10 Fun Facts About AKIRA

The first time I saw Akira, I was completely shocked and blown away by what I was watching. I had no idea that animation could go this far and be so completely badass. The only anime series that I had been familiar with up until seeing Akira was Robotech. Akira really opened my eyes to the complete awesomeness of anime, and all I wanted to do was watch more and more of it.

Akira is just such a beautiful film that was way ahead of its time in terms of animation and story. It’s also one of those films that fueled the geekdom that lives inside of me. I figured it was time for me to do a Fun Facts list for this movie. So here ya go! 

  • The movie consists of 2,212 shots and 160,000 single pictures, which is 2-3 times more than normal. It also used 327 different colors, which is a record for animated films. 50 of those colors were exclusively created for the film. The reason for this statistic is that most of the movie takes place at night, a setting that was traditionally avoided by animators because of the increased color requirements.
  • The movie takes place in the year 2019. It depicts Neo-Tokyo building a new Olympic stadium. Coincidentally, Tokyo is scheduled to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
  • This was one of the first Japanese anime films ever to have the character's voices recorded before they were actually animated. This is a normal practice in U.S. animation, but in Japan the animation is usually produced first.
  • The music for the film was completed before any of the composers saw a single frame of film or even read the script. Because of this, the music had to be edited to fit some scenes.
  • In the scene where Kaneda is at the jukebox, you can see the logos of three famous classic rock bands: Cream, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors.
  • The production budget was nearly $10 million, which was a record for a Japanese animated film.
  • At one point in the 1990s, Sony contemplated a live-action version of the film, but scrapped the idea when the projected budget skyrocketed past $300 million. That’s the same problem that the current development is having.
  • In the riot scene, Kei pushes past a man who is wearing a 'Young Magazine' t-shirt. Young Magazine was the bi-monthly comics anthology series that the original Akira manga was serialized in.
  • Katsuhiro Ôtomo originally created the AKIRA manga as an homage to manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama, who created Tetsujin nijûhachi-go in 1963. It's also known as Tetsujin 28. Both Akira and Tetsujin 28 have a main character named Shotaro Kaneda and Akira's no. 28 designation compares with the robot's no. 28 designation.
  • Johnny Yong Bosch, the English voice of Kaneda, went on to play the Black Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in 1993.

Below you will find the original Japanese and English trailers for the film. I also included a featurette that focuses on the restoration of the movie. 

Thanks to Imdb.

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