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Akira [DVD]

 Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Producers: Shoji Yamashiro, Ryohei Suzuki
  • Format: Anamorphic, Animated, Dubbed, Limited Edition, PAL, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: Danish, English, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Manga
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Mar 2002
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V4VO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,769 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Artist-writer Katsuhiro Omoto began telling the story of Akira as a comic book series in 1982 but took a break from 1986 to 1988 to write, direct, supervise and design this animated film version. Set in 2019, the film richly imagines the new metropolis of Neo-Tokyo, which is designed from huge buildings down to the smallest details of passing vehicles or police uniforms. Two disaffected orphan teenagers--slight, resentful Tetsuo and confident, breezy Kanada--run with a biker gang, but trouble grows when Tetsuo start to resent the way Kanada always has to rescue him. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, military men and politicians wonder what to do with a collection of withered children who possess enormous psychic powers, especially the mysterious, rarely seen Akira, whose awakening might well have caused the end of the old world. Tetsuo is visited by the children, who trigger the growth of psychic and physical powers that might make him a superman or a super-monster.

As befits a distillation of 1,318 pages of the story so far, Akira is overstuffed with character, incident and detail. However, it piles up astonishing set pieces: the chases and shoot-outs (amazingly kinetic, amazingly bloody) benefit from minute cartoon detail that extends to the surprised or shocked faces of the tiniest extra; the Tetsuo monster alternately looks like a billion-gallon scrotal sac or a Tex Avery mutation of the monster from The Quatermass Experiment; and the finale--which combines flashbacks to more innocent days with a destruction of Neo City and the creation of a new universe--is one of the most mind bending in all sci-fi cinema. --Kim Newman

On the DVD: as befits this film's status as a Manga classic, Akira has a wide selection of extras spread across two discs, including a "Making of Akira" documentary, a photo gallery, a quiz and a "Make your own trailer" feature, as well as one hidden feature on each disc. The film has been digitally remastered and presented in widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 for the English-dubbed version, and Dolby Digital 2.0 for the original Japanese language version. The only disappointment of the disc is the animated Scene Selection, where the clips are rendered so small that they can be a bit difficult to decipher. --Rob Burrow

Product Description

The year is 2019 and Tokyo is on the brink of absolute destruction. Cyberpunk biker Tetsuo has become involved in a top-secret military research project and has begun to develop special powers. The police and the army attempt to contain Tetsuo, but his transformation gathers speed rapidly, and soon not even his friend Kaneda can help him.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the subtitles 11 Sep 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I don't intend to offer a full review here, just make a couple of remarks regarding this version of the film. I originally bought the collector's edition of Akira when it first came out on VHS. I love the film and it is as good as its reputation, so if you've never seen it and are hesitating about buying it, go right ahead.
But just a few words for those hardcore Manga fans out there regarding this particular release. If, like me, you prefer watching the original language versions of Manga films you may want to think twice about the Ultimate Collection. Why? Well, there's only one English subtitle track and it's for the hearing impared. This means that, along with the dialog, you get a load of little notes regarding what sort of background sounds accompany the scene, which is, frankly, as annoying as hell. Take the opening, for example, with the dramatic shot across the crater, you're just getting into the mood of the film when up pops "[wind blowing]" along the bottom of the screen. This sort of thing spoils the atmosphere of the film, especially when you can hear the wind blowing for yourself. I'm not saying there shouldn't be comments for the hearing impared, I'm saying that there should be the option to have regular subtitles as well, without all the little sound effect comments.
Second issue; one of the selling points of the re-mastered version is the new translations. Sadly, though some parts of the dialog are much better and flow more naturally, many other parts lose out. The original had more 'peotic' phrasing in some areas where the new version sounds cold and awkward. For example, where the orginal version wonders whether Akira's power might be "divine", the new version wonders if it "comes from God". On the whole I prefer the original text.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For many of us, the first. 27 Jun 2011
By DeeJay
The first Anime movie that left us with our jaws on the floor, our eyes melting and looking for more. Sure, we had G Force and the Japanese/French Animated Cities of Gold, not to mention Dogtanion. But, aside from looking a bit alike and being strangely appealing, a connection to a wider market was mostly never made. When Akira came out I was in my teens and drifting away from "cartoons", but when I got taken along to my local arthouse to see Akira for the first time I abandonded "cartoons" completely and my love for Anime began - I owe it all to Akira.

