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Akira Re-Released 141

Greg Lee writes "Pioneer Entertainment has re-released Akira! Originally released in 1988, this film is still cutting edge 13 years later. Two versions of the film have been re-released on DVD: One is a regular version, and the other is a special edition in a metal case with a second DVD filled with goodies. (Mine also came with a free animation cell from the movie!) Pioneer's website has not yet been updated to reflect the release." The deluxe DVD looks great - THX certed, Dolby 5.1, remastering script.
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Akira Re-Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    There's no difference insofar as the disc goes between the collectors tin and the normal edition that was released alongside each other. They're both THX, Dolby, etc with the same extras. The tin just gives you your special number and extra goodies. If you just care about the movie, and don't want extra trash just sitting around, buy the normal edition. (I love the way Hemos made himself sound so K-Rad having the TIN edition...) (Note: Yes, I only have the normal edition.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was driving thru Oakland yesterday, coming back from that Ikea out in Emeryville. Anyways, with a car full of cheap Swedish furniture (the Swedes, bless the hearts, are a notch better than the useless toque-wearing Canadians) I came to a stop at a red light.

    A homeless dude suffled up to my car and began to wash my windshield with a filthy rag. I started to shoo him off. Then I noticed his torn baggy pants. I looked up and realized I was looking into the sad, haggard face of MC Hammer.

    I pointed to my car and said, "You can't touch this!" as I sped away!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't bother watching it. In the end, they find the Statue of Liberty on a beach and you realize they've been on Earth the entire time!

    Oh, wait...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    but they let you rent Dr. Mario?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:30AM (#61488)
    For those of you who may be wondering what Akira is about, it's a movie where Neo-Tokyo has risen from the ashes of World War III to become a dark and dangerous megalopolis infested with gangs and terrorists. The government seethes with corruption and only maintains a token control over the powerful military that prevents total chaos and hides the secrets of the past. Childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda plunge into Neo-Tokyo's darkest secret when their motorcycle gang encounters a military operation to retrieve an escaped experimental subject. Tetsuo, captured by the military, is subjected to experiments that make him a powerful psychic, but unfortunately for Neo-Tokyo, Testuo's powers rage out of control and he lashes out at the world that has oppressed him. Nothing can stop the destructive forces that Tetsuo wields except possibly the last boy to destroy Tokyo.
  • By all accounts the "cel" included is not a cel, but rather a small poster printed up on transparent plastic. One could consider it a "cel reproduction" or a "cel print," but it's definitely not a piece of plastic that was actually shot on film.
  • I love Akira as much as the next guy, but can anyone really claim to understand it? To be sure, the imagery and animation is phenomenal and mind-blowing, but the story is what really counts. Any attempt to decipher the story from the Anime alone is doomed to failure; it simply doesn't make sense.

    The manga, on the other hand, is far less visually appealing. Make no mistake, I think it looks gorgeous, but it's just not as pretty as the Anime. It makes up for that by presenting a story that's consistent, comprehensible and insightful. Heresey, to be sure.

    I guess this post boils down to the cliched oppinion of a movie; the book is always better. This just shows that the Manga (or even the comic--see the X-Men) is better, too.

  • Pat yourself on the back, you're in the minority. Most people find the movie confusing on the first viewing.

    Are they the same people who don't get 2001, don't understand the ending of AI and need to have Far Side cartoons explained to them?

    Not to be snide here, but I don't understand why some otherwise intelligent people can't seem to make logical leaps and fill in the gaps in the case of missing knowledge. Personally, I *enjoy* movies that make me think about how the pieces fit together -- I *don't* want everything explained to me.
  • Heh, Hollywood Video isn't any better than Blockbuster. I rented exactly 1 DVD from them, (Requiem for a Dream) found out that they gave me the edited version, (big label on the menu thankfully) asked for an unedited version, and cancelled my membership when they didn't have one.

    I judge a video store by how many Troma [] films they carry.
  • Wrong. Either form is acceptable according to
    the American Heritage Dictionary of the
    English Language, Fourth Edition at .

  • a series that did explain itself as the story progressed.

    I find that to be the case with a LOT of recent anime that's OAV or theater release -- they put so much into the action that very little goes into the characters, why the characters are who they are, why what they're doing has any importance, and whether or not you should care about them.

    Having watched Yamato/Star Blazers, Robotech, etc, as a kid find that most recent anime is very hard to get into because there's very little to relate to. And its not because of cultural differences, is 'cause litterally there is nothing to relate to. A series (e.g., Ranma 1/2) gives time to properly introduce characters and relationships and give you a reason to want a relationship or a character to go one way or the other. OAVs and Movies that don't have series tie-ins tend to be too short and underdeveloped, character-wise, to give that reason to interact.

