Akira Press Release

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Pioneer has finally posted an official press release for the Akira DVD. The Collectors Edition set includes three documentaries about the making of Akira, an interview with director Katsuhiro Otomo and much more. BUT!, it does not include the original streamline dub.


Available For The First Time Ever On July 24, The Two-Disc Special Edition DVD Boasts An Interview With The Director And Two Documentaries Including The Making-Of Akira and The Making-Of Akira Soundtrack

Restoration Of The Cult Favorite Includes New Film Interpositive, High-Definition Mastering With Digital Restoration, THX Certification, Brand New English Dub And Re-Mixed Dolby Digital AC3 5.1 Surround Sound

"Thumbs up." - Roger Ebert, EBERT & ROEPER and the movies

Recently listed as one of the best movies that have yet to be released on DVD (Entertainment Weekly), the classic anime film Akira will debut as a two-disc Special Edition DVD, standard DVD and VHS on July 24 from Pioneer Entertainment. First released theatrically in Japan in 1988, Akira has garnered legions of fans around the world and is still considered a masterpiece of cel animation. To celebrate this landmark film and to re-introduce it to a new generation, Pioneer Entertainment obtained the rights to this film from the Akira committee (under license by Kodansha, Tokyo, Japan), and began the complete restoration of Akira. The cumulative process, with a cost of $1 million, resulted in a sharper more vivid version of the classic film that was released theatrically in digital theatres in March 2001.

Available for the first time ever, the Special Edition DVD has a suggested retail price of $39.98 and will include a second full DVD of supplemental materials. This extra DVD boasts three documentaries about the making of Akira (animation and soundtrack), as well as an interview with director Katsuhiro Otomo, and production materials including storyboards, key drawings and character designs. The Akira DVD will also feature an original theatrical trailer, teasers, television spots and the Akira glossary A-Z. In addition, the Special Edition DVD will be available in a limited edition metal collector's case.

The DVD containing Akira in its restored splendor will be anamorphic and contain English language (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio) and Japanese language (original Dolby Surround audio) tracks and selectable English subtitles. All of these options will also be available on the standard DVD for $24.98. Two VHS versions of Akira, the new, English dubbed version and the English subtitled version, will be available with Dolby Surround audio for $19.98 each.

Utilizing the latest high-definition digital technology, Pioneer Entertainment retained International Video Conversions, Inc. (IVC) to restore Akira. This eye-popping restoration features a new film interpositive and high-definition mastering using the latest Digital Vision HD technology. In addition, Akira's audio components were re-mixed to Dolby Digital AC3 Surround Sound; a new English dub was created from a new translation of the original Japanese script and the film is now THX certified.

Based on the growing popularity of Akira in recent years, Kodansha granted a rare license for a line of action figures to the highly respected McFarlane Toys. Company founder and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, developed the McFarlane's 3D Animation from Japan action figure series, with Akira products accounting for half the line. Released in fall 2000, series I included Tetsuo, Kaneda and Kaneda's awesome red motorcycle. After receiving critical and fan acclaim, McFarlane Toys, the fifth largest action figure manufacturer in the industry, will release Series II in September. This six-figure series will include the title character, Akira; Joker, the Clown bike gang leader; and an updated version of Kaneda on his motorcycle, which is being released as a special boxed set. For more information on these figures, Todd McFarlane and the McFarlane group of companies, visit


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 - Akira!

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