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Neo Tokyo, 2019: Kaneda and Tetsuo are nothing but two punks who
together with their biker gang fight it out with other biker gangs ... but
then they get into something bigger when they run into Takashi, a weirdo
kid with superpowers, who is pursued by the army ... and when the army
recaptures Takashi, they also take Tetsuo with them, while Kaneda hooks up
with a group of revolutionaries/terrorists, on one hand because he hopes
they can help him free Tetsuo, on the other because he has fallen in love
with one of them, young Kei.
In the army's custody, Tetsuo slowly realizes he has superpowers, and
that he, the former weakling, now needs to be bullied by noone anymore -
and soon he uses his superpowers against the army ... and against three
kids - Takashi one of them - who have powers similar to his yet much
weaker. Problem is, he soon uses his powers even against his friends,
ultimately also against Kaneda, while he is desperately trying to find
Akira, a mythological being who has/had powers similar to his and who is
said to have destroyed Tokyo in 1988 (can't you remember).
Ultimately, Tetsuo finds Akira but finds out he has died all those
years ago and all that is left of him now is some DNA in test tubes -
which is when Tetsuo totally loses control over his powers and instead of
controling them they control him and turn him into a city devouring
monster that doesn't even refrain from devouring his friends as well - and
Neo Tokyo soon goes up in smoke like Tokyo did ... but there are still the
three weird kids with superpowers who now decide to combine their
forces and fight and utterly defeat Tetsuo, even if they vanish in the
process, and they also manage to save Kaneda and Kei from certain
My synopsis probably makes Akira sound like trash by the numbers
and doesn't do the film any justice: Actually, Akira is an
intelligently written piece of anti-utopian science fiction as well as a
wonderfully drawn piece of animation, a film that is as impressive thanks
to its set designs and setpieces as it is thanks to its gripping and
exciting narrative - even now, almost 20 years after its release.
Definitely a must-see.