Akira

My personal experience with this film was rather limited. I couldn’t quite engage with this film for a majority of reasons. My biggest issue with this 2-hour film was that it

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was anime. For as long as I can remember, anime has been a fear of mine. A lot of people enjoy anime, so I wouldn’t dare to say a word against it but it’s never been my cup of tea. I have seen

people cosplay as certain characters from different films or TV shows, I’ve seen first hand how these things can take over peoples lives. I guess I don’t want to fall into that trap. It’s easier to push something away like anime then let it consume my life for years to come.

When looking at the second step of Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1, I realised something. My past experiences with anime have never ended well. As a child, I was told that anime was a terrible film or TV show and many people have wasted their lives on this. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing now, but I was always told that.

 

To fully engross with step three of this process I had to completely understand what I was really watching in class. Akira is a 1988 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic science fiction film that is set in a dystopian in the year of 2019. Akira tells a story about a local biker gang and their childhood friend, yet after a motorcycle accident a threatening military rebellion is in the sprawling futuristic metropolis of Neo-Tokyo. Unbelievably this anime film had a total production budget of $8.2 million, making this film the most expensive anime film of all time.

 

Step four is based about further knowledge and studies facing the issues of the project. In this case, the issues or criticism facing this film. Lucky enough, this film has a very low account of negatively. Many critics believe this is one of the greatest animated and science fiction films of all time, setting as a landmark in Japanese animation. It got a raging 87% on rotten tomatoes with an overall rating of 7.5/10.

 

My response to the film is rather different compared to the rotten tomatoes review. It was an interesting film, I found myself rather engaged in certain moments of the film. Unfortunately I can’t seem to look past the aspect of it being anime.

3 comments

  1. It’s unfortunate you didn’t enjoy your screening of Akira Zoe but I honestly do not blame you! The whole overall plot is pretty hard to follow as it is more on the abstract side of things with a few missing plot links, I personally feel like they didn’t introduce each of the characters enough and give them a consistent role in the film.

    You said that Anime has never been your cup of tea but what is it about Anime that turns you away? Is it the themes of some Anime, the animation aspect itself or are you not a particular fan of fiction? Letting Anime consume your life without actually liking it would be a tough gig!

    But I did like how you retold your experiences with Anime and Cosplay so I knew where you were coming from, but how did the reading make you realise your past experiences have never ended well? With the blog posts I personally think something shouldn’t be said unless you are going to provide clarity as to why. Because when you say something it doesn’t mean too much when you don’t back it up “I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing now”. How come? Was it the reading that made you think that or was it your exposure to Anime in class.

    https://myanimelist.net/topanime.php is a site where you can find the top 100 user rated Anime. If you ever feel like giving it another shot I would recommend #2 Kimi No Na Wa or ‘Your Name’. It’s a movie with themes of Romance and relates to the daily struggles some teenagers go through!

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  2. Hey Zoe!
    I can straight up say that I completely understand your struggle with anime, I feel the exact same way and I too found it extremely difficult to engage in this film. I really like your reference to the Ellis reading, you’ve incorporated it really well with your personal experience and used it to create the main point of your post which is really effective. I like how you don’t go into too much detail regarding the film, it still allows people to use their own imaginations, particularly those reading this that may have never seen it before, to picture what the film is like and possibly draw them in to be interested in screening it. I really like how you didn’t let other reviews of the film change the way you felt about it and you stuck to your own thoughts which is admirable.
    Great post I really enjoyed reading it!
    Can’t wait to see more of your work!

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  3. Hey Zoe,
    I completely agree! Growing up I never really watched anime and when I did it would be absolute torture. But as I began to understand the themes and context in which they were set in I understood them a little bit better. Can’t say I fully appreciate anime as much as others but its getting there.
    I think your post is a great example of autoethnography, and paralleling your preconceived ideas and experiences, to what your outcome was. That does really show how a researchers cultural background influences their understandings and interactions.
    I struggled to tweet during our viewing as well, it was the attempt to understand what was going on and figure out what themes were relevant.
    I love watching dystopian and post-war movies, I didn’t realise that Akira actually has influenced a quite a few movies and TV shows like Blade Runner and Stranger Things.
    Do you think if prior to sitting an viewing, if you looked at its themes etc and found something that interested you, it may change your viewing experience?
    Great and relatable read ☺

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