on 17 March 2011
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 (superb) anime film adaptation, I was shocked at how accessible and entertaining this was to read and thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking to get into what is fast becoming Japan's biggest export.
on 19 December 2001
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 story. But one thing that will surprise you about the graphic novels is the sheer size and scale of it all.
I was introduced to Akira after buying the film when it came out in 1989 on video, and have always loved it. But reading the novels is another thing - there is so much detail, such an amazing atmosphere with each scene - the setup and design is out of this world, whenever a location is changed you know exactly what kind of atmosphere it is with nothing more than a simple image - its amazing. Buy them all now - im hooked and cant wait to read the rest.
on 25 January 2003
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 writers, artists, animators, directors, designers..the list is endless. The Akira legacy starts here and Otomo is about to grab you by the scruff of the neck and shout "Pay attention! This is the future!"
Otomo crafts a story about two young boys Kaneda and Tetseuo, two biker kids who throughout the book get themselves deeper and deeper into a mess they can't seem to get out of. Otomo deals with friendship, politics, science and action, there's so much in this wonderfully written book that with every read you start to notice little things that you didn't catch the first time.
Akira is by no means a light read, clocking in at around 600 pages (and this is the first book of, correct me if I'm wrong, 6) all remastered and repackaged by Dark Horse comics. Otomo's work looks clearer and smoother than it ever has. The only thing that really did irritate me was the inclusion of Sound effects throughout the book, UGLY typography covering up Otomo's career defining artwork. If you can get past that, you're okay, it's only a slight complaint.
Want a book to get you into Manga, or comics in general? Try Akira out for size, it's money well spent (cheap too, considering the size of the damn thing.) If you're looking for a shorter read may I suggest Otomo's "Domu." A slightly darker tale about a telepathic child.
on 9 March 2001
I dont own this book. the library owns this book. i went to the library and read this book. all of it. in one sitting. words cannot describe this book, which is why i'm having trouble here. if you read one book in your life, make sure its this one. buy it. i am.
on 7 April 2001
For some reason, I have avoided Akira in its various forms before now. I can't really say why, so I suspect I have just never got around to it. This 350-odd page volume is the first of several, apparently in excess of 2000 pages all up, so I'd assume there will be about 7 volumes.
Set in Neo-Tokyo post-World War III (which started in 1992 - I mean, I know I was busy but I would have thought I'd have noticed!), the first volume revolves around a motor cycle gang of 17 year olds in a "youth vocational training school" who become entangled with the conflict between a government project involving people with psychic powers and a guerilla force that opposes them. And Akira? Who knows for certain... Various people use the word with a sense of something big that is anticipated, but the reader doesn't know exactly what.
While I find (as is often the case) some of the behavior of characters in manga to occasionally border on the ridiculous (I don't have much time for people behaving oddly in order to raise a laugh with the reader), the story progresses quite reasonably and the art is generally quite good, although the manga-style of overly cartooning expressions can be annoying if you aren't expecting it.
As to getting the whole series... Not 100% sure, but certainly there is enough interest in this one to guarantee I'll be getting the second volume at the very least.
on 8 July 2001
Set in Neo Tokyo in the year 2030 a new type of bomb has exploded over Japan which triggers World War 3. Thirty years later two boys, Kaneda and Tetsuo are about to discover what caused it! This is a BRILLIENT grapic novel and I recommend it to anyone! Although a little violent this is a must have for any manga fan (and if your not a manga fan this is an excellent book to start off with!
on 12 February 2001
...This book goes beyond what I had hoped. I had previously only read short extracts near the end of the story, not truly knowing what was going on, but now that i have read this, the first of 6 parts (at 359 pages! HOW BIG??) I KNOW i need the other 5. The storytelling, the dialogue, the imagery are all simply brilliant. This is a great start to one of the most thrilling and influential books you'll ever read! GET IT NOW!!! WHY ARE YOU STILL READING???? DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME?!!?!?!?!? BUY IT!!!!
on 14 March 2001
I saw the film first which was great but once i started to read the book, i saw that it much superior in every way, i recomend this book to everyone its probably one of the best books ill ever read apart from the other five parts. Buy it now