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AKIRA re-release in American Theaters!!! DVD!!!

Hey folks, Harry here.... YEAH!!!! Years ago someone somewhere sent me what I think is a Hong Kong or possibly pirate DVD of AKIRA, and I've been dying to get a REAL Dvd (same situation with all of PETER JACKSON's films... UNIVERSAL when are you going to put that great FRIGHTENERS laser disc out as a DVD?) of AKIRA.... filled with extras.... completely restored.... AWE-INSPIRING DIGITAL SOUND.... I WANT IT ALL!!!! And it looks like it is well on its way! And then.... With this AKIRA re-release into theaters... Finally I can take my McFarlane Toys to the theater and play while the movie plays (JUST KIDDING.... No... Really.... I won't do that....... Well, not too often) Here's Major Bludd with what went down at NATPE....

Hey there Harry, Major Bludd here...

Just got back from the NATPE (National Association of Television Programming Executives) show held in Vegas where the best of the best schmoozed and tried to buy and sell (and where I thought, for sure, where 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. would settle their "Buffy" problem - but no go).

Anyway, Pioneer Entertainment was on hand with a lengthy Japanamation catalogue including AKIRA. They're pushing 2001 as the "Year of Akira". Not only will the film be re-released but it will also get a DVD release (which they had on hand for my viewing pleasure - very nice indeed). The film transfer will be struck from a new Interpositive from the original negative, completely restored, re-mixed in Dolby Digital AC3 Surround (5.1), and a new English dub will be created from a new translation of the original Japanese script. The DVD has a comparison (much like the recent SE7EN DVD) between the new and old print - it's like night and day.

I was told to expect a DVD released come July/August with a theatrical released sometime this Spring.

Hope that's worth somethin' to ya.

- Major Bludd

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 26, 2001, 5:18 a.m. CST

    'bout damn time! (am I first?)

    by Skinnyboy

    Sounds pretty cool, but what extras are going to be on the disc? I want trailers, storyboards, subtitles, promotional artwork... THE WORKS!!!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Cool

    by islander

    Akira on the Big Screen? A summer movie to look forward to.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 5:28 a.m. CST

    yes!

    by Chocolate Jesus

    Hopefully it'll be in UK cinemas as well, but I doubt it. Ah well, looking forward to the dvd! Also, is the frightners not available in the US on dvd at all? It's available over here...

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 5:32 a.m. CST

    we're working on the UK DVD now

    by NED HONDO

    yeah, i work in a post production house in London, where we have a DVD department. Anyway, much excitement has taken hold because we have been booked to 'do' the region 2 AKIRA DVD for Manga entertainment. Thats after we've done 'Shaft'. Don't know what extras yet, but i'll keep ya posted HONDO OUT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 6 a.m. CST

    Akira sucks

    by B A Fett

    I'm first -- troll, that is.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 6:20 a.m. CST

    ...Will the new dub have the names pronounced correctly? Kaneda

    by Le Mu Bai

    I hope they use children for the children's voices too, like in the Japanese version...it makes a HUGE difference.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Note to DVD producers

    by Overtkill UK

    PLEASE when you do the subtitles for this movie, don't do them in yellow, for fucks sake. Having bought the Japanese language VHS, I can tell you that it doesn't work. You try reading yellow subtitles of a bright background and see how you get on. So, please - a bit of common sense this time out? And GET A FUCKING MOVE ON WITH IT AS WELL!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 7:05 a.m. CST

    WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!

    by Fantom-Lord

    OMG I didnt think they where ever gonna get this thing out! Man and a theater release tooo! Come on what else could you ask for!!!!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Akira 1987

    by Ice Kicker

    Hooo.... Just great! The film was first release in 1987(If i'm not mistaken)... And just now(I mean recently), Hollywood just about to realise that the movie could sell into the market? Seems like Hollywood animation industry is what? About 15 years behind the Japan animation Industry? Heh, better they re-release Blue Submarine into the cinema. Now that is the brand new one... Akira? I've seen it milions of time man!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Kaneeeda! Tetsuo! Kaneeda! Tetsuo! Kaneeda! Tetsuo...

    by I am_NOTREAL

    ...my re-enactment of the last few minutes of the movie Akira! <bows>. Anyway, it's about time we got some progress on getting this sucker to DVD! Even with the storyline truncated to fit a movie (they shoulda done a series) it still rocks. What a no-brainer.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Akira in the theatre is the best

    by laminate365

    I saw Akira in the theater back in '91 when I was living in Detroit. It was amazing on the big screen. Even the best home theatre systems have not been able to compare. I just hope the re-release swings through my town.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Tetsuo!

    by Clutch

    I have both versions and they are about worn through..thank you DVDjesus..

