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Akira, Volume 2 by Katsuhiro Ōtomo
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Akira, Volume 2

by Katsuhiro Ōtomo

Series: Akira (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I could sum up this entire review in a single paragraph: if you enjoyed the first volume of Akira, you won’t be disappointed with the second volume. Enjoy.

However, I don't do one-sentence reviews, so here is the rest.

I’m not really sure what I can say about this book, the second of the six-volume manga “Akira”. You really need to read the first volume of Akira to appreciate what is going on in this book. Certainly, there is a synopsis of the previous events at the start of the book, and it does manage to summarise the last volume quite succinctly, but I think that the series is best appreciated when read complete and in sequence. A simple textual summary of the previous novel doesn’t quite convey Katsuhiro’s abilities as a graphic novelist or manga writer and artist, nor does it convey the themes that lay beneath the narrative of the novel. If you haven’t looked at the first volume of Akira yet, go and do so. It’s not a long read, but there is a lot going on there, both in terms of ideas and action. And the artwork is excellent. On the other hand, if you have looked at the first volume, you have no doubt already decided if you are going to read the second volume, and I won’t be able to convince you otherwise.

In volume two of "Akira", Tetsuo, a teenager who is starting to demonstrate a variety of psychic abilities, has agreed to join a Japanese military program, that trains and develops psychics. While under their care, he learns of the existence of the mysterious Akira, an entity that is apparently more powerful even than Tetsuo. Interest aroused, Tetsuo wishes to meet the power that is Akira. The military, led by the Colonel, is out to stop Akira from arising at any cost. Kaneda, a former friend of Tetsuo, is still out to kill Tetsuo, with the help of several friends. Oh, and Kaneda and friends want to get a hold of Akira, too.

The entire volume is an extended sequence of fight scenes, or transitions between one fight scene and the next. If that sounds like I am being dismissive of the book, I am not at all – the fight scenes are all done quite well, the fights make sense in terms of the larger story being told. Oh, and it is all quite exciting. And there is also the same undercurrent of intellect running through this book as the first novel – that of the use and abuse of power, and how power influences people.

As the first novel, the artwork is excellent. Katsuhiro has done a commendable job here.

If you enjoyed the first volume of Akira (and I don't see why a person who had not would be reading this), you'll want to read this. But I won't have to tell you that at all. ( )
  rojse | Sep 18, 2009 |
Phenomenal work. Otomo's draftsmanship in unparalleled, and his writing skills are attested to by the engrossing and quick paced story. ( )
  mohi | Jul 5, 2009 |
The second book in this series was very fast paced. There was lots of action and less exploding heads. I'm beginning to really like the character Tetsuo; he's mysterious and you can't exactly figure him out. He seems to have a little story of his own going on: the hero or the ultimate villan, I'm not sure yet. Perhaps the key to saving or destroying the world. There's an element of wonder in this series becuase you really can't tell exactly who the bad guys are. I'm tempted to start book number 3 but it's 11:00PM and I have to get up at 6:00AM tommorow morning. ( )
  Shebakune | Jan 30, 2009 |
Whoa. After the first volume being all set up, this is 300 pages of near-nonstop action. And there are 4 books to go?! Impressive. ( )
  duck2ducks | Sep 4, 2008 |
Again, this story of dangerous children and secret government serves as a background for Otomo's amazing visuals. A feast of wonderment. ( )
  randoymwords | Sep 16, 2007 |
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Despite being stuck in a frozen status, Akira still poses a threat to Neo-Tokyo and Tetsuo might be the city's only hope if it is ever released, but Tetsuo and his powers have become unstable and a group gathers to stop him from doing the unthinkable.… (more)

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