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Akira: Special Edition Region 1 DVD review

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Phil Hinton, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="0" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD WIDTH="40">&nbsp;</TD><TD STYLE='font-size: 18px; color: white; text-align: center '>AKIRA: THE SPECIAL EDITION</TD><TD WIDTH="40"><A HREF='http://www.mpaa.org/movieratings/' TARGET='_blank'><IMG SRC='http://www.totaldvd.net/reviews/discs/certification/images/mpaaR.gif' WIDTH='30' HEIGHT='30' ALIGN='RIGHT' ALT='RESTRICTED' BORDER='0'></A></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="0" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD WIDTH="120"><TD><TD STYLE='font-size: 10px; color: white; text-align: center'>Reviewed May 2004 by <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?dvdid=Edward Marshall">Edward Marshall.</A></TD><TD WIDTH="120" STYLE='font-size: 10px; color: white; text-align: right'>

    </TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD COLSPAN="2" VALIGN="TOP"><IMG SRC="http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Akira/AkiraR1.jpg" ALT="AKIRA: THE SPECIAL EDITION" ALIGN="RIGHT"><B>AKIRA (1988)<B> <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?compare=58"><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/images/comparedvds.gif" WIDTH="121" HEIGHT="18" BORDER="0" ALIGN="ABSMIDDLE" ALT="Comparison feature coming soon"></A><TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Genres</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px"><A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=ACTION">ACTION</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=ADVENTURE">ADVENTURE</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=ANIMATION">ANIMATION</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=SCI-FI">SCI-FI</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=THRILLER">THRILLER</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=ANIME">ANIME</A></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Director</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px"><A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=director&search_for=KATSUHIRO OTOMO">KATSUHIRO OTOMO</A></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Stars</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px"><A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=MITSUO IWATA">MITSUO IWATA</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=NOZOMU SASAKI">NOZOMU SASAKI</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=MAMI KOYAMA">MAMI KOYAMA</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=TESSHÔ GENDA">TESSHÔ GENDA</A>, <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=HIROSHI ÔTAKE">HIROSHI ÔTAKE</A></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px"><B>Region</B></TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px"><B>1</B> <FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">(USA)</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Supplier</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">Pioneer Entertainment</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Price</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">39.95</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Format</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">DVD 9</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Time</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">124 mins.</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Chapters</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">36</FONT></TD></TR>
    </TABLE><TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Picture</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1&nbsp;</TD>
    <TD STYLE="font-size: 10px"><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/images/thx.gif" WIDTH="37" HEIGHT="16" ALIGN="ABSMIDDLE" BORDER="0" ALT="THX approved"> approved</TD>
    </TR></TABLE><TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Sound</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">English DD 5.1<BR>Japanese DD 2.0 Dolby Surround</TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Subtitles</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">English</TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Case</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Amaray</TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Extras</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Capsule option to translate graffiti<BR>Chapter Selection</TD></TR></TABLE>
    </TD></TR></TABLE>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>The Movie</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>9</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">Certain films sum up a genre. “Psycho” for psychological thrillers, “Star Wars” for sci-fi and “Akira” for anime’. It’s safe to say that its release in 1987 marked the point at which anime’ became known to audiences worldwide. Appealing to fans of film making, science-fiction and animation alike, it introduced concepts of drug dealing, distopic post-atomic futures and ultra violence to the world of animation at large. </p><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">Set in Neo-Tokyo, a city built on the remains of the former great city following its destruction in a nuclear war, we meet up with Kaneda and his electro-bike gang. After one of his gang, a young man named Tetsuo, runs into a strange energy shield emerging from a boy on a deserted highway, he is knocked off his bike and rendered unconscious. So begins a series of events that lead to the uncovering of the secret of the “Akira” project with devastating consequences for all.</p><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">When I first saw Akira on a shaky VHS tape in the late 80’s I was stunned by it. I had grown up with sci-fi and had seen films ranging from “Brave New World” to “Star Wars” but I’d never experienced anything like “Akira”. I didn’t, couldn’t, take it all in on that first viewing and even now, reviewing this Signature edition release, I’m still finding bits of the puzzle that point toward the almost hallucinatory ending.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Picture</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>8</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">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.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/makeimage.php?image=Akira/Akira_1.jpg" ALT="AKIRA: THE SPECIAL EDITION"></P>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Sound</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>9</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">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.</p><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">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. </p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/makeimage.php?image=Akira/Akira_2.jpg" ALT="AKIRA: THE SPECIAL EDITION"></P>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Extras</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>3</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">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.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/makeimage.php?image=Akira/Akira_3.jpg" ALT="AKIRA: THE SPECIAL EDITION"></P>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Verdict</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>8</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">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.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD>&nbsp;</TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="0"><TR><TD ALIGN="CENTER">Review disc provided by <A HREF="http://www.discemporium.com"><img src="http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/SuppliersLogos/DiscEmporium.jpg" ALIGN="ABSMIDDLE"></TD></TR></TABLE>
     

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