The Animoo

Akira CoverI hated it so much, I won’t bother trying to sell it off by making it sound good. Either read about it on Wikipedia (click here), or read my ultra-short summary at the very bottom of this page. The only thing this really had going for it was its amazing animation. Story sucks, characters don’t evolve enough and you get little to no back-story, so they suck, and the most important part of anything with a storyline, the ending, also sucks. The only way this could possibly suck more, is if you DNA fused/transmogrifed a 5-dollar-hooker with a puffer fish and a high-powered vacuum cleaner. Madhatter may disagree.

The Boring Info

The anime is about 124 minutes long and is based on the manga of the same name. Despite this, the differences in stories are great.
Akira is the anime considered a forerunner to the surge of anime fanboy-ism in the west, thanks to its amazing animations.
The western music-world has featured Akira in either lyrics, such as with Linkin Park’s song “High Voltage” (both original and remixes), or music videos (most recent has been Kanye West feat Daft Punk – “Stronger”, where almost the entire spot was molded after the Akira Anime).

The Characters

In snack-sized bits
Kaneda Shōtarō – The main protagonist and the guy with the giant weapon on the movie poster. He is the leader of a biker-gang and has a custom-modified motorcycle. He cares for Tetsuo like a brother, but teases him all the same. He falls in love with a girl, who, unbeknownst to him, is part of a group of anti-government guerrillas. He is later kidnapped by them, but manages to free himself. During his escape, he finds out what the group is about and decides to stay with them in hopes of finding Tetsuo, who had gone missing.

Shima Tetsuo – A member of Shōtarō’s biker-gang. He has a inferiority complex that is off the charts, and greatly admires his fellow biker-gang members, while at the same time resenting them and himself for his reliance on them. When his powers manifest themselves, he goes so far as to killing all his former friends in order to “prove” that he is now more powerful and no longer needs their help. He has desired Shōtarō’s modified bike ever since Shōtarō revealed it to the rest of the gang. Even after Tetsuo’s powers manifested, he desired the bike. Not really as a mean of transportation (I mean come on, the guy can fly now), but because of what it symbolized in his mind.

Akira – A young boy who was also the strongest esper alive. He single-handedly destroyed all of Tōkyō, without even trying. His remains were later found and experimented upon, but when doctors failed to figure out what happened, he was dissected and placed in several jars in a cryo-chamber for later generations to re-examine.

The rest – I could mention a bunch more people, but here’s the gist of it: Everyone else you see, with the exception of maybe 50 people, (10 storyline characters, rest just bystanders), are gonna try to kill someone else and/or die. Sheep for the slaughter.

The Terms

Esper – Children gifted with the power of ESP (hence the name, Esper). There were supposedly 28 of these Espers (or I guess 29, if you count Tetsuo), but 1-24 died either due to the stress from the tests conducted on them by the military or by Akira’s hand, when he destroyed Tokyo.

The Opinion

I consider Akira to be an experiment by the Japanese. They probably asked themselves: “If we made an animation which is incredibly well drawn, but with the crappiest story this side of the most recent Dragonball spin-off, how long will the western critics praise it before realizing what utter bullshit it is??“. We are reaching 20 years in 6 months time (considering when this was written), and the critics are still completely oblivious…

Anywho, like I said the animation itself is very well drawn (at least when it comes to scenery and details, like lip-syncing), but the story is hopeless. It’s like they tried to cram a shit-load of well-written story-lines into a little over two hours, and they fucked up. Worst part is, there’s no aftermath. It’s like they went: “yeah okay, so a lot of strange shit happens, and uhm… he like, morphs into a giant mutant creature, and uhm… is transported into an alternate dimension, or something, then fade out and let the watcher figure out what the fuck happens next.” It is just bad beyond belief.

You end up seeing so much weird stuff, far out deaths and whatnot, that after 15-30 minutes, nothing phases you anymore, and you end up suffering, because you figure: “Hey, this anime is hailed by professional critics, it MUST get better at some point“, BUT IT DOESN’T!!! Let this be a lesson to you. NEVER TRUST A PROFESSIONAL CRITIC!! They base their judgement on things you don’t care about, like how well it did according to its budget, what some completely far-fetched social and traditional something-or-other is parallelled in the film and a bunch of other worthless junk. They don’t even try to wrap their heads around what is actually happening. I read this one review in a Danish paper about “Happy Feet” (or… had it read to me is more precise), which essentially started of with “Events that take place that the North Pole” (it takes place on the South Pole and there are no penguins who live on the North Pole), and she said it had too many songs in it (IT’S A FREAKING MUSICAL!!! It’s like saying, “hey, this sentence has too many letters in it, we could do without some of those.“) The idiot… Errr, I got sidetracked, sorry.

But if you planned to watch Akira, I’ll save you the two hours of suffering. Kid grows up with severe minority complex and is picked on for being weak, gets super-powers, kills all his enemies for bullying him and kills his friends for protecting him from the bullies and because he felt dependant on them, thinks he should now rule the world because he’s all-powerful, the army disagrees, he tries to destroy Tokyo, fails, tries to kill another super-being, fails, gets sent to alternate dimension, fade to black, the end! And yes, that was the entire plot of Akira in less than 20 seconds, and trust me, other than the good animation, you missed nothing of it…

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