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Akira, Vol. 4 by Katsuhiro Ōtomo
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Akira, Vol. 4 (1988)

by Katsuhiro Ōtomo

Series: Akira (4)

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  This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer  Title: Akira #4  Series: Akira  Author & Artist: Katsuhiro Otomo  Rating: 5 of 5 Stars  Genre: Manga  Pages: 400   Synopsis: Japan has collapsed. Russia has taken over the north. America is sniffing at the south, but is aware of Akira's potential and so staying relatively neutral.   Tetsuo and Akira have created a New Japanese Empire in the rubble of Neo-Tokyo and are opposed by Lady Miyako and the remaining Special Children. Tetsuo is trying to grow his power but after a look into the mind of Akira he practically curls up in fear.   Akira, and what he wants, are still a mystery. But we now know that he is not some innocent little boy. He has ideas and plans of his own.   Kei and Chyoko are doing their best to protect the last 2 of the Special Children and to reunite them with Lady Miyako, who is herself a special child from an earlier experiment than Akira came from.   Kaneda is gone for 9/10'ths of the book until he appears with a building falling from space right at the end.   My Thoughts: This is definitely a mature manga. There are several instances of male and female nudity and while they aren't pornographic, they are graphic enough for any hormone driven teen.   The violence is another issue. One particular instance stood out to me. A man gets his face ground into glass fragments by another character.  It was brutal and not for the faint.   But with all that, I was wicked impressed with this volume. I can't really quantify why I liked this one so much, or even the whole series, but something just resonates in me when I read this. Maybe it is because men will always have that little boy inside who wonders if they are really cut out to be a Man. Or it might be the whole freaking nonstop action and superweapons and people doing incredible things with their minds.   I don't know why. But I do know I like this. " ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
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 |
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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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