Anime Abandon - Akira

(159 votes, average 4.30 out of 5)
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Comments (211)
  • Sieg-sama
    avatar
    Akira may be technically advanced, but stands in my mind as the prototypical "bad by design", "too deep to be good", "we look awesome so our story is nonsensical" anime.
    And I hated every second of it.
    Ninja Scroll thankfully was my first anime, so I am happy that Akira didn't shape my views on the medium.
  • kkre4368  - YUP
    avatar
    Nova Exacta.
  • TheeGoatPig
    avatar
    Ok, you missed what she was equating to.

    Amoebas are to people as people are to Tetsuo. That is what amoebas had to do with anything. If an amoeba was turned into a human it would destroy all humans because it wouldn't know how to be human. Tetsuo was turned into a super-human and didn't know how to be one, so he could do a hell of a lot more damage than a human-amoeba.

    Got it now?
  • chrismccart
    avatar
    I'm more than a little surprised you didn't review the new dub that was produced during the early 2000s - it's by the same company and it's FAR better!! If you're going to judge a foreign movie by a dub, it seems strange to judge the one that's less accurate to the source material - but then maybe you did it mainly for comedic value.

    And as far as for the flying into outerspace but - I'd usually be the first one to roll my eyes at it, except you can plainly see an energy field outlining him. If he and do everything else he's doing, why can't he buffer himself against outerspace? Just a thought.

    As for the police station bombing at the beginning, it always kinda made my eyes widen, since I took it that the dud-grenade actually went off in the end - but even if it wasn't that, it does show the climate of unrest that the country is in.

    While it's not my favourite anime movie, I do enjoy it and I find it strange that you'd complain about not having all the details about the country and government at the beginning when it does exactly what it's meant to do - putting you in the shoes of the biker gang who have just given up trying to care about the country and its problems, and are now only interested in their own little turf-war. It's a great example of movie atmosphere IMO.
  • STRAKER
    avatar
    Yeah see, this is what I was thinking. I always felt like a lot of the finer details were implied. I also was aware that there was a cultural gap so I wasn't going to get everything...I also seen this with subtitles instead of this bad early dub. XD This really was the first anime I had seen but I still understood many of the things they were presenting. The flying into space thing, like you said he was surrounded by energy. I kinda figured he was doing something to protect himself. The police station bombing, that indeed was supposed to be a delayed explosion by the dud grenade. I got that way back in 91 when I first seen it. I was 14...I can't imagine I'm much smarter than anyone else...

    As for a lot of the things left out of the film from the Manga, I never got that there was something missing that didn't explain things or that there were things added that had no context. Wait a bit, pay attention and you learn why the government is shit and why there are protests and bombings. Hell you meet the bureaucrats that are causing the problems. They get mowed down later. It's not like all of this isn't explained, they just don't give you all the backstory up front and some of it you will only understand if you aren't a dumbass.


    Hate to say it Sage but I was 14 when I had seen this and I got it and I knew nothing about anime in general and never read the manga...what's your excuse?
  • JousterRed
    avatar
    Well he explained that at the start of the review. THIS is the dub that was passed around and made into a cult phenomenon. Not the 2000 re-dub.

    This adaptation is what anime fans and friends of anime fans sat down and watched and either raved over or scratched their head at the utter praise that it received over and over.

    I was always one of the latter. I would like to see the re-dub though.
  • BooRat  - TGP
    avatar
    thank you you got the meaning too! XD
  • CrashTestGenius  - Ok, you missed the point of the review
    "...I think the best way to look at the film is through the viewpoint of someone seeing it for the first time. It's 1991, and we know nothing of the 2000-page manga, we know little if anything about anime, and our best friend has rented the movie and is FORCING us to watch it under the pretense that it will BLOW OUR MINDS." - 2:22

    Therefore, he was essentially reviewing this as a character who knows nothing about the film, its history, or any explanations or discussions on the film or its manga counterpart.

