Thursday, February 9, 2012

22. Akira (1988)

Akira is a mindfuck. I could end the review on that, really, but it would be doing a disservice to how great a film it is. As a dark animated tale that’s set in a post-apocalyptic future, Akira blew people away when it came to American theaters in the late 80’s. Americans were used to Loony Tunes and maybe a couple of Ninja Turtles, certainly not an animated setting where people die, and die violently. Akira is a landmark in Japanese filmmaking. The first animated work to have lip synched dialogue, and with a whopping 160,000 animation cels, Akira was a blockbuster. The plot focuses on an ordinary bike gang in the post-apocalyptic Neo Tokyo. Best friends Kaneda and Tetsuo soon experience the strangeness of psychic powers and secret military experiments and learn just what happened to make their home into a hellhole. Akira is one of a kind; don’t discriminate against it just because it’s animated.  

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