The powerful movement of the movie is exhilarating, but it's all action with little characterization or plot. There is a moral here about mankind's lust for power, but it never clearly emerges from the spectacle of destruction and violence. Ultimately, AKIRA is really all about the animation.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
The New York Times by Janet Maslin
Violent as it is on the surface, Akira is tranquil at its core. The story's sanest characters plead for the wise use of mankind's frightening new powers, lending the whole film the feeling of a cautionary tale.
New Times (L.A.) by Luke Y. Thompson
One of the few unanimously acclaimed classics of Japanese animation.
Village Voice by Michael Atkinson
Some kind of fever-dream masterpiece, easily the most breathtaking and kinetic anime ever made and one of the most eloquent films about atomic afterclap.
The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw
Akira’s strangeness is very startling and sometimes bewildering. But there is a thanatonic rapture to its vision of a whole world ending and being reborn as something else.
Austin Chronicle by Richard Whittaker
Adapted by Katsuhiro Otomo from his sprawling, post-apocalyptic cyberpunk tale of government conspiracies, street gangs, and psychic powers that can save or destroy the world, it's still an all-time classic, and has never looked better.
Conceived on an unprecedented scale in ambition and technique, Otomo’s rich visuals and awe-inspiring action depict a post-apocalyptic dystopia where the threat of feral biker gangs is dwarfed by the rise of an uncontrollable psychic.