This year marks the 35th anniversary of one of the most culturally significant manga and comics of all time. The influence of Akira is one of the most far reaching you’ll see for any comic series. The gateway title to many a manga and/or anime fan, the series is seen as a benchmark in the manga medium and the anime film adaptation helped shape modern sci-fi in and out of Japan. But despite the high esteem Katsuhiro Otomo’s magnum opus is held in, it has never had a 100% faithful English language release. That’s about to change.
Akira has been released by several companies in the past. I always had a soft spot for the colour version Marvel released from 1988 to 1995 which introduced revolutionary new digital colouring techniques supervised by Otomo himself. It had a big impact on how comics were coloured going forward and helped solidify the series reputation in the West. However, as was common at the time – the series was flipped to left-to-right format and the translation was a bit looser than some would like. The series eventually passed on to Dark Horse and then Kodansha who both released revised translations but retained the flipped artwork.
But now, to mark the 35th anniversary of Akira, Kodansha are releasing what can only be described as the definitive Akira experience. For the first time, the series will be presented in its original right-to-left format with the artwork completely unaltered and all original Japanese sound effects left intact (translations provided). Beyond that you will be getting the entire Akira collection in six hardcover volumes in a slipcase along with the currently out of print Akira Club book which is packed with rare production and promotional artwork. To top it all off, there’s a very cool patch featuring the iconic pill design worn by Kaneda’s gang.
If you’ve never read Akira, you need to come out of whatever rock your hiding under. I could try and sell you on the plot (a post nuclear war Tokyo gripped by warring bike gangs, a corrupt government and anti-government terrorists along with creepy old looking kids with psychic powers) but its importance to the manga medium alone makes it vital reading. For a newcomer, this collection is the perfect way to experience the series for the first time, and old-school fans who have experienced Akira in other ways will leap at the chance to see it in its raw unaltered form. Whether you are an old or new fan, you do not want to miss out on this stunning boxset.
9781632364616 – H/B – £175.00
Post by Leo