Firstly, the steelbook is gorgeous and only 10,000 made. Inside we have the movie on Bluray and DVD, coupled with a 32 page collectors booklet. The booklet goes in depth on the sound of Akira, its impact, expression and so on. For a mere 32 pages make no mistake, it isn't a light read but rather something you can get your teeth into.

I have to mention that nobody involved in Akira's making thought it would be a success, as a result most of the original prints were destroyed, or ended up in the hands of overseas collectors. The last time I saw Akira in the cinema (many moons ago) it was an absolute mess and falling to bits. Which makes the work done here all the more impressive. There is a bit of debris over the print, the usual black and white flecks but nothing too distracting from your sofa. The colours reflect the original print and are nice and clear. The animation also holds up well with no jagged edges or wavering. By and large blacks are handled well also. To be honest from a picture point of view I think it's a triumph, it has its flaws but many of them will be inherent from the source and the era in which it was made.

Sound quality (True HD 5.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning cult classic. 8 Aug 2011
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had been meaning to watch this film for a very long time. It is often considered one of the best sci-fi films of all time and has a huge cult following.

I opted to watch the film with English subtitles, although there was the option to see it dubbed also. There is not much in the way of extras on the DVD, however you could see various trailers as well as a behind-the-scenes with interviews.

There is a lot of gratuitous violence throughout the film, so although this is a "cartoon" I would recommend paying attention to the 15 rating if you have children.

The biggest strength of the film is the visuals, which are stunning. The depiction of Neo-Tokyo is brilliant and really shows the vast scale of the city. Action in the film is also really well portrayed, with the fight scenes and bike racing really having a lot of energy and movement. It was really hard to believe whilst watching it that it was made in 1988! I can understand that it really set the bar when it came out, as there is so much anime that is released now that does not have a patch on Akira visually.

Unfortunately the plot and dialogue does not match up to the same quality. Although I understood what was happening it was never explained to a satisfactory level why certain things were happening. I just found that certain choices and events did not make sense as to why they were happening. This hampered my enjoyment somewhat as I found it quite frustrating.

I would heartily recommend this to anyone who likes anime, sci-fi and action films.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazeballs
The movie is amazing and after all these years remains one of the best Manga's ever made. I bought this release as I read elsewhere it contained the original English dubbed audio... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Timothy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely gloriously marvellous if you haven't seen it , you should .
Published 8 days ago by MoaninPost
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great and confusing adaption of the huge manga classic
A vanilla copy,film with a choice of japanese and english audio and subtitles and a trailer as it's only extra.Still a great and confusing adaption of the huge manga classic.
Published 8 days ago by Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars classic
if your into anime , then you most likely already own it , if you've never seen this movie its about time you did , so much detail and time have gone into this movie its amazing ,... Read more
Published 12 days ago by luke
3.0 out of 5 stars Akira
Bought this on the cheap due to recommendations. It's not bad, but not as good as I expected. The animation is wonderful and I love the styling of it. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Gilded Hero
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing
An absolute masterpiece . And with this pricepoint its a must buy. I have nothing else to say about this , its pure gold.
Published 1 month ago by Lauri Oksanen
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated!
I watch a lot of Anime and this was something I heard about a while back. I watched it all the way through and I just found it boring and slow. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cory J
5.0 out of 5 stars Akira - DVD of original film print, 1982
The original - the best - including japanese soundtrack with english subtitles, or english dubbed soundtrack. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Pennington
5.0 out of 5 stars Tetsuo!
So when are they going to make the movie? When? This animated version, great. Pseudo-mystical stuff and Kaneda's stupidly cool bike aside, the action and set pieces are what set... Read more
Published 4 months ago by tel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic transfer of a legendary film
What an amazing blu ray. The only shame is there are not more extras included other than a trailer, but for a fiver I cant complain.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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