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Akira: Vol.1: Bk. 1 [Paperback]

Katsuhiro Otomo
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Feb 2001 Akira
The manga that began it all - now available for a new generation! From master storyteller Katsuhiro Otomo, Japan's foremost manga maestro, comes the epic work that introduced the West to the epic, stylised and sweeping artform that is manga - Akira! This post-apocalyptic saga, set in the remains of Neo-Tokyo, charts the coming of the creature known only as Akira, a power both feared and prized for its potential to shake the recovering world. Caught in a power play between factions of a brutal military organisation, Kaneda - young, restless, committed to defying authority - and Ryu, the leader of an underground movement, are pulled into an escalating nightmare, built around a group of psychically powered children.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (23 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840232579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840232578
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 18 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


To sum up: yes, Akira is a great comic, maybe even the greatest science fiction comic ever created. -- BorderLine 31 March 2002

About the Author

Katsuhiro Otomo is one of the most respected and influential Japanese storytellers in the history of modern comics, and -apart from Akira - his work includes Domu and The Legend of Mother Sarah.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great First Volume 1 Oct 2004
Many people's first exposure to 'Akira' was the 1988 film; epic, visceral, and immensely accomplished, it is widely acknowledged as a classic of modern cinema. But Katsuhiro Otomo's masterpiece originated as a multi-volume comic, hundreds and hundreds of pages long. 'Akira' the comic is superior to 'Akira' the film in many ways; the massive scope of the illustrated work allows it to imagine its future world (Neo-Tokyo) with a breadth and depth impossible in a constrained cinematic timeframe.
And it is not only the visual, architectural splendour of the world that blossoms in this longer format; the social and cultural aspects of the world - the quirks that make every world tick - are also brought brilliantly to life turn. All together, the world of 'Akira' is one of the most vivid worlds to ever be recorded on paper.
This first volume establishes the background, setting up the landscapes (visual, thematic, and narrative) and introducing the characters who will become so compelling central to Otomo's story. The plot itself is too wonderful to spoil, too complex to effectively summarise. It is a book everyone should read and you would be foolish not to buy it now, along with volume two (and perhaps three).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly addictive 23 Jun 2001
By A Customer
In 1992 World War III destroyed Tokyo. Now it's 2030 and Tokyo is still rebuilding itself. It's a hard and cold place where the youth flees in motorcycle-gangs. Enter Tetsuo and Kaneda, two members of the same motorcycle-gang and close friends to each other. Oneday they're racing the Tokyo Highway when Tetsuo crashes suddenly, trying to avoid a little guy who seemed to have appeared out of nothing. Severely injured Tetsuo is taken away by what appears to be an ambulance to habilitate, and the little guy also seems to have disappeared in thin air. The only thing is, his friends can't find out in which hospital he is and they don't know how to reach him. It's as if Tetsuo vanished. Then oneday unexpected Tetsuo re-appears in military school, only somehow he changed. He's got himself one heck of an attitude all of a sudden and Kaneda, the leader of their gang, doesn't take this well. This is the beginning of a hunt by a secret government-instance AND a mysterious underground-group for both Tetsuo and Kaneda, who they think have something they want. Along the way we get to learn more about Tetsuo and Kaneda and the relationship between them, about the weird changes they're going through, about who the strange little guy is who Tetsuo saw on the night of his accident, AND we get to learn that meanwhile the government-instance is also involved with a top-secret project code-named 'Akira'. Next to the already thrilling story you're experiencing in this book you're also treated to high-quality, almost cinematic, art which takes you rapidly and clearly through the story. The only regret you might have after reading this 360-page comic/manga-book is that it's already over and you'll find yourself desperately wanting to get the next volume to see how it continues. I know I did.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Katsuhiro Otomo's post WW3 epic finally gets a re-release and it's about time. This is a classic tale about Neo-Toyko in the year 2030AD and it has it all. Kaneda and his biker gang are typical rebellious 16 year olds when they run into a government conspiracy led by 'the Colonel' and opposed by resistance fighters. A conspiracy concerning psychic kids and something or someone known only as Akira. Mere words cannot do this book justice. This was the story that led to the Manga wave taking off in the Western world and reading book 1 (of 6) quickly makes you realise why Akira was so successful. If you buy book 1 of this series you will be on tenderhooks as you wait for the others. If you are a comic book fan this should be no.1 on your list. Even if you are not, you should give this a look as the story is one of the best I have ever read. Well worth 5 stars and then some.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genius- worth more than 5 stars. a masterpiece. 15 May 2001
