I distinctly remember watching Akira when I was about 10 years old. First off, Akira was NOT appropriate for a 10-year old kid, but I was hanging out with slightly older kids who wanted to watch it.
Even at that age, I already loved sci-fi, so I remembered liking the movie. Here are my 10-year old impressions of the movie that have stuck with me for the last 25 years:
- Take care of your stuffed animals if you don’t want them crawling after you and NEVER step on them.
- Elder-children have child-like voices and are bad actors.
- Shiny red bikes are cool (my first bicycle was shiny and red).
- When guts fall out of a person, is it really that much??
- Guys with big foreheads look villainous.
- If you flesh-morph, you look like a baby.
- Being crushed alive by growing flesh, doesn’t look very pleasant.
- Don’t disrespect stuffed animals.
Needless to say, I was a child who took care of her stuffed animals, and I still take care of them to this day. Now, here are my present day observations after re-watching it tonight:
The sci-fi genre seems to be lacking in the psychokinesis/psychic powers department. Sure, there’s been shows like Heroes, but even after all these years, Akira‘s take on psychic abilities is still so fresh and original.
The second is the usage of silence. Towards the end when Kaneda is sucked into the ‘creation of the universe’ we experience a moment of silence amidst chaos. That reminded me of when Pazu sees a vision of his father as he’s going through the Nest of Dragons before entering Laputa; it’s complete silence amidst chaos as well. FYI, Laputa came out in 1986 and Akira came out in 1988.
- Live-Action Akira: An All-Asian American Dream Cast (thenerdsofcolor.org)