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Akira Blu-ray

United States
Bandai Visual | 1988 | 124 min | Rated R | Feb 24, 2009

Akira (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (19.58 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
Japanese: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (192kHz, 24-bit)
Japanese: LPCM 2.0
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles
English, Japanese

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $49.98  
Amazon: $50.03
New from: $39.99 (Save 20%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.3
329
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.2 of 54.2
Audio 4.8 of 54.8
Extras 1.5 of 51.5
Based on 20 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Anime100%
Sci-Fi97%
Action65%
Drama34%
Mystery28%
Thriller15%
78%
popularity
1362
collections
129
fans




Akira

 (1988)

Akira Blu-ray delivers great video and reference-quality audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

On July 16, 1988, Tokyo was destroyed by what was believed to be a new type of bomb, triggering World War III. Thirty-one years later, in 2019, Neo-Tokyo has arisen from ashes under Japan's new political system; but the glittering city is built on foundations of poverty, ignorance and despair. Kaneda and his friends, a bunch of juvenile delinquents, rumble with a rival group of bikers. While the police attempt to disperse a riot with tear gas, the rumble continues. Tetsuo takes the lead and, after disposing of his opponents, nearly runs down what looks to be a 100-year-old baby. Tetsuo's bike suddenly explodes and he is taken prisoner by the top-secret Akira Project where he is subjected to a series of tests which unleash his latent psycho-kinetic powers. But he is really more powerful than anyone imagined and breaks out, creating a swathe of destruction across the city as he mutates into another life form.

For more about Akira and the Akira Blu-ray release, see Akira Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Cameron Clarke, Mitsuo Iwata, Jan Rabson, Nozomu Sasaki, Lara Cody, Mami Koyama
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

» See full cast & crew


Akira Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Akira is presented in 1080P using the AVC codec, with an average bit-rate of 20 MBPS. I've seen Akira on cable (long ago), VHS, DVD, UMD, high-definition cable (720P), and now Blu-ray. I'm pleased to report it holds up extremely well with the increased resolution. Lines are nice and crisp, with no wavering or stair-stepping. Colors don't cover a wide spectrum, but they appear to accurately reproduce the original print. For instance, the reds on Kaneda's suit and bike show some level of differentiation, but not the amount we would come to expect if Akira was made using today's film standards. In addition, there are thankfully no instances of color variance from scene to scene (an example would be if a character's jacket looked red in one scene, and orange in another, which tends to happen when scenes are animated by different groups of people).

Black levels and contrast are mostly excellent with the exception of one scene (see screen capture number 17), which came across a bieing slightly muddy in appearance. The consistency in detail from scene to scene could have been better; some scenes look slightly out of focus in comparison to other scenes, but this is likely more of a source issue and something that was not noticeable prior to the increased resolution that Blu-ray offers. Lastly, I had one complaint with the transfer that I tried to accurately capture in the final 3 screenshots. On 3 occasions, there appeared to be a hazy outline around the body or face of a character. This did not appear to be a halo resulting from edge enhancement, but was not something I would imagine was present in the source material. It is most apparent in the final screenshot between the shoe and leg of Kaneda.

One other item worth mentioning is the odd move to frame the picture on all four sides. On a 16:9 display, thin black bars on the top and bottom of the screen are appropriate (for a 1.85:1 native aspect ratio), but it is frustrating to view a transfer that doesn't fully utilize the width of my display. I'm guessing this was done to prevent overscan on older television sets (since the 1.85:1 native aspect ratio of the film is still accurately reproduced without cropping), but it should have been corrected when the film was transferred to high- definition.


Akira Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

If I could pick one area where this Blu-ray truly shines, it would be the audio. The default Japanese language track is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound. There are also Japanese tracks in Linear PCM 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1, but I only spent a brief time with these inferior tracks. Getting back to the TrueHD track, this is easily the most noticeable improvement I've heard in the transition to lossless sound. It was as if a blanket was lifted from each of my speakers, and clarity took an instant jump. Spatial separation is dynamic, dialogue is appropriately balanced, and there was an unbelievable level of clarity throughout the film. This is one of those tracks that uses every speaker to envelope you in the on-screen action. A helicopter pan across the soundstage is appropriately loud, but never noisy, and the rumble of the film's many explosions resonates with an oomph you'll feel in your chest.

In the booklet included with the disc, there is a lengthy discussion of a theory known as the hypersonic effect, and how it was utilized in remastering the audio track for this Blu-ray release. I can't say I understood everything included in the 10-page explanation, but I did find it interesting that the film's original composer, Shoji Yamashiro, is also a professor at the National Institute of Multimedia Education, and has published books on "Sound Ecology". His studies have led to the theory of the hypersonic effect, and he was instrumental in remastering the high bit-rate TrueHD track for this Blu-ray release.

Rounding out the sound options is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track dubbed in English, which was on par with the quality of the Japanese TrueHD track.


Akira: Other Editions



3-disc set
$18.04
1-disc



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Akira Blu-ray, News and Updates



Akira: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Detailed - September 12, 2013

FUNimation has revealed a number of details about its Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release of Akira. The new 25th Anniversary Edition not only includes a variety of bonus content, it features original Japanese audio and both the Kodansha/Streamline and Pioneer/Animaze ...

Today on Blu-ray - February 24th - February 24, 2009

While not the first anime title to hit US shores, one of today's Blu-ray offerings is often credited with introducing anime to the western world. Based on a very popular six volume manga of the same name, 'Akira' tells the story of Tetsuo, a teenage gang member ...

Akira Coming to Japan and the U.S. (Updated) - September 26, 2008

Bandai Visual Entertainment announced today that they will release on Blu-ray Disc the film that introduced the world of animÚ to the western audience, 'Akira.' Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira will be released on Blu-ray in Japan by Bandai Entertainment Inc. ...

» Show more related news posts for Akira Blu-ray


Akira Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



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Akira blind buy 24 Mar 26, 2010
Akira coming Feb 24 for $49.98 23 Sep 30, 2008
Akira blu ray 12 Feb 08, 2009



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