Anime Review: Akira 25th Anniversary Edition
One of the most influential anime films of all time “Akira”, was originally released in 1988.
You may ask, “So why is this being reviewed now?” Because Funimation has recently released the 25 anniversary edition of “Akira” on Blu-Ray and DVD; which Funimation was nice enough to provide us a sample of. To pick up a copy, head over here: Akira Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo.
“Akira” is a cyberpunk anime that takes place in a Neo Tokyo, the rebuilt city of Tokyo that was destroyed during World War III. Kaneda and his biker gang are denizens of this city on the brink of social collapse.
During a fight between Kaneda’s gang and the Clown gang, Kaneda’s friend, Tetsuo, encounters a mysterious boy who changes the course of his life. That boy is being pursued by Colonel Shikishima, who captures the escaped boy and abducts Tetsuo for having come into contact with the boy.
Shikishima soon discovers that Tetsuo possesses abilities similar to the eponymous Akira. As the story unravels, we learn the truth behind Akira. The plot is also filled political and social elements that breathe life into this tale of a dystopic future.
This movie was released in 1988, and it still looks pretty darn good. While the animation looks a bit dated, “Akira’s” big budget ensured that the animation and background were well-detailed enough to allow the film to age well. The animation really shines during action scenes, especially the destruction sequences. As the tale of the downfall of Neo Tokyo, the destruction and carnage is crafted in such a way that it brings the viewer close to the desctruction.
That being said, since I watched the DVD version of the Blu-Ray upscale, I did notice some slight fuzziness in the picture. I am guessing this is due to the upscaling such old material, since the DVD versions of modern anime that is produced in HD still produces a nice crisp picture. But I may be wrong and the Blu-Ray version may in fact alleviate the fuzziness issues.
“Akira” boasts a haunting soundtrack that sets the mood for this gritty cyberpunk tale, and punctuates the action and destruction of the movie. None of the tunes in the movie are super-catchy, but they do a good job at providing the atmosphere for the film.
This release includes 3 audio tracks:
- Japanese 5.1 surround
- English Stereo from 1988
- English 5.1 surround from 2001
I watched the whole movie in the Japanese 5.1 surround. While the 1988 leaves a lot to be desired, the 2001 audio is a good improvement over the dub from the 80’s. However, I still prefer the original audio.
The special features for this film include:
• Interview with the Director
• Akira Sound Clips• Storyboard Collection
• The “Writing on the Wall “
• Original Japanese Trailers
• Original Japanese Commercials
• Restoring Akira Documentary
• U.S. Trailer (2013)
Even after 25 years, “Akira” is still a solid movie with a great storyline, likeable and relatable characters and awesome animation (for its’ time). I have watched this movie many times before, but that did not diminish my enjoyment of this viewing. I was engaged by the story from beginning to end. In fact, this time around, it actually left me wanting to read the manga. The film “Akira” is condensed version of the “Akira” manga, which was still being published when the film was released. The film’s ending clearly lets the viewer know that more of the story is yet to unfold in this universe. So if you haven’t yet seen “Akira” or you have been waiting to pick up a copy, you can’t go wrong with the 25 anniversary edition.
You can pick up a copy over here: Akira Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo.
|Posted 12 January, 2014 - 11:13 by SentaiSeiya|