back to article Akira Blu-ray remastered disc set

It’s been hailed as the greatest anime ever. While I think you have to go some before you can top Pokémon 4Ever, (no seriously, I prefer My Neighbour Totoro) there’s no denying Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is a milestone of a movie. Akira Blu-ray remastered edition Akira: worth another spin in this UK Blu-ray remaster release …


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  1. Lamont Cranston

    "it becomes super-easy to pick out the jet engine roar blended with Harley Davidson"

    Not sure this is a good thing - isn't it akin to being able to spot the wires used for wire-fu?

    1. Suburban Inmate

      I'd say it is a good thing.

      The best cider I ever tasted was a Dabinett Apple cider, the apple skin and flesh were clearly distinguishable, which made it such an interesting and enjoyable tipple.

      In a high performance car the turbo whine and dump valve hiss hardly spoil the exhaust note, but (hopefully) complement it.

  2. Goatan
    Thumb Up

    This is incredible

    They used around 270 shades of red for the movie and on the blu ray you can see them all. The image quality is mind blowingly incredible.

    A must have for any fan of the movie.

  3. Southern

    most interesting...

    I haven't watched Akira in over ten years, reason being that the film gets Very Weird towards the end, but I can't deny the film's impact. I'm intrigued about the reproduced sound to hear exactly how good it is vs the old, as it seems in vogue to do this with old films but with wildly differing results.

    It might be time to get a Blu Ray player after all...(shock horror!)

    1. TimNevins


      I agree, it did get extremely weird near the end of the film and not in a good way.

      I found Jin-Roh:The Wolf Brigade a good watch for a cohesive and engaging storyline.

  4. Dunstan Vavasour

    In the cinema

    And for those who live in the Midlands and want the full cinema experience, it is showing at Warwick Arts Centre on the 18th and 19th of August - I expect the remastered version will pop up in arts house cinema across the country.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Well I'll likely be able to see it on the 19th as that's when Ayacon starts~~~

    2. Dapprman

      Even though I'm no longer in the area

      I was disappointed to see that the Wolverhampton Light House cinema was not getting it this time round, after all that's where I first saw it back in 1988.

    3. Greg J Preece

      Saw it on Saturday

      At a single-showing slot in Leeds. Very good transfer.

  5. Leeroy Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Love the film,

    but i am still not sure if it is worth the upgrade over my DVD version and my "all in one" surround sound.

    If you like Akira you should also watch "Cyber City Oedo 808", i did an art project based on the car in the opening episode it is that good.

    Also "Ghost In The Shell" and "Dominion Tank Police" need a mention.

    1. Pooka

      lookie title

      I loved Ghost In The Shell 2.0 (The Bluray version) just for the improvements in art and animation - I'd love a bluray of Cyber City....

      And Ninja Scroll, but that's just me....

      1. I'm not sleeping...
        Thumb Up

        Ghost in the Shell

        I love Akira but Ghost in the Shell is still my all time favorite (... of all movies, not only animation!). The original version please... the 2.0 digital changes make it lose some visual coherence IMHO.

      2. Jaruzel

        Not just you.

        I like Ninja Scroll too. :)

    2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Knight Sabers anyone?

      Bubblegum crisis (BGC) 2033 (done in the 80's).

      Firslty I'll admit, the only tenous semblance to Akira is that this is post apocalyptic Tokyo and there are bikes.

      But ... If you were an 80's kid, you''ll *LOVE* this. Bit like an anime with music videos in them. The soundtrack(music) is *phenomenal* in that nostalgic 80's way. Seriously, I wish I had the kind of kit they had in that anime. This series is your basic tank-and-spank anime type job, lots of music, bikes, cars, powered armour, gratuitous violence and gore, with some intrigue (but not in the league of the other animes). Oh and girls.. (Who is hotter, Priss or Sylia? Discuss...)

      In other words, watchable, over and over and over and over and over again.

      Youtube 'victory' and 'bubblegum crisis.' Both the original Japanese dubbed English/Engrish renditions of the music videos are really quite good.

      The redone Bubblegum Crisis 2040, or the other one Bubblegum Crash ain't as good but probably worth watching if you like the franchise. Watch 2033 first. If you don't watch the rest you're not missing anything - they're sort of like Matrix II and III. There are also other AD police spin offs, I think like parasite dolls etc.

      If you were to ask me which anime series is tops, I'd probably choose BGC 2033, as dated as it is, but that's because I've always kind of liked close-in hand to hand fighting, bikes, powered armour and girls. And the music is really quite good in this. Yes, I prefer this even to the Macrosses.


      1. graeme leggett

        Oh yes, BGC thumbs up for that series

        No question - its Sylia

  6. Joefish

    Defaults to the English dub? God help us.

    The English voice acting used on that dub is hideous. I recently saw it on one of the satellite channels and couldn't believe such stilted over-acting had made it onto this movie.

