Michael Truly and Casey Redmon of CineFix recently teamed up with Tom Pinchuk of AnimeVice to take a look at the differences between the animated Akira film and the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo. The biggest difference is that the film was completed before the manga, so there’s actually a whole mess of content not present in the 1988 adaptation.
Manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo started writing and drawing Akira in 1982 in WEEKLY YOUNG MAGAZINE. By 1988, he was directing the feature film adaptation – – two years before he’d actually finished the series itself! As such, Akira the anime and Akira the manga exist as unique companion pieces; not only because they’re both products of the same creator, but also because the movie is effectively an incomplete preview for the much larger saga Otomo eventually got to finish telling in print.