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Yeah! But will they release the entire manga?

    by abulafia24

    I'd like that....

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Akira sucks Blue whales Great grandfather

    by the chad

    The movie is highly over rated. The finale is two characters screaming their names over and over. Ninja Scroll Rules all!!!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 9:20 a.m. CST

    dark horse reprints

    by Chocolate Jesus

    Dark Horse are planning to print the whole series in graphic novels similar to the ones released in Japan. I've got book 1 and it's a beutifully produced book. I've got the Mandarin version of book one that was released in the uk in colour (on a not-too-brilliant paper stock) and it's nothing compared to reading it in black and white. Oh, and the guy that's doing the uk dvd - if this release features the old dub, you'll be waking up with a horse's head on your pillow... heh heh heh

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 9:51 a.m. CST

    JERKS.

    by meenk

    Thanks for RUINING the end of the movie for me. I have never seen it and I am only through #3 of the mangas. Jerks :(

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 10:23 a.m. CST

    YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!! GOD BLESS PIONEER!!!!!!!! OH F

    by Ghibli-San

    I AM BLOODY ECSTACIC about this news!! THE FUCKING THEATER! OH MY GOD!!!!! This is a GREAT GREAT thing.....EVERYONE should own this DVD, Princess Mononoke, and Ghost in the Shell for the ESSENTIAL anime DVD collection!!!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 11:25 a.m. CST

    I just read somewhere Vader dies at the end of Return of the Jed

    by sundown

    DAMN you all...post spoiler warnings please!!!!!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Saw it back in 88 in a Toronto theater.

    by Fatal Discharge

    To anyone who hates anime they should see this on a big screen with an audience. It is a visual feast with intelligent writing, genuine emotion and great action. If you don't like anime after this then you must have a lost chromosome or something.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Live action Akira

    by Niiiice

    If this film gets the critical praise and attention it deserves, the path is being paved for a live action Akira to finally be made. Otomo wanted a live action version of this film and was in talks with Orion to produce it (yeah, this was way back when) and Marco Brambilla (Demolition Man) to direct, starring American (caucasian) actors. However, plans were scrapped because the project was budgeted at an impossibly high cost and of course Orion soon went belly up. I'm kind of relieved the film didn't get made, because Akira is much more than an action movie. But I think, if done by the right people AND with an asian cast, a live action version could kick serious ass.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Actually, all the Peter Jackson flicks are on DVD

    by narf

    Or did you mean you want BETTER versions of the Peter Jackson films? Up here in big ole Canada, you can get both Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles on DVD under some label called "Substance". The discs have good picture quality (considering the low-budgetness of the movies), and feature only chapter stops. There is no information about the label, inlcuding an address or website. Dead Alive is available on Trimark DVD and is widescreen, uncut and includes the theatrical trailer. As for Heavenly Creatures, there exists really shitty pan-n-scan cheapo copies out there (the company eludes me) that are Canada-only, which I've seen on eBay quite a bit. DO NOT pay more than 15 bucks for one of these. The picture quality is fine (for pan-n-scan), but the disc was part of a budget promotion and usually sold for 9.99-12.99. As for The Frighteners... Yup, we need the special edition like the laserdisc had.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 1:01 p.m. CST

    AKIRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Dr. Killpatient

    What an epic in animation, Akira is what brought all this fandom and increase in visual stimuli in the US. I will be present for this re-release! Also, I wonder when the new Vampire Hunter D will be out in theatres?!

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Has anyone seen "The Akira Production Report"?

    by Playkins

    I got a copy of it way back in '92. It's basically a poorly dubbed version of the Japanese documentary. It's fairly interesting, but better for the humor factor. The V/O actor/narrator actually tries to imitate the voices of whomever is talking. It comes off sounding like a bad Jack Nicholson impression every time. Hopefully they'll find better (or redo) the supplementals. I'm not sure how I feel about redoing the English dub. Call me crazy, but because I already have an image in my mind about how these characters sound, it might be jarring to hear new voices and different dialog. BTW, does anyone know if "Memories" will be available soon on VHS/DVD? That one was great. The only version I've ever found was a pirated copy.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 3:06 p.m. CST

