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Title: Akira – More than Manga

Description: Today Steve is joined by frequent guest Erik Fogg of the Reconsider Podcast to talk about the 1988 sci-fi anime classic Akira. We talk about the huge themes this movie tackles and the challenges of understanding the cultural aspects of this movie from a western perspective.


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Erik Fogg of the Reconsider Podcast

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Music Provided by:
“Crossing the Chasm” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Image Credits:
By TMS Entertainment, Toho – CineMaterial, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41984890

Begin Transcript:

Thank you again for listening to Beyond the Big Screen podcast. We are a member of the Parthenon Podcast network. Of course, a big thanks goes out to Erik of the Reconsider Podcast. Links to learn more about Erik and Reconsider can be found at reconsidermedia.org or in the Show Notes.
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[00:00:00] We’re going to talk about the 1988 Japanese manga anime film, our Kira. And I have to admit that before this, I did not love Anna Mae, but I think this movie really started to change my mind. It’s a, it’s a great movie that I think you get lost that you don’t think of it as a cartoon, as you’re watching.
And I think the other mistake that I made was watching it dub D and this time I watched it with subtitles. That makes all the difference in the world. And maybe we can talk about subtitles versus dubbing at some point, but, um, just a really quick overview as this movie takes place in new Tokyo and 2019.
So three years ago, There Tokyo was annihilated by a nuclear bomb during world war three, which happened in 1988. We’ll get into the ESB angle of that. Uh, but new [00:01:00] Tokyo is a violent post-apocalyptic dystopian nightmare where it’s ruled by street gangs, ineffective and corrupt government and police and just, um, layers of government.
And it’s just this huge. Built up post-apocalyptic nightmare, but there’s some different aspects of that that we can get into. But it’s, it’s basically in this movie, we have riots, ESP science fiction and all the great things that are fun. Uh, Eric, maybe the first thing we can get into is, um, is this anime magnet, manga?
What’s the difference? Magma. Liquid hot magma. Um, so, so I’m not, I’m not a. Anime manga buff, uh, in the way that a lot of people are. Um, but here’s, here’s the good news. So, so you’ll see a lot about a Cura, the Akira, the anime, and Akira, the manga. And you’re [00:02:00] like, are these being used interchangeably? It turns out they’re two different things.
So Akita the anime. So anime is like his animation. So if it’s animated, if it’s like a cartoon it’s anime, um, it was made in 19. It’s based off of CUDA, the manga that was written. So manga is like a comic book written in 1982. So we’re we, um, we, a kid of the anime or the anime is, um, it is shorter. And the plot diverges substantially from Akira, the manga much like.
Uh, blade runner and do Androids dream of electric sheep, and 2001 a space Odyssey, the movie versus 2001, the space, obviously the book, right? Like, so we see it’s actually, it’s interesting like you and I, I think it’s because you asked me what movies I want to watch. Like we’re seeing like the theme I’ve got here.
Um, but yes, a kid on the animate in 1980, Mostly, well, it’s somewhat sticks to the first half of, of a kid on the manga, [00:03:00] 1982. And, um, and like one of, one of the, like kinda the kid or the anime is not necessarily for everyone. It is a, like, I think it is a landmark. And like, it is, it is historically incredibly important, much of the same way that, like, I don’t know if 2001, a space Odyssey, even for everyone, like some people are just gonna get bored out of their skulls.
Now I think it’s probably a sign that. It’s a sign of the times that you get bored out of your skull, uh, watching 2001, a space Odyssey, like too much tick-tock and other short film. But, um, but, but I think a kit assembly is not for everyone because like the plot is almost incoherent and I wanted to, like, I wanted to get your impression, Steve.
Cause I know when we talked about this, you’re like, I don’t even know. I don’t even like Anna and like, this is a weird, you know, like there’s a lot of weird anime out there. This is like a super weird. And so I’m glad you liked it, but what was your like, you know, I want to know, like, what was your first impression AF as soon as you’re done, right?
As soon as like like starts the big bang right. In this new universe [00:04:00] that was just created somehow. Um, like what did you walk away? It, it’s an absolutely confusing movie. There’s so much going on and there’s different aspects of it that I really loved. And then there were some that I kind of had to muscle through.
Like, I think that the, the investigating the society that was really cool and like with the gangs and their interactions with the police and that vocational school that they went to, I kind of, there was certain things like if they had cure it, rated it. I would have curated it more in those directions.
I think the, a lot of the stuff with the ESP got very confusing and kind of weird, especially that last scene, which was the one guy like kept like turning into different blobs than like yeah. And absorbing, and that was. But that was hard too. That was hard to wrap your mind around. And that’s one of the, yeah.
And so those were some of the areas that I was hoping that you might be able to walk [00:05:00] us through a little bit more. And I think that I, I really liked the part of it that you got lost in it, that it was three big chunks in the movie. You did not think that you were watching something animated, like the animation.
So not what I was expecting in anime and maybe some of the more like, um, kid focused anime that I’ve seen in the past where this was, this was an adult movie, not adult movie. It was a mature movie for, uh, for adults. It was not a child’s cartoon. No, no, it’s super not yet. I think that, um, and there’s a lot of animation that we watch that is either for children or for both, right?
Like every Pixar film we ever watch. And I could, like, I think I’ve seen them all and I would like love to do a Pixar film with. They’re great. And they’re like, really, you know, they’re there, they can be appreciated by any adult, but they can also be measured by any kid. This is [00:06:00] not for kids at all. Do not show this to your children.
Right. Um, there’s a little like, it’s like that time that like someone got mad, like some, some parents got mad cause they took their kids to see Deadpool and they’re like, oh, this is FDIC. Like if there was only, there was some way to like warn us that like a superhero film would be FDIC. It’s like, yeah, it had an R rating lady.
Like. But yes. So similarly like this, this seems to break out of the genre a little bit. Um, and in some ways that’s true, but what’s interesting about. Um, what’s interesting about anime is that it’s such an art form. It is, it is an art form that has a lot of, um, like, and so I’m like, I find myself kind of defending it sometimes much in the same way that our defended metal people are like, oh, metal is just like grates on the ears.
It’s like, yeah, some metal, but like some like, but like it’s very diverse genre. And so a lot of the anime that we, that, that like, if you’re not into enemy that you get exposed to around the edges, it’s like dragon ball Z or, uh, Pokemon. I don’t [00:07:00] know if that’s on a may as such, but yeah, it is anime a hundred percent.

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"Akira – More than Manga" History on the Net
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