My introduction to this movie was like many people’s: I told an older friend I liked Robotech or Voltron or some shit like that, and this kid then gave me a VHS tape with Akira on it and said, “If you want to know what anime is really about, watch this.” This is probably one of the worst introductions to both the genre and to Akira. It’s sort of like telling a little kid, “Oh, you think GI Joe is cool, huh? You should check out Apocalypse Now.” And yet, the artistry of the film is so compelling that revisiting it becomes almost mandatory—an animated itch you just can’t scratch to satisfaction, no matter how often you go back. The story never quite makes sense, even after your second or 12th viewing, but the combination of sights and sounds are still, more than 30 years later, one of the most potent examples of pure cinema there is.

by Bobby Roberts
Showtimes & Tickets


Katsuhiro Γ”tomo
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama

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