On the same day that Crunchyroll announced a premiere month for My Hero Academia Season 6, they also revealed a lot of very iconic anime movies are finally making their debuts on the service. The landmark 1988 feature film Akira is one of them, as well as Your Name, Japan’s biggest blockbuster to date.
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.
There’s early, and then there’s Kodansha. The manga localizer put out a press release this morning detailing the properties and book volumes they just licensed to debut in the spring of 2022 — almost a whole year from now.
So 2019 didn’t turn out as apocalyptic as the movie Akira promised (turned out they were off by one year). You can still rock the fashions of this imaginary era when Funimation introduces the officially licensed, fully wearable orange leather jacket worn by Kaneda in the anime and manga.
Many critics and fans alike had declared Akira as the greatest Cinematic Anime of all time. Akira was a 1988 Anime movie that has been globally influential. If you enjoyed movies like The Matrix trilogy, Chronicle, and Looper then you will love Akira because all of those films are influenced by it.
There are two versions of 2019: the one where Tokyo has been destroyed and some guy turns into a hideous flesh monster, and the one where a lost Akira video game finally turns up. Publisher THQ and developer Black Pearl Software announced a game based on the landmark anime movie at the Summer 1994 Consumer Electronics Show….and that was all anybody heard of it.
It’s true, apparently: in 1994 someone was developing a Western video game that used the Akira license. Anime was growing in popularity, to be sure, but it wasn’t nearly as popular in the mid-90’s as it was going to get in the following decade.