February 24, 2011

Reviews in Retrograde: Akira

Critical Outcast isn't my first attempt at a website, I had a few stutter steps in the late 1990's and early 2000's. These attempts generated a whole bunch of poorly written, often very short and spoilerific reviews. I recently stumbled upon them in my archives and thought you may be interested in seeing some of these early attempts at writing. They are as they were then, I make no apologies for how bad or how short they are. Feel free to have at them with reckless abandon! I present to you: Reviews in Retrograde.


Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activist, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo's supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira's secrets were buried 30 years ago.

Strange movie, and my first foray into the world of anime, or Japanimation. The Japanese style of animation is unlike anything here in America. For one thing 'cartoons' aren't just for kids, they are produced for the adult audience as well. The results are post-apocalyptic science fiction stories such as this one. This is the story of Tetsuo a young member in a motorcycle gang. The story is hard to understand, but that doesn't stop it from being a wildly entetaining and action packed ride. Apparently a psychic force called Akira is about to return to thiscity of Neo Tokyo as the worl dthreatens to fall apart. Tetsuo ends up being driven insane due to experiments into the nature of Akira. This is the main brunt of the story. My favorite character in the movie was Kinaida. This is because he is the most human, complete with his faults and tendency for acts of heroism. He has some of the best scenes, particularly the one in the police station.

Wild and unpredictable, a fantastic film. If you wish to be initiated into anime, start here.

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