Akira, Vol. 1
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Akira, Vol. 1 (Akira: 6 Volumes #1)

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  8,422 ratings  ·  279 reviews
Welcome to Neo-Tokyo, built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by a blast of unknown origin that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that level...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Kodansha Comics (first published September 21st 1984)
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If I hadn't seen the film version of Akira way back in the late eighties, at a midnight screening at our local Indy theatre (run by the crazy Swede my Dad hated for selling us a nicked table), and if I hadn't watched it repeatedly over the next twenty some years, I'd have read this manga this week with complete disdain. But the movie, luckily, is a masterpiece, and it is based on the full six part manga, so I have some sense of where Akira is going and what makes it worth while.

As a stand alone...more
Like many, I read comics as a child, but I was not avid--never a collector--and it was not until I became an adult and returned to comics that I began to look at what they can be, and the stories they can tell. Whatever avidity I lacked then, I have since made up for, becoming an incidental snob for European comics.

Similarly, despite my familiarity as a child with Japanese anime, it is only in recent years that I have returned to that tradition. I watched Dragonball, Sailor Moon, and Ronin Warri...more
Nate D
Apr 30, 2012 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: motorcycle delinquents and manipulating politicians
Recommended to Nate D by: teen anime viewing
So apparently I'm doing this manga thing right now. Like many people, I was dazzled by the film version of this as a teen. Now, finally, I'm reading it, and it promises much more (welcome) development. A lot of the tropes are familiar -- post-destruction-of-tokyo, teen rebellion, ill-advised tapping of uncontrollable power -- but this distinguishes itself in a lot of ways:

-Though originally serialized like most manga, it's almost impossible to tell -- the plotting seems that cohesive and fully-...more
Sam Quixote

That’s basically the extent of my memory of Akira, an anime movie I watched when I was 9. So I was interested to learn that it’s also a critically acclaimed comic that’s hailed as one of the finest the medium has ever created. First published in 1982, the comic predates the film by 6 years though interestingly both were created by one man, the visionary artist Katsuhiro Otomo, who was an astoundingly young 28 years old when this book was first publis...more
Andy Karlson
Oct 25, 2007 Andy Karlson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: post-apocalypticists
What I learned from this book: Psychokinesis is rad, but don't do drugs in a vain attempt to control your burgeoning powers: it'll only make things worse.

This ...I can't even call it a comic book--its 6 books take up more than a foot of my shelf space--this epic tome is almost too much to write about. It encompasses at least two Apocalypses, it grapples with huge themes and issues, leaves the reader to do much of the heavy lifting, demands multiple readings, and is just insanely detailed and be...more
Analysis: Historical Value 3/3, Rereadability 3/3, Memorability 4/4

Amongst the most classic manga titles of all times, Akira has passed in history as one of the best dystopian/apocalyptic titles of all times, not only because of its detailed artwork but also because of its themes, angst-ridden characters, and grotesque action/transformation scenes.

Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Readability 2/2, Visual Effects 1/2

I m...more
Willem van den Oever
Neo-Tokyo, 38 years after the Third World War, in the year 2019.
The metropole is terrorized by motorcycle gangs dueling on the streets. One of these packs, led by the charismatic Kaneda, divide their time between racing on the highways, doing drugs and terrorizing their teachers whenever they’re forced back to school.
But one night, while out on the tarmac, Kaneda’s team unexpectedly stumble upon a ghostlike child stalking the streets. The meeting leaves one of Kaneda’s crew, Tetsuo, badly injure...more
Awesome art, incredibly fast-paced. I read it in one sitting, but it kept me tense the whole time. Watching the movie before reading it is a must, in order to understand all the craziness going on.
(4.5 stars). If you accept the idea that there can be post-apocalyptic masterpieces of literature, I guess this is one of them.

