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Akira (often stylized as AKIRA) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the work uses conventions of the cyberpunk genre to detail a saga of turmoil. Initially serialized in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected into six volumes by its publisher Kodansha. The work was first published in an English-language version by the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics, one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety. Otomo's art is considered outstanding, and a breakthrough for both Otomo and the manga form. Throughout the breadth of the work, Otomo explores themes of social isolation, corruption, and power.

An animated film adaptation (anime) was released in 1988 which shortened the plot considerably, but retained much of the main character and plot structures from the manga as well as many original scenes and settings. The manga takes place in a longer time frame than the film, and involves a much wider array of characters and subplots. Otomo's Akira anime marked his transition from a career primarily in manga, to one almost exclusively in anime.

Akira was instrumental in an upsurge of manga popularity outside Japan, especially as Epic Comics' edition was colorized and coincided with the release of the film. It has won several awards, including the Kodansha Manga and Harvey Awards, and is named as being an important title in the French manga explosion.

(Wikipedia)
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