I still remember how amazed I was when I first watched the movie Akira. It was one of the most impressive SciFi films I had ever seen and definitely the best animated film! The soundtrack drew me in, the story compelled me and the characters propelled me into this incredibly epic movie. I loved it. I watched it often. But strangely enough I never sought out and read the comic book series that it was based upon. This was a mistake.
I have finally corrected that mistake. I can report that the comic book series Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo gave me everything the movie gave me and more. It was awesome. Truly majestically awesome. Akira is one of the greatest stories ever told and it is told well.
The characters are complex and varied. The comic book brings out such depth in them. They come alive in a way that the movie just couldn’t bring them to life. Tetsuo’s tragic character truly becomes a tragic character. Akira himself becomes something far more ominous and alive than the movie can convey. The city itself becomes more fully realized and more a part of the story.
And dat art tho! So impressive! So full and vibrant and alive! Even the tanks. I’ve never seen more impressively drawn tanks. The amount of detail put into what others would consider throwaway panels is awe inspiring.
Then the pacing of the story. It is so fast paced and action filled that you’re already fifty then a hundred then two hundred pages in before you realize any time has passed. I read the entire story within a week because it was near impossible to set it down. 2,187 pages of awesomeness. It is impressive how much you are drawn into the world.
I was able to find all six volumes of Akira at my local library. It has an excellent selection of graphic novels! Libraries are awesome and I am thankful for the impact that librarians have had on my life through their quiet work.
Would I recommend Akira to people who don’t normally read comic books? Yes. Yes I would because here within the pages of Akira you find one of the masterpieces of SciFi. Yes I think you should read Akira.