Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Akira, Vol. 1” as Want to Read:
Akira, Vol. 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Akira, Vol. 1

(Akira: 6 Volumes #1)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  24,159 ratings  ·  870 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Akira, Vol. 1, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sean No, the characters are all drawn rather realistically (male and female) and wear realistic clothes.
For instance, I assume because you mean female ove…more
No, the characters are all drawn rather realistically (male and female) and wear realistic clothes.
For instance, I assume because you mean female over-sexualisation, the main female character Kaori wears, a lot of the time, big jackets, a t-shirt and either jeans, pants or regular shorts.

There are some sexual references but nothing excessive or gratuitous and definitely nothing that could be considered fan-service or out of place within the storyline.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,159 ratings  ·  870 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Akira, Vol. 1
3.4 stars.

For fans of: hijinks; ominous foreboding.

Avoid if: you’re sensitive about being bald.
Akira: And A Boy Shall Rule Them All... Badly. A Boy Whose Head Contains A Supernova


'Akira' and 'Lone Wolf and Cub' were among the first complete manga masterpieces to be published in English, and despite the mirror-imaging, were very similar to their original tankobon incarnations. Katsuhiro Otomo's SF-classic 'Akira' -- as well as it's equally brilliant predecessor, 'Domu' -- revolutionized Japanese comics. It introduced realistic, incredibly detailed artwork that merged a far more subtle
J.G. Keely
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I first watched the anime adaptation of Akira when I was an eight or nine years old kid (despite the gruesome images and the violence, the anime was still aired in daytime 'family hours' during summer holiday back then, shocking) and the whole thing really scared the shit out of me. I mean, what eight years old kid has the strong-enough mentality to handle the image of little children who look like elderly, evil looking massive teddy bear, and a teenager turns into a mother fucking monster!?

I on
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
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
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
BRUH. honestly? I enjoyed this more than i enjoyed the movie. everything makes sense here, the transitions from one scene to another go smoothly (the anime has a flaw in this regard), character design works better, the characters themselves, especially minor ones, are actually given some characterization and time to develop hence the increase of the emotional impact certain scenes had on me (MY BOY YAMADA MAN. R.I.P. to MVP).
overall, very nice so far, I think that reading the manga before/after
Jedi JC Daquis
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are reading this review, there might be a possibility that you may have watched the movie and probably thinking if it is just a condensed version of the manga. So I'll start my review with that. Bear in mind though that Akira has six volumes, thus I don't know the whole scope of the similarities and the differences.

So, is the manga the same with the anime? Yes and no. The manga is way more extensive than the movie. Key plot points in the comics are also there in the movie so that the lat
L. McCoy
Re-read update March 2020:
Okay so I have to admit since first reading this one manga (Berserk) has topped this for what I’d consider my favorite manga. That being said STILL BAD-ASS! Highly recommended.

Original review:
Oh. My. Gosh. I have a new favorite manga! So I just finished reading the first volume of Akira (this) and it's considered a classic manga. Now, I expected it to be similar to the movie (which is also awesome and definitely worth your time) but wow, it's a lot different and even be
Nate D
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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-
Rusty Grey
3.5 - 3.75 Stars

This is a review of this first volume . As there are only 6 volumes in this manga , I'd be reviewing each volume separately .

Akira is set in Neo-Tokyo in a dystopian world after World War lll . It's about two friends Kaneda and Tetsuo who become enemies after an accident gives Tetsuo psychokinetic powers .

This first volume is extremely fast paced and action packed . And the illustrations are quite out of its time . There is a political sub plot , which I feel , will become cent
Juho Pohjalainen
It's 2019 (or 2030, it's vague) and we get anti-gravity speeders but no internet. Also, psychics. I guess that bomb messed things up in the timeline.

Still a well-written and well-drawn psychic masterpiece, although the gunfights leave a bit to be desired: sometimes you see them aim, sometimes you hear the gunshot, and it's not always easy to tell who got hit and how.
Dov Zeller
I can see why this is a classic, and it has a lot going for it in terms of style, pacing, art and sheer epic-ness of story. On the other hand, the manic intensity just gets exhausting and old and it is very hard to care about the anti-heroic (to a fault?) protagonists, Tatsuo and Kaneda, who are pretty creepy and dull.

I've never been interested in material whose drama is exclusively to be found in frenetic activity. I need at least something else to draw me in besides fast motorcycles and explod
Michelle Curie

The science fiction tale set in 2019 in Tokyo after the city was destroyed by World War III, follows the lives of two teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, who have a consuming fear of a monstrous power known as Akira.

The story is set in Tokyo in 2019, which has been destroyed by World War III. And among this post-apocalyptic world are the lives of two street-wise teenage friends, Kaneda and Tetsuo, to change forever when paranormal abilities are beginning to wake in the latter.

I am aware of Akira
Himanshu Karmacharya
Set in a dystopian cyberpunk world, Akira takes the readers on a fast-paced action-packed ride through the streets of Tokyo, but lacks any emotional depth to keep the readers invested in the characters.
Michael Sorbello
Not too into it. The action is great, but so far that’s the only thing I’m impressed with. None of the characters had a chance to develop or catch my interest.

I don’t know what the plot is supposed to be about. Too many whacky hijinks for such serious subject matter. Too vague and a little too heavy on foreshadowing.