    I agree - subtitles

    by Adrenochrome_OH

    Regardless of the quality of the new dub, the DVD definitely needs to offer the original Japanese dialog with english subtitles. Without it, I will be severely disappointed. As for the people complaining about "spoiling" the ending. I don't get it...how does anything said here spoil the ending? Two repeating words hardly gives away a plot. And yes, the movie rocks...but yes, the ending can be...tiresome.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Are they going to digitaly imput a better plot?

    by Wheel99

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 4:50 p.m. CST

    The Best Soundtrack EVER!!!!

    by Urethra Franklin

    Nobody is talking about the soundtrack by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. It is the only soundtrack I know of that stands alone as a masterpiece album. If you are a fan of the movie, pick up this cd, it will blow your mind. It is produced so brilliantly that you will want to go out and buy all the other cds by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. But the catch is that YOU CAN'T. They are only available at one place in the entire world. Here. http://www.mediawars.ne.jp/~mundo/collect/file/g-yamashiro.html Hopefully, the re-release will spur a greater interest in Geinoh Yamashirogumi and the cds can become more widely available. They are one of the most talented groups I have ever heard. They produce the most beautiful percussive vocal styles and innovate throughout all their albums. You can find a smattering of their other work outside of Akira on Napster. I encourage you to listen. It is Awesome. The director of Akira Otomo heard their Ecophony Rinne cd and was so moved that he offered them unlimited funds to compose and record a completely original soundtrack for Akira. What resulted was so brilliant that I still can't understand why they have not gained more noteriety. Well that's my angle.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 5:21 p.m. CST

    message for meenk

    by mansep

    i don't think anyone here has spoilt the ending of the movie for you and you're safe to carry on reading the manga: the anime film was made before the HUGE manga comic was finished so they had to create an ending for the film. this is not the same ending as for the comic. so don't stress.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 5:28 p.m. CST

    CRITERION LASERDISC?

    by tensticks

    There was an awesome Criterion Collection laserdisc in the 90s which was pretty much the definitive presentation of AKIRA released so far. does anyone know if any or all of the content of that disc (which included,if i recall, all the standard dvd-type extras--storyboards, script, trailers, various audio tracks) will be uitilised or at least acknoweldged for this edition, or will it be disregarded?

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I'm wearing my AKIRA t-shirt, listening to the AKIRA CD, and wat

    by vroom socko

    And when the movie is over, I'm rereading vol.1 of the AKIRA Manga from Dark Horse. Yes, I am insane.

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 6:55 p.m. CST

    YAAAAAAY

    by JHulkH

    Seeing Akira in the theater will be great. I'll bring all my anime-freak (and non-anime-understanding) friends. It'll be like a congregation of all the dorks except it'll be on a weekend. (On weekdays we just act dorky in school.).......... Damn, I was wondering whether I should buy the TMP Shaft or Ryoko figures, but since I can't find the Ryoko, the Tetsuo looks better day after day...

  • Jan. 26, 2001, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Peter Jackson DVD...

    by Jackass

    You can get the uncut version of Dead Alive(known as Braindead) on Region 2 DVD. It has about 8 or 9 minutes more than the unrated American Director's Cut. In fact, there is a new remastered edition out now. I have the older one which is widescreen and features a 5.1 Dolby Digital German dub soundtrack(the original English is not 5.1). It has a trailer, but there is some kind of error for it just shows a long clip from the movie. Anyway, I don't know what the newer remastered one is like. Go to www.sazuma.com to find out. It is 15% off right now, I believe. By the way, Harry, this Akira DVD and rerelease news is very old. It was announced months ago over at either www.dvdfile.com or www.dvdangle.com

  • Its great to hear some people here have some good taste in music too! If you liked that soundtrack (and alot of experimental music) check out Dj Shadows Endtroducing.. not as wierd and dark, but definetly funky as. The soundtrack to Baraka is also very nice. An Akira DVD is most defintyl awesome news. I really want Akira to add to my (imaginary) collection- The Shining, Alien, Gladiator, Ghostbusters 1 & 2, Bladerunner, Enter the Dragon, Ghost in the Shell, Baraka, oh oh... soo many!

  • Jan. 27, 2001, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Dr., re. Vampire Hunter D, also Fantasia Festival!

    by Delfin

    The remake of Vampire Hunter D was viewed at Montr

  • Jan. 27, 2001, 1:11 p.m. CST

    trippy (maybe a spoiler)

    by Roast

    I first watched Akira in a small theatre in Hong Kong when I was pretty young (probably about 8 or 9). That movie REALLY freaked me out, particularly the trippy scenes with Tetsuo. I really think this movie has had some permanent effect on my life. I've watched it a few more times since and it still makes me have this really wierd view about humanity. As a piece of art and entertainment, it's amazing. But it really is quite disturbing for young people...

