Akira is a 1988 Japanese animated science fiction film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, written by Otomo and Izo Hashimoto. The screenplay is based on Otomo's manga of the same name.

The film has become a hugely popular cult film and is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation.


Set in the year 2019 in Neo-Tokyo, a rebuilt Tokyo after suffering the devastating effects of a nuclear explosion that triggered World War III. All authority is waging a never-ending struggle against the underground that virtually rules the shattered city. A top-secret child with amazing psychic powers breaks free from custody and accidentally gets a motorcycle gang involved. The incident triggers psychic powers within one of the members, Tetsuo, and he is taken by the army and experimented on. His mind has been warped and is now on the path of war, exacting revenge on the society that once called him weak.

Dubbing History

It should be noted that Akira is a trickier anime product to dub due to the fact that, unlike standard anime procedure, the original voices were recorded first and the mouth movements were drawn to match. Traditionally in anime, the mouth moving animation is done with simplistic mouth flapping while the recording is done afterward.

The movie was first dubbed by Electric Media, Inc. for Kodansha Ltd. and saw a limited theatrical release in America on December 25, 1989. The movie was distributed by Streamline Pictures in North America. This dub is often incorrectly referred to as the "Streamline Dub" because of this, not helped by the fact that the voice cast largely consisted of regulars for Streamline's dubs.

In 2001, a new dub was produced by Animaze for Pioneer Entertainment's DVD release. The writers of this version of the dub went out of their way to make the script and story easier to understand, since one of the criticisms of the original dub was that the script was barely comprehensible.


Image Character Seiyū Electric Media Dub Pioneer/Animaze Dub
Shotaro Kaneda Shōtarō Kaneda Mitsuo Iwata Cam Clarke Johnny Yong Bosch
Tetsuo Shima Tetsuo Shima Nozomu Sasaki Jan Rabson Joshua Seth
Kei001 Kei Mami Koyama Lara Cody Wendee Lee
Colonel Shikishima Colonel Shikishima Tarō Ishida Tony Pope Jamieson Price
Dr. Onishi (Akira) Doctor Ōnishi Mizuho Suzuki Lewis Arquette Simon Prescott
Ryu (Akira) Ryūsaku (Ryu) Tesshō Genda Steve Kramer Bob Buchholz
Kiyoko (Akira) Kiyoko (No. 25) Fukue Itō Melora Harte Sandy Fox
Takashi (Akira) Takashi (No. 26) Tatsuhiko Nakamura Barbara Goodson Cody MacKenzie
Masaru Masaru (No. 27) Kazuhiro Kamifuji Bob Bergen Chloe Thornton
Kaori (Akira) Kaori Yuriko Fuchizaki Barbara Goodson Michelle Ruff
Yamagata (Akira) Yamagata Masaaki Ōkura Tony Pope Michael Lindsay
Kai (Akira) Kaisuke (Kai) Takeshi Kusao Bob Bergen Anthony Pulcini
Nezu (Akira) Nezu Hiroshi Ōtake Tony Pope Mike Reynolds
Resistance Member 1 (Akira) Revolutionary 1 Masato Hirano Lewis Arquette Steve Blum
Resistance Member 2 (Akira) Revolutionary 2 Yukimasa Kishino Wally Burr Michael McConnohie
Shimazaki (Akira) Shimazaki Tony Pope Robert Axelrod
Council Liaison (Akira) Colonel's Council Liaison Kōichi Kitamura Lewis Arquette Michael Forest
Eiichi (Akira) Eiichi Watanabe Tarô Arakawa Bob Bergen Eddie Frierson
Mitsuru (Akira) Mitsuru Kuwata Yukimasa Kishino Tony Pope Jonathan C. Osborne
Yuji (Akira) Yūji Takeyama Masato Hirano Jan Rabson Skip Stellrecht
Lady Miyako Lady Miyako Kōichi Kitamura Steve Kramer William Frederick Knight
Inspector (Akira) Inspector Michihiro Ikemizu Bob Bergen Steve Staley
Army (Akira) Army Kazumi Tanaka Steve Kramer Tony Oliver
Bartender (Akira) Harukiya Bartender Yōsuke Akimoto Tony Pope John Snyder

Additional Voices

Video Releases

Distributor Year Format Dub Region Country
Streamline Pictures 1990 VHS Electric Media NTSC United States Flag United States
Manga Entertainment 1991 PAL United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom
Pioneer Entertainment 2001 DVD Pioneer 1
United States Flag United States
Manga Entertainment 2002 2
United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom
2005 All
Bandai Entertainment 2009 DVD
Bluray fontlogo 3
Pioneer A
United States Flag United States
FUNimation Entertainment 2013 All

See Also

External Links

  • Akira at the Internet Movie Database
  • Akira (film) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia