Sunday, 14 June 2009

Akira (1988)

Now cartoons are for kids right? I mean they are full of fluffy bunnies and cute sidekicks yes? Well not in Japan. Akira was release in 1988 and showcased the future city of Neo-Tokyo recovering from the cataclysmic World War 3. The streets are dangerous and Biker Gangs fight it out nightly. Are we on the cusp of human evolution, one of our bikers becomes more powerful than anyone could imagine and it all happens after a chance encounter with a very strange child.

Akira is visually stunning, it is true to the form of Manga with masses of explosions and gore. Sound is also incredible and immersive. Put simply its amazing that there is still no studio in the US producing Manga style animation. For some reason we are convinced in the western world that cartoons are for kids.vlcsnap-1869757

All this aside, is it any good? Well yes, its brilliant. Akira is a fantastically produced film with a complex but understandable storyline. As with a lot of Japanese films there is a culture gap between the west but in this case it is minor and aids the film perfectly. Some of the set pieces are truly stunning with Tetsuo’s hallucinations and the visit from the “toys” particularly standing out. Another fantastic sequence is the final transformation of Tetsuo with leaves anything produced by Disney so far in the shade it will never see daylight again. My one quibble with Akira is the end sequence which is overly long and becomes very confusing with lots of ins and outs leaving the viewer in real confusion (for possibly the only time in the film) exactly where everyone is.

Overall Akira comes highly recommended. Just remember is not for kids and you will be OK. Most of all watch it in its correct language.vlcsnap-1879713

Paul Out…and removing any soft toys from his bedroom.

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