DVD Title
Akira: Signature Series
International Title
Akira
DVD Length Original Length
124 Minutes 124 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Geneon 2004
Language Subtitles
Japanese, English English
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.78:1 (Anamorphic) 4.0 Surround, 5.1 Surround
Extras
.
Menus (English)
.
Chapters (36)
.
Capsule Option: Text Translations
Captures
Review

Geneon's fourth region 1 DVD of the title, fifth if one counts the tin set, is really a more budget oriented release for the classic animated movie than anything else. To be honest, this disc is actually a re-issue of the first 2001 Akira DVD from the company. Regardless, the video and audio presentation are still just as good here as they were for the movie's first DVD release, while the extras are, sadly, still barebones.


 Video:

Geneon has done a wonderful job restoring Akira as it has never looked better than on this release, or the numerous other discs that the have been issued that utilize the same transfer. Overall, the only complaints to be had is that there is a hint of edge enhancement with some noticeable haloing, and that some faint grain is apparent, which is always much easier to spot on animated films. Otherwise, the video looks near perfect, with a rich array of colors (although the reds are slightly over saturated) while it also looks sharp with a great sense of visible details on the hand drawn backgrounds.

Akira is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

An excellent audio presentation through and through. In total, there are two audio tracks present on this disc with the Japanese one being a 4.0 channel presentation while the English dub is done in 5.1 surround. In terms of clarity, both are fantastic without even a hint that this movie is 16 years old at this point. Both tracks feature a great sense of speaker distinction as well, with the 5.1 track being, as expected, a slightly better experience in this regard.

The audio can be accompanied by, removable, English subtitles that correspond to the Japanese track. One thing to note is that there seems to be trouble, at least on my player, of enabling subtitles during the movie itself, as I had to go to the main menu to turn them on.


 Extras:

Nearly as bare bones as they come. The only real extra feature on this disc is the "Capsule Option", which can be turned on so that a white capsule will appear whenever Japanese text is present, allowing for the capsule to be selected to bring up a full translation.


 Overview:

Bottom line, if one is looking to experience Akira and doesn't really care about supplemental content, then this release is hard to go wrong with. The audio may not be as good as the DTS version, or have the wealth of extras that the special edition does, but it bests both of those, without contest, in terms of its retail price.

- Anthony Romero  
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