An aggressive tour de force of influential animation, tangible world-building, inferiority complexes, biker gangs, giant teddy bears, and overwhelming sequences of violence. It stays burrowed in your psyche, ruining a certain, seemingly simple nerve and, in the blink of an eye, shifting perspective and rendering previous knowledge meaningless. Strangely enough, this is only the second time I've seen Akira, with the first being my "initiation" (age 11) via a dubbed VHS copy, but I can't imagine spending more than a year away from this film ever again. It's a horrifyingly grandiose tragedy piece, melding flesh and metal, revolutions and minuscule angst, mind and body, rubber and pavement into a Nuclear aftermath of neon and rubble. In spite of its countless influences (Metropolis, 2001, A Clockwork Orange to name a few), there's nothing quite like it.