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joels344



Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:12 pm Reply with quote
I've seen the film Akira several times (love it) and I was wondering if anyone has read the manga or recommends it. I imagine it is much different from the actual film. I'm considering getting all 6 volumes. I just need to know some more opinions on it before actually spending money.
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:28 pm Reply with quote
The manga and anime diverge like, halfway through the first volume or something, it's ridiculous. So if you do decide to get the manga, it's pretty much a totally different story from panel 1.

So, which one did I prefer? Quite honestly, the movie. I thought it had a much tighter story with much clearer goals, and if you're wondering if that weirdo scene towards the end where Kaneda sees stuff about the freaky children gets more coverage in the manga, I don't recall it getting any coverage whatsoever. I really don't feel like the manga filled in any minor questions I had at the end of the movie whatsoever, don't read the manga expecting that.

My problem with the manga was that it just had way too many old cliches that have been used much better since. Like, the manga has drugs and violence everywhere, but it's almost like it's saying "Yeah! Lookit me! The characters are using drugs and raping women! That makes me sooooo edgy!" since I really didn't feel like those elements contributed anything at all to the plot or characters. It made it a rather disappointing read for me to be honest. If they had cut all that bs out, the manga would easily have been a full 2 volumes shorter.

So if you absolutely adore the film as is, I wouldn't call the manga a "must read" by any means. If you don't mind pretty much everything being different and far less focused, I'd see if you can't rent the manga first. Now that Kodansha is re-releasing it, see if your library doesn't have it (and if it doesn't, see if you can request it). That's actually how I read it. It really depends on just how much you loved the movie, I can see that you're curious about the manga, but some things are better left without their other half. But since the manga is so different from the movie, I doubt that it'll affect your opinion of the movie either (kinda like Avatar: The Last Airbender the TV show vs the DAMMIT M.NIGHT! my inner child! *weep* movie)

*edit*, that all said, I do know that a lot of people consider the manga to be superior. I am not one of those people though.
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Bonham



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 380
Location: Queens, New York
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:44 pm Reply with quote
It's been years since I've seen the Akira film, so memories might be a bit sketchy, but...

classicalzawa wrote:
I really don't feel like the manga filled in any minor questions I had at the end of the movie whatsoever, don't read the manga expecting that.
I don't really remember how much detail the anime goes into about the experiments and Akira's precise role--if anything, I recall it seeming like a side note to namedrop an idea of evolution--but I do know that what is merely some freakish cult that has only a couple minutes of screen-time in the movie is a far more rounded group (especially Lady Miyako) against the "rebels" (Tetsuo's group) attempting to establish a new empire. That's one example of a major cut.

Quote:
My problem with the manga was that it just had way too many old cliches that have been used much better since. Like, the manga has drugs and violence everywhere, but it's almost like it's saying "Yeah! Lookit me! The characters are using drugs and raping women! That makes me sooooo edgy!" since I really didn't feel like those elements contributed anything at all to the plot or characters.
Considering this was also in the movie, I'm not sure what you can really complain about?

Quote:
So if you absolutely adore the film as is, I wouldn't call the manga a "must read" by any means. If you don't mind pretty much everything being different and far less focused, I'd see if you can't rent the manga first.
That's like calling the Nausicaa manga less focused compared to the anime, particularly when it ideologically evolves over the years of Miyazaki writing it. The idea of personal independence struggling after a tragedy is far better explored in the Akira, and in general fits better as an intelligent action "blockbuster" than the similar aspirations that the movie has, which never treads into a lot of the ground that the manga covers. Plus, there's a lot of nuances and arcs left out, with two of the most obvious ones being Tetsuo and Akira (who is reduced from a palpable, game-changing force in the manga to a MacGuffin in the film).

Plus, on a formal level, Akira is as impressive as an action comic can be. I wish I still had a link on me that showcases how impressive Otomo's draftsmanship is--the leading lines on the pages, the composition of the panels, the sheer detail of destruction, the ideal use of decompression to establish emotion and real force (how many other comics come even remotely close to feeling what it's like to watch a building collapse?), etc. It's as good as cartooning gets.

Akira is as essential to the manga canon as Nausicaa is. If you want to familiarize yourself with "classics" or something along those lines, you can hardly do better.
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joels344



Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:16 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Akira is as essential to the manga canon as Nausicaa is. If you want to familiarize yourself with "classics" or something along those lines, you can hardly do better.


