Advice From a Fanboy: Akira

MovieBob

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Advice From a Fanboy: Akira

If an Akira remake must happen, let's hope it goes this way.

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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I think the reason that akira tends to get allot of love isnt because it was the first cartoon allot of people saw that was mature as much as it was one of the most visually striking and well animated cartoons around, I mean it makes some of the best disney movies look boring by contrast. Having a mature story and violence is just the icing on the cake.
 

Casual Shinji

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Worgen said:
I think the reason that akira tends to get allot of love isnt because it was the first cartoon allot of people saw that was mature as much as it was one of the most visually striking and well animated cartoons around, I mean it makes some of the best disney movies look boring by contrast. Having a mature story and violence is just the icing on the cake.
You can notch this up to being yet another reason not to do a "live-action" remake.

It's deemed a masterpiece mostly because of how spectacular it was animated. On a technical (hand drawn) level it has very few equals, and seeing as hand drawn animation is all but dead this is unlikely to ever change.
 

AngryMongoose

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"All these characters talking about "some guy" as though he were Christ, Mohammed, The Buddha, etc"

Ofcourse, "Mohammed" is the single most common first name in the world. So yeah...
 

Azuaron

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Akira as directed by Robert Rodriguez or Zack Snyder might be awesome.
 

DTWolfwood

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Im in for the not calling it Akira. That would be terrible.

Sergio Leone's A fistful of Dollars was a pretty damn good Remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (which is one of my fav Toshiro Mifune stared Films :D)

its just better to adapt the plot to the setting than the other way around.

But to not have some kind of Motorcycle iconography is also sacrilege!
 

rayen020

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"an audience that doesn't exist" is right. All of these things plus a few more would have to happen to get a truly good remake of Akira (in itself not the greatest of anime movies, i thought Steamboy and Princess Mononoke were better). Setting aside the truly die hard fans who would want to see this out of morbid curiosity than anything, fans aren't gonna like or see this regardless of what you do. You could remake it line for line with actor who look almost exactly alike in a rich detailed world that is frame for frame perfect match you aren't gonna sell it to them because it isn't Akira (the anime) and have that parenthetical statement which is ironically more important that the title.

Also if you go for an R rating the White people aren't going to see it when there is minority violence in it scaring them away. and the black people aren't going to see it on the tissue thin but widely held belief that minority violence is either racist stereotyping or racist stereotyping and exploitative. And PG-13 rating isn't going to change that.

So takes bob's advice, repackage some Akira DVDs add a couple of bonus features like interviews with the director and some of the story/screenwriters and animators, some trailers for upcoming movies and sell it for 15 bucks and you'll make some money that way. Also make it blu-ray DVDs. Gotta have that Blu-ray.
 

Kurt Cristal

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I have the same problem with the famed "Ghost in the Shell" film by Mamoru Oshii. It was the first to give anime films real exposure, but on the whole it seems to really be missing the point of the original manga and seems to want to opt-in for having "depressed robots talk about life while our main character gets naked for the 8th time".

I'm a big fan of the series, with the original mangas, tv series, books, and recently released newer manga adaptations, but I outright dislike the films.
 

xdiesp

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The manga was completed after the anime, so there's your canon 1 and canon 2. But to understand what Akira is, put it against the other production at the time: Otomo was a monster out of this world for the time.

As for todays, imagine it coming out nowadays squaring against Dancing with the Smurfs and Christmas At Pixar. Yeah. Parental control would label it M and boycott it, with reviews subtly pushing the idea it's too weird and alien compared to real merikan productions.
 

Falseprophet

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Great analysis, Bob. This might explain why of all the recent rash of alien invasion films and series, probably the only one I found compelling was Attack the Block.

Casual Shinji said:
It's deemed a masterpiece mostly because of how spectacular it was animated. On a technical (hand drawn) level it has very few equals, and seeing as hand drawn animation is all but dead this is unlikely to ever change.
Ironically, it's noteworthy in Japan because Akira is one of the few anime to be done in the standard American fashion: they recorded the dialogue first and then rendered the animation. For most anime the animation is done first and the voice actors try to synch their lines to their characters' mouth flapping. It's the main reason the lip-synching (in Japanese, at least) and body language in Akira are so good compared to almost any other anime. Judging by Otomo's other work, he stuck with this method.
 

conflictofinterests

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AngryMongoose said:
"All these characters talking about "some guy" as though he were Christ, Mohammed, The Buddha, etc"

Ofcourse, "Mohammed" is the single most common first name in the world. So yeah...
It's not banal, though. Parents name their kid Mohammad because it has meaning and symbolism. Adam is a bad choice for the banality you're looking for. Banal is Joe or Bob. They're names with no real meaning behind them, and maybe they're shortenings of names that had meaning, but in chopping them up they've lost it. Mohammad isn't plain, it's spiritual. Adam, in the right crowds, is certainly spiritual. Joe? Pretty sure there were no prophets or important figures, religious or otherwise, called Joe. Even our Vice President manages to be plain and dopey with that name. :p (Sorry, Movie Bob. I'm pretty sure you've realized you had a banal pen name, though.)
 

Callate

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I agree that a good adaptation could be made out of Akira.

I also agree that they probably won't make it. And whatever else might be said, it's a damn shame to watch material as strange and striking as Akira become another forgettable homogenized American CGI-tastic explode-a-thon that won't remain in audience's heads for a moment longer than it takes to mop the soda residue off the theater floor.

It really begs to not be made into a blockbuster. I'd love to see someone like Danny Boyle or a pre-Batman Nolan or an Aranofsky take a shot at the material, maybe backed by a SFX team like the one from District 9 or even YouTube fave Escape from City 17.

I should also note that while some themes of Akira certainly are universal- or at least recognizable- there are a few notes that would ring very foreign to a conventional U.S. moviegoer, not least "sometimes good people die for little real reason, @$%# happens" and "hey, maybe sometimes a little military dictatorship is what's necessary to get it done."
 

vid87

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Fairly certain the concept of "won't-work-because-audience-hates/knows nothing of franchise" ultimately won't apply to this for the same depressing reasons Dragonball Evolution broke even or Transformers 3 is in the top 10 box office gross:

1)Unless advertising budgets balloons out control like Green Lantern, ANYTHING with enough violence and explosions will draw a crowd, no matter what the plot ends up being.

2)Hollywood seems to be outsourcing too, since foreign markets, particularly Asia, are the major cash-flows for things like these. I'm guessing the white-washing won't deter the people of Japan from at least being a little curious about what happened to their home franchise.

Bottom line: it's going to be successful, probably not a mega-hit like Transformers, but it'll most likely make a profit, no matter how much it probably won't deserve to.
 

ckam

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Insightful, but let's face it. WB will break all of the guidelines you gave to them.
 

illmuri

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"There's got to be other stuff you'd rather spend your money on, right?"

Yes, like Tower Heist 2.
 

RJ Dalton

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I've honestly never seen Akira. But I think Bob's last point is probably the most useful. Just don't do it. Anime doesn't translate very well into live action. It never has and it never will.

Edit: Okay, I just rented and watched Akira. I have to say, I'm not quite sure what I've just watched. It's either a work of absolute genius such as the world has never seen before, or the biggest hack to ever put a pen to paper. I'm honestly not sure which to call it. I'll have to give it a second watch to be sure.
But this does confirm one thing: it should stay animated.