By Shannon H.
Despite all the great titles coming out this week, Black Butler Volume 5 and 20th Century Boys Volume 14 among them, there is only one thing to talk about at the moment, and that’s Katsuhiro Otomo’s infamous Akira. At long last, after almost ten years, all six volumes of the most epic manga ever have finally been reprinted by Kodansha, which is glorious mostly because it means I don’t have to lend out my Dark Horse copies from back in the day anymore.
I remember my first experience with Akira, back when you were lucky to find maybe one or two mangas at any given bookseller. (God, I feel so old.) I’d heard whispers of it on my obsessive, youthful quests to find out any and everything about this thing called ‘anime’, mostly because the movie is so iconic and hard to miss when looking into the history of Japanese animation. So when I stumbled upon the firstAkira graphic novel, I thought that I should look into it, even though I had yet to see the film and didn’t know much else about it than it was supposed to be super violent and awesome. I brought the book home and began to read: by the time the week was out, I had purchased all six books and was forcing myself to pace myself through the epicness so that it wouldn’t ever have to end. (Pro Tip: watch the film of Akira before you read the manga if at all possible; otherwise, the movie is just damn disappointing, and that is not something you should ever have to think about it, because it is a very important one to see.)