Childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda are pulled into the post-apocalyptic underworld of Neo-Tokyo and forced to fight for their very survival. Kaneda is a bike gang leader, and Tetsuo is a member of a tough motorcycle crew who becomes involved in a covert government project called Akira. But a bloody battle ensues when Kaneda sets out to save his friend.
Jay Cocks The movie, even at 124 minutes, has the densely packed sweep and go-for-it pep of a pop epic.
Jonathan Rosenbaum Grade-school violence freaks may find a few kicks here, but even they may have trouble coping with this ugly movie's ending about eight separate times.
Variety Staff A lavish animation extravaganza produced at a cost of $8 million, this futuristic exploration is a followup by author-director Katsuhiro Otomo to his tremendously popular comic books.
Geoff Andrew An impressive achievement, often suggesting a weird expressionist blend of 2001, The Warriors, Blade Runner and Forbidden Planet.
Michael Atkinson Easily the most breathtaking and kinetic anime ever made.
Richard Harrington The most expensive animated feature ever made in Japan... and it's easily the most impressive, as well.