Retronauts Episode 332: Akira

D.A.R.E. to keep biker gangs off drugs

We talk about movies sometimes on Retronauts, and we talk about anime sometimes on Retronauts, but this week we're talking about one of the biggest, if not the biggest, anime movies of all time: Akira. It wasn't the first such film to come to the U.S. or the most popular, but something about this particular film seems to have touched a nerve with so many Americans that it became the standard by which all animation would be judged. Maybe it was that bike slide?

With the discussion of such a monumental work of animation, it was wholly appropriate for the What A Cartoon* duo of regular Retronaut Bob Mackey and frequent guest Henry Gilbert to join Jeremy this week to talk all about how Akira was made, what it meant to film fans and impressionable kids at the time, and then wrap up by touching upon the few video games that were directly based on the property.

*Did you know Bob and Henry have an entire episode of their podcast dedicated to Akira? You do know!

Description: Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, and Henry Gilbert grab a laser rifle and angrily scream each other's names in celebration of one of the all-time great animated movies—Akira—as well as the manga it was based on, and the games it inspired. TETSUOOOO!

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Artwork for this episode by Shaan Khan and editing thanks go to Greg Leahy.