ByDale Hickey, writer at
And I'm not happy and I'm not sad.....
Dale Hickey

Talks of a live action adaption of the 1988 anime film Akira have been circulating ever since 2008 when producer Andrew Lazar obtained rights to the project. The project may have stopped and started various times with multiple directors and writers attached to the project , however , latest updates of the project suggest the hopes of a live action Akira may be dead, which may actually be a good thing? I mean the film is known for being one of the best anime films ever to grace western cinemas and adapting it to live action may result in losing the charm of the original which helped to win over fans back in its original release.

The Breakdown:

Version of a live action Kaneda.
Version of a live action Kaneda.

The Akira film was based on the Manga series of the same name and although it does not follow the manga directly or even fully , it still turned out a masterpiece. The film is full of diverse and interesting characters , all of whom face many challenges in the film. Akira helped to lead the way for anime outside its native country of Japan. The film and the manga act as companion pieces seeing as the manga wasnt even completed by the time the film came out.


Anime version of Kaneda.
Anime version of Kaneda.

Although the title of the film is Akira , the character himself does not appear in the film (not in physical form) leaving the central character as Kaneda , the hot headed leader of a biker gang in Neo - Tokyo. Kaneda is quick whitted and has a rebellous spirit , one which helps him to face the trouble which opposes him in the film. He blends perfectly compassion with comical moments , which make him a fun character to root for throughout the films duration. Kaneda is the iconic character in Akira and to change his style which was perfect for an anime setting and to try to adapt it to live action will look far too over the top. Many people have there one actor who they believe would be perfect to be a character in this film but placing an A-list in a film like this will take away the power of the films story and people will be too distracted by the style the given actor chose to portray their character of Akira.

Tetsuo is in my opinion the best character in this film , despite causing utter destruction to his city , you still root for him because you know his reason behind doing so and the trouble and hard times he has faced. He was a character which I believe was one of the best anime characters of his time and adapted him to live would not have the same feeling as he did as anime.


That goes for most characters in the film , most of them are fitted perfectly for anime and not for live action or any other form.

Dependence on C.G.I.

Anime is known for its crazy fights and fast paced action , one which can not be seen in live action films. Akira takes full advantage of this as the film has epic action segments followed by trippy dream sequences. Bringing these scenes into a live action movie could prove to be too much , as for these scenes to be created it will require a huge dependents on C.G.I. which we have learned from many films nowadays is a bad thing.

Who really wants a 2 hour long Akira live action filmed filled with over the top C.G.I. and not even emphasis on the intensity of each scene. The anime captured these scenes masterfully and remaking them for live action could end up ruining iconic scenes from the beloved cult film.

Tetsuo vs. Kanedawe .
Tetsuo vs. Kanedawe .


As we all know there has been countless amounts of times studios felt bringing anime or cartoon to the big screen in a live acton remake was a good idea , only to end in a complete failure. A film like Akira was made to be an anime and not anything else , to change the format it is originally known for is a dangerous risk , one which i felt should not be taken.

A perfect example of an anime property which was converted to live action is Dragonball: Evolution (2009) a film which had so much material to work work but just did not work out all for live action. The film scored an embarrasing 2.8 star rating on I.M.D.B. and did not make back its money at the box office.

If something like this was to happen to Akira it would just be awful, no one wants one of there most beloved films to be ruined by a remake or a reimagining of the film.

Dragonball: Evolution Live Action Adaption.
Dragonball: Evolution Live Action Adaption.

Continuing The Story:

Akira is based on manga with over 2,000 pages worth of storyline , the film barely covers half of this story and so rather than just remake the orginal film into a live action film, I would like the film to be strched out even more, not by a remake or a sequel but a T.V. series. Akira has so much story , all that is perfectly written and illustrated , so I would love to see a carry on from the film in the form of a T.V. series rather than a direct sequel to the film as its been far too many years since the original and its original fanbase may nt be enough for the film to become another hit, whereas a T.V. series will carry on from the film and stick to the manga and allow more time for each of the characters to be fleshed out and to see the choices and the consequences to their actions throughout a series.

The Outro:

So with die hard fans of Akira all over the world , there is a division between a live action remake and with just not doing anymore whatsoever with the property. Personally I would not like to see Akira in a live action film as I believe the movie will have a complete differant tone and will not have the same appeal as its anime original. Characters will be differant and look differant too , effects will have to be top notch to make the film work and the films original sountrack was so perfect that reusing it may make the new film seem cheesy , so an original sountrack will need to be made , one to suit more modern times.

This has been my opinion on the possible making of a live action Akira film , I realize it may not be everyones choice but Akira is already a masterpiece and as we have learned from crappy sequels there is no point in trying to improve something thats already perfect.

Kaneda & his biker gang.
Kaneda & his biker gang.

Here is a taste of what a live action Akira could be like and beneath it ,the original trailer for the anime Akira (1988).

So hopefully you watch both trailers and may have some idea yourself whether or not you believe a live action Akira is a good idea or if you believe it may be a failure thus ruining the name for its original anime film also.


So what do you think?


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