    In short - he fucking knows, but was shooting for comedy, which you missed out on. Sorry 'bout that.
  • ran76
    I understood it as a comparison. Compared to humans, amoebas are less than nothing. To Tetsuo, humans are now like amoebas
  • jcwainc  - in the words of spinal tap
    2 word review " your stupid!"
  • Skeletroy
    avatar
    Wow, a two word review and you only spelled 50% of the words right. Great job! A+!
  • Lotus Prince
    avatar
    "2 word review " your stupid!"

    My stupid? My stupid what?

    Three words: your grammar sucks.
  • SirEverett  - grammar
    grammar?

    grammar crackers where?

    now I'm hungry: you suck at fighting hunger :p
  • Bagman  - Pronouciation
    Stop saying that all the voice deliveries suck if you can't even pronounce their names!

    It's pronounced Ka ne da
    Not Kaeneeda!!

    Geez
  • TooMuchFreeTime
    When I saw this movie the first time I was fairly disturbed by it. Especially the part where Tetsuo's power goes out of control.

    19:15 - When I heard this line when I saw it as a kid I was totally confused, but now to me it sounds like she's saying that Tetsuo's power is LIKE giving an amoeba a human's power (he's become a god) and now like an overpowered amoeba hes going to consume (destroy) everything around him.
  • BooRat  - TMFT
    avatar
    Exactly!
  • Sockpuppet
    avatar
    Exactly-- What she was saying was, if an amoeba were given the "power" of a human, it wouldn't build things, it would just do what an amoeba does, eat and destroy. The amazing part is that Kaneda figures out that she's even talking about Tetsubo!

    Her whole speech leading up to that is sort of a retarded version of the Eastern idea of chi, that everything has a unique life force.
  • JMShearer
    Akira may very well be the 2001: A Space Odyssey of anime. It took me several viewings over the course of several years to get 2001, but I think I kind of do now. The same could easily apply to Akira. I remember seeing it once when my brother rented a copy when we were in college, and I was so confused by it that I've never bothered trying to watch it again for a lot of the reasons you talked about here.

    But anyway, now that I'm watching Anime Abandon regularly, I'm starting to like it. Here's to more in weeks to come!
  • PlayMp1
    avatar
    Hell, it's probably similar in the adaptation decay aspects of it too. 2001 was pretty easy to understand as a book, but as a movie, was way the fuck out there.
  • YukoValis
    avatar
    My first Anime. It means a lot to me. Sure the voice acting was horrible, but one didn't care about that when they are little. What's more when you go from simple cartoons to Anime, it's going to be draw dropping.

    p.s. that explosion early in the movie, I believe that's from the grenade. Some guy ran into the place trying to blow himself up with it, but it didn't go off. So a guard took it, looking at it curiously why it didn't go off. So yeah, the main characters walk out, and it went off.
  • BooRat
    avatar
    I think that was also explained that th psychic kids were protecting the girl since it's stated her mind is perfect for them to channel their powers threw! So they stopped the grenade from going off til she was safely away!
  • Daniel2112  - Simple Cartoons to Anime
    avatar
    I... very much have to contest this statement. It very much depends on which "simple cartoons" you go from and which anime you go to. For me, it was from the wild, wacky, and often times very subtle humor of classic Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies shorts repackaged as Saturday Morning Cartoons back in the late 70s/early 80s to formulaic schlock like Robotech and Voltron. And once I was old enough to understand what anime actually was, that there was a name to put to this distinct (and to me, very annoying) art style and presentation, what was I given to assuage my fears that the aforementioned titles was all there was to it? I shit you not, my "friends" gave me Guyver and Urotsukidoji. They didn't even warn me about what the latter title entailed, and it was the explicit version. I had nightmares for months.