  • Jan. 27, 2001, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Akira.....huh, big friggin deal

    by McKenzieFrenzy

    I just dont get it....sure its a good lookin movie..but like someone else has pointed out, a movie that ends with two people shouting each others names over and over aint no movie. For my money go check out "Space adventure cobra"......far superiour on all accounts.......and a kick ass ending to boot. Oh yeah and the soundtrack rocks. Akira may well have been better had they made the story into a series or trilogy.....i dunno....anyway thats all i have to say about that

  • Jan. 27, 2001, 7:37 p.m. CST

    The Mysterious Akira DVD

    by Traxx

    I bought the Region 1 DVD of Akira awhile ago off of eBay... and I'm still confused... It's the usual anamophic transfer we're all used to with Akira, as well as white subtitles, English and Mandarin. The audio is only Japanese, and the English sub is pretty bad. The movie is divided into three chapters, beginning, scene with Kaori's shirt being ripped off, and the scene were Tetsuo goes on his rampage. It's also in what I assume to be Dolby 5.1. Unfortunatley, the disc will not play in my PC's DVD-ROM, only in other players and my PS2. Even then, you have to work with it to get it to play right. The casing has the text "PRINCIPALITY OF ZEON" on the front cover, with Kaneda sitting on the junk heap under the AKIRA logo. The guy I bought it from said he bought it from some import place. Though that doesn't make much sence, seeing as how "NTSC" and "REGION 1" are plastered all over the rear cover. There is, however, Japanese text on both covers. What I'm wondering is if anyone has seen this, or anything like it... seems pretty bizzare to me, at least. An Akira DVD in existance, with Region 1 encoding, with English subtitles... why isn't this more popular? Why isn't this more common?... -Tx

  • Jan. 28, 2001, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Great I just saw Empire Strikes Back for the first time..

    by meenk

    And now you ruin Return of the Jedi, too. What next? Are you gonna tell me that Newt dies in the Alien series? Or maybe that the terminator dies at the end of The Terminator?

  • Jan. 29, 2001, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Clarification on Nihongo name pronunciation

    by NoNameNoSlogan

    The previous posts arguing about the pronunciation of the Japanese names in Akira are actually coming from the same perspective for the most part, but failing to articulate to each other what they both are hearing in the names. Kaneda, in particular, was badly mispronounced in the Streamline dub, I agree. In Japanese phoenetic syllables, it is broken down into Ka-ne-da. "Ka" is like the sound in car. "Ne" is not supposed to be voices as a long A sound, although this is an easy mistake to make. The long A sound in Japanese is spelled "ei" in romaji (Roman letters, Roma being Rome) and the "e" is a bit closer to a long A than the typical American use of the short E in words like "ten", so the difficulty is not unusual. The "da" at the end is like "da da da" singing, again with the A sound from car. In the Streamline dub they say k'NAYduh, putting the emphasis on the second syllable, whereas in Nihongo (Japanese) it is more correct to put emphasis on the first and third syllables. KAHneDAH. Even the word Akira is odd in the Streamline dub. Instead of AHkiRAH (quickly) or AHkiLAH, they extend the long E sound in the "ki" syllable, and once again reduce the "ah" sounds to "uh" schwa sounds: "UhKEEERuh" (painful to Japanese ears, surely) Tetsuo, one of the other main characters names, is not quite so badly mangled, although the characters with the romaji "U" in them should minimize it. In some cases to encourage correct pronunciation the U has been romanized as a W, although rarely. The real problem in this case was the occasional emphasis on the second syllable, instead of the first and third. That's probably also the reason that Kaori's name sounded odd to the original poster on this thread. I look forward to a new dub being done, but I know that current dub studios are still not doing a sufficient job in this area. Thus far the Disney dubs, although not perfect, have been the best so far, IMHO. The biggest problems in Akira were probably in the mistranslation (was there a translation?) of the script and the use of bad voice actors. Was the voice of McGruff the Crime Dog actually the Colonel in Akira? Hopefully this new version will be superior to the previous attempt, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Feb. 19, 2001, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Akira Pokemon killer!!

    by joshb

    Finally a anime to out do pokemon the franchise rights alone could put it out of buisness and I CANT WAIT!!!!