    Its just action in the end. Even (to give non-anime references) Lethal Weapon and Die Hard, both "just action", gave you enough reason to want to follow the characters and support their part of the action. More appropraitely, contrast Akira to Mad Max -- both post-apacolyptic(sp), but with Mad Max, you usually found yourself supporting Max's attempts to change things / make things better. Akira (and most of its OAV clones) never did that for me -- I found nothing to care about, so I didn't care about the movie. The last anime movie that did was Vampire Hunter D.
    You know, you gotta get up real early if you want to get outta bed... (Groucho Marx)

  • by jms ( 11418 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:26AM (#61495)
    I rented Akira from Blockbuster a few years ago, and both my wife and I thought that it made absolutely no sense whatsoever. A big, confusing, muddled bore.

    Later I found out that Blockbuster had removed all of the "drug-related" scenes.
  • See, I would have to disagree with both of these points here. I think it is really just a matter of what sort of movies you enjoy. I saw both Akira and Dune before I had read any of the print material on either. I loved them both. I actually still feel that had I seen the movies after I read the books, I would have probably hated them both. Of course I like David Lynch, so maybe my whole point is invalid.
  • (shamelessly stolen from
    Tetsuo: Kaneeeedaaaaa!

    Kaneda: Tetsuuuoooo!

    Tetsuo: Kaneeeedaaaaa!

    Kaneda: Tetsuuuoooo!

    Tetsuo: Kaneeeedaaaaa!

    Kaneda: Tet.... er, you're engulfing your girlfriend.

    Lisa: *squish*

    Tetsuo: Kaneeeedaaaaa!

    Kaneda: Tetsuuuoooo!

    Tetsuo: Kaneeeedaaaaa!

    Kaneda: Tetsuuuoooo!

    Tetsuo: I... am Tetsuo.

    Kaneda: No shit.

  • And you'll be left with a horrible English dub, no subtitle.

    I'll take the restored image with vastly improved dub track and the option of watching it in Japanese with subtitle any day of the year.
  • by Jethro ( 14165 )

    Oh my GOD, get OVER it already!!! Jeeeeeeeeesus!

  • Yeah, haven't updated that in a while. To my defense, there's also pictures of me, my wife and other things family/friends have asked me to put pictures of.

    I know I was overreacting a bit, I'm just so sick of Anime news. Yes, I know I can tell slashdot to ignore it.

  • Yes, you're right, point taken. I give into the temptation for once and semi-trolled.

    The thing is, I don't really have anything against Anime, I don't expect people to have the same likes/dislikes as me. What I do have a BIt of a problem with is CmdrTaco going totally nuts over the smallest, most trivial Anime news he ever comes across. That's who "Get Over It" is addressed to, him and that specific thing. Why did he bother starting Anime-Fu if he's going to stick the Anime stuff here anyway?

  • by dr_labrat ( 15478 ) <> on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:50AM (#61502) Homepage
    What "Drug related scenes"?? What are you talking bout!!

    BTW Rented "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" from them the other day... worst 3 minute film ever....
  • Since you ask me directly, no. I don't watch pokemon, anime or not.

    I enjoy anime because I'm tired of the predictible plots. In the really good anime, the characters are far richer than in the west. Most of them have personal demons, and act from them. I don't recall seeing many pure good vs pure evil anime.

    Even akira is about a little boy tetsuo who is picked on and never quite good enough. He becomes the most powerful creature in the universe, and it eventually destroys him. When I watched it, I could easily see myself acting exactly the same way for many of the things he does.

    In ninja scroll, the hero got a spike through his eye because he trusted his father. His father was trying to teach him to trust nobody, including his own father. It wasn't an accident either. You'll never see that on friends, or in even an 'Ahnolld' movie.

    Not to mention, the hero often bites it. Sometimes halfway through. Another thing that's extremely rare in the west. It's the unpredictability that I really enjoy.

    Usually the evil are multi-dimensional characters, too. They have reasons to be pissed off. Often, as in 'Ghost in the Shell' you don't even have truly evil characters.

    Good luck if you want to really watch some good stuff. I recommend 'Ghost in the Shell' and 'Akira' highly, as well as Ninja Scroll.


  • by Hanzie ( 16075 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:14AM (#61504)
    It was my introduction to Anime. I shall buy.

    Also, I've noticed in the last 2 years that anime has gone from nowhere to having a full shelf at the local media play.

