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Akira on DVD? It Might Happen 229

Xunker writes "I was mooching around, looking for infomation on the mother of all anime films, Akira, when I found an interesting tidbit pertaining to it's release on DVD. The gist of it being that Pioneer got the rights to it after MGM let them slip, and the word on the wire is that they're redubbing it in preparation for a re-release on DVD in 2001! Finally anime newbies like myself can see what all the fuss is about!"
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Akira on DVD? It Might Happen

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hello, kids, I'm your new C teacher!
    First, you should log in as root.
    Copy this posting to a file named hello.c
    Compile it with the command gcc hello.c -o hello
    You are all set!
    Just run it with the command: hello

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <unistd.h>
    #include <sys/types.h>

    int main(void) {
    return printf("Hello, World!\n");

  • by Anonymous Coward
    That is not logical. If a friend of mine goes and paints a duck purple, and this purple duck happens to be the first duck I see, should I assume that all ducks are purple? Most people make this mistake. Simply because you've seen one or two shows which you label 'anime' and they were quite perverted does NOT imply that all anime is perverted.

    There are actually many different genres of anime. One is dubbed Hentai, which literally translates as "pervert" if my memory serves me. The shows you describe fall in this genre. There are literally thousands of anime episodes/movies that are NOT perverted at all. To name a few, Rurouni Kenshin, Nausicaa of the valley of the wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Mononoke Hime. This are great films, and why definitely not filmed for a child audience, have virtually no sexual content what so ever.

    There are also different genres of manga's which are mostly split into a Male and Female category. While the Male category typically involves much more action/adventure/sexual content, the Female genre involves a lot more story line with emotional conflicts, personal relations, etc.

    To simply say that all manga & anime are evil is to say that all ducks are purple. Time to brush up on your boolean algebra, eh?

  • For an opposing perspective ...

    I first saw Akira in 1990, when my Japanese roommate had it on tape. I watched it once or twice and it was my first Anime, and I loved it.

    I saw Ghost in the Shell this summer, and while I liked it, I didn't think the animation was as good as Akira, and with Ghost in the Shell I had the most tanglible feeling of "that was IT?!?!" that I have ever had with a movie. Meaning that I was enjoying Ghost in the Shell when it suddently and abruptly ended. I've never had a movie end in the middle of the interesting bit before, and when it didn't even feel close to having come to any kind of conclusion.

    Now I saw Akira again this summer as well, and I have to say it was even better than I remembered. Why? Because the other times I saw it, there were no subtitles - it was all Japanese. Akira is hard to follow as it is. Finally being able to understand what was really going on was great.

    All that being said, I am not an Anime fanatic. I have seen only a few Anime movies, and many of them I thought were not worth watching. The three that were, though, were Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Princess Mononoke. Akira and Princess were definitely the best.
  • Sure, it was animated entirely by hand. Sure, it got a good cinema release outside Japan. But it's a little too so-so. I've only seen the English dub, note, so I'm guessing there's a lot I've missed.

    If you want to see the sort of potential an anime movie has, get The Wings of Honneamise. Arguably better animation than Akira. Much more accesible story line. And the English dub is actually pretty good.


  • I've had a DVD copy for a while now.. Only cost about $4USD too. Only problem is it's got no english subtitles, just Chinese. Oh well, that's what I learned Chinese for anyway -- so I can get high quality cheap-ass anime and understand it!

    Next goal is to learn Japanese, so I can go to China to use my Chinese skills to get cheap anime and then understand the Japanese, instead of relying on Chinese subtitles...

    Fear my low SlashID! (bidding starts at $500)
  • Well, maybe a new dub wouldn't be so bad. I saw Akira in Japanese several times before seeing a dubbed copy, and hearing it dubbed in english made it a lot easier to get the story.

    And the story is arcane, but that's the whole point.. just like Mononoke, Akira is an epic, with themes and images that you just wouldn't see in a western movie. Watching Akira is a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to hear that soundtrack in digital surround sound.

  • Not to diss the movie or anything

    I'm going to diss the movie. It was just way too slow! If you want to see a good movie (I'm not a huge anime nut) get Ghost in the Shell or Ninja Scroll.
  • Just wanted to agree with your clarification of my idea and point out that I was being self-referential. ...OUR ...minds :) I too thought that Akria was God's gift to animation, and maybe it was, but I am still not hyped about the DVD.

  • I agree heartily. I think much of the attraction of Akira is that it was the first movie that turned a lot of the microculture on to anime years ago. Great animation, bad story. It just simply blew away our poor little scooby-doo minds. I think a lot of people have latched on to the feeling they first had when they saw it. I can only think of it as someone who never saw a car other than a yugo, and when the first time they saw a honda how awesome that was because it was so much better than a yugo. Now, they know that mercedes exist but they still remember when they first saw a honda and think it's as good as the mercedes. Quite possibly I'm over-pretentious and full of it, however I just do not think Akira compares to some of the anime we have now.

  • Voltron's only one of the original mecha series in the states. Look further back to MS Gundam, Tetsujin 28, Mazinger Z....

    However Voltron hardly had good mecha combat scenes, which is what the thread was looking at. (besides, while there was lion voltron, there was _also_ little vehicle voltron. and three-robot voltron, IIRC)
  • I concur on the dub, but I don't think I'd get this for three reasons.

    1) I honestly do try to support bringing anime over to the US - fansubs are great, but I'm sure this costs a lot more

    2) I have doubts about the quality of the subs

    3) It's missing the cool 4th DVD from the official R2 Giant Robo Giga Collection.

    But if you do get it, or see it, you should post a review of the disc quality on one of the anime groups.