    So yeah, that put me off anime for well over a decade. If not for Adult Swim, I'd still be ignoring the genre, and I'm still very picky about what I'll touch.
  • Ichi
    LOL I have perfect blue too, I only watched it once
    anyway yeah I agree with you, Akira is more about the visuals seeing as the story is stripped and diluted for the short film version
    If you want to see diluted you should check out the live action gantz adaption
    they manage to turn the epic suzuki alien fight into something short and hilarious
  • Thatpirate
    avatar
    I was about 8 when I first saw this. I rented it from my local video store and invited my friend Jimmy to see it. We had the exact same reaction, "What just happened." We actually saw the Japanese version because that was all my video store had, so I never knew how bad the dub was.
  • Gundam4ever
    avatar
    You've been releasing more videos lately. I like that.
  • Trilaanus
    avatar
    Observer 1: Please, do not be afraid.

    Observer 2/ Brain Guy: Welcome, and try to comprehend us.

    Mike: Duuuuuh okay.

    Crow Comprehend what?

    Observer 1: Ohhh, you are to us as an amoeba is to you.
  • Gamegirl22
    6:38

    I-is that Porky from Earthbound??? Sure looks like him especially with that capsule he's in.
  • EhrinJ
    avatar
    I always thought he looked more like cartman than porky...but that was because I hadn't played earthbound till after seeing Akira
  • mrskippy
    avatar
    Speaking of, during the mind battle, I half expected Sage to cut to the South Park scene where Cartman has a "psychic battle" with that whole group of "psychics."

    *nininiininini*
  • Desertpunk23
    I'll never get it when someone says "it's not good but I like it" Like they're apologizing for their taste and telling everyone "hey everyone you can still like me I don't really like this crap"

    For something to be considered good it seems it must hit every single note of the standard and still be refreshing and deep. I call BS, what's good is subjective at any rate.

    So gotta disagree here sage, the dubbing isn't horrid and the movie in all is enjoyable for anime fans.
  • Vedli
    avatar
    Okay, no. Saying you like something bad is just a way of saying yes I can see how flawed this product is but I like it regardless. Have you never heard of a guilty pleasure? It's like fast food. It's not good for you but man is it tasty.

    Also for something to be good it must "it must hit every single note of the standard and still be refreshing and deep", wow, that is some pretentious hipster bullshit right there.

    Oh and while your entitled to your some what smug opinion I think I'm going to agree with Sage, the original dub is terrible.
  • Desertpunk23
    I notice you managed to take that 2nd quote out of context and made it sound the exact opposite of what I meant.

    If my opinion is smug wtf does that make yours? O and of course you can label most movies bad if you compare them to Casablanca or Citizen Kane; that's real hipster BS.
  • Lotus Prince
    avatar
    No one ever said that something has to be considered good to be liked. I legitimately enjoy The Dungeonmaster, but that is clearly not a good movie.
  • lifesucks
    Humanoid
    -Having human characteristics or form yet lacking the nature of a human being"

    -an automaton that resembles a human being"

    So no Sage Humanoid doesn't mean being Human it means resembling a Human. Nice to see that Tetsuo's comment just completely sailed over you head. What it was saying was that he wasn't going to be kept like a pet, a fake human.
  • sissi
    avatar
    But thats...pretty much EXACTLY what Sage said?
    "Humanoid just means you look like a human being...you idiot.”

    So the argument could still be applied in a reasonable fashion.
  • rockybalboa211
    avatar
    I gave you four stars out of five because you made fun of the magnificent speaking skills (articulation) of Film Brain! I would be honored to be taught by him the British Accent/Tongue! :)

    I also wanted to say that this season of Anime Abandon was fantastic! :D
    Thank you, Sage!
  • NickDanger
    Eh, as much I enjoy Film Brain's reviews, I've noticed that too. It seems like he draws out part of every sentence lately, usually the last worrrrrrrrrd.
  • Moodyman
    Ah yes... Akira. I was spared the old dub and got the much better one apparently. Still, that doesn't stop it from being confusing and convoluted as hell.
    Picture this, age 13, early 2000s, willing to watch anything remotely stated to be anime, Midnight. By the time it was done, around 2 AM, I was confused as all hell. I liked the movie, still do and will still watch it, but I have to agree that it's bad. But the old dub Sage shown here? Killed brain cells.
  • TheBrigeedaRocks
    avatar
    Wait.