  • the last boy to destroy Tokyo

    Is this a typo? Shouldn't that be "giant, irradiated lizard" instead of "boy"?

    Oh, no, there goes Tokyo!
    Go, go Godzilla!

  • I saw Akira in the theater twice when it came out, dragging along many folks who had never seen anime before. I think most of us were confused by the translation, and I can hardly wait to see this new one. I watched the original dub 3 years ago and thought that the story didn't hold up, but now I know whose fault that was, Carl! :)

    PS: In other anime news (courtesy of IMDB):

    The latest animated feature from Hayao Miyazaki grossed $15.8 million in its opening weekend in Japan, breaking the Japanese record for an animated film set by Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke in 1997, according to Screen Daily, the online edition of the British trade publication, Screen International. Japanese distributor Toho said that the new film, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), is likely to pass Mononoke's $157-million box office gross and even challenge the all-time record of $210.6 million set by Titanic.
  • (arkansas sucks, by the way)

    No kidding! That's why I escaped to California! There are still a lot of idiots around, but at least people are allowed to think without being questioned. ;)

  • Pat yourself on the back, you're in the minority. Most people find the movie confusing on the first viewing.
  • I first saw it in the theatre. Only once, unfortunately... but it was a blast.

  • Precisely why I stopped renting from them years ago. If I gotta rent today, I go to Hollywood Video or the local mom n' pop.

    Otherwise I do all my DVD rentals through Netflix. They rock.


  • I got my DVD, in the tin box, early last week! The official release date was yesterday, the 24th. I got mine from ($30), but at the time I ordered it, there was only 1 collectors edition. Then I emailed their customer service department when I found out that there were 2 collector's editions--one in plastic, the other in metal. They promptly emailed me back and told me that I would more than likely be getting the metal tin, since I ordered so early, and before they made notice. Now there's a "Collector's Edition" and a "Special Collector's Edition" on their site. But good luck finding a tin in any retail store. They only produced a limited quantity that was supposedly out of stock due to all the preorders.

    Oh, and mine didn't come with any production cell! What gives? I thought the metal box was the "top of the line" for this release? Oh well.
  • Heh. Try renting "The Bad Lieutenant" from Blockbuster sometime. Then watch the real version. Then wonder why there's no warning as you walk into the store stating "We enforce our morals on you by editing our movies."

  • Okay, nothing to add, except that UPS dropped mine off about an hour ago. (And someone was at home to get it, so don't try to look me up in Google to get my home address and steal it. You'll only find a trashcan, a PC-XT filled with concrete, and a garden gnome with a collection of photos from his round-the-world trip)

    One more tidbit: anyone else see this in the theatre? Somehow, I managed to do that three times. I miss the Biograph in DC.

  • I'm really looking forward to the subtitled version (I used to prefer dubbing, but with a deaf wife, you get used to words on the screen pretty quick)

    What I really wonder is if the new translation is any more coherent, like the new translation of the comics. I had the entire Marvel (Epic) run of Akira, but after only three issues vastly prefer the new one. I almost understand what is happening. ;)

  • I think it was intentional. Try:

  • Actually, none of my local merchants carry things like this. By the time I factor in sales tax and the gas bill, having bought from Amazon with a discount they offered and free S&H netted me a couple of bucks.

    BTW, sometimes comics shops go through totally different distributors, so maybe the packaging was a bit different.

  • Nice troll.

    "How can anyone stand the Star Wars movies? I only watched one scene from Phantom Menace where this Jar-Jar character stepped in poop, but that scene is enough for me to judge all the Star Wars movies! And all the other characters must be like Jar-Jar, because that's what I saw!"

    "How can anyone read books? I read this one book once, with this Fabio guy on the cover and florid lettering on the spine, and I hated it! All books suck!"
  • History shows again and again, how nature points out the folly of man. -B.O.C.
  • Oooh, you should go check out the credits from Trainspotting. After they garbled the voices to hide the drug use, it was the only part of the film I got.
  • by Wah ( 30840 )
    And if you liked ninja scroll. See what he was like as a young boy. [] [flash required]
  • by Raetsel ( 34442 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:53AM (#61521)

    ...because the translation is different. It messes with your head when you're expecting something you remember from years ago... and it's not there!

    It also appears that the music timing is different. For example, the first fight with the clowns: the contrasting music of Kaneda vs. the clown boss -- when they're playing chicken -- isn't as dramatic as I remember it. In the older version, switching between shots of each charachter also switched music... and it was a very powerful contrast. In this new version, the music is, well, 'smoothed out' -- it's more consistant, but you lose a bit of the drama.

    I got my copy last night from my local mom-n-pop anime & rollplaying shop -- heck, the 2-disc set was $2 cheaper than Best Buy! ($25.99 vs. $27.99) I like the metal case, but there was no cel in it... I guess Greg Lee got a different version. Also, mine is black & silver, not metallic blue & silver (like Microlith's / comment #27) How many versions are there???

    The in-depth look at the music of Akira is a nice plus, too (it's on Disc 2). Geinoh Yamashiro Gumi actually made the music before the movie... I did not know that. The bamboo instruments, the ability of (at the time) new tuning abilities of MIDI instruments & sampling... all kinds of things we now take for granted that were bleeding edge in the 80s...


    Been waiting for this ever since last November []!

    You did remember to support your local merchant instead of a megacorp, didn't you? Even Amazon is more expensive than Best Buy!

  • For those of you who may be wondering what Akira is about, it's a movie where Neo-Tokyo has risen from the ashes of World War III to become a dark and dangerous megalopolis infested with gangs and terrorists. The government seethes with corruption and only maintains a token control over the powerful military that prevents total chaos and hides the secrets of the past.

    Substitute World War II for World War III, and you've got a fair description of Japan in the present day.

    Gangs? The politically influential Yakuza. Terrorists? How about the Aum True Faith sect, for starters? (I.e., the sarin bombers of Tokyo). The government is equally corrupt, and adept at "hiding the secrets of the past" from consumers of school textbooks -- especially if those secrets relate to WWII war crimes and comfort women.

    Sounds like the creators of Akira hit the nail on the head.

  • My only other exposure to Akira has been through repeated viewings of the Criterion Laserdisc version. I couldn't help but notice they completely redubbed the English voices DVD release! The DVD dub voices are much less "anime-esque" compared to the Laserdisc and the names are all pronounced differently from what I'm used to (somehow, they sound closer to what I'd expect the Japanese pronunciation to be). Very disconcerting. It just doesn't feel as raw or as much fun as the older LD version.

    Does anyone know the history of the two dubs? (I haven't watched any of the extras yet).
  • The price of a 'real cel' varies greatly. For older big name movies like your snow white example the price is going to be extravagant due to rarity. For newer less well known titles the prices are much more reasonable. It is mostly a matter of knowning where to get authentic items at a good price.

    My girl friend buys cels, mostly Tenchi, from a guy in Japan at very reasonable prices, i.e. $20-$50 shipped. Sure it takes up a week for them to get here, but they are the real thing. Apparently the guy runs an anime store and has contacts with many of the studios and artists.

    Also from what I hear most of the non-US anime cels come from the original artists/studios. The cels are typically not kept by the major corporations like here in the US.
  • Well, I already had the old VHS version... but it would indeed have been sweet if the voices had been as over-the-top. It's really a **very** different movie with realistic voices.

    I was holding my breath in the first scene in which the Colonel speaks. "Will he kick ass? Will he -- d'oh!"

    -grendel drago
  • It's got both English and Japanese versions, and English subtitles.

    The Japanese subtitles have more content in them... like Kaneda actually talking to Kei about that guy she shot in the face, instead of never mentioning it again.

    -grendel drago
  • I got it last night, and I have to say... the voices are a lot less cartoony than in the original dub. Takashi, Kiyoko and Masaru don't sound all funk and high-pitched, and they don't make those weird groaning-whimpering noises all the time.

    I don't care if he was cheesy, I *liked* the old voice they had for the Colonel. I know, it's more realistic this way, but "Men, we're goint to the Olympics!" will forever be burned into my memory...

    -grendel drago
  • Actually, I liked the mini-flashback the Colonel had while riding the elevator down into Akira's holding cell near the beginning. And when he sees the big "#28" ball.

    "Not much to look at now. Hard to believe that it brought humanity right to the brink. A giant step backward in mankind's evolution -- I can't believe the politicians would dare tempt fate again!"

    Whew, I butchered that. But there was some damned good dialogue. Much better than that P.O.S. The Spirits Within script. **shudder**...

    -grendel drago
  • Dude, the movie's **logo** (on the back of the tin, on Kaneda's jacket, on the books...) was a pill.

    -grendel drago
  • Yep. The thing I really was blown away by, though, was how many characters they just decided to leave out in the movie! A faithful adaptation would have been seven hours long or something... *drool*

    -grendel drago
  • For those interested in the manga on which the film was based, Dark Horse Comics has been finally reprinting (for the first time since Marvel released the colorized version) the entire series in nice chunky volumes. Very cool! Check it out! []
  • The older dub was written and directed by Carl Macek.

    Go search for him on, and you'll see that a lot of otaku do not like him. He created robotech (for what it is) by hacking 3 shows into one. He also had a habit of altering the dialog of stories to suit his tastes, and never released subtitled versions of shows Streamline licensed because he didn't like it.

    The new dub (I prefer subs, of course) is just that. The lines are different, the voices are canadian (might explain the names). Everything translation wise is new, so things make a bit more sense.
  • It was given an east and west coast digital cinema release a few months back, around May.

    It moved to a few other theaters, and may appear at a few other theaters before it's run is finished.

    Too bad it's not more popular, I'd like to have seen a release in a theater near here (arkansas sucks, by the way).
  • Of course it's not as great as everyone makes it out to be. Its story doesn't stand up to the manga, which is it's source.

    Now, and I think you'll agree, Wings of Honneamise is a much better movie. Everyone should see that, if they watch Akira.

    It doesn't have near the violence, but it's story is a masterpiece, and, while not the fastest story, it's captivating.
  • Chances are it made no sense because the translation of the original VHS release was, to say the least, poor.

    Carl Macek had a nasty habit of changing lines in various shows to fit his tastes, which totally altered the story of Akira.

    I must say, I didn't get it the firs time I watched it, but I watched it subtitled this time (new translation for both dub and sub), and it made sense.

    They tell you WHO Akira was and WHY he was there, and it makes sense in the end. The Macek dub apparently forgot to work that in the plot, making Akira the enigma that it isn't.
  • IIRC, if you're lucky a Suncoast near you will have some. Suncoast is also an exclusive retailer, so only they got Cels.

    I didn't get a cel with mine, but I'm going to go back and check if they have 'em.
  • The new release, by Dark Horse, also has a new translation.

    It's gonna be out in 6 volumes, with the same covers as the original Japanese tankoubon release, so it's a damn nice release.

    I second this, if you liked the Akira movie, go read the manga, it's even better.
  • Pioneer's primary audience is U.S. Dub audiences, so of the space they had available on the disc, most went to the English audio track.

    There is a 5.1 Japanese audio track, but it can only be found on the Japanese R2 release (no subtitles, IIRC).
  • The "original" english audio was considered, and Pioneer had acquired it and the rights to it, but it was sacrificed to retain THX certification.

    The original dub WAS NOT GOOD. It's the reason most people don't get Akira. Macek left out and altered crucial lines that basically made the story, making it unintelligible.

    The original dub has died with this new release, since rental places will no doubt be upgrading, and the old Orion/Streamline release is dead (which is why Pioneer got the rights to Akira).
  • Nope.

    Pioneer has an exclusive license to Akira.

    And when Orion/Streamline died, their release of Akira went with them, so there is technically one version, the new remastered version.

    There are 4 versions of that though.

    VHS Dub
    Tin Deluxe (Limited, and all existing copies have been sold to retailers)
    Plastic Deluxe
    Regular 1 Disc
  • If that's true, then for all I supported the MPAA (which couldn't be more than a few $ off the player, which is a year old), I have supported companies not affiliated with the MPAA, and the EFF, far far more.

    That and my two DVD-ROM drives are regionless, and include no decrypting abilites of their own, so they didn't help the MPAA any.

    I had figured it was licensed (from Macrovision Inc.), but only Manga Entertainment has done so, and they were thrashed for it.
  • That's because Carl Macek replaced the original music. What you hear now is the original music that was created for (before!) Akira.

    Or you're listening to the 5.1 Dub with an improper setup.

    The reflection off the case appears blue to me, but the case is indeed black.

    And there are 4 versions:

    Dub VHS
    Limited Special Edition (Tin), 2 DVDs.
    Special Edition (plastic), 2 DVDs.
    Regular Edition (plastic), 1 DVD.
  • Dip dip dip dip...

    None of the anime companies except Manga Entertainment are members of the MPAA (through Polygram). And people are really pissed at Manga now for their poor handling of a high profile release and their incredibly poor attitude towards their customers.

    Akira has no CSS or Macrovision. Neither do any other non-Manga releases.

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:30AM (#61544)
    The restoration is incredible, especially when compared to the video in the extras Pioneer got for the second disc.

    The second disc is excellent as well. Tons of extras, including 2 documentaries made back in '88 on the making of Akira. Both in Japanese, they have subtitles and a voiceover read the onscreen text.

