10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Playful, virtuoso and extravagant yet scarily realistic,
This review is from: Akira: Vol. 2: Bk. 2 (Paperback)
Those of you who are already familliar to the world of Akira, be it through the first volume of MANGA or the motion picture version will be very pleased with the way events unfold in this second version of almost unsurpassable artistic virtuosity.
Considering the conclusion of the film, anyone familliar with its events will be pleasantly surprised or unnerved by the ending of this book as it represents the largest deviation from the filmed version which the first book followed in vague chronological order, something i will not reveal as it would be all too dissapointing in the long run.
The condensed action here, all located around Kaneda and Kei's escape from the Colonel's security forces and Tetsuo's further psychic awakenings is crisply staged and the scenes of psychological and scientific discussion do not grate with Kaneda's sometimes two-dimensional propensity for switching between action and bewilderment.
Socio-political debates arise around the nature of scientific curiosity and the ethical stance of most of the main characters are brought into focus, further fleshing out their (mostly) rounded characters, this is most obviously shown in the character of the Colonel, a character rightly given a strong sense of righteous opinion who in my opinion becomes one of the most sympathetic and rounded creations in the whole series.
As with the first volume, Otomoto lets loose his anarchic streak by giving Tetsuo a goal and the means to acheive it, be it through psychic frenzies or sly manipulation, interestingly Tetsuo's lacklustre participation of a psychological attitude test mimics the one used in Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange to deduce the 'evil' Alex's mental state.
Along with Book 5 I would hazard to say that this is the best one in the series and, like almost all of the other books, Otomoto ends with a flourish and a marvellously enigmatic and thought provoking final image to carry the reader over to the next editiona and to encourage another twenty-five odd pounds to leave your bank balance, all in all, marvellous, destructive, ethical and 'ripping' (hehehe, you'll see) fun.