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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Extremely violent classic introduced anime to Westerners.

Movie R 1988 124 minutes
Akira Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

Y'all ever just [grows into a massive flesh monster]?

I'm so glad no one listened to Spielberg, "unmarketable in the US". Although I do suppose we now have weeaboos so... AKIRA, the movie about the bikes and the flesh monster! Really the only things to look out for are the minutes upon minutes of gruesome violence, and a short sequence where one of the female characters' chest is exposed, but not in a sexual way. Don't watch if you can't stand super gross flesh transformation scenes, and if you do watch it, pick the subtitles with the Japanese audio, both English dubs are just awful.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 16+

Riveting and Violent

Akira is the legendary film of destruction, psychokinesis, explosions, and secret government experiments. Its a film based upon the 2,000 page Akira Manga, and takes all those pages and sqeeezes it down into a 2 hour film. Following the Biker Gang the Capsules, it shows Kaneda as he tries to rescue and later destroy his friend Tetsuo as he goes through a decent into madness. It reeks of violence, and is amazing in its colors, and technical achievement, and highlights political satire, religious satire, and the bearing idea of destruction. In the first minute alone, Tokyo blows up, and in the end, it blows up again, a kid mutates into a giant monster, a clown looses his head, and a kid nearly gets killed by a space laser.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (28 ):

Katsuhiro Otomo co-wrote the screenplay of Akira and directed this 1988 adaptation of his much-loved 1980s-era manga (comic book); it was a huge production that paid off enormously. When it arrived in America, it became a cult classic and introduced Western audiences to anime (Japanese animation), a genre that remains popular to this day.

Akira is extraordinarily dense and enormously complicated, and things like story and characters tend to go out the window in favor of cosmic ideas and mysteries, bizarre imagery, and astounding levels of violence. It takes full advantage of the animated medium with its sheer imagination and intensity. Indeed, to attempt these same images in a live-action setting would have been far too expensive and disturbing. Time has not yet dulled the sheer impact of the work, though, and the level of detail, movement, and fluidity is still highly impressive. It's still essential viewing for anyone interested in the genre.

Movie Details

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