Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again? / Give it a Light Novel Title Challenge!

Now it’s my turn! Even though I’m a little late, I did show up.

Let’s resurrect some titles from the yonder days of Japanese animation awesomeness with short titles and make them really long… really, really, really long… hey the kids will love it! Apparently Japanese light novel series now-a-days have these very long titles that are en vogue and since I am stuck in 1985 I was not aware of this. A quick shout out to Curtis at Iridium Eye Reviews for both nominating and enlightening me about this current trend. I would like to thank the Academy for starters…

… by the way in case you didn’t know I owe my inspiration for my version of the title of this entry via the Monkee’s song, Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?, which was featured in their psychedelic film masterpiece Head! (Scene from the film)

Now my challenge is let’s go with really super short titles… meaning anime titles of only one word (and maybe the addition of a number), the better. Five titles as well… hmm? Why not eleven? What do I have in stock already? On yeah… check these out!… and if you want more info, or my opinion on each entry I have a link to a respective review/entry.


Akira (1988)

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Reason number 28 why one should not bully, or make fun of, or disrespect your classmates or peers with anger issues.


Appleseed (1988)

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Don’t you see we live in a glass bubble of pure madness that only appears to be clean, safe and orderly?


Area 88 (1985)

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You know you are in for a bad day when you wake up from a hangover finding out you signed up for a foreign legion air force.


Baoh (1989)

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Ah man, why do I have to have these crazy super powers? And my skin turned all blue too!


Birth (1984)

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There is like a sword, and these weird aliens and this ghost that me and my friends have to deal with while surviving a huge explosion that destroys everything.


Nora (1985)

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If you ever need a hero find a bubbly blonde to talk to a misbehaving computer like it’s a spoiled child.


Scoopers (1987)

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The ultimate crime fighters: a reporter and her android partner, who so happens to be a photographer and bodyguard.


Salamander (1988)

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Wow! Konami spaceship shooters can turn be good source material for interesting, yet short space opera OVAs.


Touch (1985)

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Who ever thought I could have been an ace pitcher and fall in love with my long time crush who happens to be my next door neighbor as well?


To-Y (1987)

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Dude, let’s get this plain and clear, I play music my way and my way only! No selling out!


Windaria (1986)

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Are you willing to sacrifice all your true love and happiness for either duty, or money during this upcoming war?

#58 : Akira

Akira_1You my friend are like Bob Dylan. You are the spokesman (or perhaps spokes-anime?) of your generation. And such a fitting title to boot. Akira. It’s short, sweet, bold and makes you wonder what the movie is about? And for several years, if not a couple decades and change, I still ask myself this same question. And from all the viewings I have come to my own meaning since I am not all that familiar with the original manga. In any case, Akira stands as one of the quintessential definitions of what anime can become… huge, epic, thought provoking and awesome red motorcycles. For many otaku of a certain generation here in the west, it stands as one of the first anime that either: a) made us anime fans or b) solidified our love of Japanese animation to a level we had no idea that could be reached or even existed.

Akira_2Epic, sublime and down right dangerous… this is the world of Neo-Tokyo in the aftermath of a devastating war. Politicians and the military try to fight for power to control the masses and yet let the society kind of deteriorate at the process while they greedily grab cash and power at any quick moment. Remember the scene where the counsel member who tried to escape with his briefcase of money only to die in an alley from a heart attack? And it is in and on these streets that have gone to waste we find our main characters. They are street punks, juvenile delinquents, who ride motorcycles and fight rival gangs. And two of them will be our heroes so to speak. A small, quiet, insecure yet angry young man named Tetsuo and a cocky self assured leader who has quite possibly one of the most iconic motorcycles to appear on any screen, Kaneda.

Akira_3Eventually these boys will come into contact with the military authorities and their lives will be changed forever. Either through contact with what looks like old children who have esper type abilities or perhaps awakening a power within himself (could it be possible to awake this in all of us?), Tetsuo begins his journey of becoming a power beyond control as he is carried off to be examined. The struggle begins now as Tetsuo, who only wants to be left alone, is constantly being controlled. And much like school shootings of recent history in our ‘real world’, Tetsuo is a textbook example of allowing a potentially good kid go bad. He is to blame for the eventual destruction he lays out on the city, but that blame belongs to us as well as we let potential young people rot away into self pity and depression. His responsibility is ours and ours is his.

Akira_4My view of Akira is that no matter the environment or circumstances, we are the creators or destroyers of our world be it within the confines of the body or what we perceive to be the outside world. The more we try to control the outside environment, others around us or use the gifts given to us to harm or disconnect us from the natural surroundings, we are doomed to failure. But from failure and destruction much like a phoenix, there is great potential to start again. All endings are beginnings and likewise all beginnings are endings (the constant cycle of life and time). It is how we adapt to these changes that will show the results.

Go big, or go home. Such is much of the work of original creator Katsuhiro Otomo, as all hell will break loose and get out of control if we allow the weeds to permeate the garden so to speak. Akira is also a hallmark of the quality of one of the best studios in Japan, TMS (Tokyo Movie Shinsa). You can see this as an action film, a fluid piece of animation, or an allegory to what potential we have in all of us. I cannot deny the awesome power of what Akira is for me as a fan; it is required viewing to truly appreciate the power of what anime truly can express. No matter what, I will always cheer GO! GO! Akira! 

…Now I need to find a dealership that has Kaneda’s bike. Any idea what make or model it is?