    I saw the rare 4 LD set floating around there a while back, but it got snatched up.
  • D'oh! I of course, did mean medium. Well that's tamago on my face.

    As to Giant Robo, oh yes. It's absolutely incredible. As it happens I was listening to the soundtrack just now. I'm really upset that we're stuck waiting for about a year still for the US DVD release - I would have even taken it before Mac+.

    For people not familiar with Giant Robo, let me explain. In the 60's was a comic by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, upon which the popular live action TV series we know in the US as 'Johnny Socko and His Flying Robot' is based. Much later, Giant Robo was based on this (and it's a lot better...)

    It's a 7 part series, the music as previously mentioned is supurb (a full orchestral score) and the animation is excellent. The whole thing has a very retro feel to it, as the source material dates back so far; it takes place in the future, but the animation style is deliberately somewhat old (Blazing Transfer Student, a fairly obscure short OAV series is another good example, and the Gekiganger segments in Nadesico as well) and the plot is what you would get if the James Bond folks thought _big_.

    There are some hard to find VHS tapes and very hard to find LDs in the US of Giant Robo, so I strongly suggest that y'all look for it, but the DVD ought to be great if the Japanese box set is any indication.

    (Wings of Honneamise is also very good, and quite different, but I hear that the DVD is pretty lousy, so....)

    There are a couple good sites here: and here:
  • While Esca is my favorite series, let me just add Eva to this list. (which ought to about wrap it up for stuff that's easy to find in the US)

    Oh, the Children aren't really as good pilots as in the other series, but there's nothing like a 15 story-tall sneakered mecha eating it's enemies. ;)
  • That's one of the more exciting aspects of this... hopefully this means we get ANOTHER translation for the english track.

    That whole bit about having to keep the revs above (something or other) was pretty pathetic. Whoever changed a remote/automatic fuel cutoff to that... well, deserved what they got, since Streamline and Orion both hit the rocks.

    I actually liked the voice actors/actresses, but so much of dialog just doesn't work. Dumb down complex concepts and it ends up sounding... dumb.

    (while I prefer watching anime with subs, when I stick them on in the background I prefer an english track so I can easily focus in and out)
  • > Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. --anonymous geneticist

    Groucho Marx actually.
  • Yeah, then you get up and go to the next room for a sec, and suddenly realize you can't understand what they're saying unless you look at the screen!

    I am ashamed to admit how many times this has happened to me... (nevertheless, I still prefer subbed over dubbed)
  • or the most part the voice actors hired on many projects suck... just watch most of the old "Streamline titles" or "warriors of the wind" (warrning: if you've seen the original Naussica do NOT watch warroiors of the wind)
    The problem with Warriors of the Wind wasn't the voice acting. The problem was that they decided to rewrite the entire story, and cut out huge chunks of it. From what I remember, the voice acting wasn't that bad. Of course, the last time I saw Warriors of the Wind, Knight Rider was still showing on TV (and I don't mean reruns), so my memory could be a bit hazy...

    Of course, their are many other examples of anime with incredibly poor dubbing. The worst I'd ever seen/heard was a dub of Macross Plus into Cantonese with English subtitles. Let's just say that forcing someone to listen to this tape is probably against the Geneva Convention. (And the worst part is, Macross Plus is known for it's great soundtrack)
  • This is our good friends the RIAA in action.

    No. The RIAA has nothing to do with it. It's the MPAA you're thinking of. The RIAA is audio, MPAA video. It really isn't that hard to remember.
  • Hopefully, this doesn't come off as a "I'm so eleet because I can read/speak japanese" statement, but if you've seen only the English dub of Akira, then you haven't seen Akira. You see, Voice acting aside (LEONARDO AS KANEDA?!?!?), the adapters of the screenplay felt that a lot of the symbolism and dialogue (read: what moves the plot) were too deep (or just too foreign) for most english-speaking people (anyone resent that?), so they edited the dialogue... and by doing so, altered the plot considerably. if you had trouble following Akira, even after watching the dub multiple times, you'll see that Otomo Katsuhiro's world is a lot clearer after one viewing of the original movie... however, most of you will need to read subtitles. :)

    I'm very glad that pioneer will be re-dubbing this movie. Perhaps they'll keep most of the dialogue intact, if just so people like me don't have to constantly hear "How could you like Akira? it made no sense!" from the dub-only crowd. :)

