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Akira, Vol. 1

(Akira: 6 Volumes #1)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  25,183 ratings  ·  921 reviews
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.
Paperback, 359 pages
Published December 26th 2000 by Dark Horse (first published September 21st 1984)
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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)
Kendall Moore I say this as a complete casual, this is one of the greatest works of Science Fiction out there. Great philosophical themes to it as well.
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,183 ratings  ·  921 reviews

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Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
3.4 stars.

For fans of: hijinks; ominous foreboding.

Avoid if: you’re sensitive about being bald.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Sam Quixote
Feb 05, 2014 rated it liked it

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
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, dystopia
The first volume of the paperback serialisation of Otomo's critically acclaimed science fiction / dystopian epic set in a post-World War III (38 years later) Neo-Tokyo. Motor bike gang members Kaneda, Yamagata and Tetsuo's lives are changed forever when they come across a strange being in restricted area of the city. I am afraid I remain under-awed with my third reading of this acclaimed Manga series! 6 out of 12

The version I read collects Akira #1-6, and is in glorious Eclipse (Epic Comics) col
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Lukas Sumper
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At this point I believe most people at least heard about Akira. I've been a huge fan of the movie but finally I got the chance to read the manga too. What sticks out to me is just how simple it is, there is no crazy amount of exposition, just two three pages with shocking good art and a caption here and there.. But that's more than enough to get you hooked, you have to keep in mind this book is pushing for 40 years of age and it still does better worldbuilding than 99% of the Manga / graphic nov ...more
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
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
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
James DeSantis
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the most famous anime movies of all time is Akira. I've read volume 1-2 of the manga awhile back and decided to give it a re-read. Do I still enjoy it? Short answer? Yes.

The story of Akira is interesting. It starts out as a bunch of high school delinquents being pretty shitty and one of them gets injured. This somebody gets experimented on and becomes, well, Akira, or so we're learning. A super powered human who can kill people just by thinking of it. If ever see Chronicle the m
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
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
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.
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
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
For those completely unaware, "Akira" is set in a post World War III Neo Tokyo. Tokyo and many other cities were completely annihilated by a new type of bomb. Years later two teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda find themselves on opposite sides of a fight when Tetsuo begins to develop strange new powers. All the while a shadowy government agency is trying to track them both down, seemingly hoping to avoid yet another repeat of the bomb that started the third world war.

The first thing that struck
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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. ...more
Jay Kristoff
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, manga
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. ...more
amanda ✶
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
lit rally reread the whole thing in the subway. fun.
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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

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

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