Akira is one of the Sci-Fi classics that paved the path for many next-generation Sci-Fi movies. Released in 1988, this Japanese animated film remains one of the most influential and liked movies of all time.
The cyberpunk cherishes it and still uses the references all over as a symbol of its never-ending legacy. The movie was ahead of its time and has left a lot for other creators to learn from it. The aesthetics and the dystopian setting all complement the storyline of Akira. This article will be elaborating on what made Akira a strong dystopian Sci-Fi influential symbol and how this movie still manages to make sense.
A Symbol of Sci-Fi
Cyberpunk’s art and every other Hollywood Sci-Fi movie have always included a subtle hint of Akira in their storyline one way or the other. The movie did not only influenced the Japanese media but has deep roots in today’s pop culture. The popular Hollywood movie franchise also has a lot of influence from Akira.
Recently Cyberpunk 2077 video game included a popular motorbike reference from Akira. Even indie games like Red Strings Club have a cyborg called Akira, which is a part of the game and its crucial setting. All of this proves Akira’s never-ending influence and enduring success over Sci-Fi initiatives.
The American Approach
Usually, for animated films, the Japanese industry and top studios prefer to draw first, then animate and do theater effects and dubbing or voice work after. But at the time of Akira, the creators were aiming to do something new other than the traditional Japanese approach to the movie.
The creators of Akira tried for the first time, the American approach in their movie. They did things in reverse, doing the sketching at the last and dubbing the movie first. As a result, parts of the movie had to be edited to give views closures many times. The film utilized around 160,000 pictures to create an animation to make it to the Masterpiece it is, having decades of praise worldwide.
Akira’s Hollywood Factor
As previously mentioned, Akira dominated western filmography before Studio Ghibli could even penetrate as a household name in the industry. One of the first movies that introduced the Japanese story themes and culture to the viewers from the West.
At that time the film was considered to be unmarketable in the U.S because of its gritty and violent tone. But later Streamline Pictures took the risk of introducing it to the general public of the US. It was then released in 1990. However, it was quite late because it was already a huge and fan followed film in the Japanese industry, the US still gave an overwhelming response and this movie became a cult following,
The tale of Akira did not stop at just then and Geneon Entertainment thought of re-releasing it, spending $1 Million on it in the year 2001 with an additional soundtrack and polished English subtitles and voice dubbing.