn't do. He had no control over it and could've just kept spreading and absorbing shit.

One day, I'll get around to reading the manga and it'll hopefully clarify a lot of things, but as it stands, if you pay close enough attention (again, after a billion viewings), it's all there.
 
Jan 12, 2008
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The first anime I saw was Ghost In The Shell and it blew my mind. People told me that Akira was even better, but I was very disappointed after watching it. I just don't get what people like about Akira, it's just nonsense.
 
The first anime I saw was Ghost In The Shell and it blew my mind. People told me that Akira was even better, but I was very disappointed after watching it. I just don't get what people like about Akira, it's just nonsense.
eh, people say lost. Both of them are god-tier anime to me. Ghost In the Shell was pretty deep, too, and a lot of it's philosophy could easily go missed after the first viewing. There's just so much to appreciate about these movies. Kinda-related: if you wanted to rewatch GitS, do you watch the original or the remastered cut?
 
People who willingly watch GitS 2.0 are evil.
Yeah, I watched it once. While it was pretty amazingly... pretty, I have more of a soft-spot for the '95 cut. It's funny. These are both animes that I adore and they both have very unusually awesome soundtracks. Kenji Kawai and Geinoh Yamashirogumi <3 The behind the scenes stuff on Akira's dvd/bluray show how fucking epic the music making was.
 
Mar 29, 2012
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I saw a clip of this movie on YouTube once... the scene where someone (Tetsuo?) is expanding and growing to extremely grotesque levels.

shit gave me nightmares
probably turned me off from ever seeing this, heh. I assume the rest of the movie isnt that gross but I'm probably dead wrong about that
 
Apr 10, 2007
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I got the 2 disc dvd that had the remaster. The new dub annoyed the fuck out of me. they replaced the "DISCIPLINE! DISCIPLINE! DISCIPLINE! DISCIPLINE! DISMISSED!" with some weak crap.
 
I got the 2 disc dvd that had the remaster. The new dub annoyed the fuck out of me. they replaced the "DISCIPLINE! DISCIPLINE! DISCIPLINE! DISCIPLINE! DISMISSED!" with some weak crap.
Got it the other way around. They replaced his "SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHUT UP. GOT IT" with the DISCIPLINE shit. But yeah, that fan-spliced .mkv file has both english dubs, but I wish it had the JPN one, too. The way the japanese lip-synching was done was pretty fucking impressive. As much as I love that Leonardo and Liquid Snake voiced Kaneda, them actually using teenagers for the voices is just perfect.
Not in the USA! The 2.0 US BD has the original included... as an upscaled Laserdisc master lol.

Japan has the original in HD. You can get it standalone, no need to waste any money on 2.0. Disc has subs.
Ignorant question, but how does the laserdisc version compare to the HD one? Did they digitally clean it up?
 

Risette

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Aug 27, 2007
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The Japanese track really is the one to listen to, as the movie was animated to the voices which were recorded beforehand, which isn't a common occurrence for anime.

Watching it dubbed is like watching a live-action movie dub.

Ignorant question, but how does the laserdisc version compare to the HD one? Did they digitally clean it up?
Nope. Grosstastic composite artifacts everywhere.

Just spring for the JP BD, it's only like $70.
 
Feb 7, 2007
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The first anime I saw was Ghost In The Shell and it blew my mind. People told me that Akira was even better, but I was very disappointed after watching it. I just don't get what people like about Akira, it's just nonsense.
Does Ghost in the Shell hold up now and worth watching or is it a product of its time.
It's also another one of those anime that I only ever heard of but have no idea what's it about, as far as I could guess it has some Matrix themes.
 
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