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For the animated film adaptation, see Akira (film).

Akira (stylized in Japan as AKIRA) is a Japanese manga series, written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the work uses conventions of the cyberpunk genre to detail a saga of turmoil. Initially serialized in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected into six volumes by its publisher Kodansha. The work was first published in an English-language version by the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics, one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety. Otomo's art on the series is considered outstanding, and a breakthrough for both Otomo and the manga form. Through the breadth of the work, Otomo explicates themes of social isolation, corruption and power.

An animated film adaptation was released in 1988, shortening the plot, but with its structure and scenes heavily informed by the manga and its serial origins. The manga takes place in a vastly larger timeframe than the film and involves a far wider array of characters and subplots. Otomo's Akira projects – the manga and its animated film adaptation – marked his transition from a career primarily in the creation and design of printed manga to one almost exclusively in the creation, direction and design of anime for television and film.


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