Month: August 2018


Rachelle Esaid


Only hearing about the film Akira and never watching it until now was very exciting for me. I finally was able to see why this movie was so loved by so many different communities, before I go further I just wanted to mention as a kid growing up the only animes I would watch was Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-gi-oh and maybe the really poorly dubbed 4kidz version of One Piece (I still remember that they replaced Sanji’s cigarette with a lollipop) . It wasn’t until I got into my teens that I realised there were so many more shows full of different categories to please every type of audience.


In 1988 Akira’s author, Katsuhiro Otomo, turned his best-selling manga into a animated movie. From there it became one of the most iconic and inspirational movies that let the western-world let it self introduce all the classic beloved animes/mangas…

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Kara Henderson

Shakira! Shakira! … is it bad that those words were screaming in mind when we started the screening, “Akira’?


In this weeks seminar we watched the film, Akira. This was a 2-hour screening and I found it difficult to pick up what was going on. However, I was able to pick up a few Western cultures that appear parallel to this manga material.

One of the first characters we are introduced to in ‘Akira’ is Takashi, a character with a telekinetic superpower. Immediately, the character Eleven from ‘Stranger Things’ pops into my mind… and of course I tweet this out for my classmates to observe and hopefully feel the same…

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 3.19.55 pm.png

The second Western clue I picked up on was to do with our music culture. The manga film resembled Kanye West’s music video ‘Stronger’. After the quickest Google search I found that the rapper did in fact do…

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Week 3 – Akira

Tamara Kelly

This week in Digital Asia we got familiar with the research practice of autoethnography, which is an approach to research which looks for a way to use and examine personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. In the seminar we screened and live-tweeted the anime Akira (1988), and used this as an example to put this research practice into place.

A little background on Akira…it is a Japanese science fiction film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and is set in a dystopian future (2019 which right now for us is only next year). [Wikipedia]. The instruction was to ‘put yourself in an experience of a culture that you are not familiar with’, this was by watching an anime movie called Akira, a culture that is different from my own. Also by live-tweeting, this also brings a unique experience of watching something and as a collective you can see…

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Screening of Akira: Auto-Ethnography


This week we continued the BCM320 screening saga, and watched the anime classic, Akira (1988). This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced anime; like many, I grew up watching Sailor Moon and Pokémon, as well as some Studio Ghibli films. I’ve also used my brother’s Crunchyroll account to delve into some more recent anime – as basic as it sounds, Attack on Titan is a personal favourite.

However, while I know that anime can sometimes get confusing and graphic, I wasn’t quite prepared for how confusing and graphic Akira would be. I’m not going to lie, I had no idea what was going on. After many hours of reflection, and a reading of the plot summary on Wikipedia, I still have not fully grasped the themes of this film. My live-tweets reflect this rather well.

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Digital Asia: Akira Live-Tweeting

Jack Polglase

Okay, straight up, I did not really like Akira (1988). I truly appreciated the effort put in, and understood how it represented anime film making of the time (and the legacy it still leaves today), but I could not get into it. Other than not understanding the plot and pace of the film (couldn’t agree more, Brendon), the rough aesthetics and design of the characters weren’t really my thing, the film being screened in English did not help at all. Unfortunately, going into the film being a massive fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, it felt all too familiar despite being made seven years after Akira.

What I appreciate from this viewing is that I am having an ‘epiphany’ moment as described by Angus, key to the autoethnographic process, and I am biased towards other forms of entertainment. Ellis describes the epiphany as stemming from “…being part of a culture…

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A Different Experience (Akira)


I remember when I was 10, my cousin introduced me to the anime Akira. I watched it for about 15 minutes and thats about it. My young mind couldn’t handle the graphic violence and the dark dystopian vibe, especially the scene where a guy shot a dog and blood splatted everywhere (yup, I saw that scene when I was 10).

I’m not an anime expert,  I’ve watched a few decent ones like Gundam Series, Naruto, and Howl’s Moving Castle. But Akira was a whole different experience . First, the visual looks stunning for an 80’s anime. Visually compared to Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (another anime from 1988), Akira looks like one of those anime from the early 2000’s.

Chars Counterattack.jpg Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (1988) Source: Sunrise

Akira.jpg Akira (1988) Source: Toho

Most anime I know has one thing in common which is the one dimensional “I wanna be the best” lead…

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Akira the OG of Anime

Toms wordpress blogs

In this weeks BCM320 seminar, we viewed the animated film ‘Akira’, whilst continuing the live tweeting experience that this subject has introduced me to. Prior to this films viewing I was already a big fan of the animated TV show ‘Dragon Ball Z’, growing up watching it before and later watching the newer series and films that have followed.

Related image

Hours after watching ‘Akira’ I found myself trying to explain what the film was about, to an exchange student from Hong Kong. When thinking about how to best explain the film  I got caught up in what happened in the film and it was hard for her to follow the storyline of what I was saying. I ended up saying something like “Shotaro’s friend got in an accident, gained telekinetic powers, turned on his friends and destroyed the whole city with ‘Akira’, a transendental being, in some kind of big bang?”. I realised…

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An Auto Ethnographic View of Akira 1988

Studio A

Before watching Akira (1988) I didn’t realise how regularly I’ve seen references to it in Western popular media. From Michael Jackson’s and Kanye West’s music to Street Art, Streetwear, and even to Sci-Fi or Apocalyptic style films.


(Source: Neo-Tokyo Is About To Explode – Akira Murals In Shibuya: Link)

Akira‘s combination of cyberpunk dystopia, youth alienation, scientific-based philosophy and grand scale visual bombast was already a staple part of the western sci-fi genre throughout the 80s” (Usher, 2016)

My personal experience with Akira was interesting to say the least, I found myself confused for the most part until the end of the film when everything comes together, 3 quarters of the film was very chaotic and overwhelming. Which reinforces feelings of being in an Apocalyptic mess created by the government.

The main cast of characters were quite stereotypical, a misunderstood male lead who has reasons for all…

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Akira (1988)

Abby Poposki

Autoethnography is used when researching because it was shown that the audience wasn’t as receptive to facts and statistics about a topic, than they were about meaningful stories because it encouraged free-thinking in a way facts couldn’t (Ellis et al. 2011).

The experience of live-tweeting does precisely this, because it introduces perspectives that weren’t initially shared. Reading others tweets provided insight of information I wasn’t aware of that enhanced the overall viewing experience. Moreover, I was also pleased when I read tweets from other peers that voiced my opinions and concerns about the film. Despite all this, I still missed important plot points such as Tetsuo creating another big bang, thus creating a new universe, or that Kei gained psychic powers after Kiyoko used her as a medium.

Viewing Akira (1988) portrayed a more sinister nature of anime that I wasn’t used to. The film was riddled with gore and sexual…

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Japanese Film: Godzilla

Kara Henderson

Up until this first seminar, I had never watched a Godzilla film. I had no idea there were several different version and no clue that the original was Japanese made in 1954. The only Godzilla image that came to my mind was the big green monster one that appears in ‘The Simpsons’.

5HEd.gif Gipher, 2018

Having to read the subtitles, understand the movies story line, read classmates tweets and think of witty tweets for myself, my mind was exhausted by the end of the class. During this time I was also reading articles online about how they created Godzilla. Today, it is generally made with CGI effects but back then there weren’t as good of resources available so the creative director had actually made a man suit that consisted of chicken wire, cushions and latex. (Wikipedia, 2018) The use of such simple materials was very impressive.

Godzilla_Raids_Again_(1955)_Behind_the_scenes Wikipedia, 2018

I enjoyed the…

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