The original AKIRA is regarded as a landmark, not just for Japanese animation but for expanding the medium’s reach. Prior to the Western release of this film, anime very rarely made the journey across the sea, at least officially, and its American audience was extremely small. Once Akira became popular on a global scale, the stage was set for other properties to become international, and today anime is one of the nation’s most popular exports. It’s fortunate that Japan’s present isn’t what this movie predicted it would be.
Set in 2019, where a plague has cancelled the Olympics in Tokyo (okay, so it got SOME things right), the city has become a run-down, post-apocalyptic mess full of street gangs who like to stylishly slide their motorcycles vertically whenever they come to a stop. Shotaro Kaneda is the leader of this gang, but he senses something isn’t right with his friend Tetsuo. Turns out that guy’s been going someplace at night…to a secret facility that’s experimenting on him. If all goes well, Tetsuo will be endowed with amazing psychic powers. But if something goes wrong, he’ll turn into a massive writhing mound of hamburger. Guess what happens.
The 4K release of Akira comes with all these bonuses:
AKIRA Sound Clip (1988)
Music for AKIRA
Ethnic Meets Hi-Tech
The Writing on the Wall
English Voice Over
English 5.1 Audio Mix
U.S. Trailer (2013)
The Akira 4K UHD Blu-Ray will be released January 18, from Funimation.
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