Akira was a revolutionary film which was made in 1988 directed by Katsuhiro Otomo based on the original manga. Akira was the first anime film to be properly recognized in the western society opening the road for future Japanese animation.
The film is based in 2019 after the third world war which happened in 1988 within this film. The opening scene involves a biker gang fight which introduces the main characters quickly and effectively. This quickly leads on to an event where one of the main characters is injured in an accident after coming in to contact with an unknown supernatural entity. This concludes with his friends discovering him in this state. While the characters are panicking they are surprised by an army helicopter blinding them. While this happens the injured character is abducted by the government. Once being abducted the character is found to have potential psychic abilities, thus being forced in to a secret program by the government.
This leads to a psychological thrill ride with a complex accompanying story. Some of the main points of this that makes the film great is the films ability to make you think. This film created questions in the mind of the viewer of how they would react if they were in the same situation. The main character is given such an immense power within the film he struggles to control this emotionally and physically. This allows the viewer to show empathy towards the main character allowing them to put themselves in the protagonist’s shoes asking the question ‘would I be able to control this power?’
Another major positive of this film is it does not force you to see the scenario this film presents from one characters view. It allows you to see parts of the film through the protagonist’s eyes as well as the main hero’s. This allows you to take a more analytical view upon the film sparking off an unbiased debate of your morality. This does have a negative aspect to itself as well. It stops the viewer forming a good emotional connection with one specific character but in the end allows a general overview of every character.
The film’s scenes are greatly complimented with its unique music. The music varies scene to scene appropriately sparking off emotion within the viewer allowing a greater connection to the plot, characters and the scenes. The film even in present age has dated very well being visual stunning still in this day and age.
To conclude this film it is a very enjoyable film allowing you to spark of debate within yourself about your own morality as well as pleasing visuals and music. The only main negative I can express is due to its presentation of characters it prevents the viewer from forming any emotional bond with an individual character. Well worth a watch if you get the chance.
Richard Broadhead (with input from Anthony Ball and Ben Leonard)
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- Another Blow To ‘Akira’: Albert Hughes Out As Director (slashfilm.com)
- Akira Loses Director Albert Hughes, Goes Back to Pre-Keanu Plan (movieline.com)