What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Akira is a landmark of anime, a superproduction in Japan, and a cult classic in the United States; it introduced many Americans to the genre. It's available in an English-dubbed version as well as a Japanese version with English subtitles; this review references the English version. The violence is quite incredible, with numerous battles, fights, and shootouts, with blood, and escalating into nightmarish, disturbing imagery. Language is fairly constant, but rarely escalates to the "big" words, "s--t" and "f--k." "Damn" and "hell" are used regularly. There's one scene of female toplessness (in a moment of violence rather than intimacy), and a moment of sexual groping in the background of a scene. This is essential viewing for any serious teen fans of anime, though it's one of the most intense examples.
- Families can talk about the movie's violence. Does it seem to get stronger and more disturbing as it goes? How does watching super violent content make you feel?
- What is the movie actually about? Who or what is Akira? Is the reappearance of Akira a good thing or a bad thing?
- Is it possible that memories and knowledge are passed around throughout the universe? What are some of the movie's other themes?
- When Tetsuo achieves his great powers, why does he immediately choose to use them for destructive behavior? What else could he have done?
- What makes anime so popular? Why is Akira considered such a great example of the genre?