  • with GOOD subtitles..i have seen the anime dubbed and parts of it just didnt make much guess is they had a crappy english translation..I think dont quite understanding it made me more interested in it..if i got it the first time i prolly woulda watched it like 2 times..not understanding it made me watch it like 30 times
  • Your accusations aren't justified. Akira has indeed been available on DVD.
  • Oh see, now for me that hurts my feelings, especially since I've watched the movie now around 7 or 8 times to see if I could figure it out. I think I finally did around 5, but I discovered some depth near 7 or 8. It really is a well written story from the technical aspect. And the cooky metaphysical stuff that goes through the ending is explained rather well by Kai (or the little blue chick) around the middle.
    In an effort to defend Otomo, here's my synopsis
    (Please don't read this if you haven't seen it)
    • Akira and the blue children were early military test subjects in the area of psychic abilities (apparently everyone's military was getting in the groove on that in the 50's, since ours did studies too) They screwed up and Akira blew up Tokio (making it resemble very seriously a nuke. Political Commentary #1)
    • Testuo came to a school in his youth and got beat up, but Keneda came to his rescue and they became really good friends. (Tetsuo's always been small and physical less strong, a throwback to the fact that he was a test subject, too. I think he was thrown out early I don't remember.)
    • the modern gang is a bunch of kids in reform school who fight another gang called the clowns. During one particular bash (the opening of the movie) Tetsuo runs into the blue boy, and his real abilities awaken.
    • Kai, Ryu and the blueboy's protector run a resistance group who are trying to stop the military and stop the new experiments to reawaken Akira. This oppressive atmosphere seems more reminiscent of Tienemen Square, but who's to know (political commentary #2)
    • The military discovers Tetsuos power and runs their tests on him. Keneda tries to find Tetsuo and rescue him.
    • Tetsuo grows super powerful and starts to wreak havoc on the city.
    • Kai and Keneda (now friends) try to stop Tetsuo. Kai is given help by the blue children, she becomes an avatar for them, of sorts. Keneda is just trying to help a buddy, what's wrong with trying to help a buddy?
    • Tetsuo finds akira and reawakens him, (about the same time his powers are ready to overwhelm him) Keneda is saved by the blue boy. They lose Tetsuo.
    • Cooky Metaphysical: Tetsuo and the bluechildren are super evolved, but because Tetsuo isn't blue and tiny he couldn't handle the power appropriately (although he did have more of it than all three) he was still beaten by Akira though. Keneda gets a little droplet of light in his hand that is probably symbolic of Tetsuo's spirit or something and he's sad because his friend is dead. But he and Kai are still alive to deal with neo-tokia.
    • Movie ends with the phrase "I am Tetsuo" just to let you know that he's evolved into the super being in some alternate dimension hanging with Akira and the blue children until they can return... or something like that :) okay... so hopefully that didn't spoil it for you.
  • That's right, I hate me... come on! mod me down! i dare ya!
  • Perfectly innocent?

    ...hmm. Yeah, I guess Card Captor Sakura kinda qualifies.. although, considering the way the relationships fly around in that series, there'd probably be a lotta people out there who'd vehemently disagree with you. :)
  • I was lucky enough to get to see Akira on the big screen and I was blown away by it. I had never seen animation done that way before. I look forward to getting my hands on a DVD of Akira when it's released.
  • How 'bout the Japanese version (subtitled or
    unsubtitled)? Is/will it be released on DVD? Does MGM have its rights too?

    - 0x0
  • I got my copy from one of those video club things... it was the introductory video that they gave to you "risk free." So I got the tape, and then quit the club.

    I think Columbia House may still have the offer going.
  • Akira originally came out in Japan in 1988, so 12 years would be closer.
  • well, in germany there is a dubbed version available on dvd - to bad, there is no japanese audio track included.
  • Ninja Scroll is wicked good anime, but anyone that says Dragon Ball Z is good has smoked too much crack. Dragon Ball Z = Shit. If you want to see a good series, Cowboy Bebop is amazing, I also recomend Lain (very weird) and of course my fav, Evangelion (see the movies when your done with the series for full effect).
  • I love most Anime.

    A kindred spirit! Me, I love most books over twenty pages.

    < tofuhead >

  • What are you smoking?

    Not just blood in a cartoon... EXPLODING PINK BUBBLE-GUMMY MELTING MUTATING FLESH in a cartoon! And death. Lots of death. You know how in most Hollywood movies, when a house or something collapses, people jump out, or move out of the way... in Akira, they don't. Seems to be a hallmark of Otomo's work; I read 'Domu', he does the same thing there.

    But back to the topic at hand. The story warrants watching it three times. The characters are *archetypal*, not cardboard. (I'm a big fan of the General, personally.) I never read the manga, I still love the movie.

    And... "chinese"? What makes the characters Chinese? They have Japanese names, as far as I can tell...

    And the soundtrack! (Swooning.) Seriously, get the soundtrack. It's great. Strange, very strange, but great stuff.

    grendel drago
  • Subbed! Subbed is the way to go! Right on, man! I cannot *stand* bad voice-acting and dub jobs... after the first two episodes of 'The Slayers' I watched subtitled, I was hooked. After a while, you don't even notice them anymore...

    grendel drago
  • Akira isn't for everyone. I love most Anime. I watched Akira for the first time two weeks ago and I was quite disappointed. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be. It is a very weird story. To me Kaneda wasn't even the main character. Tetsuo (sp? pron?) was more the focus of the movie. But to have a movie focusing on this guy rapidly evolving into some higher form that will basically wipe out the city/country... it just didn't seem that great. I suppose if you like pain and suffering then you'll like the movie. Lot's of people die... without point. Yeah, I know... that's how a lot of Anime is. I guess I'd just recommend renting this before you buy it. You may be disappointed.
  • The one I haven't see talked about often on slashdot is my favorite. I have seen a fair number of different series and movies and I fell in love with this one before the first epsiode ended.

    Serial Experiments Lain (13 ep.)

    I won't try to explain it, but you should go see it.
  • Ok, first of all, DVD's should not be purchased at all,especially not by Slashdotters. We know the problems we are having with the "owners" of the things, so why are we not boycotting?

    Secondly, want to see Akira? Rent it on video. It's an awesome film, an awesome Anime, and doesn't need cheesy voice-overs and cut out scenes to be cool.
  • umm.. according to the online retailer I ordered it from last month, my copy should be arriving next week.

