Skip to content
Poster for anime film "Akira"

Art Imitates Life, Life Imitates Anime

Last Saturday, September 7, Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Olympic games. Does this sound familiar?

The last time Japan hosted the Olympics was in 1964. The Studio Ghibli film From Up On Poppy Hill takes place during the preparation for the ’64 Olympics.

But the most fun coincidence comes from the anime film Akira, which came out in 1988 and depicted a dystopian Neo-Tokyo recovering from World War III and building a new stadium for the 2020 Olympic games. What’s that, you say? A British architect will actually design a new stadium for the 2020 Olympics? That’s okay, I am sure Tokyo will not be overrun with psychic children, secret military laboratories, and teenage motorcycle gangs.

There is plenty of material to entertain those fantasies, though! The Akira film was a landmark of animation that still holds up, the sheer scope of its production still reigning supreme over other animated films. Its story only covers about one and a half books’ worth of the manga, which is every bit as massive and influential in its own right.

Richland Library has these materials for those interested in a rollicking sci-fi take on 2019 as well as conspiracy theorists looking for more details linking Akira to the present.

As a bonus, there is a link to several sample pages from a fan-created adaptation of Akira in progress, converting the characters and settings of Akira to the Simpsons universe.


Akira, Vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Amazon Says: Dark Horse is committed to bringing the finest comics from around the world to America. Now, in association with Kodansha Ltd. and Studio Proteus, Dark Horse has again gathere more...
Amazon Says: Dark Horse is committed to bringing the finest comics from around the world to America. Now, in association with Kodansha Ltd. and Studio Proteus, Dark Horse has again gathered one of the crown jewels of graphic fiction. Katsuhiro Otomo's stunning science-fiction masterpiece, Akira! Regarded by many as the finest comic series ever produced, Akira is a bold and breathtaking epic of potent narrative strength and astonishing illustrative skill. Akira is set in the post-apocalypse Neo-Tokyo of 2019, a vast metropolis built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by an apocalyptic blast of unknown power that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when dormant paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, who becomes a target for a shadowy government operation, a group who will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like that which leveled Tokyo. And at the core of their motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear: a fear of someone -- or something -- of unthinkably monstrous power known only as...Akira. And Akira is about to rise! Collected in six massive volumes, Akira has been reproduced in its original, black-and-white majesty as never-before-seen in an English-translated edition. If you love science fiction, manga or comics, Akira is the one work that must be represented in your collection! less...
Amazon


Akira, Vol. 2 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Amazon Says: In the year 2030, the dazzling Neo-Tokyo has risen from Tokyo's ashes, but the power that once levelled Tokyo and sent the world to the brink of Armageddon -- a being of monst more...
Amazon Says: In the year 2030, the dazzling Neo-Tokyo has risen from Tokyo's ashes, but the power that once levelled Tokyo and sent the world to the brink of Armageddon -- a being of monstrous telekinetic power known only as Akira -- lives on in absolute-zero frozen stasis far below the city. Those who stand guard will stop at nothing to keep Akira from awakening, but Tetsuo, an angry young man with immense -- and rapidly growing -- psychic abilities becomes obsessed with confronting Akira face-to-face. In time, Akira will surely awaken, and Tetsuo may be the only being potentially capable of controlling him, but Tetsuo is becoming increasingly unstable and violent, and a group including his former friend Kaneda sets out to destroy Tetsuo before he can release Akira -- or before Tetsuo himself becomes so powerful that no force on Earth can stop him! less...
Amazon


Akira, Vol. 3 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Amazon Says: In the 21st century, the glittering Neo-Tokyo has risen from the rubble of a Tokyo destroyed by an apocalyptic telekinetic blast from a young boy called Akira -- the subject o more...
Amazon Says: In the 21st century, the glittering Neo-Tokyo has risen from the rubble of a Tokyo destroyed by an apocalyptic telekinetic blast from a young boy called Akira -- the subject of a covert government experiment gone wrong now imprisoned in frozen stasis. But Tetsuo, an angry young man with immense and rapidly growing psychic abilities, has done the unthinkable: he has released Akira and set into motion a chain of events that could once destroy the city and drag the world to the brink of Armageddon. Resistance agents and an armada of government forces race against the clock to find the child with godlike powers before his unthinkable destructive abilities are unleashed! One of the true international classics of graphic fiction and unavailable for nearly a decade in America, Akira has once again taken America by storm, its first Dark Horse volume selling out almost overnight in comic shops and bookstores across the country! less...
Amazon


Akira, Vol. 4 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Amazon Says: Set off by the bullet of a would-be assassin, Neo-Tokyo has been leveled by Akira's godlike psychic fury. Now cut off from the rest of world, the Great Tokyo Empire rises, wit more...
Amazon Says: Set off by the bullet of a would-be assassin, Neo-Tokyo has been leveled by Akira's godlike psychic fury. Now cut off from the rest of world, the Great Tokyo Empire rises, with Akira its king, Tetsuo its mad prime minister, and a growing army of fanatic acolytes. Forces on the outside still search for a way to stop Akira, and the answer may lie in the hands of the mysterious Lady Miyako, a powerful member of Akira's psychic brotherhood. But the solution to harnessing Akira may ultimately be more dangerous than Akira himself! less...
Amazon


Akira, Vol. 5 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Amazon Says: In the 21st century, the once-glittering Neo-Tokyo lies in ruins, leveled in minutes by the infinite power of the child psychic giant, Akira. Now a wasteland of rubble and ana more...
Amazon Says: In the 21st century, the once-glittering Neo-Tokyo lies in ruins, leveled in minutes by the infinite power of the child psychic giant, Akira. Now a wasteland of rubble and anarchy, the Great Tokyo Empire rises, a ragtag group of zealots and crazies who worship and fear Akira and his mad prime minister, Tetsuo, an angry teen with immense powers of his own -- and equally immense twisted ambitions. The planet at large is not taking the threat lying down, however, and the might of the world is ready to take on the Empire, but will technology's most advanced weaponry be enough to destroy Akira -- and is Tetsuo an ever greater threat? The fifth chapter in a sweeping epic of over 2000 pages, Akira vol. 5 is the penultimate act of a mind-blowing graphic-novel masterpiece of awe-inspiring imagination and gut-wrenching power, and the inspiration for the classic Akira animated film. less...
Amazon


Akira, Vol. 6 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Amazon Says: The explosive finale to one of graphic fiction's greatest achievements is here! The mad psychic colossus Tetsuo, the world's military, and the remaining psychics of The Projec more...
Amazon Says: The explosive finale to one of graphic fiction's greatest achievements is here! The mad psychic colossus Tetsuo, the world's military, and the remaining psychics of The Project face off -- with the child psychic god, Akira, the wild card -- in what may not only decide the fate of mankind, but may determine the next step in human evolution! This long-awaited volume -- a staggering 440 pages -- features the impossible-to-find final chapters of Akira, never before collected in the U.S., presented as they were intended to be seen in their original, stunning black and white! Featuring a revised translation and top-quality art reproduction, this is the final edition of one of comics' definitive works, a six-volume epic of over two thousand pages. Katsuhiro Otomo's entire masterpiece is finally available -- only from Dark Horse! less...
Amazon

Print

Comment about this page...