Monday, November 2, 2015

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

 Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo spans over six volumes and follows Kaneda Shotaro and Tetsuo Shima, members of a delinquent motorcycle gang who tear through the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo. During a violent chase with a rival motorcycle gang, Tetsuo is injured when a young boy with psychic abilities blocks his path causing him to crash. The accident awakens Tetsuo’s psychic abilities and he is then taken in by the government for testing. The graphic novel is reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow and Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White by Taiyo Matsumoto.

Akira throws us into a world of industrial capitalism, represented through the neon-soaked streets, and mega-corporations scattered all over the city.  It is a manga that will resonate with you long after it’s shocking conclusion. It is a frenetic, horrific and at times grotesque look at a very vivid and brutal future. Akira is a gritty, gloomy, cyberpunk masterpiece.

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