    The case itself, at least the tin one, is beautiful. A slight metallic blue, both sides hinge off a silver center, with the disc mounts attached to the inside of each panel. A beautiful case, but it won't fit in a standard DVD holder.

    For those who are cheaper, they're releasing the movie in a standard keepcase sans the extras disc. And those who missed/don't want the tin, they'll be releasing a plastic-cased "special edition" set with both discs.

    Although I ignored the dub (which I hear is pretty good this time around), I finally got to hear the Japanese track. With the new translation, the story MAKES SENSE NOW. All you have to do is pay attention. It also helps to read the first few books of the manga, which'll introduce you to all of the characters (though their roles are changed significantly).

    A great release, best of the year so far. Pioneer spent the money and made good on their promises.
  • If you didn't manage to get the limited edition in the tin, or you ordered it from somewhere like Amazon that is now ignoring your order, there's still a chance. It looks like Tower [] has them in stock still for the list price of $31.99.


  • Tower [] isn't. And no, I don't work for Tower.


  • Tower [] has the tins still (at least according to their site). Not an employee, just ordered mine from there.


  • ... for the special edition DVD? Most places I've tried are out of stock. Do all the special edition (metal box) versions come with the film cell?

    I don't consider myself a huge anime fan, particularly since it became a real "genre" with different "sub-genres". I feel much of the work is so designed to appeal to the tiny sub-genres that not as much original work is produced.

    There are exceptions. Akira is definitely one of them. It is one of the originals, and invented many of the archetypes used today. And most of them haven't really been done any better since. When it becomes available for rental, I'd recommend non-anime nuts give it a try.

    V V
  • Got mine at best buy for about 27 bucks. Only the first 75,000 will be in the limited edition tin though. After that the special edition will be in normal case, so get yours now.
  • I always wondered about that movie. I had no idea what the hell was going on. I must have watched the censored version. Maybe I should get this DVD and give it a second chance.
  • the widescreen deluxe version seems to be sold out at most places. however tower records online still has some left.

    woo hoo

  • Where can I get my copy?
  • I caught Akira at the art theater in Montgomery Alabama(!) Alas, it was the english dubbed version. I prefer my anime subtitled. It was still way, way cool.
  • This is the third story in a couple of days with a link to Animefu. Is CmdrTaco in desperate need for some network load for a new web accelerator or load balanncer, or what?
  • This always happens! I just downloaded and built Akira the other night, and then a new version comes out.

    Pioneer's website has not yet been updated to reflect the release

    Next time, could you guys wait for the mirrors to pick it up? Or at least a formal announcement. I'll never get the iso at this rate....

  • Well, no. It will only be 1/3 as bad as by releasing two additional movies gives them three times as much time to compress it into. :)
  • is still cutting edge 13 years later.

    No, it's not. Akira was cutting edge because it (as someone else put it) 'blew our scooby-doo-minds away', with all the gratuitous violence. Sure, the bood is nice, but it's all it has. The story is boring, and very difficult to understand without the background knowledge from the manga.

    And I don't mind a bad storyline on a normal anime, because there is always babes with big breasts. But no big breasts on Akira.. They are all 'chinese'.


  • I'm not necessarily talking solely about the conclusion, it the bits along the way. Japanese style media tends to ask the viewer to contribute a little more of their attention, which is why I feel that anime (and even slightly american-ized versions such as Final Fantasy) don't go over well in the (current) American market. Whether it's a ingrained cutltural trait, or just the way we as a whole feel about movies, American audiences tend to want to have everything spelled out.

    Take for instance the Sixth Sense. I enjoyed that moveie immensely, but it would have been much more powerful had it ended without explicitly showing the twist. Just enough of a hint to allow people to figure it out. Kinda like how Blase Runner ends. The unicorn is just enough of a hint to make the connection.

  • by jgerman ( 106518 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @12:50PM (#61562)
    So what? Number one, I never, ever use reviews as the basis of my decision making, at least when it comes to movies. Number two, there is nothing wrong with people taking something slightly (or even entirely) different away from any form of media. There is no such thing as what the story is "really about". Meaning is the connection between subject and object, every person is different so they will ALWAYS have those slight (and sometimes not so slight) differences.

    By the way as a Japanese major, you should (better than most people) that Japanese media tends toward that trend in general. Every last bit of the intended meaning of the author(s) is not spelled out (as it generally is in American films), requiring the viewer to draw their own conclusions. This isn't a trait that is held only by this partcular movie, it's inherent in Japanese culture.