    Do my ears deceive me?

    Is the voice of Kaneda(?)...Leonardo from the 80s TMNT series?!
  • Trilaanus
    avatar
    Your ears do not deceive you!
  • TheBrigeedaRocks
    avatar
    My mind, she is blown.

    Just like my chunks on the floor from seeing that massive tumor-like thing that Tetsuo turns into at the end.
  • Valis77
    avatar
    Yes thats Cameron Clarke
  • Malchik
    The manga is a million times better than the film.

    But I'll give them props for re-structuring/ fabricating a new script instead of cramming volumes of story into a feature length movie like DUNE attempted.
  • HolyKatana
    Well, it probably helped that the author of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, just so happened to also be the writer and director of the film.

    And while Dune definitely sucked, it's worth noting that David Lynch wasn't allowed to have the final cut, and so about an hour was taken out of what he intended to be the final film. And while now Universal has tried to get Lynch to do a director's cut, he's continually refused it for whatever reason. I'm not saying it would've been amazing, but at the very least, it would have been a real David Lynch film instead of a truncated, partially rewritten and refilmed one that the executives at Universal decided was "better."
  • jimbob123432
    avatar
    I've got to agree with Sage on this one. I've tried to explain a lot of parts of this movie to other members of my university's anime club, but a lot just doesn't make sense and I usually end up just saying "go read the manga". Also, I like the equation to 2001: A Space Odyssey, because it's very suitable: a good movie that is very confusing at some points and very boring at others.
  • leosignit  - Amoeba thing
    avatar
    The amoeba thing kid of makes sense but it's still a stupid comparison.
  • Mizi
    avatar
    Sadly, most of the anime movies that I've seen don't make much sense. It's something that fans just have to learn to live with.

    I will say that at least I could follow the plot of Perfect Blue, I thought it was a good movie. It's comparable to the Black Swan.
  • milleniummaster18  - Overrated, but still good.
    avatar
    I've never watched Akira, yet I have heard numerous hearsay about how good it is. Due to this, it seemed to me that all that good rep made the film overrated. And, in a way, I was right.

    Nevertheless, the fact that the film stands good ground, even with its flaws, gives me a bigger incentive to respect it as one of the many idols in not only anime, but also movies in general.
  • wdbisl
    avatar
    It's weird and sad to say, but I've never actually seen Akira. Prior to this review I had hardly any knowledge about it expect it was ground breaking and important to anime culture. Now after seeing this review I honestly don't want to watch it. I mean I like watching stuff that actually has a good or somewhat decent plot. Maybe one of these days I will change my mind and watch it, but for now just doesn't seem to interesting to me. Anyway I can't wait for the perfect blue review!
  • Magmabear
    Yeah, we're in the same boat. Never watched the movie, always wanted to... now I really don't want to touch it.
  • KenxKao  - Misinterpretation.
    avatar
    Hay sage, I like this review, and I like your style, but there is one thing in this review that you just misinterpreted entirely.

    I wouldn't harp on it usually, but you made it a running gag throughout the review onward.

    So here it is: She was using amoebas as a metaphor for human beings, and that if you give a human the power of a God then they will want to destroy everyone and everything stronger than them. I will admit that the way it was phrased made it hard to understand, but . . . . yeah, you missed the mark of what she was trying to say. I know I was not the first to point this out, and I don't think I will be the last either.

    Other than that, yeah, this is a weak adaptation at best, and barely scratches the cerfice of the manga.

    wait . . . . you're reviewing Perfect Blue next time 0_0, dude, you better have Marz Girl at LEAST make a cameo or do a crossover (otherwise, I think she will kill you.)!
  • Basilisk1991
    avatar
    I have to agree with sage's initial reaction, it's a poorly worded metaphor, if people weren't pointing it out that's the conclusion I would have come to, it's not a bad metaphor per se, just a poorly worded one.
  • Animikean
    avatar
    It was 1993, Christmas. The "cooler" uncle got me Akira. I watched it once and tossed that tape into the wastebasket hoping never to be asked if I liked the gift.