Those were the two manga's I was planning on collecting. I've never really gotten into manga as much as I have anime, but I figure those are a wonderful starting point. I'll probably collect Monster as well.
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:35 pm Reply with quote
Get Monster asap, Kodansha just reprinted Akira, Monster is going out of print at an alarming rate, make that a priority. I think at least 3 of the volumes are freakishly out of print for whatever odd reason.
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danielericiverson



Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:27 pm Reply with quote
AKIRA is my favorite movie and basically the only DVD I have in my possession. I can count the other animes I like, TV and movies combined, on little more than one hand, and that includes three Studio Ghibli movies.

I read the whole first volume of the manga afterward, but the lack of color, animation, music, voice acting,and sound effects, and especially the MUSIC made it way too different.

The pacing and ordering of events/scenes just screams B-movie, and the panels imitate late 70's early 80's corny action movies, and the character's proportions are creepier, as in Kaneda is noticeably shorter, and he's much more brash(sexually aggressive, really) to the point of being unlikeable.
We randomly find out that Kaneda may have gotten a random (technically his girlfriend) student nurse pregnant, and, i didn't get to this part yet, but I hear that Kaori spoiler[is introduced as Tetsuo's sex slave who he grows to have genuine feelings for, what?]

I really think that Katsuhiro Otomo must have grown as a storyteller in order to bring the vision from the simpler and more powerful movie form 7 to 8 years later.

Chikichikichikachika dooka dooka dokka dooka....
rasee, sora rasay rasay neeeeee.
Kaneda Tets-wo Kaori, Nagara, machee rachee ree,
Skyaaaah!
Rassera, rasera, asay rasay rasay ra!

AHSAY RAHSAY RASAY RASAY RASAY RASAY RASAY RASAY RA!

DOOM.
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timesteel



Joined: 04 Aug 2009
Posts: 202
Location: California
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:31 pm Reply with quote
I personally saw the movie first and then read the manga (which I think is better) and I wondered why they shifted the story so much and left so much out of the movie like spoiler[Akira]. Also manga wise it is one of the best if not the best manga I've ever read I also love the similarities with Tetsujin-28.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: Nottingham (UK)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:32 am Reply with quote
danielericiverson wrote:
I read the whole first volume of the manga afterward, but the lack of color, animation, music, voice acting,and sound effects, and especially the MUSIC made it way too different.


So, in your view, any book (whether comic or prose) is inherently inferior to a movie or TV show based upon it?
Kinda sounds like an abdication of imagination to me.

Quote:
the panels imitate late 70's early 80's corny action movies,


If they imitate anything (or, rather, are inspired by anything), it's French comics by Moebius and Enki Bilal. But Otomo's absolutely masterful grasp of detail and composition is all his own.
As a comics creator, Otomo is one of the all-time worldwide greats. As a director, he's merely a moderately talented footnote in the history of film.

timesteel wrote:
I wondered why they shifted the story so much and left so much out of the movie


I think it's pretty much inevitable that when over 2000 pages are compressed into a two hour movie a lot of the depth and subtlety will get jettisoned in order to accommodate run-time and pacing constraints.
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danielericiverson



Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:55 am Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:
danielericiverson wrote:
I read the whole first volume of the manga afterward, but the lack of color, animation, music, voice acting,and sound effects, and especially the MUSIC made it way too different.


So, in your view, any book (whether comic or prose) is inherently inferior to a movie or TV show based upon it?
Kinda sounds like an abdication of imagination to me.

Quote:
the panels imitate late 70's early 80's corny action movies,


If they imitate anything (or, rather, are inspired by anything), it's French comics by Moebius and Enki Bilal. But Otomo's absolutely masterful grasp of detail and composition is all his own.
As a comics creator, Otomo is one of the all-time worldwide greats. As a director, he's merely a moderately talented footnote in the history of film.


In my opinion, the AKIRA movie succeeds in its capabilities using the medium of animated color film with sound.

Comics actually have the advantage of their use of still images to capture an image that you are free to look at for as long as you want as opposed to pausing a home video.

