Just released yesterday on Blu-ray was Akira (アキラ), shining example of 80s Japanese animation and one of the most stunning and thought-provoking films in any genre, not just the cyberpunk category. The special features are kind of spare, especially compared to the previously released 2-Disc DVD edition, but you get some trailers/teasers, plenty of storyboards, and a 32 page booklet containing translated articles about the Blu-ray’s sound mix and various aspects of the film itself. However, the best reason to pick this up is no doubt the Dolby TrueHD sound mix. Those who bought the DVD release some years ago were probably disappointed to find that the Japanese language track was remixed in an underwhelming 2.0 mix. Well now you can listen to the original language track as it was meant to be heard. I tested it on my 7.1 setup, and the result is astounding. Aside from the picture looking better than it’s ever looked, the sound gives the film added depth and emotion thanks to the beautiful score and complex sound arrangement.
Pick this one up or rent it if you’ve never seen it before. Give it plenty of love before the announced American live action remake hits theaters and inevitably dilutes Katsuhiro Otomo’s (大友克洋) original universe. Anyway, more reviews coming up, including 20th Century Boys (20世紀少年) from Japan, adapted from the ultra popular manga, and the Korean actioner The City of Violence (짝패).