1. I read Akira Vol. 1 by writer and illustrated Katsuhiro Otomo. I borrowed a copy of the version published by Dark Horse Comics in 2000. The series was first published, however, during the 1980s in Japan.
2. I selected this specific issue because it introduces the readers to the interesting world created by Otomo. When I started reading Akira, the story immediately grabbed my attention because of intriguing story and the interesting characters. Moreover, the idea of a post-apocalyptic Japan was both stimulating and daunting.
3. Otomo worked on Akira. What I like best about the illustrations is that they accurately capture the feel or vibe of the narrative. The setting is in post-apocalyptic Japan. The illustrations capture the post-apocalyptic, chaotic vibe which draw the attention of the readers.
4. Yes. I do believe the content is more adult oriented considering that the story relates to historical events particularly during World War II that were gruesome. It would be difficult to explain nuclear scare and war crimes to children and relate them to characters and symbols in the illustrated novel.
5. I like Kaneda and Tetsuo. Kaneda is the protagonist and Tetsuo is the antagonist. I like them both because they represent opposite sides of the coin, so to speak. They each strengths and weaknesses so it is interesting to see who would win in the end. I also think they make worth adversaries to one another.
6. I found the storyline unique. Most of the manga I was able to leaf through were set in the modern day with themes related to fantasy. I find Akira unique because it is grittier and thus, more realistic. Moreover, it relates to a particular period in history – World War II – so it makes an interesting read.
7. My favorite character would be Kaneda from Akira. Kaneda is a complex character, and therefore, more relatable. He is lighthearted at times but he also takes his situation seriously.
8. One of the main differences in the art between Manga and American comics is that art in the former is more experimental than the latter. Characters and settings in Manga are imaginative and may be considered high fantasy at times. On the other hand, art in American comics tend to be more realistic in terms of the characters and the setting.
9. I read more Manga types of comics perhaps because I find Japanese culture inherent in these books more interesting.
10. I would say the biggest difference between Manga and American comics is the illustration of characters. Manga has more “cartoonish” characters in the sense that each of them have inhuman characteristics. Big eyes and unusual body proportions, for instance, are common in Manga. American comics, on the other hand, often have realistic looking characters.
Otomo, Katsuhiro. 2000. Akira, Vol. 1. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Comics.