But the first volume of the AKIRA manga had such a rushed plot that the most prominent still images spoiler[Yamagata's brains splattered on the high-contrast concrete] weren't as memorable as they could have been simply because of what led to them. spoiler[Tetsuo, a character that we haven't gotten to know yet really, is already making this awkward epic betrayal and taking over the Clowns biker gang 'cos he just feels like it. ]

Compare this to spoiler[Yamagata's movie death complete with emotional aftermath and surprisingly poignant scene when Kaneda "kills" Yamagata's motorcycle so it can be with him in the afterlife. Even without showing his actual death and not knowing him any more than the manga, it still elicits better storytelling in my opinion.]

The dialogue between the Colonel, the Numbers (Espers) and similar characters is also surprisingly satisfying and juicy for what is supposed to be a 126-minute cinematic animation showcase loosely based on a much larger and more complex comic.

In the other volumes, is this type of dialogue also achieved or is Colonel Shikishima just a meathead and the Doctor just a bumbling shrew, and the Espers surprisingly wimpy and needy? Because those would be my big concerns.
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RedSwirl



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 278
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:55 pm Reply with quote
Generally speaking, the movie is a sort of truncated version of the first three volumes that sort of decides to end the story at the halfway point by spoiler[killing off Tetsuo in the explosion] (do I really need to spoiler that?).

There are a lot of differences right from book one, but the biggest difference with the manga is that the story continues on after spoiler[Akira's big explosion. At that point it becomes a war in the ruins between Tetsuo's rebel army (with more psychics) and that priestess lady's cult (with even more psychics).]
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pollysab



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:56 am Reply with quote
To be honest I loved both the manga and the film, so I feel no need to make a decision on which one is better, they are both good but in different ways.
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Sariachan



Joined: 09 May 2005
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Location: Italy
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:54 pm Reply with quote
They are both masterpieces and must-read/watch.

I was exposed to the movie first so it left a deeper impression on me, maybe, but the manga felt more complex and rich.
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st_owly
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:23 am Reply with quote
I thought the movie was rushed and unfocused, whereas I'm just reading the manga now and I'm enjoying it a lot more. Some of the double page spreads are truly epic. My main memory of the movie is other characters screaming "Tetsuo!" all the time and not much else happening, but the manga seems to take its time and build the plot up nicely.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:50 am Reply with quote
danielericiverson wrote:
But the first volume of the AKIRA manga had such a rushed plot that the most prominent still images spoiler[Yamagata's brains splattered on the high-contrast concrete] weren't as memorable as they could have been simply because of what led to them. spoiler[Tetsuo, a character that we haven't gotten to know yet really, is already making this awkward epic betrayal and taking over the Clowns biker gang 'cos he just feels like it. ]

Compare this to spoiler[Yamagata's movie death complete with emotional aftermath and surprisingly poignant scene when Kaneda "kills" Yamagata's motorcycle so it can be with him in the afterlife. Even without showing his actual death and not knowing him any more than the manga, it still elicits better storytelling in my opinion.]


I agree.

The movie is not without it's flaws but I think it handles it's core characters extremely well. The manga has a much broader scope of focus and a much larger cast. I don't know if that's a bad thing overall but it is at least in that it steals some focus from the likes of Kaneda and Tetsuo. In the movie, Kei and the kids play a much smaller role and a variety of major characters are dropped entirely. Overwhelmingly, Kaneda, Tetsuo and the gang are the main focus of the movie. As a result, their personalities and specifically their relationship is much better explored. I also like the addition of Kaori and the changes they make to her character. I think she helps humanize Tetsuo and make him more sympathetic.

On a totally different note, I also just love the way the whole city is portrayed in the anime. The city is practically a character itself. You just get this sense right from the very start that, as the slogan goes "Neo Tokyo is about to explode". You can just see all the corruption and decay and feel the tension and the unrest bubbling below the surface and bursting forth periodically. That's there to some degree in the manga as well but I never quite got the same feeling from it.

Also, as much as Akira may truncate things, it keeps the best. The second half of the manga which is largely cut never quite lives up to the first half. It's not bad by any means but it definitely treads closer to the beaten path of post apocalyptic super powered action. It's damn good apocalyptic super action. Still, it kinda overloads on this stuff and as a result it becomes a bit more mundane. It loses to some degree the epic nature of the the material from the movie.

I still like the manga a lot and it has certain advantages over the anime but I definitely prefer the anime overall.
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Lokarunith



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 30
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 pm Reply with quote
About Kodansha Comics re-release of Akira, is the printing and paper quality as good as Dark Horse or did they use cheaper paper?
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