A classic anime movie will be seeing a new release, as Akira is due to return in an all-new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition early next year.
The iconic film from director Katsuhiro Otomo will offer plenty of visual and auditory updates to Akira, more than 30 years after its original release. Funimation announced that Akira on 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray will bring "remastered visuals and remixed audio," as well as various extras like image galleries, original trailers, commercials and storyboards. An interview with the film's director is offered as one of several behind-the-scenes features, which also includes a look at how composer Geinoh Yamashirogumi crafted the film's sound design and music.
The complete list of Akira special features follows:
Akira Sound Clip (1988)
Music for Akira
Ethnic Meets Hi-Tech
The Writing on the Wall
English Voice Over
English 5.1 Audio Mix
U.S. Trailer (2013)
Originally released in 1988, Akira centers around a boy named Shotaro Kaneda and his friend Tetsuo Shima. When Tetsuo obtains psychic powers from a secret government project, it threatens to overwhelm Tetsuo and destroy the city of Neo Tokyo. Akira has since gone on the become one of the most influential films of all time, as the anime film's dystopian tone, dark themes and depiction of a dark future version of Japan all helped define the modern cyberpunk genre.
Almost 34 years later, Akira is still relevant thanks to the creative works of the fans it inspired. Artists have paid homage to the film's classic poster by recreating Kaneda's iconic walk to his motorcycle with other characters such as Link from The Legend of Zelda and Static from issue #4 of Static: Season One. Further, Kaneda's bike slide has been remade in stop-motion thanks to one fan animator who used only toys and foley sound effects to bring the iconic moment to life.
Director Taika Waititi has expressed his continued support for a live-action film adaptation of Akira. Though Waititi has been attached to the project for nearly four years, the director reaffirmed his desire to see it completed, saying in an interview earlier this year, "I’m still trying [to make it]. I don’t wanna give up on that."
Akira drifts onto 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray beginning Jan. 18, 2022.