Published: Dec 20, 1982 to Jun 25, 1990
Authors: Otomo, Katsuhiro (Story & Art)
Serialization: Young Magazine (Monthly)
Score: 8.781 (scored by 5366 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagsaction psychological sci-fi supernatural
Jan 25, 2008
The story is nothing short of amazing, so well done and with lots of consistency. It develops nicely through the 6 volumes, with a nice ending. Very few things to pick on, but I guess it isn't for nothing this is considered a great work of art. Nonetheless the progress is a bit slow in the middle (specially volume 3), but it isn't enough to do anything about the greater feeling that the story has. Also, I have some mixed feelings about the position of the bikes in the story, it seems kinda a bit too important.
Nothing bad about this. The art pleased me all the way through, both in the actionscenes and when it was more slowpaced. Characterdesign was also really cool, and panoramic views totally awesome.
The characters are really well done, with the title character topping it all (no spoilers, but he was really cool). Kei and Kaori are well done, moreso than in the anime I imagine. Most of the others were devolped in a great manner, with a good bunch of mysteries and intrigues. But I must say that the protagonist, Kaneda, got on my nerves some times, though many male protagonists are like that. I can't really explain, but I didn't like him as much as the rest of the characters.
Enjoyment is really important, and that's where Akira is the best. I finished it in about 5 days I think, it was really thrilling, and I couldn't wait untill the end, so that I could discover how it all ended. Nothing less than highly entertaining, and I enjoyed every second I was reading it. I just had to read a bit more and a bit more. On the other hand, it didn't feel to long either, thus making it almost perfect.
I discovered it on a whim, and I'm happy I did. It's the best manga I've read, by far, and I recommend it to everyone. It was really great. read more
Yesterday, 5:13 PM
The book’s art is gorgeous. Otomo has a very distinct style that not only makes his work very recognizable but also contains incredible amounts of detail. I never questioned the emotion on the character’s faces, and I recall particularly a moment in a fight between Kaneda and an overpowered Tetsuo in which their fear was almost tangible. The wide shots of Neo-Tokyo and the Great Tokyo Empire are incredible. Each and every panel is full of things that make the world of Akira so real that I felt as though I could have boarded a plane and taken pictures of the place.
Katsuhiro Otomo has directed two feature animated films, as well as a number of shorts. Akira and Steamboy both contain the impeccable eye for composition that Otomo displays in Akira. The book plays out like a movie, the panel layout directing the eye smoothly through the story in a way that is more cinematic than a large amount of actual cinema. There are no true breaks in the story, with the exception of natural lulls and scene changes. As I was reading, I often wondered how the manga was split up when it was published originally or reprinted by Marvel in the late 80s.
The story itself is intriguing. The writing is clever and well done, all of the dialogue serving to not only further the story but to give us more of a sense of each character’s personality. It does, at times, get a bit confusing. There is a lot happening all at once, and some of the similarities between character names can cause some difficulty in the beginning. But the tale of psychic teenagers and children and the immanent destruction of the world around us or society as we know it is played out quite well. Often the scale of things seems ridiculous when one takes a step back, but it is so well written that it completely works within the book.
Akira is one of the most important manga ever written. It is a piece that no one should miss. If you are fortunate enough to pick up all 6 volumes at once (an act I would highly recommend), I can almost guarantee you will finish the entire thing in a day. The book is, however, deeply steeped in Japanese culture and post-WW2 ideology. This can take away from it somewhat if you are unfamiliar/unwilling to try to understand. That being said, if you have not read this book, you are doing a great disservice to yourself.
For more of my reviews, go to tuesdaysdusk.tumblr.com/tagged/review read more
Mar 23, 2011
Well I had that feeling while reading Akira.
I bought it from a local manga shop, not expecting anything special.
As I started reading it, I found myself sucked into the story.
As it starts, the story is filled with mysteries, confusing things, and secrets that you just can't wait to uncover. And as you finish chapter by chapter, you finally get to unlock few secrets, but new bunch of them shows from nowhere.
So it's pushing you to keep reading, until you finish it completely.
The art isn't something revolutionary, but it's still pretty good. It doesn't have "chibi" drawings and scenes, and it keeps serious note throughout the whole manga. While the characters are talking, and not doing anything important for the story(like getting to know each other etc...), the art is pretty standard. Nothing special, and with not too much details. But when it comes to big explosive scenes, gunfights, running, jumping, and just staying alive scenes, that's where Katsuhiro shows his best. The drawings become so vivid, and details just blows you off.
You'd just stop with reading, and admire the awesomnest of the explosion, for example.
So, it's like Katsuhiro is saving power for scenes like these.
The characters are really something special. Not until the end, you know who's on who's side.
It's really well done. For example, you never learn everything you want about Akira, and when you close the last page of manga, you're searching for some other pages that maybe fell off, because you can't belive that it's finished, with you still not getting bunch of stuff.
