Neo Manhattan is about to e x p l o d e ( Live Action Akira )

by alphamonkey on February 21, 2008 · 8 comments

in Uncategorized

Live Action AkiraYesterday Warner Bros. studio pissed off an entire legion of anime fans with the announcement that they’d be financing a two part live action film version of Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic Akira. Now don’t get me wrong: I loved, loved, loved the 1989 film. I still have the theatrical poster that was taken from the Tivoli Theater in Kansas City (where I first saw it). I own the big bad deluxe THX redub version (which would be 4th version I’ve bought). I’ve had the soundtrack since 1990, and I still have two Akira shirts (much to my wife’s chagrin). But let’s face it: Astounding visuals and style aside: the film version is actually pretty bad. It compresses far too much information into a muddy mess of pseudo philosophy and new agey weirdness, and the last 20 minutes are pretty damn cringe-inducing.

Otomo’s ground-breaking manga has never been given the film treatment it should deserve, and Warner Bros. announcing that they’ll be splitting the six volume epic into two films is at least some cause to be optimistic. Ruairi Robinson is tapped to direct at least the first installment, and while he’s yet to prove himself as a feature director, he’s got the right touch for this kind of dystopian squalor.

I feel a hell of a lot better about an Americanized version of Akira than I do the upcoming Watchmen film, that’s for sure.

What’chu think?

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  • Just Plain Bob

    as long as there are still giant teddybear-monsters, i’m in.

  • Shamil

    It’s true that the actual anime film was kind of “short”, there was too much of the story missing. And now I really want to see the story, and not only plenty of shitty 3D special effects (like most of the action movies today).

    I read the story will happen in Neo-Manhattan – what’s that?? Akira was in Neo-Tokio! Must America always be involved, or else it will not be worth seeing it (like Godzilla…)?

    Anyway, I hope the new movies will be well done, because I’m also a big fan of Akira. And when I read “Greg Silverman”, I feel some kind of excited (I loved 300 and Batman Begins)

  • .alphamonkey.

    Well think about it: Taking just the story and it’s central themes, is it inherently Japanese? Government hubris, exploitation of nature for destructive ends, the nature of power, dissent… Those themes are pretty universal.

  • Fabian

    However universal the themes may be, “Akira” is not. If they transfer it into an American context they might as well call the movie “Steve” or something.

  • Alan

    If you take any other film adaptation of any Alan Moore story then I can’t even begin to think what they will do with Watchmen.

    Creating the look of the story always seems the priority, whereas the point is missed or deliberatly changed to fit in with what a blockbuster should be.

  • Kaneda

    Where the heck is the freaking baby room?



  • Dev

    This is bad news,like the bastardization of Dragon Ball Z! It might as well be called “Steve.”

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