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Akira, Volume 4: Tetsuo vs Kaneda by…
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Akira, Volume 4: Tetsuo vs Kaneda (1988)

by Katsuhiro Ōtomo

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Neo-Tokyo is in ruins, destroyed when Akira unleashed his powers. Now, two factions vie for control of the ruined city, and the future of Neo Tokyo. One faction is led by the dual figurehead of Akira and Tetsuo, and the other ran by Lady Miyoko, another former experimental project, like Akira. American Special Forces operatives have entered Neo-Tokyo, seeking to destroy Akira, and Kei has possession of the two youngest experimental subjects, and needs to bring them to Lady Miyoko to receive proper treatment.

The change in setting between volumes three and four is astonishing. Katsuhiro has spent a thousand pages telling a story set in Neo-Tokyo, each panel of the last three volumes equally depicting the city in which the action occurs, as well as the characters and action. It could well be said that the city here is as important a character as any person in the story. Although any hack can destroy a fictional city, (and many have) to have spent so much time detailing the life there, before and after the calamity, is quite original. And it is certainly quite interesting to see the change in life before and after the disaster.

As for the previous volumes, there’s still some intelligent ideas running beneath the action-packed surface, and, as always, the artwork is great. ( )
  rojse | Sep 26, 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 |
This volume of Akira was WELL worth reading. It showed a very convincing portrayal of Tokyo after such a disaster. I'm very interested to see how this new girl of Tetsuo's comes in to play. One of my favorite parts of the book would have to be Tetsuo himself. He's a very interesting character to follow; he's a story in and of himself. I've also gotten more curious about Akira. He never speaks yet you get the feeling that there's more to this child than meets the eye. ( )
  Shebakune | Feb 5, 2009 |
It takes a certain genius to spend nearly 1000 pages building up an environment like Neo-Tokyo, only to so thoroughly destroy it in the final pages of Vol 3. In this book the apocalyptic cityscape is almost unrecognizable, and Otomo admirably spends just as much time and attention detailing it: the physical ruins, as well as the shifting alliances and vicious new factions that rush into the vacuum left behind.

At 400 pages this is one of the longer volumes. Made even longer (which isn't a complaint) because it's hard not to find yourself occasionally stalling in your progress, as your eyes linger over the compelling draftsmanship of even the quietest scenes.

( )
  duck2ducks | Sep 4, 2008 |
Kaneda and others presumedly died in Akira's outburst, and some time later, the remnants of Neo-Tokyo are divided in two warring factions. Tetsuo and Akira as the titular head of one, and Lady Miyako, Kei and other psionics in the other.

Tetsuo attacks, and they barely beat him back. When he attacks again, they fail. The Colonel, however, appears, and he still has the ability to use the SOL satellite to blow the hell out of things from space, and he does so.

The devastation reveals Kaneda, alive!

http://graphicsf.blogspot.com/2007/01/akira-4.html ( )
  bluetyson | Jan 27, 2007 |
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As Neo-Tokyo lies in ruin after an assassination attempt invokes the fury of Akira, the Great Tokyo Empire rises with Akira its king, Tetsuo its mad prime minister, and a growing number of acolytes ready to go to any length to please the new leaders.

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