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Akira / B1 / Japan

17.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Katsuhiro Ôtomo‘s landmark manga series Akira was adapted into a feature-length anime film in 1988 and directed by Ôtomo himself. Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja ScrollGhost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

The film was recently released on blu-ray and the lossless Japanese soundtrack is astonishingly good. There’s still talk of a live-action remake which fills me, and countless other fans of the anime, with great dread. I really hope it doesn’t happen!

This is the rarely seen Japanese B1 poster that features a coloured adaptation of the moment in the original manga that Tokyo is destroyed by Akira’s out of control psychic powers. It’s not in perfect condition but I was really happy to find it at a poster shop on my first visit to Tokyo in April 2012. During the same trip I had the great fortune to be able to visit a retrospective exhibition of Ôtomo’s work called Genga (A Japanese animation term for keyframes, literally ‘original pictures’), which featured hundreds of pieces of his artwork and the original hand-drawn pages for the Akira manga. I was also able to wear Kaneda’s jacket and sit on the legendary red bike!

I also have two Japanese B2 posters for the film; style A and style B, as well as the American one sheet and ace illustrator Tyler Stout’s take on the film.

Akira / screen print / Tyler Stout / regular / USA

09.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Tyler Stout
Artist
Tyler Stout
Size (inches)
23 15/16" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E.

Katsuhiro Otomo‘s landmark anime, based on his own manga of the same name, was chosen by the artist Tyler Stout to be the first in a series of ‘Mondo Mystery Movies’; one-time-only screenings of a mystery film organised by the crew at the incomparable Mondo Tees. After the screening those in attendance are able to purchase a screen print by a mystery artist who is only revealed at the end of the film.

The 9th MMM has just happened and those lucky enough to secure a ticket were treated to a showing of George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead in a mall surrounded by 200 zombies with the man himself in attendance. Here’s a recap of the event on Collider.com.

Because the poster is exclusive to the showing and never sold on Mondo’s website it’s pretty much impossible for collectors who were unable to attend the screening to get hold of it, unless they’re willing to scour sites like eBay and accept the significant mark-ups in price that come with a second-hand purchase.

I had pretty much given up hope of ever getting hold of Akira, but after purchasing another print from Tyler’s website I opened the tube to find that he’d also included a regular version of Akira in there. Apparently he’d treated a few lucky folks to the copies of the print he’d been given by Mondo after the event, which gives you some idea of the kind of guy Tyler is.

I recently emailed him to ask him a few questions about the print so that I could add them to this site and the resulting interview can be found on this blog page, along with a few exclusive images from the creation of the poster.

There was also a variant of the poster (80 printed) with metallic inks and a different colour scheme that can be seen on Expresso Beans.

Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

The film was recently released on blu-ray and the lossless Japanese soundtrack is astonishingly good. There’s still talk of a live-action remake which fills me, and countless other fans of the anime, with great dread. I really hope it doesn’t happen!

Here’s the blu-ray trailer.

Akira / B2 / bike style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Bike style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Akira / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E.

Akira / B2 / teaser / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Akira / B0 / 2001 DVD release / Japan

15.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
B0
Style of Poster
DVD release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Toshiaki Uesugi (AKA Mach55Go!)
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
39 6/16" x 55 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Katsuhiro Ôtomo‘s landmark manga series Akira was adapted into a feature-length anime film in 1988 and directed by Ôtomo himself. Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja ScrollGhost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

The film was recently released on blu-ray and the lossless Japanese soundtrack is astonishingly good. There’s still talk of a live-action remake which fills me, and countless other fans of the anime, with great dread. I really hope it doesn’t happen!

This is an incredibly scarce B0 poster that was printed to promote a 2001 DVD release of the film in Japan. It features an illustration of Tetsuo from towards the end of the film by Otomo himself. It was designed by Toshiaki Uesugi, a graphic designer and musician who has regularly collaborated with Otomo, and who is also known as Mach55Go! for his musical work. Uesugi’s official site is here and is significantly out of date, but this page features a list of his work, which includes other Otomo collaborations as well as his work on anime like Cowboy Bebop and Macross.

This page has links to a lot of his work, including the items created for this DVD release, which featured the box packaging as well as a number of posters of different sizes. If you click through to the page for this poster (and select the small ‘next’ button) it takes you to a page with a picture of six copies of it on display in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Metro station and says that any copies that ended up in collectors’ hands were stolen from stations. It also says Otomo himself has 5 copies in his possession. A B1 portrait poster was apparently printed and featured just the left-hand side of the artwork. This collector site says that it’s thought that only 100 copies of the B0 were printed.

During a 2014 trip to Japan I was lucky enough to be able to visit an exhibition that was dedicated to Otomo’s poster design and I first saw this poster there (here’s a picture). I assumed I would never get the chance to add it to the collection but almost a year later the poster appeared on Yahoo auctions Japan and I was lucky to win the auction with the help of a Japanese friend. The white sticker on the bottom right corner was placed there in 2001 by the company that controls advertising on the Tokyo Metro and details when it should be taken down from display.

During a 2012 visit to Tokyo I went to a retrospective exhibition of Otomo’s work called Genga (A Japanese animation term for keyframes, literally ‘original pictures’), which featured hundreds of pieces of his artwork and the original hand-drawn pages for the Akira manga. I was also able to wear Kaneda’s jacket and sit on the legendary red bike!

I also have two Japanese B2 posters for the film; style A and style B, the Japanese B1 poster, as well as the American one sheet, and ace illustrator Tyler Stout’s take on the film.

Akira / Thailand

03.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
Unknown
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Katsuhiro Ôtomo‘s landmark manga series Akira was adapted into a feature-length anime film in 1988 and directed by Ôtomo himself. The film is set 30 years after an explosion levelled Tokyo and started World War III. Neo-Tokyo eventually rises from the ashes but it is a run-down, seedy city that is ravaged by marauding biker gangs and terrorists. Two members of a biker gang, Akira and his friend Kaneda, come into contact with an esper (a human with special powers, including telepathy) and soon Tetsuo is embroiled in a secret government project known as Akira. Kaneda must set out to stop his friend from triggering another cataclysmic disaster with the help of a trio of espers.

The film adapted most of the first half of the manga and dropped a lot of the content from the second half. It was hailed as a critical success on its release and remains many fans’ favourite anime film. Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja ScrollGhost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

This is the poster for the release of the film in Thailand and features unique artwork painted by a local artist. There is a signature on the poster but I’m unable to read it so if anyone has any idea who painted the artwork please get in touch.

I also have two Japanese B2 posters for the film; style A and style B, the Japanese B1 poster, as well as the American one sheet, and ace illustrator Tyler Stout’s take on the film.