mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

July 25, 2017

Episode 333: Akira (1988)

Special Guest: Jonathan Clements
Guest Co-Hosts: El Goro, Chris Cummins

Based on his manga of the same name and released two years before the end of the comic series Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira (1988) tells the tale of Kaneda -- a teenage punk in a motorcycle gang -- and Kei -- a member of an underground resistance -- and their adventures in NeoTokyo. They enter into a world of psychics including the titular Akira, the little boy with incredible powers that lead to the devastating explosion that opens the film.

Special guest Jonathan Clements, author of Anime: A History, provides Mike with some much-needed background on Japanese animation while co-hosts El Goro and Chris Cummins describe their love of Otomo's groundbreaking film.

Listen/Download Now:

Buy Akira on Blu-Ray
Buy Akira, the manga
Visit the School Girl Milky Crisis blog
Check out the books of Jonathan Clements
Visit the Akira wiki
Visit the Talk Without Rhythm podcast
Read Chris Cummins's articles on Den of Geek

"Battle Against The Clowns" - Geinoh Yamashirogumi
"The Capsule's Pride (Bikes)" - Bwana



  1. Loved this episode! Jonathan Clements was a great guest. Great of him to contextualize what was going on in the anime business.

    Thank you Mike for hours of great and insightful entertainment!

    As far as my own anime recommendations, I concur with many of the titles that were mentioned.

    To continue the sci-fi thread of Akira... "Ghost in the Shell" (1995), "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie" (Also see the TV-series.) If you like those you can also check out " Metropolis" (2001).

    The Miyazaki films almost constitute their own genre and they are brilliant fairy tales, some of the greatest animated features of all time. The main ones are "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke". His entire filmography is well worth checking out. Special shout outs to "My Neighbour Totoro", "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Laputa".

    "Ninja Scroll" is indeed a trashy but a very entertaining 80s action film. Very low brow... Almost like a grindhouse exploitation. You can enjoy it as a time capsule to get an idea of what roped in western teenagers back in the day. Other titles such as the "Fist of The North Star" movie (1986) fits in here as well. More modern equivalents of these hyper kinetic "trash" films are "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust" and "Redline". Great B-movies and lots of fun!

  2. The obvious comparison you were searching for, whereby the creator pauses to direct the animated theatrical adaptation years before finishing the manga, is Miyazaki with Nausicaa. I am sure there are other 1:1 examples, but with anime most typically it is TV series outpacing the original manga.

  3. Obvious for you! Definitely not for me. Hope that wasn't too frustrating of an experience! I know how maddening it can be when you're shouting at a podcast, "It's THIS, you fools!"

  4. This is thread necro I know, but I am new here. Akira was my gateway Anime back in high school. I like the older dub better than the new, the voices just don't seem to fit. Akira, GitS and Ninja Scroll were the Big 3 for me, from there I got into Robotech and it was over after that.

    Gnarly, good word!