Book Review: Akira Club

Akira Club

I didn't know that this book existed until very recently.

Akira Club is actually the English version of the Japanese edition Akira club: The memory of Akira lives on in our hearts that was published in 1995.

This English edition is translated and published by Dark Horse in 2007. It's a 256 page hardcover.

The book is all on the Akira manga. There's nothing on the animated movie except for some designs drawn for the laserdisc release.

It collects illustrations, preliminary sketches, all the title pages from the manga, promotional art and rejected art that were unpublished. It's pretty cool looking back at the works that were published in 1982. They were still using halftone dots to create grays. The art is great, and you can see that Otomo is amazing at drawing rubble and scenes of urban destruction.

If you have the manga editions, then you've seen all the title pages. This book includes a few unpublished ones. Majority are in black and white, some of them are coloured but not sure if they were coloured by Steve Oliff or Otomo. The commentary that goes with the title pages aren't related in any way, but just short musings of Otomo on what was happening to him that day, like his birthday or attending a friend's wedding.

What I enjoyed reading is the design commentary, talking about why sequences are arranged in a certain way, why some scenes don't work and have to be redrawn, what's difficult to draw. Most are just afterthoughts. There wasn't any information on his drawing techniques or production process though. And since the book doesn't include the animated movie, it doesn't talk about the differences between the manga and the movie.

This book is more for the Akira manga fans and those who like Otomo's art.

Akira Club is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP)

There are no pictures and videos for this review because the publisher Kodansha Limited says it's a copyright infringement.

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