In 1982, Katsuhiro Otomo began work on what is now possibly the most influential manga in the history of the industry. Akira not only played a large part in the spread of manga/anime from Japan to the rest of the world, it also revolutionized the art of manga in Japan.

Otomo San's lifelong love of cinema is gracefully and vividly present on the pages of his work. His gorgeous, illustrations shine out at you in detail so painstaking it boggles the mind. His visions of the Neo-Tokyo megapolis reach out and engulf you with precise, thousand-stroke architechture.

Akira began as a serial in Young Magazine and grew into an full-sized epic with a large group of interesting, continually interacting characters and a direct, engrossing storyline. The drawings are sometimes touching, sometimes ultra-violent, but always highly detailed.

In 1988 the anime version of Akira, directed by Otomo, was released, and has since joined the ranks of the best full-length anime fllms ever released. The movie, however, is highly abbreviated, with a very different storyline from the original manga, although it contains many of the same characters and elements, which is perhaps better than releasing a simple video summary, as many book-turned-into-movie films end up being.

In addition to the movie, a colorized version of the manga was released in the US by Marvel Comics in 36 volumes. Dark Horse Comics has also since released a 6 volume, black and white version, (roughly 400 pages each) which comes to a staggering 2160 pages of goodness.

Main Characters:

These are the characters that continue throughout the series and play the largest parts.

Tetsuo Shima
The Colonel
Lady Miyako