Mangaka: Katsuhiro Otomo
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Completed with 6 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 3/5
After World War III, Tokyo was rebuilt upon what was left of an unknown blast that left the city in ruins.
Two rebellious best friends never thought they would turn on each other. One day, they are biking down the streets with their gang. Until Tetsuo gets into an accident, trying to avoid running over a passerby. With him taken away to be cared for, Kaneda does not know that their friendship will never be the same again. Paranormal activities suddenly arise, secret organizations come out into play, and there is a mysterious and absolutely powerful force that exists to destroy the entire planet.
For all anime and manga fans out there, Akira was known to be one of the biggest series back in the 80s. I could definitely see why it was extremely popular but unfortunately, I am not a fan of it.
With over 350 pages, the first volume of Akira follows a fast-paced action story that revolves mainly around Kaneda as he get dragged into this underground world, trying to understand what had happened to Tetsuo. It is the kind of manga where you would have to read it slowly and take in everything to understand it clearly. I thought the setup was way too shonen for my liking. Kaneda's and Tetsuo's friends were all delinquents along with themselves and they go to a school where no one cares as students disrespect their teachers and so on. Unlike the characters you see today in mangas with colourful hairs and distinctive looks, in Akira all of the characters were portrayed after real people. It got me mixed up who was who because everyone looked somewhat similar.
I noticed that Akira, as an earlier manga, panels were quite American. As in, they do not overlap each other and leads you cleanly to the next picture. I did, however, liked the attention Otomo put into the backgrounds. The time and dedication was really shown in his artwork if you observe the characters' expressions and giant buildings.
I suggest Akira for fans of sci-fi mangas that still work around realism. It is very lengthy and the reader must have patience to read through it to fully enjoy.
Review copy provided by Del Rey.