Akira: The Special Edition DVD Review

by AVForums
Movies & TV Review

2

Akira: The Special Edition DVD Review
SRP: £39.95

Picture

Originally produced in 1987 using hand painted cell animation Akira has a very definite “visual signature”. It may lack some of the precision, fluidity and CG assistance which has graced anime' that has followed, but few other titles look as gritty or stylised. Thankfully the transfer for this edition does justice to the movie. Framed at the correct ratio of 1.78:1, THX certified and anamorphically enhanced, the movie shows very little print damage although some film grain is visible. No macroblocking or banding is visible but certain high contrast scenes, (the night time battles between the warring gangs being a good example), do show a slight “halo” effect indicating that a little too much edge enhancement has been used. Other than that this is a very nice transfer.
Akira: The Special Edition

Sound

When originally released, Akira carried a Dolby Stereo (surround) track only. It is this original mix that is on the disk for the Japanese version. However, the English dub is a new 5.1 DD mix which adds a new dimension to the movie. The split rear channels are used to great effect with bike engines, tanks and atmospheric effects all panned around the soundstage. The new track also benefits from the .1 bass track with the engines on Kaneadas electro-bikes particularly now sounding more impressive.

Things are less technically impressive on the Japanese track. As previously mentioned this is DD 2.0 surround only and doesn't appear to have undergone much restoration with audible hiss and occasional distortion in some sections. This is particularly a shame as “Akira” really deserves to be run in it's original language with English subtitles.
Akira: The Special Edition

Extras

An option is available in the languages section to bring up translations of the graffiti that litters most surfaces in Neo-Tokyo. Apart from this there are no extras on the disc whatsoever. The main menu is nicely animated and scored with excellent use of sound effects for menu transitions. Chapter selection screens are scored but static.
Akira: The Special Edition
A classic of the genre. Akira marks a watershed in the worldwide acceptance of anime'. If you are a fan of anime', a collector of animation or a lover of film Akira has to be in your collection. If it isn't already and you don't want or need any extras then get this edition now.

Scores

Movie

.
9

Picture Quality

.
.
8

Sound Quality

.
9

Extras

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
3

Overall

.
.
8
8
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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