I’ve never seen the film, but I’ve heard some pretty fantastic things about this series. I’m willing to read on.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soldier: What shall we do with him, Colonel?
Colonel (Shikishima): Bring him along. But separate him from the others. And don't let his age deceive you. He's extremely dangerous.
Katsuhiro Otoma, AKIRA 1

I read this once before, by the recommendation of a friend at work. I liked it, gave it five stars, but I could have given it more attention. In my research about cyberpunk (inspired by my love for the movie, The Matrix) I discovered the originators of the sub-genre. In America, William Gibson intr
Rebecca McNutt
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This strange sci-fi dystopian manga takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a thriving city built from the ruins of Tokyo after World War Three. But Tetsuo and Kaneda, two punk teens in a biker gang, find themselves caught up in government corruption, scientific experimentation, paranormal power and frightening secrets when they encounter the obscure truths of Akira.

Just who or what is Akira? Well, this first volume is much more detailed than the 1988 animated film adaptation, to say the least, and it was in
I’m a little torn on this one.

I love the post WW3 future Tokyo setting.
The story takes place in 2030 (38 years after the war). Tokyo has been rebuilt, but parts of the old city still remain. The ground where the bombs hit is supposed to be used for the upcoming Olympic Games. But at this point for the most part it‘s still only wasteland. And it holds some secrets that one night the main character and his motorcycle gang stumble upon.

The narrative doesn’t dig too deep, but it hints at bigger thin
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

It’s hard to not have heard about Akira. It is the first manga series to have ever been fully translated into English and to have propelled the medium into great fame almost instantaneously. With a cult-classic revolutionary animated adaptation of the manga created by the writer and illustrator of the franchise himself in 1988, it didn’t take long for Katsuhiro Otomo’s visionary grasp on visual story-telling to be praised by everyone to this day
Lots of action based in a Tokyo post WWIII. The Government is up to something, there is a gang trying to stop something and a band of juveniles who are taking something. I assume this is the first in the series that will get better and better with the first one leaves a lot of dangling questions.
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Wow, that was a crazy ride. A violent ride, but an exciting one. I never thought I'd like a cyberpunk book so much. I picked it up just because I thought I should give it a try, it is a classic after all, and I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to the next volume.

Content warning: graphic violence, but the illustrations are black and white so it lessens the gore somewhat; language including a few moments of strong language; drug use

2020 challenge: A book set in Japan, host of the 2
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like if I had the full series this would be a full five star review. This volume I'm giving four because it ends abortively and I don't have the other volumes. At times I thought the translation was a little choppy too. I have seen the movie and liked that better. Hopefully some day I'll get to read the whole thing.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga, comics
The "edgy" antisocial vibe hasn't aged particularly well, but the art is timeless. Otomo draws bodies in motion better than any other cartoonist I can think of, and the extended chase sequence in the middle of this volume is an absolute masterpiece. I'm excited to keep reading this series, and hoping it develops more of the political/moral/emotional weight that's hinted at underneath the layers of nihilist chic.
amanda ❀
lit rally reread the whole thing in the subway. fun.
Jay Kristoff
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo, Akira is a sprawling epic that centers around two childhood friends: a brash, loud-mouthed antihero named Kaneda, and his quiet second fiddle Tetsuo, who, through a series of clandestine government experiments, finds himself the wielder of vast and destructive psychic powers.

The book begins as a slick, cyberpunk style tale, and ends as a dystopian survival story in the shell of Neo-Tokyo’s ruins. Along the way, Otomo explores the issues of friendshi
Andy Karlson
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Comics Canon Review]

For many comics readers who grew up outside of Japan in the ‘80s, Akira was our introduction to manga (though, admittedly, we didn’t have much choice back then since it was one of the few English translations of manga to stay in print outside of East Asia). It was a big deal. Reading it now, it’s impossible to separate Akira from its context or from its equally impactful animated counterpart. All that I can really say is... it’s good?

This first volume is mostly scene-setting
Michael Finocchiaro
One of the genre-defining classics of manga, Akira is 100% adrenaline rush cover to cover. Beautifully drawn with fascinating characters, it is the unavoidable stop on your road to anime goodness!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Tertulia de cienc...: Tertulia de diciembre - Akira 1 1 Jul 01, 2018 08:27AM  
Book Review: Akira, Volume 1 1 7 Oct 31, 2017 11:25AM  
IGGPPC : Iggle Bo...: January 2016 Manga: Akira, Vol. 1 3 13 Jan 26, 2016 11:17AM  
Manga Manga Manga: Akira 2 9 Apr 01, 2015 02:48PM  
Live action soon....NO. Thoughts? 25 54 Jul 18, 2014 03:56AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ghost in the Shell (Ghost in the Shell, #1)
  • Berserk, Vol. 1
  • Colour Runner
  • 20th Century Boys, Band 01 (20th Century Boys, #1)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 1 (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, #1)
  • Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, Vol. 1
  • PLUTO: Naoki Urasawa x Ozamu Tezuka, Band 001
  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1: Herr Dr. Tenma (Naoki Urasawa's Monster, #1)
  • Gantz/1
  • Vagabond, Volume 1
  • Uzumaki
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 1
  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1 (Naoki Urasawa's Monster: Kanzenban, #1)
  • Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road (Lone Wolf and Cub, #1)
  • Vagabond, Vol. 1
  • O Preço da Desonra: Kubidai Hikiukenin
  • Old Boy, Cilt #1
  • Battle Angel Alita
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Akira: 6 Volumes (6 books)
  • Akira, Vol. 2
  • Akira, Vol. 3
  • Akira, Vol. 4
  • Akira, Vol. 5
  • Akira, Vol. 6

Articles featuring this book

As we wrap up our 2018 Reading Challenge, we decided to ask our Goodreads coworkers a simple yet tough question: What were the...
213 likes · 376 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter...No Women's Bathroom” 8 likes
“What a disgrace! They were afraid...ashamed...they chose to conceal it...they buried the roots of a Great Civilization...they lacked the courage to go further...and turned their backs on what science had to offer them...and tried to seal away forever the hole they had torn open with their own hands.” 7 likes
More quotes…