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4.0 out of 5 stars Otomo Throws His Readers A Curve-Ball......,
At the end of Volume Three, Akira, reacting to the death of his friend at the hands of Nezu, once again leveled Tokyo. We last saw Akira and Tetsuo floating above the wreckage of the devastated city....
Well, creator Katsuhiro Otoma has taken the status-quo, and turned it upside-down with Volume 4. Neo-Tokyo is now a wasteland, with warring factions of savage survivors roaming the streets.....and Akira and Tetsuo as their King and Prime Minister, respectively. Tetsuo is busy creating an army of psychics to strengthen his reign, Kaneda is apparently dead, Kei and Chiyoko are desperately trying to protect the surviving "Children" (Akira's fellow psychic powerhouses), and the outside world is trying to figure out just what in the hell is happening in Tokyo.
The book is a non-stop thrill-ride, and Otomo's art continues to be breathtaking. I could have done without the almost continuous "Kei is about to get raped" motif (The series takes a MAJOR "Mature Readers ONLY" turn as of this volume), but aside from that minor quibble, Akira continues to be well worth the money. Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars POST-Apocalyptic Adventure!,
The serias swerves into a great change in this issue, and frankly, I like the change. Not that I didn't LOVE the first three; It's just that giving the series such a drastic change in this issue peaks more interest in the story.
On with the story itself! Neo-Tokoyo has blown up once again, thanks to that Chile-god,Akira! (Actually, I think Nezu should be the one to blame; I mean, he's the one who fired the gun! The little gofer-faced weasel in the cheap suit!) Hey, if they rebuild Neo-Tokoyo, would it be called Neo-Neo-Tokoyo? Anyway, Now Akira and Tetsuo have joined forces and rule half of Tokoyo, with an army of trigger-happy mainiacs serving them! The other half of Tokoyo is "ruled" by the kindly Lady Miyoko and her priests, who run a temple for the sick and needy. Truth be told, I think Tetsuo and Akira couldn't give one hoot in heck what happens to their empire: Akira just plays with some toys and rocks, and Tetsuo spends the whole issue trying to get over his drug problem. The only person who really seems to care about the Empire is Tetuo's aide (we never find out his name).
Now, when Nezu died, I thought "Uh-oh. There's a gap of slimy evilness left open here. How will it be filled?" Luckily, Otomo is a genuis, and also saw this gap, so he filled it with this new villian. Now, everyone refers to this guy as the commander, but by no means does he look like an army guy: Instead, he's much, MUCH seedier. He basically has big, elvis style hair and wears a suit and tie. He's the type of guy who barks orders to guys who have lower ranks than him, but quivers in fear whenever Tetsuo shows up. As the story progresses, he grows steadly more deranged, and before long, he's leading the empire into a full-out assault against Miyoko, cruely slaughtering priests and sick refugeess. Basically, Otomo really wants to point out that this guy is EVIL, and he does it very effectivily. He's yet another obstacle our heroes have to get past in order to kill Tetsuo.
All in all, the story is very good, and I liked all the new baddies that were added (Tetsuo's aide, the big guy in the glasses, the ugly ape (as Yamada called him), and the birdman(the guy with the blindfold))Keep up the good work, Otomo!
oh, and on a side note, some people may dissapointed that Kanedea was not in this one. But, i think it was good maunever. This way, Kie is the star of this one, and therefore her character is developed a lot more.
4.0 out of 5 stars The plot thickens, so to speak ...,
Already the fourth of a total of six volumes that collect the complete Akira tale. It's vital to read the previous volumes though because this tale is ONE big story and not divided into self-contained arcs. Therefore it's good to know that after two volumes that were decreasing in the number of pages here is the biggest volume yet.
After last issues events, where Akira's powers were triggered, Tetsuo has now set things to his will. The ruins of what was half of Neo-Tokyo have been renamed 'Great Tokyo Empire' with Akira as emperor and Tetsuo his right hand. They (mainly Tetsuo really) rule strictly and totalitarian, not allowing outside influences. The population of the Great Tokyo Empire sees a new messiah in Akira though and happily accepts all that. The other side of Neo-Tokyo, led by Lady Miyako who takes in the sick and the needy to help them, is opposed to all this. They try to live peaceful and rebuild what they had while Tetsuo, who has serious health-problems, is having his people trying to conquer her part of Neo-Tokyo as well.
In this part of the story the prior life of Akira, before he got buried to keep safe, is revealed a little. The grander scheme in the uncovering of project Akira is becoming clearer as well. Off course that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of action-for-the-purpose-of-action pages in here as well. The art, black-and-white except for the first few pages, is the same as it has been all along. Instead of using a lot of text-panels the story is told through it for a big part. Off course that makes for a very speedy read but with the number of pages up to score (again) that's not too much of a problem. Quality reading ...
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series so far.,
Akira rules. I assume if you're reading this review you've read the three previous volumes, so forgive info that spoils events from those volumes.
Neo-Tokyo has been leveled by Akira's psychic blast. This city has fallen into anarchy, and back into order. A "Great Tokyo Empire" has appeared, with Akira as it's leader and Tetsuo as his prime minister. External forces try to worm their way in to find out what happened and what the "Great Tokyo Empire" is. One of these forces becomes a new character, but it's fun to see the well-known characters in this anarchic world, and how they've adapted to it (with the exception of Kaneda, who was reached by the ball of light that came out of Akira and was killed).
As a volume, this is the best of all of them. It's 400 pages long - the longest of all so far. It cost me (...) at store, leaving wishing I'd bought it here at amazon where it's cheaper!
Also, it brings back the greatness of the first volume. The second and third volumes, while up to the usual standards, didn't cover very much story-wise, while the first volume covered a relatively huge range of events. This fourth volume goes back to the first volume, in that while it features some great action sequences, also has plenty of dialogue and actual events going on. Also of note: it opens up lots of questions and ideas and things that are just plain weird to be answered in the following volumes.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet,
Kaneda DEAD!? Neo Tokyo in RUINS!? Akira KING!? Yes, all this has happened in Vols. 1-3. In Vol. 4, Neo Tokyo is no more! Now out of the rubble rises The Great Tokyo Empire, with Akira it's emperor, Tetsuo it's prime minister, and a mass of crazed zealots it's citizens. The empire is cut off from Japan and the rest of the world, but that isn't stopping the superpowers from trying to get through... This volume brings back some of the characters you know and love from the previous volumes, Kei, Chiyoko, Lady Miyoko, The Colonel, Masaru, Kyoko, Tetsuo, and of course Akira. It also introduces some new characters, Kaori, the Navy Seals, etc. If the promise of gunfights, daring chases, hand-to-hand combat, laser mounted satellites, mind trips, psychic combat, and catacysmic destruction dosn't sell you on buying this book, then the return of a beloved character will. "Who is it?" you ask. Read the book and find out...
5.0 out of 5 stars #4 HALF STARTED OR HALF DONE,
By A Customer
This series just gets better and better, i can't elude too much into it because i would want to beat the ... out of me if i posted spoilers so i'll leave that to the others, but anyway, in recap neotokyo has just been obliterated and now akira that lovable little imperialistic munchkin is preparing to rule over the now crumbled city, but what next you ask well you will just have to read it for yourself.
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Chapter of Neo Tokyo,
The wind of change triggered by Akira's mega psychic wave has finally leveled Tokyo. In the wake of September 11th, reading this issue gives you tremendeous chill as how very bad it is to live in a post apocalyptic world. Great mirroring of our contemporary war-anxious world.
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Akira Volume 4 by Katsuhiro Otomo (Paperback - Nov. 30 2010)
CDN$ 32.99 CDN$ 20.68