But that's the stuff about this manga. Even though it explains most of the intriguing stuff to sattisfy part of your curiosity, you still want more, and you're left to think about the end, and characters, and story overall. And you're just thinking, "what the hell did just happen"
I really enjoyed this manga, and it's my favorite(even though I didn't read much).
If you consider yourself a manga lover, this is a must read for you.
It's must read for anybody that ever held a manga in his/her hands.
And I'm not just saying. This is something really special, and I bet my hand that you're gonna love it.
Enjoy. read more
Apr 13, 2010
The main plot is focused on stopping the newly escaped, child-psychic, named "Akira" from destroying Japan and the rest of the world. For the most part we follow a motor cycle gang member named Kaneda who somehow gets sucked into this government psychic conspiracy. Kaneda doesn't really care so much about Akira as he does about his bff Tetsuo who recently transformed into a Psychic and started acting all dickish. So Kaneda teams up with the female lead, Kei, in hopes to kill Tetsuo (the super powerfull psychic) with his bare hands. Meanwhile Tetsuo creates an ally out of Akira and they half-way team up because they're supposedly on the same psychic "frequency".
The story is not your linear adventure tale, but I wouldn't call it anything really special. You have your best-friend-turned-enemy and save the world plot all in the very first volume. At times this is executed brilliantly and will leave you either cheering for Kaneda to get revenge or for Tetsou to destroy more crap with his awesomely entertaining powers. Then we get to volume 3, which is hellish at best. It reminded me of a Scooby-Doo Chase scene where everyone just keeps running in and out of doors accomplishing nothing. It's a huge weak point in the mostly spotless story line. Considering that volume 3 is 1/6 of this entire manga I can't rate story any higher.
This is an 80s manga and you'll be able to tell at first glance. The characters have that 80s look to them and don't particularly stand out art-wise. Although I'm not complaining since the backgrounds more then make up for what the character designs lack. There are absolutely stunning two page layouts all throughout Akira. The background art work delivers on a level that isn't seen in most manga today. Now back to the character designs for a second. I had a hard time distinguishing Kaneda from Kei since they have nearly identical hair-cuts and facial structures. That definitely brings the overall art score down a bit.
I like the damsel in distress character just as much as the next guy, but its refreshing to see a female lead who isn't a whiny little pussy. Kei is both mentally and physically as strong, if not stronger, then any other character in the manga. Kudos to the mangaka for trying something different. Then you have Kaneda who is the typical hot-headed hero. I was trying to make a few comparisons throughout the manga between him and Naruto without much success until he started walking out of a room then stopped. He turned around and gave Kei a big smile and a thumbs up. Then uttered these exact words: "Believe it!". If that doesn't explain Kaneda's character then I don't know what will.
I rate enjoyment rather low because there were a lot of dead spots in the manga where I just wanted the meaningless side stories to end so I could focus on the main plot. This manga could have easily shed a couple 100 pages and not lost a thing. Also the psychic powers were a bit inconsistent which had me confused for a good while. For example Tetsou is shown to have the ability to teleport, explode things with his mind, fly through space, deflect bullets, and just overall do anything he wants with his powers. Then in one part, while at full strength, he starts getting beaten up by Kaneda who has no powers what-so-ever. He just gets his ass kicked for some unexplained reason. At first they say he's powered down, but then literally 1 second after he gets punched in the face he teleports into space and destroys an air craft carrier. I was left scratching my head wondering what the hell just happened. There were too many power inconsistencies and boring side plots for me to enjoy this manga any more then I did.
There were times when I couldn't wait to turn the page to find out what happens next, but there were also times when I just wanted to skip 20 pages ahead so I could read something half-way interesting for a change. It also didn't help that the ending was well...open ended. Lots of questions went unanswered and the fate of a few important characters is never touched on. There was also a bit at the beginning where Kei's partner is described as her "sort-of brother", but there relationship goes unexplained for the rest of the series. There are a lot of little problems in Akira that build up throughout the manga. I set the standards high for this one considering its rank on MAL. It also didn't help that at the end of each volume there was a blurb about how much of a masterpiece Akira is. So is this a masterpiece? Maybe it was in the 80s, but to todays standards its nothing more than a slightly above average story manga with a lot of hype. read more
Feb 6, 2012
Being called "classic" has many justifications, classics are usually good but in no way perfect. I kind of wish I could give this a 7.50, for 7 is too low but 8 is too high, why it got a 7 we will see in the following review.
Story: Akiras plot is quite unique in its own and not so unique as a whole. I'll spare the description and get to the heart of the matter. Six volumes, each are almost 400 pages, this is a long story.Problem is that the first three volumes don't have much happening other than explosions, wild goose chases and people screaming each others names with anger.See in most cases there is a certain build up before the shit hits the fan, in Akira shit hits the fan within the first few pages and keeps on doing so until the end where the shit just becomes way too much to handle.
