Now that the dust is finally settling after the much anticipated release of Otomo Katsuhiro’s Akira on Blu-ray last week, I figured it was a fitting time to revisit the amazing artwork behind the anime masterpiece, not least for those jumping on the hi-def bandwagon and will be watching the film for the first time ever ( the expression “living under a rock” comes to mind; at least they’ll be in for one heck of a treat. ), but also a recap of sorts for the rest of us Akira fans, some harmless indulgence, if you will.
The Akira Animation Archives contains the most comprehensive collection of “behind the scenes” artwork from the animation film ( for artwork on the manga series, watch out for part II ), from concept sketches, in depth character sheets, background art, layout boards, mecha design, the works. Indeed, this book wasn’t published till late 2002, almost 15 years after the film’s release.
(above) The more than generous helpings of character sheets in the book are a sheer delight to look at, not to mention excellent reference material.
(above) Same goes for the layout boards. Trivia : Tetsuo’s haunting metamorphosis scene at the end of the film was mostly animated by the incredibly talented Tatsuyuki Tanaka – Does Cannabis Works or Tojin Kit ring a bell ?
(above) Akira has undoubtedly some of the most astounding background art I’ve ever seen. ( also see this older post on the Kazuo Oga background Art Exhibition. ) Stunning as they are, the background plates never overpower the performance of the entire scene, a true testament of the artists’ ability to determine the exact amount of detail required. (below) More than you can eat mecha designs and specs.
– Dimensions – 11.3 x 11.1 x 0.9 inches
– 178 pages, hardcover
– full color / black and white
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