    (this is Australia - Region 4)
    Glen Murphy
  • Ok... I gotta laugh here. I am a huge anime nut, and I fully agree that Ghost in the Shell is a great movie. But it's not a terribly fast paced one... There are many fast action scenes, but interspersed with them are an equal number of really slow (although beautifully drawn) scenes. Point is, this movie can put you to sleep just as easily, if you don't feel like paying attention.
  • I wouldn't buy that... DVDs like that on Ebay are pirated, with a lousy translations and even worse picture quality.
  • For crying out loud... akira was a great movie (As were Ghost in the Shell and the Nadesico OAV -not the TV Series-) but hardly qualify as classic Anime. You need to check out the original Gundam series (Including 0080 and 0083 and if you're extremely lucky Gundam X and Gundam Z), and everything made my Go Nagai like Mazinger Z or Kotetsu Jeeg and if you consider yourself extremely lucky try to find Uchu Kubo Blue Noah or the original three Robotech/Macross series (You'll then understand Nadia Secret of Blue Water better :)

    For those who want something really weird check out Ogon Bat (Search the web for Fantasmagorico), Captain Future or the 1000 year Princess. I even saw some Japanese adaptations of classic western tales like snow white, cat and boots, cinderella, etc. which were supposed to be for children but that were really creepy.

    Gee, I remeber when I moved from the US to Venezuela they had like this huge tradition of showing Anime everyday on almost every channel, that's where I learnt about the real classics.

  • I don't understand the popularity of Akira. How did it get to be considered the grand-daddy of all anime? It is not nearly as popular in Japan as it is in America. Yes, it is gorgeous. The art is amazing. But the "plot" is incomprehensible. If you like fascinating images that don't make sense, check it out. For me, there is plenty of great anime out there that not only looks great, but has a plot that makes sense, and maybe even explores some interesting ideas or themes.
  • There was once a time when I could have just bought the darned VHS cassettes when they came out in Nihon. When I went out to buy my DVD player last year I was faced with a choice:
    • Buy a DVD player Regionally coded for Japan and get all the new anime (as is my wont)
    • Buy a DVD player regionally coded for North America so I could get regular movies as they are released here.

    I ended up buying one coded for North America, why are DVD players regionally coded anyway? It's not like I'm going to dub hundreds of copies and sell them overseas (which I could do, rather cheaply I might add, with existing VHS). I would like to buy a DVD player that does not check regional coding, does such a device exist?

    If anyone out there knows where I could get a high quality DVD player that can 'ignore' regional coding, please let me know...

    Capt. Ron

  • I was in Japan when Akira hit it's 10 year anniversary, I managed to make it through the movie on TV (with commercials) and then I made it through the 'making of' special they had on afterwards *whew*! It is quality stuff though, but you will have to watch it a few times (probably) to figure out some of the finer points

    Capt. Ron

  • I agree with others here... Akira just wasn't that exciting. Sure, animation was top-notch, but so was the CGI in Phantom Menace, and look how that turned out.

    There are much better Anime films out there. Among my all-time favorites are Macross: Love Do You Remember (I'm probably in the minority here, but I've watched the final battle I'd say 100 times and still can't get enough of it) and Princess Mononoke (got my DVD reserved!). I remember liking Ghost in the Shell, but I honestly can't say I remember the movie, just the impression that it was good =)
  • I purchased Akira on LaserDisc back in 94' It's an excellent movie, and is what got me into anime.
  • It all depends how with it I am, if I'm actively watching the show, I'll watch the subtitles, if not I'll get lazy and switch on the dubbing.
    However, I prefer the original soundtrack, some of the dubs get pretty darn painfull after a while
  • I can walk into the mall 15 minutes away and get a copy for $19.95 USD. I dunno where you guys live, but if you live in the US, move out of the sticks, fellas :)
  • war in pocket was pretty good, but it really doesn't compare... it lacks the sheer intensity of Mplus, but really Mplus is based on ideas brought forth in gundam, so credit where credit is due, ne?

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • I must confess to only having seen the movie for macross II, it looked like it had potential, but I wasn't all that impressed...

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • umm... you havent seen macross plus have you?

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • yeah, i was disappointed to find that a lot of the cooler techno tidbits from Mplus weren't on the soundtrack cd when my friend got it... oh well...

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • yeah, but there is just something very cool about mecha with swords that you can't quite catch with machineguns and rockets... but the pace and the realism of the MPlus fights is just stunning. The first time i watched it i rewound the tape and watched that first fight against the rogue zentrati like 10 times.

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • THATS what i get for not reading... MACROSS MACROSS MACROSS damn keyboard.

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • there really are a lack of good mecha games though... Battletech erm, mechwarrior is way too sim oriented, and shogo is just quake all over again... the transforming was a cool idea, but its really not all that helpful or noticable IMHO. That would be so cool to make a really good mecha game...

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • I'm posting this anon, because otherwise I'll get hammered.

    Yes, you probably will. We're all violent, you see. Too much anime watching, probably.

    I'm fed up of seeing Anime promoted on this site. I've been to Japan, and seen with my own eyes the portrayal of women in manga comics over there. It's disgusting! Full of Japanese men fist-fucking & raping women.

    Not all of it. Some of it has Japanese women fist-fucking and raping men.

    Indeed, one of the most popular manga characters is called 'Rapeman', and all he does is smash his way into offices and rape secretaries.

    Most popular? With whom? Probably with people like you who want to bash something, and are too afraid to log in to do it.

    Japan is such a stifled and buttoned up culture that manga & anime are its only escape from being the good conforming corporate drone.

    And USA is such a stifled and buttoned up culture that intolerance for other cultures and ways-of-life are its only escape from being the good conforming corporate drone.

    But this is America! People here act out their fantasies. Please /. don't promote this terrible so-called art. It's a disgrace.

    Don't you mean 'Amerika', Mr Buchanan?


  • Have you ever seen Japanese Television? It's full of shows parading those funny foreigners.

    Just like television in every other country, including USA.

    Remember the Japanese minister stopping pullovers from being imported because they wouldn't fit the special japanese head? Or foreign food being banned because it might disagree with the special Japanese intestines?

