Akira Movie

Survey of Animation, Movie Review, Writing

Akira was a film written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo, this is part of a Japanese series and started airing in December of 1988. When translated into English, Akira was he first manga works to be translated fully. Otomo started animating in 1973 and is known for using technology in his work. His illustrating in this film is known as outstanding and a breakthrough.

This is the first anime film to be shown in America, bringing Japanese media and animation out. Akira was well accepted because of the theme involved, a theme of government corruption and that had not before been part of an anime film. Anime before had been mostly for children with ‘childish’ problems, this is the first film that involved a ‘adult’ problem. Akira gave Disney Studios the idea for Aladdin, with putting ‘adult problems’ in cartoons, when Aladdin came to theaters, adults and children wanted to watch it.

Akira is done using illustrations then adding color and sound to them. Since Otomo wanted the film to be at night without much light, the film was shot with a background, then another layer of illustrations, then the actual layer to get a dim look. This film had 160,000 animation cells and 783 scenes; this film is still known as one of the most fluid animated movies ever. 

Compared to other films in 1988, Akira is the start of adult anime in the United States. The year prior, although some anime films were around, they were focused on attracting children instead of adults like Akira. Around the same time, Katsuhiro Otomo made two films prior, Neo Tokyo and Robot Carnival, although Otomo was involved in these films, he was only part of the film making process, unlike in Akira were he was the main director, writer, and illustrator. Akira  is unique because of who the projected audience was, in this anime film the projected audience was adults, as in other anime and animation films the projected audience was children.

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