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Akira Blu-ray

United States
25th Anniversary Edition / アキラ / Blu-ray + DVD FUNimation Entertainment | 1988 | 124 min | Rated R | Nov 12, 2013

Akira (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (21.33 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (96kHz, 16-bit)
English: Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Japanese: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles
English

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Three-disc set (1 BD, 2 DVDs)
DVD copy

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $34.98, Price history

Amazon: $18.48 (Save 47%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.3
397
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.0 of 54.0
Audio 5.0 of 55.0
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
Be the first to review it!

Movie appeal

 
Anime100%
Sci-Fi93%
Action61%
Drama32%
Mystery26%
Thriller10%
79%
popularity
1422
collections
136
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: Mitsuo Iwata, Jan Rabson, Nozomu Sasaki, Lara Cody, Mami Koyama, Masaaki ďkura
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

» See full cast & crew


Akira Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Akira is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Funimation Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1. Lovers of this film will already know that Bandai Visual imprint Honneamise released a Blu-ray edition of Akira several years ago, which my colleague Dustin Somner reviewed here. As you can see from the screenshots accompanying that review, that release was slightly window boxed (something Bandai Visual also did with its release of Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise). Interestingly, while Maiden Japan's new release of Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise preserves that window boxing, Funimation has eliminated it on Akira, preserving the film's 1.85:1 aspect ratio with the now more common simple black bars above and below the image. Otherwise, the differences between the first Blu-ray release and this one are minimal at best. Colors appear to be slightly brighter and better saturated on this new release, though not by any huge degree, but that said this release looks spectacularly vivid, especially with regard to the very distinctive hues that I have sometimes called "Akira reds" (see screenhot 7 accompanying this review for a good example). The two releases are virtually identical in terms of grain structure (which can be quite heavy at times, especially during opticals like lap dissolves) as well as the general overall look of the image, and both have minor issues with noise spiking in some very dark scenes. Akira has never been a razor sharp offering, and younger viewers especially may find it supposedly "soft" looking, when really this is just an accurate rendering of the hand drawn and hand painted approach the film offers. There's excellent density overall in this release, with crisp line detail, though black levels are just slightly inconsistent, sometimes tipping slightly toward a milky dark blue. Once or twice there are also minimal frame alignment issues which cause the image to slightly shift (look at the scene where the kids are gathered around the outdoor fountain for a good example).


Akira Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

Akira continued to make news past its theatrical premiere and subsequent cult status among anime fans when the first Bandai Visual release presented an astoundingly forceful Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix at 192kHz (16 bit). That track is ported over to this Blu-ray release, but an added draw for fans, despite their relatively meager sound when compared to the Japanese track, is the inclusion of both English dubs. The first (1988) dub is presented in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 while the 2001 re-dub is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (both 96/16). Each of these dubs has their fans, but I have to say once you've sampled the Japanese track, I personally can't imagine anyone other than those who can't stand subtitles opting for either of the English tracks. Just the difference in amplitude alone should be enough to keep any serious audiophile glued to the Japanese track. This is one of the most relentlessly immersive tracks ever released on Blu-ray, one filled with unbelievable panning noises (listen to the roar of the motorcycles zooming through the rear and side channels in the early racing sequence), and a glut of other well done foley effects. Dialogue is cleanly presented and the score is also rather aggressively pumped up (though never overbearing) in this mix. The English options by comparison come off as pallid also rans, especially the 2.0 mix which suffers from some minimal distortion and an oddly tinny sound that belies its "not that old" genesis. All of this said, it can be fun to actually experience the film three times with the different tracks, as they are manifestly divergent at times. There are even discrepancies in dialogue. At around 38:20, the English 5.1 track has a line by a scientist that neither the English 2.0 nor the Japanese 5.1 includes, despite the fact that the character's mouth is moving.


Akira: Other Editions




1-disc
$49.99

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 ...

FUNimation Announces November 2013 Slate - August 20, 2013

FUNimation Entertainment has announced its November 2013 release slate, which includes five titles on Blu-ray: Akira: 25th Anniversary Edition, Maken-Ki! Battling Venus: Limited Edition, Binbo-gami ga! Good Luck Girl!: Limited Edition, One Piece: Strong World, ...


Akira Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



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