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A post-nuclear-bomb Neo-Tokyo is home to motorcycle gangs and wierd scientific experiments…

I’ve been hosting an anime/manga discussion group at my library, and practically everyone I talk to about it says, Have you seen Akira?

So now, yes, I have seen Akira. And it was, well, okay.

It was totally not what I expected, and in fact not what it seemed to be at first. It’s an animated movie, and starts off with telling the viewer how a nuclear bomb got dropped on Tokyo in WWIII and it’s now 30 years later, life is back to business as usual. Then you get rival fighting motorcycle gangs (including Kaneda, one of Our Heroes, on the coolest motorcycle, of course) and it looks like Mad Max time. But no! life is pretty much normal in Neo-Tokyo, these kids even go to school. So Kaneda’s friend Tetsuo gets taken by these military type people who do wierd mind-enhancement experiments on children, and then the plot gets kinda strange, including a really 2001-ish ending.

The story moves fast, lots of action, the characters are good, and easy to distinguish from each other (always a plus, especially for me). But the best part is the animation: the motorcycles, the city, the action scenes, which are really amazing, even twenty years later.

A classic, fun to watch, worth your time, but rent don’t buy.

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