  • by jgerman ( 106518 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @12:42PM (#61563)
    For those of you who may be wondering what Akira is about, it's a movie where Neo-Tokyo has risen from the ashes of World War III to become a dark and dangerous megalopolis infested with gangs and terrorists. The government seethes with corruption and only maintains a token control over the powerful military that prevents total chaos and hides the secrets of the past

    You may want to change that first line to "For those of you who are wondering what most anime is about". <grin>

  • ... I still await the re-release of the MC Hammer [] cartoon.
  • I thought it was a nice transfer. However, I was disapointed that the Japanese sound track wasn't remastered in 5.1. I had the Laserdisc of this movie. Certainly having a DVD copy brings better sub titles and slightly better audio than the LD. But after putting in the disc and hearing all these special effects in the menu and then seeing the japanese track wasn't in 5.1...well, it was a let down.
  • Yeah, I know that's the case now, but there was a time when Pioneer was more in tune to the Sub fan. It's not technical, it's marketing.
  • by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:28AM (#61567) Journal
    Good luck finding the Tin case limited edition now. If you're in Toronto, check Planet Hobby in the basement of Square One. There will be a non-limited Special Edition, and a movie only edition. As always, check [] for all of your anime on dvd needs. Not affiliated, just a plug from a happy fan.
  • As cool as the movie is, the manga is even better because Otomono(spelling?) has the time and space to tell the epic right. I was down at my local comic book shop and noticed the the manga is being re-released in large, phone book sized paperbacks. I have most of the colorized version that Marvel put out and that was a real good read. The new trade paper backs are all in black and white, but that doesn't detract any from the story or the art.

  • In my opinion the producers of both films, Dune and Akira, made the same mistake: They tried to squeeze a multi volume--with each vol over 1000 pages--print epic into a two or so hour movie. You lose a lot in the process and make the plot almost incomprehensible. The good news is that the manga's being reissued.

  • I've had my set for about a week now and here are some of the highlights:

    Re-dubbed english dialog with new translations. (More story details!)

    Remastered and improved audio. (better foley effects and other realistic touches)

    Capsule mode, English translations of the graffiti!

    4500+ stills and production art

    Interviews with the director and a sequence about the soundtrack.

    Origional Japanese soundtrack left intact.

    I highly reccomend this.. the restored video and surround sound make this an amazing movie to watch.

  • You know, I still can't figure it out. Who whould have thought in 1988 that a movie would look modern, cutting edge, and indistinguishable from a new release 13 years later! C'mon, do you think Atlantis, or even Final Fantasy will look up to date 13 years from now? I doubt it!

    The really sad thing is, nothing coming today, from disney, dreamworks, heck, even regular hollywood is as entretaining and elaborate.
  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:29AM (#61575)
    ...was that it makes little (if any) sense to the people who don't already know the story. I felt the same way when I was a kid and went to see 'Dune' in the theatre with my dad, who is a huge Dune fan. I asked, 'What the heck were all those unresolved subplots about?' and he replied, 'This, and this, and this, but you have to read the other four novels to find out about that.'

    Akira is the exact same way. Very confusing with no explaination, and not just that you have to sit through the whole thing to get it explained at the end. The *entire* thing is pretty much left unresolved; not just the various subplots. It makes a very poor introduction to anime in general, unless you just get hooked on the very well done art and the entire idea of animation for serious adult consumption.

    To prevent anyone from thinking I'm totally bashing it, let me say that I'm not. It's just that IMHO it was made for a specific audience, ie: the people who knew the story already, just like Dune. Now that I've thought about it, Akira was like the dark version of Blue Seed, a series that did explain itself as the story progressed.

  • Hate to spam, but we are still waiting for our original shipment, we ordered from an additional source, so we'll have an overstock.

    Available at our store at 15% off retail, here's the link below: action=detail&catalogno=PIO-AKI002D []

    Dragon Magic []
  • by bribecka ( 176328 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:48AM (#61578) Homepage
    I felt the same way when I was a kid and went to see 'Dune' in the theatre with my dad, who is a huge Dune fan. I asked, 'What the heck were all those unresolved subplots about?'

    Hold on a second, let me get this straight. You said "unresolved subplots" when you were a kid? Was this before or after they made a TV show about you being a teenage doctor?

