Blu-ray review: Akira

CAST your mind back to the late 80s – an animated film was released that would define the Manga genre and lead the way in Anime.

Akira was universally acclaimed as it set the standard for everything that followed.

Now, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Manga Entertainment, Akira has been released on Blu-ray. Hard to imagine, but the new, cleaner look improves an already fantastic feature.

Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, it’s the year 2019. The aftermath of World War III has resulted in the creation of Neo-Tokyo and motorcycle gangs rule the roads.

Two high school kids – Kaneda and Tetsuo – come across a secret government plan to create the ultimate weapon using humans with telekinetic powers.

When Tetsuo discovers his peer, Akira, a battle of wits commences as the teenager challenges the project’s most powerful subject.

The violence and blood-letting in this stunning animation is quite astonishing and it definitely set the standard for a whole slew of cheap imitations which inevitably followed.

That isn’t to say there aren’t some fantastic Manga/Anime releases, but Akira certainly got the ball rolling with the futuristic setting, bone-crunching violence and visceral action.

The style in Akira has, amazingly, refused to become dated over the years, still managing to look fresh and new despite its age.

Blu-ray has done a lot for the home-cinema experience and this is no different, with a brilliant clarity and luscious colours and cityscapes.

Akira may be over 20 years old, but it still keeps up with the big boys of the 21st century, relying on a great story, interesting characters and on-screen action that would make some live-action movies jealous.

A must have for your Blu-ray collection, if ever you needed one.

Akira is available to buy on Blu-ray now.

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