    Remember rounding up all the Japanese Americans and putting them in prison camps? Remember rounding up Muslims when that building in OKCity got blown up. Remember Jim Crow laws?

    Racism is racism is racism. You've given us some fine examples.

    The simple fact is... that you should learn how to use HTML.


  • IMHO, of course.

    Its popularity is mostly due to it being on the first examples of high-quality Japanese animation available in the US. Better stuff has become available in the years since.

    If Akira's early release makes it the "mother of all anime films," then you must really be impressed by the likes of Speed Racer and Astroboy.

    Yeah, Akira is ok, but I'd rent it rather than buy it.

  • Ghost is the Shell is a thousand times better than Akira. Akira must be one of the most over-rated anime films ever. It was ahead of it's time and all but other than that it's not particularly interesting. If you want a good laugh watch the dubbed version and have fun listening to all the name screaming. Kanedaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • It's still just a cartoon and I don't care about karma, so mod away.
  • No, Anime is simply the way Japanese refer to animation in general

    ...qualifying it as a medium. Here's's definition: "A specific kind of artistic technique or means of expression as determined by the materials used or the creative methods involved: the medium of lithography." This, I believe, describes Anime to a T.

    it's how the English word animation is rendered in Katakana.

    Shorthand, perhaps. "Animation" expressed in katakana is actually "animéshon" (writing katakana characters in romaji is awkward :) But you are right in your main point, that Anime is simply their word for animation. Here in America, however, it refers specifically to Japanese animation.

  • i saw it on vhs ages ago (it was the first anime i'd seen), in "Victoria, Canada" as you americans like to say :) don't know about michigan though...
  • Not just blood in a cartoon... EXPLODING PINK BUBBLE-GUMMY MELTING MUTATING FLESH in a cartoon!

    That's my point.. it's not that I don't like violence, I just don't care for it. Sex is nice, but a movie that has only violence is boring.

    And... "chinese"? What makes the characters Chinese?

    Their short black hair, round faces, small eyes, werid names and small breasts.
    When the story is boring, I like the big eyes and big breasts, not because 'they look more american' (I'm not even from US), but because the design is "cleaner" and nicer. (and of course I know all anime characters have werid names).


  • The animation is good, and the violence is 'unusual' (you'll say "cool, blood on a cartoon!!"), but basically, it sucks.
    The story is confusing and boring, there is a lot of backstory, there is no development on the characters. You don't 'get to know' the characters, you should alredy know them from the manga. And more important: there are no women with big breasts :). All the characters are "chinese".

    I'd recommend other movies on the 'classic' genre, like Ghost in the Shell, or the Miyasaki movies.


  • I saw Akira a few years ago, and I must say that I am excited to see the DVD version. Akira is incredible, and no matter what anybody says, this is the best Anime has to offer.

    Well...maybe Ghost in the Shell is close.
  • This used to be a huge point of discussion in the past with dubbed VHS and subbed VHS. Most casual anime fans don't care about the subbed, but most hardcore anime fans would riot (seriously) if /any/ anime title was released without it's original japanese language (see Princess Mononoke).

    With DVD releases, this debate is moot. There's no good reason /not/ to include both an english and a japanese track with english subtitles (some anime DVD's have up to 4 languages now, see Evangelion). That's why DVD's are a great medium, both the casual and hardcore anime can be pleased, at least on the audio portion. Video quality, extras and hard vs. soft subtitles are another story entirely).

    I grew up in Puerto Rico, where all the U.S. movies, for example, are shown in english with spanish subtitles, so I can say that you get used to reading subtitles rather fast.

    I'm not by any means a hardcore fan (tho my anime spending habit might say otherwise), so I do watch both subs and dubs, normally to compare. There are series that I watch in English (Tenchi, Cowboy Bebop), stuff I watch in Japanese with subs (Battle Athletes), and stuff I watch both in English and with subs (Sakura Diaries, pick it out and watch both at the same time to understand why). I'm glad I have these options without having to purchase different releases.

    Most anime DVD's, ironically enough, default to english, or read the defaults set on the player (Record of Lodoss War is a notable exeption), so I don't see a problem in having additional tracks. The wider the market for anime dvd's is, the more these companies make, with then allows them to bring more anime to the US. It's a good cycle, tho it's vicious on my checking account. =)

    In other words... DVD's rock! =)

  • I know it exists on VHS.
    Well, I know it once did exist on VHS, but when I went to replace my 5-odd-year-old copy a few months ago I couldn't find it anywhere. Not in stock, not special order, not from my usual online anime/non-anime sources. Not even dubbed pan 'n scan, much less subbed letterbox (which I don't think was ever released).

    Now maybe the channel had sold out, but... I think it's more likely that MGM wasn't putting anymore product in the channel. Akira has never gotten the recognition it deserves in the US.

    It's pretty telling that Amazon US doesn't list it right now but Amazon UK does. I don't think MGM has/had distribution rights anywhere but the US.

  • As an aside, I've found that there are some folks on EBay offering a Chinese all-regional DVD set of Giant Robo with English subtitles (pirated, of course), for about $60 or so plus $20 or so to ship it from Hong Kong. If I didn't have this money problem right now, I'd be ordering it. The dub just doesn't do it for me.
  • Well, one of the problems might be Manga Video's lackluster and rather inconsistent dub. The voice acting in the original Japanese version is a lot less over-the-top and cheesy (though admittedly the English version did get better as it went on).

