Why There Won’t Be Akira 2

Why There Won’t Be Akira 2

Katsuhiro Otomo created the now classic Akira manga. He brought that to the screen as a groundbreaking anime. And Otomo is not interested in making a sequel.

In a Japanese TV interview earlier this summer, Otomo talked about his latest effort, the anime Short Peace. Otomo also talked about why he continued to produce varied projects. His experience on Akira seems to have influenced his decision not to repeat himself.

After working on the manga for eight years, Otomo directed the Akira anime, but also found himself doing more than just directing. “I was always correcting poorly executed key frames,” he said, adding that it was like he didn’t know anymore what his job was: doing his own work or fixing other people’s. “It’s not something I really want to remember,” he added.

“That’s the way it goes when everything gets tough,” he added. “It’s inevitable that drawing is no longer fun.” Otomo said he thought this was perhaps where his desire to work on new projects came from. This attitude, in turn, keeps things fresh for him. That hasn’t exactly made things easy for Otomo, as fans often want more of the same. He said wryly, “Each time I always come up with a new project, and everyone generally rejects it.”

“You all want me to do Akira 2, right? I’m not going do it, however,” he said with a laugh.

Akira, of course, is a landmark manga and anime that helped definite a generation and even influence Hollywood films like The Matrix. For years, the movie industry has been trying to turn it into a feature film.

According to Otomo, “it can’t be helped” that he wants to work on new things. He explained that years are spent working on these projects. “That’s why I think it’s good to attempt something new,” he said. And while the fans might be content with more Akira, Otomo’s work shows what he’s content doing.

大友克洋スレ [ふたば]

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    • This. Seriously. I absolutely love Akira. I have copies of the original manga. Dragged my family to watch it in the cinema when it first came out. I have multiple copies of the movie, action figures.

      Don’t need a sequel. The insanity needs no sequel.

  • Screw making Akira 2, I’ve been waiting 25 years for an anime of the series. The movie (poorly) condensed maybe the first 9 and the last 3 issues of a 38 issue (US) run! You can make 300 different prequels and sequels to Ghost in the Shell (All good in their own right, I’m a fan of them), but a run of my absolute favorite manga is not even thought of?!

    2 season arcs, about 20-22 episodes per arc: Season 1 is the opening all the way up to Akira awakening (He’s a living, breathing boy, not some test tubes!), and the second season is after the fall.

  • I thought it was generally well-understood by most that Akira would always stand alone. I wonder what about this story actually made it newsworthy…

  • Probably because some people respect their art instead of desperately cashing in on their ideas

  • i have watched Akira and dont get the appeal. some of the ideas about different classes in the society was interesting but the ending was very underwhelming.
    *shields himself

    • Actually maybe it was over my young head at the time but I never really liked it either.

      Don’t get me wrong the animation was way better than almost anything else I watched of the era and the bike was super super cool. But the actual story of the movie never really did it for me.

      Also I don’t see a sequel making sense.

      • Read the comics, and you will understand, all the best stuff happens after the events of the film.

          • I agree. But it’s his baby, and he clearly has his reasons. Also too much time has passed.

          • Indeed, the best point of relevance for the sequel to be made in terms of time period would’ve been the mid 1990s. Now, it’s completely redundant.

          • *shudder* I remember this…

            I prefer Akira in Japanese with subtitles. How it should be…

          • Wait until he dies, then his estate will approve a sequel.

            From what I’ve seen typically the manager of a creative person’s estate values the cash flow from it MUCH more than they value the wishes or integrity of the the deceased.

            For example, I can’t image Robert Heinlein approving the movie adaptations of Starship Troopers or Puppet Masters.

    • The movie tries to condense a big manga series into 2 hours, and as a result it did suffer.

      That said, Akira was always much more about the stylistic concepts as a political piece rather than the details of the story. It was confrontational, stylised – kinda like many of the elements of Blade Runner when that came out.

    • I enjoyed visually a lot when I first watched it. After studying 3D modelling and the like I found that it was revolutionary in its techniques. Also the story was awesome crazy and and I enjoy that stuff.

      • Indeed, was superbly done. I kind of liked Chronicle for its teeny tiny retelling of Akira in a way. I mean it was in no way as indepth but it was still decently done.

  • Nice to see his side of the story, it must have been a nightmare trying to correct all those bad frames. Nevertheless, I thank him from the bottom of my heart for making the Akira Anime.
    I remember it first airing when I was 13 on the BBC at night with english subtitles.
    A week later they showed it in English dub. This was probably also how my love for Anime started
    after seeing the movie and started my collection of ‘Manga Entertainment vhs tapes’.

          • So much crazy shit in that anime, so awesome. It still holds up really well too, compared to the cookie cutter fodder that gets churned out these days it still looks really well illustrated and animated.

          • I enjoyed the series but the colour was too vivid and it lacked the sinister vibe of the movie.

  • Akira is an undeniable classic in animation production, but it always surprises me how many people love it so much when whats covered in the movie is a small fraction of the story that is told through the comic series. I’ve never read the comics, but I always thought an episodic animated series would’ve been the ideal format for Akira, especially in this day and age. The thought of that happening 20 years ago was a completely unrealistic pipe dream though.

  • too many people comparing it to the book. i guess it’s hard not to but as a piece of cinema, akira is a masterpiece. the book is still amazing but they are different mediums.

  • Doesn’t need a sequel nor warrant it.

    For those that haven’t read the manga, please do. It’s brilliant (duh!) and has some truly epic moments which will have you doing “woah”‘s out loud as you read it.

    Otomo also worked on a great anime, Freedom, in collaboration with Cup Noodle maker Nissin. I strongly recommend that also.

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