Now, be warned: if you do not like squalid or even dark atmospheres, this book is really not for you. On the other hand, if you are tired of bullshit dystopias coming with a list of "features" fed to you about how the world is going to be, etc., this book is for you. It is downright honest (you cannot imagine the writer saying, "Oh, it would be cool if we had..."). It ju...more
Erik Hawksley
This story is about two teenage friends Tetsuo and Kaneda who grow up in a post apocalyptic Tokyo that had been destroyed by a catastrophic event. One day Tetsuo starts gaining powers like telekinesis and their lives change forever. The government starts chasing after them and is willing to do anything to prevent another catastrophic even like the one that leveled Tokyo. This comic is packed with action and suspense and also focuses on the relationships between Tetsuo and Kaneda. I'd recommend i...more
Zack Patten
This book was very good. It read pretty quick even though the book is rather big. The story follows a group of friends who have a small motorcycle gang. One day one of the guys (Tetsuo) gets into trying to a boy who looks he has that Benjamin Button disease. He is then taken away by the military and his friends don't know why. Tetsuo begins to develop psychic powers and tries to find this person name Akira that he heard voices in his head talk about. Overall it was an amazing series of books, bu...more
I saw the anime first and loved it. Since the manga contained more details than the anime, I decided to give it a try. If you're a fan of the anime, definitely check out the manga since the anime was completed while the manga itself was still ongoing (therefore there are more details not mentioned in the anime).

Even if you're not a big fan of the anime, if you're usually into sci-fi series, give it a try. I've known some people who didn't like the anime as much but enjoyed the manga (maybe becau...more
The following is hy·per·bo·le. I am also taking into account that Katsuhiro had a team of cleanup artists, editors, and letterers behind him. He also had family and friends to motivate him, AND he worked the stereotypical "working himself nearly to death" Japanese lifestyle. Still I find Akira to be an amazing benchmark for what Graphic Artists can make, as well as a statement of what humans are cappable of doing under the right conditions. Though I lack the environment Katsuhiro had I strive to...more
I had the pleasure of sitting down and reading Akira Volume 1 last night. The illustrations are amazing, although I had a hard time figuring out what was going on in some of the action scenes (and there are quite a few). I also took the time to read the publisher's note in the back of the book, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I just don't know enough about manga to really understand the impact this style of drawing and storytelling had on the world when it first premiered. Because it seems so...more
Hanna Campbell
While reading some of the other reviews for this book and seeing so many glowing endorsements, I pretty much cowered in fear at not really liking this and felt I should just shut my mouth. But too bad, I'm not. Sorry my critiques are not as friggin fantastic as all of yours.

Having just started my foray into the graphic novel world, I thought that Akira would be a decent place to start (after all, it was at the beginning of the library bookshelf. Definitely a characteristic of a great read). How...more
Akira is about two friends in a dystopian Tokyo (called Neo-Tokyo) who are thrust into this world of telekinesis and superpowers and rebels.

Most people know the manga through the acclaimed film Akira, of which I am more than fairly fond of (yes, this is a case of seeing the film before reading the book). The first volume barely begins to cover the story laid out in the film, but instead gives a lot of fleshing out of the main characters and the lead-up to certain events. Despite the manga being...more
Jeff Lanter
I read this over vacation and so my review will be shorter than usual. Akira is impressive in a couple respects. The art and vision of the future is surprisingly still impressive after many years and changes in daily life. Every panel is well-drawn and there is a good eye towards action. This is good because there is a lot of action going on in the story. There is also a nice sprinkling of Japanese humor throughout the story as well.

Unfortunately, I found the characters to be very thin and none...more
David Ramirez
Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira is one of the great creative influences in my life.

My friends and I were too young when we saw the movie back in elementary school. So all we got out of it was the terrific apocalyptic action, and the beautiful animation. And of course, we loved Kaneda's ridiculously cool red motorcycle.

[Man, that bike was something. For me, it's one of the iconic future motorcycles, right up there with Star Wars' speeder bikes and Tron's light-cycles.]

I've seen the movie several times ov...more
The art in this is really impressive though I think it would read a little more easily in color. Up until now I had only read the first issue of the first volume of this series, in addition to seeing the anime back in the early 90's (like a lot of people my generation) so it's hard to not have it in mind reading this. But I can't help feeling that the anime succeeded in keeping the narrative concise and intelligible. Although this book reads quickly, the dialogue, the panel composition can be ve...more
If you like amazing illustrations and dystopian stories, Akira's for you! Seriously, read the graphic novels. There is so much more depth to the story than they show in the movie. I can't find the ones I read on here, and it's just as well, since there were 40 issues. I was lucky enough to have access to the full-color version.
Robert Willams
I couldn't put "AKIRA" because it was just so full of excitement and action along with a portion of drama. Katsuhiro Otomo is an amazing writer for a genre such as anime, manga, comic styled books.