    I still have a VHS recording of when Jonaffon Woss introduced it on BBC2, with it's high-frame widescreen, Japanese language and subtitles in the border at the bottom - brilliant. Ghibli's English dubs are excellent - isn't it about time Akira had a better one? Or just bury it and stick to the Japanese...

    1. Kristian Walsh


      "Ghibli's English dubs are excellent"

      Ah now, some of them are pretty awful. They may be well acted, but they don't follow the original script. As an example, Spirited Away's closing scenes are marred by inane chit-chat on the US dub, where the Japanese version simply falls silent and lets the director's choice of imagery tell the story. My Neigbour Totoro is also afflicted by the American "Can't-stop-talking-the-kids-will-lose-interest" disease.

      For readers who haven't seen either film (and you should, especially Totoro, which a friend of mine justifiably introduced to me as "The best film ever made"), just imagine watching the start sequence of Lawrence of Arabia with some voice off-screen saying crap like "what's that?" "ooh, looks like a man", "ooh, he's on horseback", "coming here." "wonder what he wants", and you'll get an idea.

      Still, I've seen much worse butchery of films when they get dubbed into English.

      1. Si 1


        Yes my one gripe with quite a few Ghibli dubs is where the original soundtrack has total silence, the English dub fills that silence with talking or music or both. The silence is one of the biggest charms of the originals and brilliantly adds tension or relaxation depending on the situation, so I really wish Disney wouldn't change them in such a fundamental way when they do their dubs.

      2. Marvin the Martian

        Start of Lawrence? That's him crashing off his bike, noh?

        But yes, you're right, we know what scene you mean, the first "Arabian" one...

  7. lurker

    Which English Audio?

    Which version of the English voice acting did they use? The 1988 or 2001 version? Or do you get the choice?

    I'm presuming you can also opt to view with the original Japanese voice acting and subtitles?

  8. graeme leggett
    Thumb Up

    Definitely a milestone for the UK

    I think I can say that this is the film that brought anime to prominence in the UK. Off the success of the VHS a whole line of anime were released on tape in the UK and you could find a whole section in Virgin Megastores. Dominion Tank Police (mentioned above) being one of the first releases of Manga Entertainment.

    I think I bought my first issue of Anime UK magazine (very high production values) on the basis of spotting Akira on the front of it. And then I discovered that Marine Boy was all part of it...and so it began..

    Now if i hadn't spent my money on laserdiscs and Bandai mecha plastic kits back then, I could afford to buy a Blueray player and this disc. ...

    1. .james

      or at least...

      Brought attention to all those kids cartoons we'd been watching, turned out were actually anime.

      (But I remember getting tetsuo from the Virgin Megastore)

  9. Bunker_Monkey

    Live Action Version

    Was it just me or did I hear rumours of a live action version being in pre-prod some time ago?

    Hollywood - Cause theres no new ideas coming out of there for a long time!

    1. Dapprman

      alas lots of rumours

      The forums belonging to Neo Mag normally throw up the latest rumours. Oh how we cringe

    2. WonkoTheSane


      Yes, but thankfully, Keanu has dropped plans to play Kaneda.

      Anyone who wants the non-Steelbook version can just give Asda 13quid like I did last night.

      What I'm really waiting for at the moment is an English-subtitled version of this:-

  10. Adam T

    Audio bliss

    I think I need to get into proper audio kit, because I think it sounds fantastic even on a cheapo cinema system.

    A real shame that the source art wasn't higher resolution, but the improved colour fidelity alone is so much better that I can't complain; even the DVD version appears a little washed out and suffering from bad contrast in comparison. Good purchase.

  11. MJI Silver badge

    If so good why 85%?

    I thought you would have marked higher?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      No, it's an exponential asymptotically going to 100.

      I thought everybody knew _that_

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'd love even a DvD release of Cyber City Oedo 808.

    1. Haku

      Cyber City Oedo 808

      It is on DVD, with the original Japanese and dubbed English audio tracks, just need to do a little googling...

      I still have my full-size laminated CCO8 poster stored away.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cyber city Oedo 808

        Easily one the most classic animes of the 90's.

        Sadly the soudtrack you'll want is the British version, the music on the international version was a wierd pop / Jazz number that doesn't really match the the cyber punk and gore.

        Unfortunately Manga UK lost the licence for the the thrash metal version and the transition to DVD was never made.

        If you look in some dark corners of the internet you can find a version that has the british soundtrack over the DVD video though I had to tweek the audio settings in VLC to make to sync up, its worth it if you can find it.

        Its a forgotton classic, definatetley worth a watch for any fans of sci fi action flicks. The only downside is they never made any more or transfered this version to DVD :(

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Cyber City Oedo 808

    Even if it was just the Manga Video dub (which, as I understand it had their usual laughably bad voice acting, but actually improved the sound track)

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Another version???

    I own four different versions (original Jp dvd, two U.S. dvds and the U.S. BD) right now and not a single one has the original English dialogue (being the only Anime I own where I prefer the English dub). Unless I hear different, then my current Blu-Ray isn't going to be replaced because each one failed to mention that they didn't contain the original dub (remastering is not the same thing as re-dubbing).