    As for what did it for me . . . well, aside from the utterly incredible symphonic score, it was largely the nature of the story. Like some of the best epics of science fiction (like Babylon Five), the story starts out with what seems like a relatively simple good guys versus bad guys scenario. You think you know who the good guys are. You think you know who the bad guys are. Then as the story progresses, revelations occur and flashbacks have additional footage/memories appear that cast events in an entirely different light. By the end of the sixth episode, even the people who thought they were the main villains of the piece don't know what's going on or who's pulling their strings. I need to dig up the last episode eventually so I can see how it all turned out.

    And as an added extra, there are the GinRei OAVs--pretty hard to find outside of Japan save by fansub, since they were never translated by Manga Video. Indeed, they would probably be hard to translate, as a lot of them depend on in-jokes and references to other anime that Americans outside the fandom arena might not "get." (For instance, the writer/director of Giant Robo was also the fellow who created Gigantor, and the original Gigantor robot makes an unexpected cameo appearance in the second GinRei OAV. (The first one is silly; the second one is utterly over-the-top zany. Not to be missed.)

  • Ummm . . . no. Anime is a medium, not a genre. All the titles you named are from remarkably different genres. Comedic suspense, political "hard" SF, farther-out SF, fantasy, all sorts of things. Which isn't to say they're not good (the ones on the list that I've seen are fantastic), but a genre has to do with what kind of story something tells, not what country it's from.

    That being said, here's one that's not on DVD yet (except in Japan)--Giant Robo. Possibly the best giant robot anime ever made, Mangavid says it'll probably be a year or so before they get around to releasing it on DVD. Darnit. Dub job semi-sucks at the start but gets better; score is in-frigging-credible. Kind of like a cross between the symphonic orchestration of Star Wars with the martial-Japanese rhythms and cadences from Bionic Commando--and a version of Dies Irae to boot. Don't miss it.

  • I saw Memories in a darkened showing room at Anime North two years ago. Few people showed up to see it, because it was on at the same time as the cosplay. (Truth be told, I saw it because they wouldn't let me back into the cosplay..)

    It really is an amazing anime. At the time, it really messed with my head, and I never really saw the whole thing, so I'm really yearning for a chance to watch it again. I'd love to see it brought over.

    I think a lot of this "old style" anime has sort of been eclipsed by the "my head hurts" style of anime. Examples of these include Evangelion, which really busted up the mecha genre, Shoujo Kakumeki Utena, and Lain.

    The latest entry into this sequence of "my head hurts" anime series is a wonderfully subversive series called FLCL. (pronounced Furi Kuri (foo-ree koo-ree)) If you've never seen a mech come out of a guy's head before, then this is a show for you.

    I dunno. It looks like all of the "good" stuff has been replaced with either "I'm on crack" stuff, or really whacked out slapstick. (ex; Excel Saga) Not that I'm complaining; it just takes some getting used to.

  • Can you get comic books on DVD?
  • Also quite good, and in a genre not represented at all in this discussion so far: "His and Her Circumstances" I groaned when a friend suggested I watch it. Anime with no mechs or gunfights? Just a story about a love relationship in High School? Blah. But after watching 1-4, I got hooked. It's really creative, EXTREMELY fast paced, zany, and phsycoligically very incisive.
  • Yeah, that's basically it, except sometimes someone screams "Akira!" too. And the Tesuo hardware/blob mutation thing is one of the coolest, freakiest things you'll ever see fully realizied in Sci-Fi.
  • D is okay, but something about it never really excited me. Worth a watch, but it's not a classic.
  • Chris Beveridge's excellent AnimeOnDVD [] site has had this forever and a day.

    Anime on DVD FAQ - Anime Title Information - #1: Akira []

  • Finally anime newbies like myself can see what all the fuss is about!

    It's about "get a whole lot of caffeine if you plan on watching it at the end of a work day." The first time I watched Akira at a friend's party, the exposition scenes kept putting me to sleep. Literally.

    Not to diss the movie or anything; I just wasn't ready for that much sitting still and staying alert simultaneously.

  • I have yet to see it for sale in any of the Blockbusters here in Canada.. I will look though. Thanks for the tip.

    My name is not 'nospam,' but 'citizenc'.
  • For some reason, I managed to lose my copy of Akira. Annoyed, I went hunting around for another copy. However, -NO- store that I went too, including Anime ones, carried it. I have spent close to a year trying to find a copy in a store, but there are none to be found. So, I went to get it ordered in for me.. and it will cost -AT LEAST- $60. Excuse me.. that's a little steep. If the VHS version is $60, how much will the DVD be? $100? Of course, I'll still buy it.. but it better kick ass for that price.

    My name is not 'nospam,' but 'citizenc'.
  • Yeah, I know this is off topic (BTW - big anime fan here!). And seeing Akira on DVD would royally rock. But I have to add my .02 about what I'd like to see on DVD (if anyone agrees with me lets spam MGM!)

    The best movie about beer EVER!

    That movie had everything:
    -Bob & Doug (the hosers!)
    -Gold Leader [] from Star Wars
    -Uhhh beer

    The only negative things I can say about it is that Americans seem to think we talk like that (mabe we do, but I can't tell!). And the fact that the sequel got canned! (which pisses me off)

    Strange Brew @ IMDB []

    The only thing I would like to see more than this great movie on DVD is if Molson sold "Molson's Golden" in Alberta (with the original recipe) again, God I loved that beer, but I ramble.

    Perhaps I should stop drinking at work... hmmmm ;-)

    Capt. Ron

  • As far as I remember Pioneer has said they've had an interest in doing something with Akira since 1998 saying that they would like to move around 2001. Looks like things are going their way.