I first discovered Akira in 1988 in the fabulous and unfortunately long gone Red Rhino Records in York. What struck me was that this was a Japanese comic book, something of an absolute rarity in the west at the time, lovingly recreated by Epic comics. The story was intriguing, intelligent, spiritual and yet rebelious and unlike anything that I'd ever come across until The Invisibles.
This is more than a comic. The comics I was used to were passe; musclebound idiots, and large breasted bimbos with stupid powers content on smashing up cities whilst fighting their evil and equally dumb counterparts in the quest for truth justice and the American way. Did they ever have any consideration for the tax payer; the inflation of insurance prices and how this would affect mortgages; trade prices and the cost of living for the people they were supposedly defending, as they picked up and hurled cars and buildings at one another?
"All in a days work Mr President"
Metropolis should have asked Superman to go back home!
Akira was different.It had a sense of social struggle. There were drugs, psychics, teenage rebellion wrapped up in a paradigm. An attempt to capture the technolgy of the future in the bland interior settings of the 1950's office blocks and schools.
There were the real feelings and lifelike speech of people affected by their world, in this nonsensical psychic paradox.
There were terrorists, anarchists, and government conspiracies here long before rabbles of Brighton drop outs decided to protest about para-politics, descending upon Oxford Street and taking their aggressions out on a Ryman stationers as they do today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An entry point for any looking to get into Japanese manga
I was highly skeptical before purchasing Akira, as I have never really grasped what was so appealing about manga, but I decided the first volume was worth a look after seeing the... Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by G Leahy
5.0 out of 5 stars A science-fiction epic which changed the cultural landscape.
Around twenty years ago I sat open-jawed as I introduced myself to the 1988 Akira film. I don't think I quite 'got it' when I was eleven, but it was a visual marvel and is... Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2011 by @GeekZilla9000
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch the film for the visuals, read the manga for the epicness
A classic show of strength from the mighty Katsuhiro Otomo, delving into the dangers of overpopulation, globalization and the rush for technology, and it's all told from the... Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2008 by Mr. Mf Jamma
5.0 out of 5 stars The best manga ever written
Akira, possibly the most famous graphic novel ever, begins here with this three hundred and fifty nine page first volume. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2007 by A. Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves It's Recognition
WOW! Katsuhiro Otomo, what a fantastic manga writer/artist. Not only AKIRA (1982-1990) is one of the greatest mangas of all time, it's one of the greatest books ever written. Read more
Published on 18 May 2007 by D. W. Bissett
5.0 out of 5 stars You NEED this book
I cannot stress how important this book is. This book changed manga, it animation, it changed science fiction, it influenced black and white independent comics, it influence... Read more
Published on 25 Jan 2003 by Marc Ellerby
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the film
Same Plot, same characters and even the same story, but told in a completely different way. I bought this book because I loved Akira the film, and I wanted to read the original... Read more
Published on 14 May 2002 by B. Grewcock
5.0 out of 5 stars A truely essential manga masterpiece
Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira is, frankly, brilliant. The plot is everything it should be: complex, layered and interesting. Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly a masterpiece of manga by K.O!!
I have enjoyed reading every single page of this book, and I'm not lying! My favourite bt personally is at the beginning when Kaneda is wearing his lovely shiny, black jacket. Read more
Published on 20 Dec 2001 by
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Perfect.
I won't bore any of you with the plot details - there are many reviews that already cover it - and if you've managed to get this far with Akira then you must have an idea of the... Read more
Published on 19 Dec 2001 by
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