The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Akira.
Genre: Action
Format: 6 Volumes (Bunko)
Mangaka: Katsuhiro Otomo
Synopsis: On December 6th, 1992 the world changed forever, when a new type of bomb exploded over urban Japan initiating World War III. 30 years after the war, in a very unstable Japan, paranormal things start to happen and the military is attacked from two sides, by an anti-government terrorist group and the Japanese politicians. And in the middle of this is Kaneda and Tetsuo battle, two life-long friends and rivals, whose lives are about to be changed… For ever.

The Highlights
Action: Wierd and fast paced.
Art: Old style that never gets too old.
Direction: Logical and appropiate sequences.
Dialogue: The opposite of direction most of the time.
Lenght: Could have been shorter.

I was never a fan of the movie, but a friend of mine talked to me about the manga and convinced me to give it a try. I’ll be honest, the movie was lame, the action wasn’t that good neither was the story, but everyone claimed that the movie Akira had great visuals, and the manga is the reason of it.

But, what if the movie had more character development, more interaction, more plot, more background, more of anything that the movie lacked? You would have the manga. With characters that don’t go to never come back you are compelled to like or dislike them, but more importantly, you get to know them. Their fears, passions, pasts and futures. I read to know fictional people, but when these people don’t open up to me I just can’t empathize with them. And in Akira, in every page, you take a dive and experience with the characters the happenings of this greater than life story.

The plot is where I had some trouble. Trough out the entire 6 volumes of this manga, you always know what is going on, except for some moments where characters touch any deep philosophical fibers that they have. Thing that happens more frequently in the last two volumes, which turns the plot a bit to dense and confusing, not because of the topic, but because of the way it is handled. You will find yourself rereading some pages just to get a good grasp of what is being said.

Even when it felt like it was dragged a bit too long (specially because each volume is 400 or so pages long), Akira is a great action series with a message, that although it may be confusing it will remain true for ever. Characters that evolve with time while disasters occur are an excellent complement to the plot. These two are reason enough to get you to your nearest bookstore to buy the manga.

The Rating: 8

Reviewed by: Dtortot

Top of page