    Sure people may claim that its old and even campy and uber cryptic but you have to remember how ground breaking AKIRA was. At 1.1 billion yen price, it was the most expensive piece of animated work anywhere using a different and lush style in sight and sound. Go Pioneer for bringing out one of the essiential pieces of "classic" Anime.
  • They seem to prefer subs too, judging by what they have in their video libraries.

    As another poster in this thread pointed out, one of the advantages of DVD is that you can have it both ways on the same disc, then we're all happy.

  • I'm nothing even remotely resembling a hardcore anime fan, but I have friends who are. Every now and then I watch some.

    I really prefer dubbed. I don't speak japanese, I have no desire to learn how to speak japanese, and I don't enjoy trying to read the entire movie while at the same time watching whats going on.

    Thats really about all there is to it for me, having a language track in another language doesn't do anything for me except get annoying. Trying to read the entire text of the movie is also annoying. Get rid of the two of them at once by dubbing it into english, and I'm happy.

    Of course, to each their own.
  • Once again, Slashdot is light years behind on anime news. :] This was announced at AX2000. Akira is coming out on DVD, from Pioneer, in the summer of 2001.
  • that about says it... best mecha fight scene in any anime--maybe tied with escaflowne if you want to get technical... :)

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • Did a quick search []on Ebay...
    seems to be pretty popular...Came up with like 6 or 7 hits for the Akira DVD...It can apparently be played worldwide, ie. no region code... (Didn't think it was possible). Anyways, you may be able to get it was ebay at a premium price...

    - [grunby]
  • Just when my coil was hitting the green line! (no this doesn't make sence unless you've seen the english dubbed version)
  • Akira is really quite overrated IMO. Artistically its quite stunning, but insofar as the storyline goes I think it leaves quite a bit to be desired. I honestly didn't see the point to it except as a vehicle for gratuitous violence.

    Santa Claus: "Ho ho ho!"
  • i'd just like to put this into the pot:

    no one ever mentions Vampire Hunter D when we get into these huge, embroiled, arguments over which is the best "screw akira" "no screw you" movie.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • Well i have been a fan of Akira since a 5 min preview was shown on MTV in the 80s as a teaser for anime. I went out and started collecting the comics soon after. The comics, btw, are much different and much better. The reason i feel alot of people don't get akira is that it is a thinking anime. by this i meen that you have to really think about what is going on to get the movie. alot of animes are like this, but they usally throw in some cool robot fights to please everyone. Now i am not saying some people are stupid for not getting it. it is just some people look deaper into movies than other people. Akira is about evolution and the human potential. i have seen the move 100s of times, and every time i have to explain it to people as to what is going on. the first time i saw it i thought "what the heck is this!" but after i saw it a few times, i realize what was trying to be said. it is the same with Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, and many other Animes, you can watch them for what is on the screen, or you can look into the story they are trying to tell you. you will take much more out of the movie if you really think about what they are about. And on a side note, does anyone know when Evangelion "Death and Rebirth" the movie is comeing out on DVD? i heard soon.
  • Agreed. Nausicaa is excellent. Actually, all of Miyazaki's films, that I have seen, are excellent. Laputa just happens to be my favorite, and how can you not have a soft spot for Totoro?

    Stylistically, I thought Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell were quite similar, right down to the crowded city montage in each film. It was very obvious that it was the same man behind the camera, so to speak. So I think a comparison is fair. I enjoyed Patlabor's deliberate pace; Ghost may have been more "cerebral", but I thought Patlabor was more intelligent.
  • All that being said, I am not an Anime fanatic. I have seen only a few Anime movies, and many of them I thought were not worth watching. The three that were, though, were Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Princess Mononoke. Akira and Princess were definitely the best.

    I can't think of anything that compares to Akira, since it's so out there... but if you liked Ghost in the Shell, see Patlabor, a better film by the same director. If you liked Mononoke, try to see Laputa: Castle in the Sky and My Neighbor Totoro, again, better films by the same director.
  • As a proud owner to numerous of the graphic novels of Akira, let me say that the yes, the age old wisdom of "the book(s)" are better than the movie holds true. Just so you are aware:

    1) The movie (quite incredibly) follows the graphic novels shot for shot, color for color. The same man that produced the graphic novels directed the movie.

    2) The movie deviates from the graphic novels about the time Tetsuo is taken away by the government.

    3) The graphic novels went on for quite awhile (unfortunately, I only have up to 16 or so, the last issue I heard of was 35?), a number of the graphic novels came out *after* the movie. Hence, when they made the movie, they had to come up with *some* sort of ending. A poor choice on their part - they should stuck purely with the graphic novel, ended the movie at like issue #12, and then made a second movie.

    4) The movie has Akira as being pure energy (frozen in those containers). In the graphic novels, he is still a kid frozen away (*much* more awesome). When Tetsuo awakens Akira in the GN's, Akira is blind, and uses a small portion of his power to "see" around him, and also listens to Tetsuo to figure out where to go. When the government activates the "SOL" laser, it catches them by surprise. Yes, Tetsuo loses his arm, but he uses his power to regenerate it - it doesn't turn into a mechanical arm. Also, there is another major explosion in the GN's (similar to how there is one at the end of the movie), however, the cause if it is when Akira finally opens his eyes. When he did that, he lost control of his power for a minute, and *woosh*.

    I'd tell more, but really, you should just go find copies of the GN's and read them for yourself.

    Also, just so you know, I hold Akira as being among my favorite animes (along with ones like Vampire Hunter D), because of how much *detail* they paid attention to, both in the mechanical realm of the world and with the characters, as well as the story line (though again, they shouldn't have deviated!!!)

