Japan, 1988, 121 min, archival 35mm print from original 1990 U.S. release, Dir. Katsuhiro Otomo, Rated R, Funimation


Friday, 6/24 through Sunday, 6/26

"An impressive achievement, often suggesting a weird expressionist blend of 2001, The Warriors, Blade Runner and Forbidden Planet." – Time Out

Released in 1988, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira stands as a landmark release in Japanese animation. It spawned a wave of anime fandom in the early 90’s that influenced a number of new works, including The Matrix and Looper, and stands as one of the greatest anime and science fiction films of all time. Based on Otomo’s own manga of the same name (though heavily truncated and adapting only the first half of the six-volume work), Akira tells the story of teenage bikers Shotaro Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima as they deal with the growth of Tetsuo’s latent psychic powers. They are pursued by a general in the JSDF working with a trio of espers who are also battling a group of resistance terrorists. Meanwhile, Tetsuo and Kaneda’s friendship is soon fractured as chaos envelopes the post-World War III Neo-Tokyo in the year 2019. With the film and manga, Otomo explores the power of youth to shape the world they live in, the loss of humanity in pursuit of grand power, and the importance of friendship. Featuring scintillating animation, iconic cyberpunk character designs, and a powerful score with touches of gamelan and noh music, it is easy to see why Akira became a seminal work of art.

As a follow-up to our MIYAZAKI! Ghibli's Master of Japanese Animation festival last summer, this year we're expanding to the best the medium has to offer with a new festival, Anime: Japanese Gems taking place June 24-30, 2016.

For the hardcore fans, an $80 festival pass will be available that grants admission to all films.
Order your series pass and receive an exclusive commemorative Anime: Japanese Gems lanyard with limited edition anime buttons.

Purchase a Series Pass here!

Check out the rest of our Anime: Japanese Gems program!