“Amoebas don’t make motorcycles and atomic bombs!”Review by Lewis Goodall
I’ve never understood anime. I’ve tried it, it’s just something I cant really get my head around. I mean I totally understand what it is and what’s happening within the anime, what I cant get my head around is the people who are absolutely obsessed, maybe that’s it, i just don’t get the culture behind it. I get that people like it but I guess I haven’t found mine, I’m more of a looney tunes man myself but in always keen to learn hence why today were looking at.
Akira, directed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo (the author of the manga), is a 1988 anime based in Neo-Tokyo. We follow Kaneda and his biker gang as they patrol the streets. When one member is corrupted by a secret military and turned into a supervillain, it’s up to the biker gang and a group of psychics children to stop what has been created.
If that sounds like a weird story line then you definitely aren’t into anime. This is an easy Tuesday kind of story compared to some of the others I’ve heard about. The story itself is great when you’re watching it and piecing it together whilst watching it is great although it’s not what I expected at all. Going into this I thought it was just a cyberpunk setting that follows rival biker gangs which in my books sounds perfect. Not so much the biker gang stuff but the cyberpunk setting for sure. If I could teleport into a fictional world then it would be in one like this, like Bladerunner. The beginning of this film is very much like that, just focusing on the gangs but then it becomes more about the secret military and the corruption of this member which starts to get weird. Which I have looked into and apparently this film is based off the very beginning and the very end of the manga, hence why the film kind of flips halfway through.
I should mention that this gang is made up of kids basically, they’re like 15/16 years old. Writing that actually that’s not really an important thing to mention, just something I wasn’t expecting. I guess just this whole film wasn’t what I was expecting. The world and the music particularly blew my expectations out of the water, I fell in love with where they were and the music back dropping their surroundings. I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t inspired by Bladerunner.
I liked a lot of this film, but there’s that anime aspect, I just cant put my finger on it. I normally don’t like the animation of anime but I did actually enjoy this film because nothing was stupidly exaggerated to make it funny. A characters reaction when it’s over the top just completely derails any tension so I’m glad this film didn’t go the same route. There’s still that something that doesn’t sit right with me about it. I’d say it was the complicated story lines but it’s not that because I love complicated story lines when they’re complex and well thought through which this is. I just cant put my finger on it… maybe I’m racist? I certainly would watch mountains of this style of anime over the modern anime they pump out now. Maybe that’s it, i’m just a fan of good anime and not the type nowadays where people randomly turn into cats to satisfy those people who hug a waifu pillow at night.
Overall I did enjoy this film. It’s one that I would definitely watch it again. If you’re one of those uwu anime lovers I think you would get more out of this but if you’re looking for that bit of anime to get you into it then I’d look no further than Akira. Great visuals, great music, fight scenes, psychic toddlers, what more could you want?