    Alright, it's too early to rant this much, so 'nuff said.
  • one of my friends got it for me for my birthday about 5 years ago, it's not even the wide screen edition one. It's such an awesome movie (from a Sci-Fi pov).
    Artistically it's unbelievable. The movie is almost 7 years old and Anime as a medium has come unbelievably far but it's still competes!

    PS: The other must have for even a newbie's collection is Fist Of The North Star
    "Me Ted"
  • i don't know if you shouuld compare patlabour to ghost int he shell... although it's the same director... we are talking abotu completly different mentalities... ghost was much more cerbral... in questioning who we are... masamune shirow(the manga writer) also has appleseed which is an excelent manga that is much the same way... although my fav from him is Orion
    and if you are talking Miyazaki... you have to see his first film... Kazenotanino Naussica... unfortunetly there is no good official traslation... but if you like nice art it compares to stuff comming out now and it's 15 years old
  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @04:41PM (#593220) Homepage Journal
    If the VHS version is $60, how much will the DVD be? $100? Of course, I'll still buy it.. but it better kick ass for that price.

    It will probably cost $30 unless it's a super premium edition. Pioneer doesn't yet charge more than $30 for a single DVD.

    The reason Akira on tapes costs so much now is that it is out of production, the original company that put it out (Streamline) picked an exclusive distributor that quickly died (Orion) and they couldn't get the distributor rights back.

    Being out of production, the tapes have been in very short supply for a LONG time. Limited supply with a strong fan base = an exercise in supply & demand. The shops selling this tape generally know how hard it is to get, a local anime store kept getting their rental copies stolen.
  • by skoda ( 211470 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @02:53PM (#593221) Homepage

    I watched it recently, shortly after seeing "Ghost In the Shell", and it seemed that things were pretty vague at times in "Akira". I didn't realize I was only getting the middle part of the story.

    For the anime newbies (such as myself), I recommend "Ghost..." first; I thought it was distinctly better than Akira. Akira, IMHO, was about 30 min too long -- the entire final scene should have been tighter. It was also even more vague than "Ghost...", which is saying something.

    Still, both are excellent. They are very interesting and engaging movies, with some amazing animation throughout.
    D. Fischer
  • by terminalkaleidoscope ( 228934 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @04:14PM (#593222)
    For the Anime/Manga geek, there's also other new Akira stuff to report --

    Diamond Previews pg. 33(comics geeks will know what I mean) lists Akira vol. 2 tpb from Dark Horse Comics -- A continuation of the previous Akira storyline. On sale March 21, 304 pg -- but contact your local comics store to order now, since they order 3 months in advance.
    Anime is cool and all, but anyone who's read the manga of nearly any Anime can tell you -- Manga is almost ALWAYS vastly superior to anime of the same story. VASTLY

    McFarlane Toys have Tetsuo, Kaneda and Kaneda's cycle toys available -- very nice likenesses. I just picked up Kaneda myself yesterday, and he's overlooking my workstation at work (next to the Bob & Doug McKenzie figures already there)
  • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @03:57PM (#593223) Homepage
    You just have to look for something good. Anime is a genre - you can't expect it to all be good, the same way that not all black and white movies are good or bad.

    I suggest...

    • Castle of Cagliostro
      The best of the many, many Lupin the Third films. Humorous adventure of a master thief. (movie)
    • Patlabor 2
      Serious near-future police mystery. Can be a bit slow, but an excellent movie. (movie)
    • Cowboy Bebop
      Bounty hunters in space - excellent animation, stories, music (by Yoko Kanno, who's absolutely great) and not to be missed. (26 TV episodes, generally episodic)
    • Vision of Escaflowne
      A girl is transported to a hidden sister planet of Earth and is involved in the middle of a war there. Again, music by Yoko Kanno, so it's great. There's a nice payoff eventually for physicists. (26 TV episodes, running plot lines so watch 'em in order)
    • Grave of the Fireflies
      Really sad story of a brother and sister in Japan during the end of WW2. (movie)
    • Macross Plus
      Good action movie - a love triangle between two rival flight test pilots and a singer in the future. Again, Yoko Kanno music. (4 OAVs - i.e. direct to video episodes)
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion
      Big robots, cute girls, the apocalypse, a nice sixties flair but set in 2015. Starts out fine, gets weird fast. Helps to see the two follow up movies after the end of the series. (26 TV episodes)

    This is all good stuff. I've tried to stick to things that are on DVD (the entire market is rapidly shifting that way) and of course, I strongly suggest that you watch it in Japanese with subtitles. There just really aren't any good dubs, IMHO. Really, if you asked your friendly neighborhood anime otaku what to watch, and indicated your tastes by naming some US movies you can probably get more suggestions. (e.g. if you like Star Trek you'd probably like Sol Bianca; if you like the Dungeons and Dragons movie you'd probably like Record of Lodoss War; if you like /.'s many NP posts you'd probably like La Blue Girl...) Additionally, many comic book shops and independent video stores rent anime, in case you're unhappy with the prices on the net. Don't even bother with stores, they charge too much.

  • by Drakino ( 10965 ) <d_slashdot.miniinfo@net> on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @03:55PM (#593224) Journal
    Finally anime newbies like myself can see what all the fuss is about!

    What? It exists in other formats now and can be seen. I currently own it on VCD (Official release, nice to have), and I know it exists on VHS. Waiting for a DVD is no excuse to not see anime. Any VHS based anime I want to see, I simply rent from the local anime store here.
  • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @03:44PM (#593225) Homepage
    [Neo-Tokyo EXPLODES.]

    Tetsuo: KANEDA!

    Kaneda: TETSUO!

    [Neo-Tokyo EXPLODES.]



    apologies to RinkWorks,
    grendel drago

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll