Akira (1988) Pretty Anime
Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Neo-Tokyo is about to explode. So sayeth the trailer for the 1988 iconic masterpiece Akira. Without even digging deep into the semantics of the storytelling, Akira has all the makings of an iconic film.
In a cyberpunk future, Neo-Tokyo is endangered after a secret military project turns a member of a biker gang into a psychopath with murderous tendencies and psychic abilities.
I mean, if that’s not enough to get you interested then you’re probably dead inside – but beyond the surface coolness, Akira shines as a monument of superior animation, with visuals so classic that even a total newcomer will feel like they’ve seen these things referenced elsewhere.
It’s also a powerful nuclear allegory – a catharsis for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks years before and an urgent unease around the looming shadow of the cold war.