Akira is a highly respected cult favorite, so for fans looking to see the movie or read the manga, here are some ways to get involved in the essential franchise.
By Katsuhiro Otomo Akira helped pave the way for modern anime when the adapted film debuted in 1988, not just in Japan but internationally. It was one of the most ambitious animated films of its time for the level of detail and scope of its story. The futuristic, cyberpunk film is set in 2019 and explores the lives of two young men, Kaneda and Tetsuo. These two friends live in the decimated remains of Tokyo after a mysterious singularity destroyed the city in 1988. What remains is a city rife with gangs, corruption and terrorism known as Neo-Tokyo.
After a motorcycle accident involving an Esper, a person who has telekinetic abilities, Tetsuo develops his powers, making him a target of the government. The film and manga follow Tetsuo, Kaneda, and their motorcycle gang as they race through the streets of Neo-Tokyo, trying to avoid getting caught and overcome difficulties, old and new. The film has a cult following due to its sci-fi atmosphere, the quality of the animation, and the gripping storyline. Here are some ways you can legally watch what is considered one of the best anime movies ever made and read its original material.
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How to read Akira’s manga
Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million have the Akira manga, which ran between 1982 and 1990 and includes six volumes, available for around $ 21.99 per volume, and Amazon has listings for the same price. For those who don’t mind buying used books, Thriftbooks has copies available starting at $ 17.99 and going up to the standard $ 21.99, depending on condition. It’s also worth checking with your local comic book store to see if they have the manga or if they can order it for you. A 35th anniversary box was made for the manga and is listed in Rightstufanime for $ 150.00.
Unfortunately for those who prefer digital copies, none of the usual digital options have the manga available. Hopefully this will change in the future, but it seems like the only way to read it is by buying the physical volumes.
How to watch Akira’s movie
Hulu has the remastered version of the movie available on its platform, with the dubbing and sub available. Akira It is also available through Funimation’s streaming service with various DVD and Blu-ray options, ranging from $ 18.74- $ 44.99 depending on the version. Netflix has the movie too, but only on their Japanese server with no English subtitles. Similarly, Amazon Japan has Akira on their Prime Video service, with the HD version cost-effective for around $ 3.00. Unfortunately, it is only in Japanese with no English subtitles. Vudu offers the movie for rent and purchase for around $ 2.99, and iTunes has it for about $ 9.99.
Physical copies of the movie are available on Amazon, with the 4K + Blu-ray edition costing around $ 60.00 without Prime and $ 37.99 with Prime. The 25th Anniversary Regular Blu-ray Edition costs about $ 15.00, and the DVD costs about $ 24.98 without Prime and $ 14.99 with Prime. The 2011 edition of the DVD costs $ 11.74, but this particular version is region locked, so unless you have a Japanese DVD player, it is unlikely to play on any of your devices. There’s even a VHS copy available for $ 25.99, so it’s time to dig up that old VCR.
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