Akira: the story told by Ootomo Katsuhiro in his science-fiction animation doesn’t have any particularly virtuous character, but some are certainly worse than others. That aspect of it makes for some sharp social criticism, and while it doesn’t bear much direct impact in most of the plot, it’s a piece of world-building that makes a lot of sense and raises the film above a simple action-adventure set in a dystopian future (now, incidentally, past). The protagonist, the closest thing the film has to a hero, starts as a minor delinquent but goes through a relatable emotional journey. There are a lot of moving parts but, in spite of the frenetic pace, the factions’ role is made very clear as the story unfolds. The animation feels dated nowadays, but the world and character design are very well-made; the city where the action takes place, particularly at night, is a beautiful creation. Also, the film is very effective in portraying its ultra-violence. Yamashiro Shooji’s musical score is rather interesting.