Bringing anime westwards!
Creator: Katsuhiro Otomo
This anime represents the labours of one of the finest manga artists of the 20th century. 'Akira' showcase his wounderful ablity to bring themes that are of growing importance today e.g. the rebellious teenagers and a the adults who cannot understand or relate to them. 'Akira' also represents a fine mixture of themes disscussed by American Cinema (like rebellious teenagers) and also Japanese cultural themes such as the unrest of the Japanese in the 1950's.
Its animation style is also very experimental, Ottomo is therefore able to do night scenes and create 50 new shades of red in order to fullfill a dream. In conclusion everything comes together brilliantly in an excellent anime.
I've always liked anime but I only started to really dig into the world that is anime at the end of last year, begining of this year. This was one of the films which was acclaimed as serieses like 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' etc. So I actually discovered this on DVD only this year. So this film came in the aftermath of the first ten episodes of 'Eva', 'Tenchi' and other series like 'Serial Experiements Lain' and the film and TV series of 'Ghost in the Shell'.
This film shows a cyberpunk reality which could be true, it didn't change my view of the World, but it makes you think about some issues that are not commonly disscussed in society today.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
A series that takes what 'Akira' did but did it even better! 'Akira's' great character development can not be expressed as well as in a series like Evangelion where we see fruedian and other psycholanalytical influences on the programme. Its religious content to shows it to be better than films like 'The Davinchi Code'. Evangelion, much like Akira, challenges you to learn more about the World you live.
Ghost in the Shell
Another anime which in terms of animation is spectular, much like Akira. However it lacks the edge that Akira does about making at least one of the most poignant themes clear. Ghost in the Shell is very complicated and as such suffers from Oshi's philisophical nature. However, if you can work it out, perhaps it would be better than Akira for you.