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Customer Review

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute Masterpiece, 2 Feb 2003
This review is from: Akira [DVD] (DVD)
To call Akira a piece of 'classic' Manga would be a serious insult. This isn't just a piece of Manga history that has found its way into the hearts of millions - this is Manga incarnate. Without Akira it's very possible that us Westerners would never have got to see a single Manga film!
This was a massive hit over here and off the back of this landmark piece other Manga titles began to flow. And you know what? This is still better than most of them! The vibrant colours of the breathtaking Tokyo cityscape and the crisp sharp images that assault the mind show up most other films of its kind to date. This is something that has been improved on further still with this DVD that features a remastered picture as well as sound.
The soundtrack in particular makes this a worthwhile purchase on its own - even if you do already own the film. The music is, as ever, superb in Akira but the entire English dub has been completely redone for this special edition to give you speech that is not only good but also very convincing.
The story is something of a testament to the whole Manga name. It delivers all the usual themes but still manages to keep you firmly in its grasp right up until the explosive ending. Akira revolves around a group of bikers who stumble across a government run testing program that is trying to unleash (and control) psychic powers. Powers that lie dormant in all human beings - Unfortunately for them their latest subject and gang member Tetsuo becomes a little bit unstable to say the least. The result is some explosive animation and a deserved two-disc set.
After seeing some other fantastic two-disc sets this package may be a bit of a let down to the compulsive DVD buyer. The film alone is well worth a purchase with its remastered sound and picture but the extras aren't quite as forthcoming as you might expect from such a cult piece of Manga. The second disc contains all of the goodies but you get the distinct feeling that everything could've fitted onto one disc.
Having said that, big fans of the film should not be disappointed by the 'Production Report'. Basically a making-of documentary, this runs for 50 minutes and includes an obscene amount of behind-the-scenes footage. You get to see the offices where Akira was made (an amazing feat!) and scenes from the film being sketched out. Not to mention interviews with the voice artists, real artists and director.
It's the rest of the second disc that really destroys the whole package. The gallery, although extensive, is fairly pointless and the 'create your own trailer' feature is pretty much a joke when put next to discs like Men In Black. However, Akira is still one amazing piece of work and this is one of those cases where you should buy regardless of the extras. Even the non-Manga types usually enjoy Akira and this DVD is sure to win over many more to the ways of Japanese animation. Buy it now, sit back and enjoy the holocaust.
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