Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Film reviews - Akira (1988 - Katsuhiro Ohtomo)

I wont lie, im not a fan of this kind of style of animation, but hey for what it is its pretty damn good! Many people regard this as the greatest anime of all time. The story is complex and makes the audience think fully about the story it depicts. The voice acting, which is performed in both English and Japanese is executed well, the animation is carefully detailed for its style and uses techniques to really symbolise what the animation is trying to display to the audience.

Set in Tokyo in 2019 (not far off huh!) the government is trying to re-build the landscapes after World War III. The frightening thing is the way the world is right now, who's to say this isn't possible! Anyway, the neo-culture displayed somewhat is too much of a jump ahead of modern reality however portrays a brilliant artistic depiction of a futuristic world scenario. The main character and of whom the film revolves around is the biker Tetsuo Shima, who has psychic powers. The biker gang member Shotaro Kaneda, tries to prevent Tetsuo from unleashing the powerful and dangerous psychic Akira. After discovering these powers, Tetsuo goes mad with power, and tries to release Akira once again. It’s up to Kaneda and his side kick Kei to prevent Tetsuo from potentially destroying the world with his abilities.

The animation is this gets very violent and disturbing, sometimes I feel that animated violence can be more unnerving than real life depictions as you know it comes directly from someones mind onto paper. It's not for the faint hearted, put it that way. Not only is it visually highly violent (especially for its era) but it is one of the first films that indulges in the subject of phsycic powers. 

The visual basis of this film is highly detailed, yet typical of the stylistic anime trend with a high patience threshold  to the team who brought this visual masterpeice to life. The colour schemes used are typical of its time, lots of duller colours which are also used darkly with a high concentration on lighting to build suspense and a dangerous, evil tone to the animation overall. The music used is a reflection of the animations feel, it focuses around the suspense or the emotive expression of the characters. The angles in which the "camera" would pick up on the views are not always generic, they are shakey, violent and can become more sudden and unexpected with increased tension or action.

After Akira there have been many animations and films created on the subject of such like powers. 
This is an awesome film, it highly calls out to be watched by anyone with any interest in the comic world, anime or science fiction as it delivers in all these areas. Most definantly a film worth watching at least once for its bloody glory and place in animated history. 


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