  • I recieved the Special Edition of Akira and it is awesome. After watching many times on VHS or TV and now seeing it on DVD, you have no idea how much you are missing in the quaility of the art. Unfortunatly I still don't have a 5.1 surround sound system yet, but I believe that the sould quality is excellent too. The special edition comes with over 4,500 still of the movie, storyboards, character designs, etc.. One neat thing that is also has is the "Capsule Mode " This will give you background info while the movie is going on.
  • Although it's somewhat of a corp (not that it's mega anymore IMO), K-Mart in CA is running the Akira Special/Limited Edition for $19.99. All this and more over at the [] forums where they discuss great deals on nearly everything DVD related (B&M and online).
  • The mpaa recieve royalities on each dvd player sold. This is why they hate decss with a passion. A dvd manufactor would no longer have to go through them to have region encoding and would not have to sign a restrictive EULA like trade agreement for css encyption. If you are thinking of buying a dvd player to watch these animated movies then you are supporting the mpaa. Also macrovision support is also licensed and not sold from Hollywood.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @12:19PM (#61584) Journal
    Wow, a story about a guy still in prison for voliating the dmca right below this story about the latest DVD movies!

    ...and to top if off the comments here in favor of buying the dvd's are by the same authors as thoughs who just critized the dmca in the previous story. Boy, you all sure showed hollywood that the consumer is king. I assume they are shaking in their pants right now. No, they won't continue with other lobbied laws that take away consumer freedom. Like excessive international trade laws that make the DMCA global. After all, you showed them you won't take that kind of abusive crap. Right?

    Keep up the good work and thank you for lining the pockets of the lawyers for the MPAA in the 2600 vs MPAA case.

  • I don't get what the big deal is. I had a friend or two mention I'd be confused as heck while watching the Akira movie on the silver screen, and I thought it made sense!

    Of course, I'm not a newbie. Still, why would people say it shouldn't make sense?

    Tell me if I got the story wrong:
    Inferred: Akira the psychic monster is found/created, and later destroyed, yet his power and influence is so great that there is still a cult surrounding him and that he is still talked about and planned for by the government/military/psychic research institutes.

    Implied by the end: Akira, and now Tetsuo, have the power to create universes, or something like that.

    Tetsuo, average biker punk, has a run in with psychic escapee who's name escapes me at the moment. Government takes both.

    Kaneda, trying to be smooth, has a run in with an anti-Akira/psychic group and joins them and tries to rescue/avenge/punish/find Tetsuo

    Tetsuo is found to be a very powerful psychic, with the proper activation drugs.

    The other psychics think he's too powerful and try to 'contain' him, but he's powerful enough to beat back all three of the kids. Confused and angry over the pain and treatment he's getting, he decides to confront Akira, who everyone compares him to.

    He finds Akira; Kaneda finds him. Akira's history is explained to him by the general. Kaneda and the general both want to end Tetsuo, as he is a threat. Enter SOL, sub-orbital laser.

    Tetsuo, in a drug and pain induced frenzy, loses control of his body and powers.

    Akira re-appears, his psychic powers more than enough to overcome death and a lack of body. He takes Tetsuo with him, until everyone is ready for the next page in history, whatever that is. This triggers something like the birth of a universe, as implied by a stupid scientist who allowed Tetsuo to become too powerful.

    Kaneda loses his best friend and rival.

    That's what I saw in the theatre, and it seemed to make sense to me!

    Geek dating! []
  • I guess. Does that mean I've interpreted it at least somewhat correctly? It was puzzling why so many of my friends seemed to think it would be impossible to understand, or rather, impossible to absorb, in just one sitting...

    Geek dating! []
  • I thought it was TETSUO!! (etc)
  • Akira! was my first exposure to Anime, back in highschool. It was neat then, and now with all the improvenents mentions, the re-release will be ausome. Looking ofrward to seeing it.

  • Yes, this one includes the original japanese language track. Check the details here []
  • by gwizah ( 236406 ) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @11:23AM (#61596) Homepage
    Back in 1990 when it first appeared in VHS in japan. His father was a businessman who traveled and picked it up at a store in tokyo. When I first watched it, my jaw nearly broke the floor! The chase sequence at the beginning was the most amazing use of animation Id ever seen. My previous exposure to anime was the classic Harmony gold Robotech series that was on television in the late 80's. Just a quick Akira story for you folks...
  • I must point out that this person points to a link of a website full of pictures of someones - one presumes Jethros - cats and car.

    Ain't no accountin' for tastes, Jethro.

  • Had mine pre-ordered from Amazon as soon as it was released, only to find out that it was "Out Of Print", and they just hadn't informed me. has it, and I ended up picking up my copy at my local SamGoody, so that's probably a good place to check for the "limited edition".

    I'm actually surprised that a "limited edition" is actually hard to find for once. Nothing like seeing 50 copies of the Manhunter "limited edition" at any given Wal-Mart. :p

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.