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#245- Akira

Quick recap: In Neo Tokyo,A teenage motorcycle club fights the government, who have taken their friend and turned him into a dangerous psychopath.

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Teenage biker gangs are the worst

Fun (?) fact: The film takes place in 2019, as Neo Tokyo is set to host the Summer Olympics. As ultimate proof the IOC all secretly love anime, Tokyo is actually hosting the Summer Olympics in 2020. Either that, or they know the world will be ending very soon.

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My thoughts: 5 minutes into Akira and my only thoughts were, ‘what the hell am I watching?’ and ‘Can I just watch this forever?’. To say this was an amazing experience is an understatement. As I drove home after the movie (I watched it at the Drafthouse) all I could think was that this movie changed my life somehow, even though I can’t explain in what way.

I’m not by any stretch of the imagination an ‘anime’ fan, although I did once buy the Cowboy Bebop Blue album because I was going through an especially bad breakup. After watching Akira, I GET it. Something this complex can’t be told through traditional means and anime is perfect for weaving in ridiculous plot points with achingly human experiences. I’m intentionally vague about the plot because there are just so many layers there. I went in thinking this was going to be some fluffy guy film about racing motorcycles and found that it was so much more.

Everything in Akira is over the top- the music, the plot, and especially the visuals. I can not believe this was made in 1988 because there are many shots that seem impossible without the aid of computer graphics. There were several really creepy scenes, which, as mentioned above, I won’t get into, but it gave me nightmares later on. I’m also a wimp, so take that into account. I have no idea if this movie is for everyone, but if you are in the least bit interested in anime, this is a hell of a way to get acquainted with the genre.

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Final review: 5/5

Up next: Foolish Wives

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