Will there every be an anime film as impactful as Akira? After you have been a part of Manga and Anime culture long enough you are able look at the trends, the history, and form an understanding of what happened at a deeper level. This results in an abstract idea, a thought which doesn’t have a physical existence but can be speculated. Welcome to Anime Abstract.
Before getting too deep, there should be a clarification what is meant here. Yes, there can and SHOULD be another Akira. Another adaptation of the series by Katsuhiro Otomo would be a very welcome thing. The original movie told only part of the large anthology which is the Akira series. This article though is not about whether or not the it be a good idea to make a adaptation of all of the existing material of the Akira manga. It is said to ask will there ever be something as revolutionary as a Akira.
For those that don’t know Akira, the film came out in 1988, and thanks to Manga Entertainment, it saw release in the UK, Australia, and the US in the early 90s. The film was essential to the whole argument regarding “Anime isn’t kid’s stuff” being formed. It came out a time when film and anime clubs in college were a very popular gathering for anyone looking for films they hadn’t heard of before. This was the way people found quality films before the internet.
The high recommendations for the film mixed with many publications calling Akira “one of the greatest Sci-Fi films of all time” helped to establish the movie’s legacy of the greatness. The fact is Akira helped to pave the way for the need for more adult animation from Japan to be exported to America. This series was this movie was a foundation for what came later.
The real question is: Can there ever be an anime film as influential as Akira? Sadly, No.
Akira came out in a time when anime was not as prevalent or known in America. The fact is thanks to the internet, the accessibility of shows and of knowledge is readily available. Few shows will ever come out and make such an impact ever again.
Many have tried to look for “The next Akira” a film which would help to introduce more people to anime on a global scale and help it achieve more mainstream status. Many hoped films such as Redline, Steamboy, or Sky Crawlers were well received and many hoped they would “save anime.” This concept of “save anime” would allow the media to receive to greater attention. This would result in more funding and said funds could go into the future production budgets. This end result would be better quality series being released. Unfortunately, none of these films achieved the level of recognition Akira did.
There will be shows which will achieve incredible popularity but few, if any will ever achieve the impact and lasting legacy of Akira. The movie’s quality, influence, and reputation is part of the often neglected history of Anime in not only America but the entire world.
Will an anime film ever have as much influence as Akira? Leave a comment below and let us know.