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Akira (アキラ, Akira?) is a 1988 animated film by Katsuhiro Otomo based on his manga of the same name. The movie led the way for the growing popularity of anime in the West, with Akira considered a forerunner of the second wave of anime fandom that began in the early 1990s. One of the reasons for the movie's success was the highly advanced quality of its animation. At the time, most anime was notorious for cutting production corners with limited motion, such as having only the characters' mouths move while their faces remained static. Akira broke from this trend with meticulously detailed scenes, exactingly lip-synched dialogue — a first for an anime production (voices were recorded before the animation was completed, rather than the opposite) — and superfluous motion as realized in the film's more than 160,000 animation cels.
While most of the character designs and basic settings were directly adapted from the original 2,182 page manga epic, the restructured plot of the movie differs considerably from the print version, pruning much of the last half of the book.
Notable themes of the film include youth culture, delinquency, social unrest and future uncertainty weighed against the historical spectre of nuclear destruction and Japan's post-war economic revival. This pervasive atmosphere of impending doom is set to fuse in the feature's tag line, "Neo-Tokyo is about to E•X•P•L•O•D•E."