|Original Movie Poster (1988)|
The film was originally released in Japan on July 16, 1988 by distributor Toho. Soon the film was setting attendance records for an animated film all across the country. Shortly thereafter, a fledgling US film distribution company named Streamline Pictures picked up the rights to release the film here after both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg passed on the film, stating that it was unmarketable. The film had a limited release in theaters from late 1988 throughout 1989. But once it was released on VHS in 1991, the film found a new audience, and became a bona fide cult film.
In the beginning of the new millennium, the film was once brought into the spotlight. On July 24, 2001, the film was once again released to theaters, sporting a new digitally remastered picture and a brand new English dub. In 2002, distributor Manga released a two-disc DVD featuring the new Pioneer English dub version. In February of 2009, the film was finally released on Blu-Ray.
AKIRA is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation as well as filmmaking in general. After the film's release, anime films became hugely popular, finding new audiences here in America. Films such as GHOST IN THE SHELL, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, PRINCESS MONONOKE, and BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE have all become huge hits. Anime television shows like ROBOTECH series, VOLTRON, DRAGON BALL-Z, and POKEMON have all penetrated the youth pop culture like no other fad has done before. There are now anime conventions all across the country. Anime fashion has become popular as well. But in the end, none of these would be here if not for AKIRA. A couple of years ago, a film critic once said, "There was before AKIRA, and there was after AKIRA. AKIRA changed the world forever." I whole-heatedly concur with that statement.
To purchase your copy of AKIRA on Blu-Ray and DVD, visit http://www.amazon.com/
To learn more about Camera Cinemas' Cult Movie series, upcoming films, showtimes, etc, visit http://www.cameracinemas.com/midnight.shtml
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!