Akira

I just finished reading the sixth (final) volume of Akira. I read volumes 1-3 quite some time ago, and decided to read 4-6 just recently. I’m not sure why I waited so long between 3 and 4. (Volume 3 was a good breaking point though.)

I find myself wondering if there’s some really deep meaning to Akira that I’m missing. There’s definitely a lot going on, and I’ve seen various people drawing out various themes and metaphors from it. I stumbled across this video today, which doesn’t really get into the deep stuff, but does do a good job of summing up the narrative of the manga vs the anime.

And finally finishing Akira makes me think back and realize how long it’s been a part of my life. I first read Akira via the Marvel/Epic color series, from the late 80s and early 90s. I didn’t read the whole series, and I don’t remember exactly when I stopped buying it. But it was definitely the first major manga I ever read.

I can’t quite remember the first time I saw the Akira film either, but I distinctly remember buying a pirated version of it on VHS back in the early 90s, at a comics convention. (I know I’d seen it before then, but I’m not sure where. I don’t think I could have seen it when I was in college, since it wasn’t released until after I graduated.) Either way, I’m pretty sure that it was the first anime movie I’d ever seen. (At some point, not too many years ago, I bought it on DVD, and have watched it at least once; I think it’s due for a repeat viewing soon!)

I bought the six Dark Horse black & white volumes a few years ago, at a con, probably San Diego or WonderCon. I’m pretty sure I got them out of somebody’s discount box, possibly TFAW‘s. (I’ve gotten some good deals from them.)

I gave the first three volumes, and the Marvel/Epic issues, over to Superheroes for Hospice, when I donated most of my collection earlier this year. I’ll likely donate volumes 4-6 next year, assuming I can talk myself into going through the piles again and donating a few more boxes.

I thought it might be cool to have a digital version of the Akira manga to maybe reread at some point, but it’s not available on the Dark Horse site or on Comixology. (Apparently, Kodansha now has the license for the manga, not Dark Horse, and I don’t see any sign that they’ve made it available digitally.)

Now that I’ve finished Akira, I have no idea what to read next, but I have a few things in mind. I never did get around to finishing the Rurouni Kenshin manga; I have several volumes of that series gathering dust. And I have a random sampling of Oh My Goddess! volumes waiting to be read. That would make for a nice change of pace from Akira!

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