Image B+ Sound B (English)/A (Japanese)
screenplay by Katsuhiro Otomo & Izo Hashimoto
directed by Katsuhiro Otomo
by Walter Chaw What begins as a miracle of cinema ends as an obscure endurance test, but the visual landmarks that you pass along this strange animated journey's way make the trip one of value. Akira is two hours and five minutes of philosophical soup, a surrealistic melding of Blade Runner, X-Men, Firestarter, and Frank Miller's "Sin City" mixed by the melancholic sensibilities of the only culture that has experienced the Atomic bomb, with a healthy sampling of really fast motorcycles tossed in for visceral crunch.