AKIRA (アキラ?) is a 1988 Japanese animated action film written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo based on his hit manga. The film is set in a futuristic and post-war city, Neo-Tokyo, in 2019. While most of the character designs and basic settings were adapted from the original 2182-page manga epic, the restructured plot of the movie differs considerably from the print version, pruning much of the last half of the manga.
The film became a hugely popular cult film and is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation and film.
AKIRA Committee was the name given to a partnership of several major Japanese entertainment companies brought together to realize production of AKIRA. The group’s assembly was necessitated by the unconventionally high budget and ambitious scale of the cinematic project, in order to achieve the desired epic standard equal to Otomo’s manga tale.
AKIRA Committee consisted of publisher Kodansha Ltd., Mainichi Broadcasting System, Inc., Bandai Co., Ltd., Hakuhodo Incorporated, distributor Toho Co., Ltd., Laserdisc Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation and animation producer Tokyo Movie Shinsha Co., Ltd.
Most anime is notorious for cutting production corners with limited motion, such as having only the characters’ mouths move while their faces remained static. AKIRA broke from this trend with detailed scenes, lip-synched dialogue – a first for an anime production – and super-fluid motion as realized in the film’s more than 160,000 animation cels. The teaser trailer of this movie released in 1987.