    Let me say even at that time, I loved cartoons, horror, weird stuff, Twilight Zone, fantasy and sci-fi. I think between this, dragonball and pokemon my appreciation of anime was set back five years.
  • Dr Forrester
    avatar
    I saw this movie and remember being floored by the art but being left extremely confused in the end. Thankfully some years later I got the manga which was about a million times better, and this time there were no voices
  • BooRat
    avatar
    I cannot express HOW MUCH I'VE WAITED FOR THIS!!
    Ok I had to take a few points off the review as I did get the point of that speech Kai gave. Granted I grew up more on the much better dubbing on DVD releases of the movie not the crappy early VHS one. I'm sure some one above my comment here has already stated this but I'm going to give it a shot too. The whole thing wasn't he's gained the power of "amoebas" wasn't what they meant. It was an allegory for what was happening to Tetsuo. What they were basically hinting at was he has became too evolved too fast as they were trying to put it he is what an Amoeba would become if given the powers of a human. Basically Tetsuo has evolved into a god basically but he retains the mindset and short coming of a normal human mind... basically he got the powers to do anything he can think of but he lacks the mental stability of omnipotence to control them. That said is why i love the movie so much I like the idea of powers of a freaking god being given to basically an as you put it and so do I when describing it sometimes an "emo" teenager!
    As for why he wanted to meet Akira is he still has an Neapolitan complex and he's heard there is another like him with equal or greater power than his own and wants to fight him basically... DBZ complex in anime as I like to think of it!
    Now I've read the 1st 3 of the Mangas in the series which are what the movie is mostly made up of with tiny bits taken here and there fromt he later books to fill stuff in and I love it a lot more than the anime yes because it does give you all the details of why things are the way they are and all the character back stories!
    Like why is Akira such a well known name when it was a secret government experiment... well that man/lady(it's a woman in the books but a man dubs in in both English versions of the anime) is an escaped/reject from the project and has low level psychic powers and after escape during the big bang thing started a cult/political movement against the experiments.
    The Blue kids are all actually about 50 year old people they're keep in a child like state threw drugs given to them to help manage their powers. Which those drug play a much more interesting part in the books.
    Oh and on the thing about the lasers and the space canon effecting Tetsuo it's the same basic rule as in most comics and movies about characters with powers like his if you catch them off guard their shield is down... basically meaning if those soldiers were smart like real military they could've killed him easily while he was strolling down the street with a single sniper bullet to the back of his head. But like idiots they keep doing frontal attacks that he can see coming and deflect!
    Well that's enough defending of this movie for now til I think of more! XD

    Oh, cewl Perfect Blue is next? The movie they ripped Black Swan off of! XD
  • STRAKER
    avatar
    Yeah see, I got most of what you said you got from reading the manga, from just watching the anime. I'm sure there's a wealth of info in the manga too but I never had a problem following what was happening in the anime. I just don't get why people do...I suppose these are the same people that think Inception is so deep and complex and have never seen stuff like Perfect Blue or Paprika.
  • Turcano
    avatar
    Man, you had the perfect opportunity to do a callback to The Humanoid and you blew it.

    Also, regarding the shot at 5:00 where the riot cop shoots a guy with a gas grenade at point blank range, maybe I'm missing some context, but the pure unnecessary dickishness of that act can't help but be hilarious.
  • PopCultureOtaku
    avatar
    Oh akira. I didn't streamline version at all. Then I rewatch the pioneer/geneon dub and actually liked it better. Streamline dub is horrible. Johnny Young Bosch as Kaneda in the newer one. Oh crap perfect blue. That is going to be interesting.
  • Minion of Yahtzee
    avatar
    And aslo don't forget Tetsuo who was played by Tai from Digimon. But then again I think you knew that.
  • Tonicky
    avatar
    Akira was meh to me...didn't dislike it just didn't care.
  • TopsideCrisis346
    My name is Topside and I approve of your next review. B)

    But seriously, GE999. Do it. Now.
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