So Akira is a classic anime movie that came out all the way back in 1988. Yes, 1988. It has been that long since it originally came out. This movie did a great job of pushing the power of the animation medium all over the world. And it is undoubtedly one of the most influential old anime/manga that is still revered even to this day.
Since I am more knowledgeable about stuff now than when I was when I initially watched Akira, I decided to do a sort of quick review/recommendation for it. I won’t go into too much details because I am sure most of you have already watched it. I am just going to put forth my opinion about how this classic movie holds up today.
Short answer though: the movie has aged really well and holds up for the most part with a few exceptions. And as for the long answer, let’s dive right in.
Akira’s plot style is iconic these days, isn’t it? A kid gets his hands on some power that he wasn’t ready for and he goes crazy because of his power. This leads to mass destruction and panic throughout the huge city of Neo Tokyo. The plot style is very different from the usual Hero’s Journey we are used to seeing. There are no victors at the end of Akira and the ending is left ambiguous (purposefully I guess).
You all know me, I love an open to interpretation ending like Akira’s. Absolutely no complaints about the plot and the message it conveys. It holds up really well even today. The only criticism I can give about the plot is that it feels kind of rushed towards the ending. The first half of the movie is very slow-paced and the second half suddenly kicks things into the 6th gear. That is my one and the only complaint from Akira’s plot.
Oh, and the series is set in 2019… that didn’t age well 🙂
Animations and Art Style
Goes without saying, Akira’s art style does look dated. It looks good but, it still feels dated. And we have all seen jokes about Tetsuo’s huge forehead. As good as the background and scenery in Akira is, the character design isn’t that good but that is fine. Not everything needs to be perfect.
The animations definitely do hold well though. There is still that old animation feels to it and the frame rate is not as high as we are used to seeing but Akira’s animations still look really good to this day. This is pretty crazy if you once again recall that Akira came out all the way back in 1988. The movie gave us so many iconic scenes it is unreal; including that famous Akira slide.
Also since the movie is so old, they had the freedom of showing some stuff that today’s audience (Twitter mostly) won’t have the stomach to tolerate. If Akira was released at this time, I can already see the line of Twitter posts criticizing the movie for its use of strong imagery.
The soundtracks are kind of aged not gonna lie but I still like listening to them. I’d love to see someone add electro to existing Akira soundtracks because I am sure if done well, they will suit the movie even more. That is my opinion though, I like the sound design but it does feel aged and I don’t think it is for everyone.
All in all, Akira still holds really well today for something that came out almost 34 years ago. That is a long ass time and the movie is still relevant to this day. It does show its age in some aspects but common, that is to be expected; it literally came out 34 years ago.
That is all for now though. This was purely based on my personal opinion and I think I offered up a pretty fair assessment. Let me know what you think in the comments though. I will take my leave here. See ya!