A essay about Otomo’s work, “Freedom” and “Akira” part threePosted: March 19, 2011
Akira Volume 2
May I say the most unsatisfying point in movie?
It’s that Tetsuo didn’t look cool. As a Tetsuo fan, I couldn’t forgive this.
（Sorry to fans of the movie version of Tetsuo. You say that Tetsuo was cute and lovely. Probably you are tolerant and broad minded person. I’m not mature enough to approve of this a childish foolishness.）
Tetsuo in the movie was simplified so that it might be easy for the audience to understand. I can summarize the story about him in one sentence. “A weakling got psychic power suddenly, became elated, went berserk and brought on his own downfall in the end.” Such a character is not interesting because he is too stereotypical and simplified.
Tetsuo in the manga is a more complicated character, who has a vicious and dark attractiveness.
He is not the runt of the biker group, as he was in the movie. In the first volume, Kaneda said, “he is the scrum half in our biker gang” (In the English version, this dialogue was “He is the one of the best riders”) It shows that he was in an important position of the gang. He is not a typical “weakling.” His emotion toward Kaneda doesn’t seem merely an inferiority complex against the strong which the weak possess, but a sense of rivalry on even terms, mixed with pride and attachment. His emotion toward Kaneda was not blatant but expressed restrainedly. It was much more impressive than the movie.
This is moe! (Mr. Otomo, may I interpret that in the end of the fourth volume, the reason why Kaneda appeared was that Tetsuo called him? )
（I wrote before that many important things were explained in the manga, but not everything was explained with dialogue. Some events unfolded without dialogue and the readers had to interpret the story from the development of the events. “Kaneda’s appearance” was one such episode. What was shown in the story was that Tetsuo called Kaneda’s name for reasons unclear to the readers. At the same time Kaneda’s phantom appeared and when Tetsuo’s power was aroused, Kaneda (who seemed as if he had been dead) appeared with the buildings that were absorbed in the collapse of Tokyo.
I think at least it’s certain that Tetsuo’s power caused Kaneda’s appearance, but I’m not sure whether Tetsuo did it consciously or not. There is room for some interpretation by the readers.）
Then, in the movie, Akira had been dead and become a dissection specimen before the beginning of the story. Although I understand that this couldn’t be avoided. If Akira was revived during the last 20 minutes of the story, the movie could not have finished in two hours.
However, I was disappointed.
I like Akira.
I especially liked the scenes of Akira with Tetsuo. They were very impressive. I think the most beautiful scene was the one in which Tetsuo came to Akira in the ruins of Tokyo in the 3rd volume.
Akira’s personality had been blown away by his own power, he was always expressionless, but he showed a little human-like reaction only to Tetsuo. I liked the scenes that depicted communication between only two people like that so much
（To tell the truth, I can’t tell what was between Tetsuo and Akira even in the manga. This is also another episode which was not explained with words. It doesn’t seem to be a friendship, but they seem to understand each other somehow and it seems that there was a strange sense of solidarity.
Since there were little words during the scenes with them, the picture in those scenes are very powerful and beautiful as if Otomo devoted all his drawing power and skill to the pictures. I think that this is the reason why I liked the scenes of Akira with Tetsuo.)
(Continued to part four)