There was this one character name Kaneda. He was your typical boy from the hood except instead of driving cars, they drove motorcycles where they were. Kaneda is pretty chill but dangerous if provoked. He knows how to shoot so he wont be afraid too gun down another biker. He can be awfully sweet someti...more
This is not a review of this single volume, but of the series as a whole. 4.5 stars.

I started reading this because I had seen the film, was intrigued by what I saw, but wanted to get the complete Akira experience. The film, while certainly action-packed and visually spectacular, was trying to cram a gigantic story into a tiny hour/two hour time slot, the whole "ten pounds of flour in a five-pound sack"-thing. Here, in this massive six-volume set of tomes, we're able to see the whole story, spraw...more
The art in this blew my mind a little. Can't remember which book had the destruction of Neo Tokyo, but all that hand drawn detail... amazing.
Austin Smith
A true classic! Before there there was Inception, there was Akira. The story is amazing! My hard cover edition is my prized jewel in my library!
Scottsdale Public Library
Akira is one of those stories that is so hard to describe or summarize that you'll inevitably leave something out. What I can tell you is that this is still one of the best manga ever written, even after it's initial release some 30 years ago. Collected in six beautifully faithful volumes, it's a compelling story of human struggle against adversity and inevitable change, with complex characters, psychic battles, and kick-butt cyber-punk action. If you've seen the anime from the '80's, then you'v...more
Erjon 7
Just the most masterpiece Epic Saga ever made!I loved it from when I was a kid,even if I understood it after when I grew up.
Michael Cutler
I gave Akira Vol. 1 a 5 star rating because I cannot give it a 100 star rating. This is the book that brought me back into comics. Just based on looks only. I started reading this when Marvel's Epic line was publishing in the Prestige format and in color. Those get a 105 rating. I love that Dark Horse put it together in six volumes and it still looks great in black & white. I have more to say but it is just stupid fan boy gushing. Thank you for bringing comic books back into my life Katsuhir...more
Jyotirmoy Mandal
A fast paced and action-packed sci-fi volume by Otomo. The book excites you right from the beginning. The cloud of mystery which always stays with the story is one of the most important thing about this book. The mystery is not left unanswered, it is slowly revealed to the reader in a fashion that rather than spoiling the story creates another mystery which is again revealed by the author in time.

The action is pretty realistic taking into account the technology humans possess at that time in the...more
Gayatri Iyer
I had dropped this book after a first few pages, because people had told that it is confusing. But now, I disregarded all the comments by others and read it and Viola! This book is one Helluva ride, a masterpiece by Katsuhiro Otomo. Salutes to the mangaka. The story was pretty captivating, with a post- apocalyptic World war III setting, a rotten world where you don’t know what exactly is going on and whom to trust. The inclusion of Bōsōzoku gangs makes it a thrilling ride....more
I recently bought this volume for my brother-in-law as a Christmas gift, then pulled the anime off my shelf for another go-around (it's been years since I last saw it), but after the first fifteen minutes decided it was time to re-read the graphic novels, and I am lucky enough to have a public library that has the entire series. I've read them once, but it's been long enough that most of the details of the story are a blur now, and as good as the film version is on its own, it is a mess compared...more
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Katsuhiro Otomo (大友 克洋, Otomo Katsuhiro) is a Japanese manga artist, film director, and screenwriter. He is perhaps best known for being the creator of the manga Akira and its anime adaptation, which are extremely famous and influential. Otomo has also directed several live-action films, such as the recent 2006 feature film adaptation of the Mushishi manga.

Katsuhiro Otomo was born in the former to...more
More about Katsuhiro Otomo...
Akira, Vol. 2 (Akira, #2) Akira, Vol. 5 (Akira, #5) Akira, Vol. 3 (Akira, #3) Akira, Vol. 4 (Akira, #4) Akira, Vol. 6 (Akira, #6)

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