Read Recently — June 2016 — I am running out of ways to express that my mind is blown

Akira volumes 3 & 4 by Katsuhiro Otomo

The military has fired SOL at Tetsuo, with, shall we say, mixed results. Kei and Kaneda escape with Akira, and take shelter in a safe-house run by a woman named Chiyoko, who turns out to effectively be the Terminator dressed like a maid. Lady Miyako, a throw-away character in the movie, here takes on a larger role: she runs a temple that is staffed by monks and minor psychics. She sends one of those psychics, a young girl named Sakaki, after Akira. Nezu, the rat-like character behind Ryu, is a follower of Miyako, but he also has his own agenda. While Nezu, Sakaki, and Kei/Kaneda/Chiyoko play a three-sided game of “who’s got the button?”, with Akira as the button, the Colonel sends his three psychics out to find Akira for him (and also for themselves; they knew him in the old days). The third volume ends with Nezu doing the stupidest thing he possibly could, Akira awakening, and on the last page of the volume, the last meeting anyone wanted to see take place, does.

At the start of volume 4, Neo-Tokyo is in the same condition old-Tokyo was in after the first Akira incident. A search-and-rescue helicopter that lands to drop off supplies and pick up injured citizens is attacked and captured by the rag-tag forces of the Greater Tokyo Empire, nominally led by Akira with Tetsuo as the power behind the throne. Actually, Akira seems to spend most of his time spacing out and Tetsuo alternates between freaking out over his inability to understand and control his own powers, partying, and trying to boost others to psychic ability; the real work of running the Empire is done by a guy with real 80s hair; I haven’t been able to find out his name. Kei and Chiyoko team up with Lady Miyako. Kaori, who in the movie was Tetsuo’s girlfriend at the school, here makes her first appearance as a girl chosen to entertain Tetsuo in an early scene; she hangs around and becomes a sort of confidant to him and Akira. One character notable by his absence is Kaneda, who was a bit too close to the “blast” last time. He makes his reappearance at the end of Volume 4. Mild T&A requires a content warning, as does the implication that the girls chosen to “party” with Tetsuo don’t really want to be there (while the actual scene is not shown, the girls’ body language as they wait is telling).


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