We are introduced to a wide range of characters, names mostly, and watch them run for three volumes straight until a huge explosion erupts and then in volume 4 a story emerges. Now that is not necessarily bad, the constant movement in the 3 volumes do lead up to an important incident that if it were without we would have no story, and the action is enjoyable and well paced, definitely a page turner. However we don't know what exactly is going on, and we don't know the characters well either. So imagine going through half a series without really knowing who you are following.
In other words the idea is good, the execution needs some cut backs.
Characters: And the main reason it gets a 7.
With a story so long, and with so much going on you have to feel for the characters.
Lets start with Kaneda. He's a fifteen year old punk with a snotty attitude that takes drugs for fun and loves bikes. The end.Nothing is revealed,what about his parents? Are they dead?Does he hate them?Love them?He likes bikes...okay.But who is he anyway and why should I care about what happens to him?
Kei, she is part of a group of terrorists. Okay, she can kick serious ass. Fine. Why is she with these people? What is their goal?Why them and not someone else?At some point she speaks of goals and values but how can someone understand what she's talking about when nothing is revealed?
Same happens with most that appear, the problem is they are shallow,you only know certain aspects about them like the fact that Kei is tough, you don't know them. Hence you don't care.And saying that Kaneda is cool is not good enough for me to care if he randomly disappears or gets a deadly disease.
The only character worth mentioning is Tetsuo. He is basically the only one with a personality, someone that you can care about. From the moment he appears on panel you can pretty much figure out what his place is. He isn't valued much and when he obtains power he gives the finger to all that did him wrong and goes berserk.His character constantly changes throughout; he becomes angry, greedy, arrogant, but then humble, sad and vulnerable. One moment he's a ruthless bloodthirsty monster, the next only a boy that needs to be loved. but even his personality takes an awful long time to appear. Personally I was routing for him till the very end, heck I ended up reading this whole damn thing just to see what will happen to him.
Maybe the writer intended it to be this way,maybe he simply didn't want us to
care for the others but then again Kei and Kaneda get an awful lot of screen time so I should be on their side not his.Also the so called "love" between the two felt forced and completely unnatural.It was just annoying to be honest I mean wtf they didn't even know each other and all of a sudden they want to have kids?Come on man, that is just laughable.
Art:the art isn't anything spectacular, but it's nice. The direction of the series though is very good and that is something Otomo has been praised on. Some scenes were utterly beautiful( one with Tetsuo and the ocean waves comes in mind), the city of Neo Tokyo is just as futuristic and mad as it should be. The bikes were cool to look at, the styles of hair and clothes are a bit dated, the faces are distinguishable, they were definitely paid attention to with detail except maybe Kaneda and Keis(really, these two have so many problems).The action scenes are clear, there wasn't one moment I didn't understand what was going on and that my friends is a hard task considering most manga.
Enjoyment: this is a good story, putting aside the various character problems. If the characters were better I think it would be excellent.It is enjoyable and you can easily get caught in the drama, page turner indeed, it never bores(well maybe vol three. worst one out of them all).The use of the supernatural powers was done well, the whole plot was well crafted, politics, terrorism, human stupidity, it's all there. This is worth a read for the single reason of seeing all the similarities it has to later works, Akira definitely launched a bunch of stories with a similar feel to them and plot. read more
Nov 21, 2011
Oh and the story and characters are great too. Despite his dickish sneer and uh... biological idiosyncrasies, Tetsuo is a very organic character.
Dec 1, 2011
VALUE SECTION: 10/10
Analysis: Historical Value 3/3, Rereadability 3/3, Memorability 4/4
Amongst the most classic manga titles of all times, Akira has passed in history as one of the best dystopian/apocalyptic titles of all times, not only because of its detailed artwork but also because of its themes, angst-ridden characters, and grotesque action/transformation scenes.
ART SECTION: 8/10
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Readability 2/2, Visual Effects 1/2
I must say I am amazed. The artwork is extremely detailed and dynamic, to the point it counts as a graphic novel and not as a run of the mil comic book. The world is depicted in its most cold industrial form, buildings and machinery are highly detailed, there are various angles from which we see the action, and the violence is bloody and nightmarish. Although the average viewer may find the character figures to look too generic or even hermaphrodite, this does not take away the excitement from the numerous amazing action sequences throughout the story. Also, despite the rather blunt visual effects because of technology restrictions (or the maker’s personal choice) the gravity of each explosion and death retains its shocking aspect to the fullest.
CHARACTER SECTION: 9/10
Analysis: Presence 2/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 2/2, Development 2/2, Catharsis 2/2
Two prevailing characters, Tetsuo and Kaneda, orphans that grew up together in a world gone crazy. Although having the same background, Kaneda feels only like an edgy, teenage delinquent. He is the leader type that makes others like him and follow him and kicks ass when somebody questions his ego.
But Tetsuo, wow, the guy is one, big, crazy, son of a … His weak presence early in the film is quickly replaced by an insane megalomaniac, out to get even with the world that was hurting him all his life. He hardly knows whom to blame first; his researchers, his best friend or even his own self. And makes A LOT of damage because of it. Down inside, he is just a normal kid that never got the affection it needed to feel secure and now everyone will pay the price! A cult figure, for a good reason.
I prefer this kind of problematic characters to those lame heavy-dudes of today. Most recent stories with teenagers with issues don’t go further than shoveling us a silent-type guy whose woman was kidnapped or village was destroyed and now got ultra powerful and fights evil. Bleah!
Although they are the main two characters there are over 60 more secondary who affect the plot through various other means. The stuck-up military guy that wants to protect the status quo, the curious scientist that challenges the powers of the unknown just to see what they can do, the rebel zealots, the scheming politician, the psychic kids, all of them contribute and criticize the various facets of modern civilization in their own way.
The duration of the story is also not too short or not too long and thus you can see them change along the way smoothly. By the end of it, you actually understand them and like them for what they are. It is true that most of them are rather too simple in personality and seem to think rather 2-dimensionaly yet this doesn’t make them feel dried up at all since they develop along the way in an interesting way.
STORY SECTION: 9/10
Analysis: General Scenario 2/2, Pacing 2/2, Side Stories/Extra Spices 2/2, Plausibility 2/2, Conclusion 1/2
The theme is the rotten society and the psychological damage it does that causes its own youth to rebel and bring upon its own downfall. Yes, it’s a typical theme nowadays and there are a hundred series with a similar premise.
Amoral scientists experiment on little children, in order to harness their psychic powers. Searching in the dark for something they have no idea about, a kid named Akira goes amok, destroys Tokyo and brings about worldwide chaos. The politicians hide their shameful mistake from the public and scientists repeat the same experiment years later on a kid named Tetsuo… and get screwed again.
The story is simple in its premise and despite the mostly straightforward plot, its numerous characters flavor it through several side stories. The duration is as I said enough to let the story unfold smoothly and the conclusion, although rather corny, is satisfactory and solid. But it’s more of a story about the psyche of teenagers, not cool graphics or in-depth scenario.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 9/10
Highly entertaining despite the rather basic premise for today’s standards. The pacing is rather slow but never wastes pages and the characters develop along the way, while the action and the mayhem are superbly depicted for their time.
Well, it didn’t take much consideration. The accused is found … NOT GUILTY! … All charges were just slander and are dropped. The accused is free to go. We hope for more of you to be out there. read more
Apr 30, 2008
The art style in fully detailed color definitely blows the story to a whole new level. It just makes the whole thing 'pop'.
If you are able to get access to these original color manga versions please read them/buy them/steal them. They really make this manga a true work of art.
Aug 16, 2012
Akira takes place in the future, in a place called neo tokyo. Neo because Tokyo before was "destroyed" by a person whose name is the title. Akira could do the destroying because he was number 28, a codename for government experiment in brainwave, mental research etc.(not my expertise area)
Where are the other numbers?
This is what the story revolves in.
Kaneda and Tetsuo are the high-ups of usual gang-rider in Neo-Tokyo, got into accident that looks unusual, Tetsuo got wounded, and finally brought by the so-called-police.
Now please tell me you can't figure what happens next and i will slap you in the face, two times.
Indeed the start of the story was both unfathomable and amazing at the same time, but what makes the story great is what happen next. It's realistic.
Why the numbers could do that?
Why Tetsuo is like that?
What is Akira?
All will be answered as realistic as possible, but remember this is a sci-fi story, so be prepared to be as imaginative as possible. Who knows in 2038 Tokyo would look like that? Tokyo could look better or (please no)worse than Akira version. If i may compare the philosophical part of Akira it would be close to 2001: Space Odyssey and Evangelion. Akira, if i may say, is the more enjoyable version of them both. I found myself wanting more of this while reading this, unlike two others.
Here comes the part where Akira stand out the most. The background and the surrounding art. It's TOO GOOD. Believe me, it's made in the 80s but the art still look superb and superlative than most of nowadays series. The explosion was made diligently. You could see almost EVERYTHING of the exploding building, from the glass to the foundation.
Okay, i have to admit that the character design was not eye-pleasing, but when you take a closer look at the character design, you could imagine them living in your brain. Every wrinkle of the Colonel, the curves of Kei's body were so realistic that i have no hard time imagining it was real.
Let's just hope the movie adaptation is as massive as the manga is.
If not, just remember how epic this manga is. read more
Dec 6, 2012