Otomo, Katsuhiro – Akira 1
AKIRA!!!!! One thing about most of the manga that I’ve read (Lone Wolf & Cub being a notable exception), there sure is a lot of screaming. It’s hard to review a series like this in modern terms, seeing as how it been ripped off and imitated so many times. I’ll try to break it down to the bare essentials: the story. The story is set 38 years after WWIII, back before that was a total cliche. Anyway, it starts with what looks like a shriveled child on the run from some mysterious government agency. A gang of teenagers on bikes runs into the guy, causing one of them, Tetsuo, to get hurt. The government takes him in and discovers that he has the potential for tremendous power, which leads to a book-long chase scene, basically. The pace for this is constantly frantic. This book is over 350 pages and it took me maybe an hour to read it. I love the panels that have all kinds of dialogue going on at once because a lot of what they say is so ridiculous. Whether that’s the translation or whether Katsuhiro is just incredibly gifted at dialogue is open to debate. There are times when some of the dialogue seems incredibly silly, but the plot is incredibly dense (we still only have the vaguest of ideas of what Akira is after the first book) and it has a great ability to keep me on the edge of my seat. A cliche comment, I know, but I figure it’s justified when describing one of the books where a lot of the modern cliches came from.