Akira is one of the seminal and foundational pieces of anime, so it’s worth taking any chance to appreciate the amount of work that went into the art.
There’s a great new blog from Milanote, an app for organising creative projects, which goes into the artwork behind Akira. As you’d expect given their background, the post touches on a lot about the practical creative process: how many frames were drawn by hand, the amount of key animators needed (68), and quotes from Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of the original manga.
But the post also has some great concept art and a look at various scenes, which were composed from multiple layers that were all animated independently.
What’s nice about the whole thing is Otomo’s surprise on the Akira film’s success:
I left the theatre very quickly and came back home to tell my wife that the movie was a failure. It made me feel miserable. However, when Shoji Yamashiro did the remake with 5 channel audio, he invited me over and showed me the movie again. So this was a very long time since I had seen the movie back when it was released. Maybe time had made me softer but when I saw it again I thought that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
There’s more quotes, key art, concepts and detail about the film on the Milanote blog.