    I ended up downloading an online version with the original dub because the re-dub is horrid and I paid for it multiple times over. Those 'actors' really should be ashamed of themselves. The worst dub I've heard was for 'Hard Boiled', because my friend thought it was funny.

    I remember seeing this in the theatre and was completely blown away with the visuals and the story. Not quite the same as the comic, but this was a stand alone film.

  15. Michael Habel Silver badge

    I never understood the hype of this Film

    Personally I find this move to be VERY OVER RATED. + an age old adage of rather reading the Manga (Comic Book version), of Akria instead.

    It's kinda like those Lord of the Rings Movies from a while back, they are ~ok~ at best, but in no way a proper substitute for the real thing (i.e. Printed Material)....

    And the Film wasn't even that good, when taken into account with its source material.

  16. Tensigh

    It sucked back then, it still sucks now

    Akira was an acheivment in affects, sure. The animation quality was amazing, even though every character looked the same.

    But the story really left much to be desired. The plot was basic, there was a lot of sub plots that went nowhere, and the story climaxed about 20 minutes before the end of the film.

    Much like Avatar, it had great visuals, but not much for a story. I agree, the movie was highly overrated.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      No, you suck.


  17. Vehlin


    Are the subtitles the translated subtitles of the original Japanese or are they just dubtitles?

  18. Sonny Jim


    I thought they did what they had to do, ie give a background setting without over complicating the main story. WRT to the last 20 minutes, I'm wondering if there's some cultural differences that cause confusion, as I'm always left scratching my head also.

  19. Graham Bartlett

    Ooh, big numbers - must be good! what do they mean again?

    Amongst people who record, mix and master this stuff for a living, opinion is divided as to whether anything over 44/48kHz is worth having for recording with, and a definite majority in the "no" camp. Even those who use 96kHz would generally regard 192kHz as being excessive.

    "Rebuilt from original elements" equals "remixed", not "remastered", doesn't it? You mix something, then you master it for distribution on various media. If you really cared, you'd master something once for distribution on vinyl, then master again for CD, and then again for DVD. This also covers getting mixes that'll sound decent on representative systems - so DVD sound needs to work OK on the mono speaker in a cheap TV, as well as in your multi-thousand-quid surround-sound setup.

    And the reason old CDs (and your original Japanese PCM track) could sound bad is quite simply that we have better gear available today and the people using it have the experience to use it effectively. So remastering old digital recordings (taking the original analogue and converting to digital using modern equipment) is quite sensible. The problem with 44/48kHz isn't the frequency per se, it's whether all the associated circuit is doing its job properly - and whether the person using it is doing it right. We've got better gear today, and the people using it now have 20-30 years of experience to call on.

  20. Charles King


    "Not only does the extended frequency response make Ohashi’s memorable, pounding score richer than Kobe beef"

    HAHAHA pull the other one. I assume your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you wrote that. Whatever excuses might be made to justify 96kHz (poor brickwall filters, perhaps) completely fail to have relevance for anything over that. Any mastering gear that isn't 24bit these days is bargain-basement, but 16bit/48kHz is all you need for delivery to the consumer.

    G. Bartlett's right - digital mastering gear was pretty ropey until well into the 90s, so there is a reason to go back to the original analog tapes and re-digitise them. But it's got nothing to do with throwing fancy numbers at it, unless yuou;re the sort of clueless nerd who gets impressed by such things.

  21. Aaron Em

    Sounds great

    But where do we go to buy "audiophile-grade" HDMI "interconnects"? From what you're saying, we will need them in order to really appreciate the full color gamut, without the usual black-level distortion and static produced by ordinary consumer-grade HDMI cables.

    1. Not That Andrew


      I don't have any Monster Cable HDMI cables, but I do have a bridge that I am willing to sell to you - cheap.

  22. PTBooth

    Laserdisc Vs. Blu-ray

    The new Blu-ray might be cool, but I might still reach for the Criterion Collection laserdisc. It is always good to have a choice (I'm glad I didn't let someone get rid of the old player).

  23. Anonymous Coward


    "But where do we go to buy "audiophile-grade" HDMI "interconnects"? From what you're saying, we will need them in order to really appreciate the full color gamut, without the usual black-level distortion and static produced by ordinary consumer-grade HDMI cables."

    It's a digital signal - it's there or no - unless it's a very cheap / nastly or excessively long cable it's unlikely to be an issue.

  24. hokum


    The subtitles on the Japanese audio version of this are 'dubtitles' ie a subtitled version of the English audio not a proper translation of the original Japanese script. Very poor.

  25. serviceWithASmile


    this film blew my mind.

    need to watch it again, the latest hollywood stuff just doesnt do it for me anymore :)

  26. Zebidee

    Other titles

    Akira was good, and essentially opened the doors, but I always preferred:

    Urotsukidoji II: Legend Of The Demon Womb (1991)

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