Katsuhiro hits the ground running. This first volume introduces us to the major characters and swings us rather quickly into the story. As a result, the characters do not have much of a chance to develop. Of course, this is rectified over the course of the series but it may throw off new readers. That said, Katsuhiro's storytelling through art is simply magnificent. The dialogue is sparse but effective.
For first time readers, a tale of rebel teenagers in Neo-Tokyo getting caught up in military exploits may not seem revolutionary. Yet, Akira was the paradigm shift that all others have sought to emulate. It's hard to to think about what modern manga and anime would be like without having Akira's presence. Katsuhiro completely altered the playing field.