NIPPON NIGHTS is monthly series of Japanese cinema bridging different genres, styles and generations.
The 2nd program of the special series “Neon Tokyo” is “AKIRA”, Japanese animated action film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.
“A fever-dream masterpiece” Village Voice
“A towering achievement of imagination” Time Out
Neo-Tokyo is about to E•X•P •L•O•D•E
Clandestine army activities threaten the war torn city of Neo-Tokyo when a mysterious being with powerful psychic abilities escapes his prison and inadvertently draws a violent motorcycle gang into a heinous web of experimentation. As a result, a biker with a twisted mind embarks on a path of war, seeking revenge against a society what once called him weak.
The film depicts a dystopian version of Tokyo in the year 2019, with cyberpunk tones. The plot focuses on teenage biker Tetsuo Shima and his psychic powers, and the leader of his biker gang, Shotaro Kaneda. Kaneda tries to prevent Tetsuo from releasing the imprisoned psychic Akira. While most of the character designs and 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. It became a hugely popular cult film and is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation.