May 4, 2017 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Having worn out the VHS as a teenager, I was able to see Akira in the cinema for the first time fairly recently. Powerful stuff. I remember being particularly struck on that viewing by how lovingly rendered the smoke was, and how much it added to the story's tone and scale. I imagine armies young artists hunched over drafting tables diligently inbetweening puffs of steam and clouds and debris. I don't think there was an easy way to do that at the time. It's a labor of craftsmanship on a huge scale.

I'm pretty sure it's been posted here before, but The Nerdwriter had some interesting thoughts on the film's use of light in its visual language.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 4:43 PM on May 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

In terms of story, the manga is even more interesting. There is an English translation that is worth tracking down if you can find it.
posted by My Dad at 4:57 PM on May 4, 2017

Well, yeah, the comic is going to be more interesting if only by default, because it contains the second half of the story. ; )
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:10 PM on May 4, 2017

Oh my god. I mean: Oh. my. god. Worth it just for the cloud treatments alone.

Thank you Art.
posted by gwint at 5:16 PM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Wow. This is fantastic. I really need to watch the film again, it's been a long time.
posted by cortex at 5:28 PM on May 4, 2017

For those not aware, thumbnail view.
posted by gwint at 5:35 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by signal at 6:04 PM on May 4, 2017

Absolutely fucking gorgeous stuff. One of my favourite animation works.

And Phobos, if you liked the smoke treatment on this one, Otomo makes fantastic special effects. It's a big staple of his. See Stink Bomb, Short Peace, Cannon Fodder. But specially stink bomb. Animated smoke in traditional animation is still a pain to make, and he's still the master.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 6:15 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Akira was the first anime movie I bought, special ordered from England through my local video story, the deluxe 2 VHS tape subtitled version with the making off documentary, for my 16th birthday. Rewatching it on blueray last year, it was still as good as I remembered.

A while back anime video blogger Digibro did a compilation of the work of all the Akira key animators since the movie came out, which is rather impressive.

I second the recommendation of Stink Bomb, which is available on dvd together with Cannon Fodder and Magnetic Rose as Memories, which can be had for two quid over on Amazon UK. Three very different pieces of animation, all based on Otomo short stories and with Satoshi Kon as script writer for Magnetic Rose.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:13 AM on May 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

« Older Dog Day Afternoon   |   Just a Kitten and Bunny Playing Tag Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments