Review(s): Akira, Volumes 1-3

Since these are technically re-reads, they aren’t on my list and don’t officially count against my #BeatTheBlacklist Challenge; although the amount of years since I originally read them to now almost makes it like first time read.  I went back into my order history on Amazon and eBay, etc., and the purchase date for Volumes 1-3 was July 2002!  And I read them as soon as they arrived in the mail so it has been 14 1/2 years since I read them.

So this came about because I went to read Volume 4, and when I read the page titled: “The Story So Far,” I couldn’t remember a damn thing!!  It was evident, in order for me to actually understand and enjoy Volume 4 that I had to do a re-read of Volumes 1-3.  So that’s what I did.  I put them all together because they were a re-read and I managed to get them all done in the space of a few days. (That’s what happens when you fall hard in the snow and hurt your hip and lower back, you stay in bed for a day or two and read, but I digress).  Here are my re-read reviews, which are short and sweet.

akira1Title: Akira, Volume 1
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Page Count: 304
[Re]Read Date: January 7-8, 2017
Description: Dark Horse is committed to bringing the finest comics from around the world to America. Now, in association with Kodansha Ltd. and Studio Proteus, Dark Horse has again gathered one of the crown jewels of graphic fiction. Katsuhiro Otomo’s stunning science-fiction masterpiece, Akira! Regarded by many as the finest comic series ever produced, Akira is a bold and breathtaking epic of potent narrative strength and astonishing illustrative skill. Akira is set in the post-apocalypse Neo-Tokyo of 2019, a vast metropolis built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by an apocalyptic blast of unknown power that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when dormant paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, who becomes a target for a shadowy government operation, a group who will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like that which leveled Tokyo. And at the core of their motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear: a fear of someone — or something — of unthinkably monstrous power known only as…Akira. And Akira is about to rise! Collected in six massive volumes, Akira has been reproduced in its original, black-and-white majesty as never-before-seen in an English-translated edition. If you love science fiction, manga or comics, Akira is the one work that must be represented in your collection!

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review: That awkward moment when you go to read Vol. 4 and the “the story so far” doesn’t sound familiar at all because it’s literally been years since you read Volumes 1-3. So this is technically a re-read, but it almost feels like a first time read because it’s been soooo long. I can’t believe how much I have forgotten from my initial reading.

It’s not like the movie.

What do I say about postapocalyptic Tokyo? There are gangs, and drugs, a secret military project (which was the cause of the apocalypse in the first place), and kids with paranormal powers.

This whole graphic novel is a hot mess of drugs, violence and creepy kids with mad-crazy mind powers.

I loved it of course, duh! I I think I enjoyed it more than the first time I read it, because I changed my (original) star rating from 4 to 5 stars.

akira2Title: Akira, Volume 2
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Page Count: 304
[Re]Read Date: January 8-9, 2017
Description: In the year 2030, the dazzling Neo-Tokyo has risen from Tokyo’s ashes, but the power that once levelled Tokyo and sent the world to the brink of Armageddon — a being of monstrous telekinetic power known only as Akira — lives on in absolute-zero frozen stasis far below the city. Those who stand guard will stop at nothing to keep Akira from awakening, but Tetsuo, an angry young man with immense — and rapidly growing — psychic abilities becomes obsessed with confronting Akira face-to-face. In time, Akira will surely awaken, and Tetsuo may be the only being potentially capable of controlling him, but Tetsuo is becoming increasingly unstable and violent, and a group including his former friend Kaneda sets out to destroy Tetsuo before he can release Akira — or before Tetsuo himself becomes so powerful that no force on Earth can stop him!

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review: Reread.

What I want to know is, how did Tetsuo turn into a mega douche so quickly?! One minute he was besties with Kaneda and the gang and the next he was heading up a rival gang and trying to kill his friends.

Of course it’s the age old story of letting the power go to his head. And now this knuckle head has woken Akira. Shit’s about to get surius now!!!

Like with Volume 1, I enjoyed this much more the second time around.

akria3Title: Akira, Volume 3
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Page Count: 288
[Re]Read Date: January 9, 2017
Description: In the 21st century, the glittering Neo-Tokyo has risen from the rubble of a Tokyo destroyed by an apocalyptic telekinetic blast from a young boy called Akira — the subject of a covert government experiment gone wrong now imprisoned in frozen stasis. But Tetsuo, an angry young man with immense and rapidly growing psychic abilities, has done the unthinkable: he has released Akira and set into motion a chain of events that could once destroy the city and drag the world to the brink of Armageddon. Resistance agents and an armada of government forces race against the clock to find the child with godlike powers before his unthinkable destructive abilities are unleashed! One of the true international classics of graphic fiction and unavailable for nearly a decade in America, Akira has once again taken America by storm, its first Dark Horse volume selling out almost overnight in comic shops and bookstores across the country!

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review: Reread.

Oh boy this is a mess. I have no clue whose on whose side, which side is the right side, or if Akira is only dangerous because people are trying to use him as a weapon. But he’s ‘woke’ now. Like REALLY woke. And now Tetsuo is back to throw a monkeywrench in the works.

Once again, liked it better the second time around.

Cannot wait to get to Volume 4 now!


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