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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Akira (anime) film analysis part 1: The cycle of destruction

One of the first scenes the viewer is a faced with is the destruction of Tokyo at the hands of Akira. It is this scene that starts off the cycle of destruction. This event precedes the main story, but becomes prominent again when the exact same event occurs at the end of the film. This idea of time repeating its self is what sets up the main idea of destruction as a continual cycle. This cycle isn't dictated by anyone other than those who choose to repeat mistakes, either intentional or accidental. The main story's continouse use of imagery and themes regarding revolution, teenage delinquency, and political incompetence is all one huge build up to the inevitable destruction that happens at the end of the film. Even the films tag line in the trailer and on the poster mentions destruction " Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E".

The idea of destruction suggested by the film is that destruction of any kind, either physically or within society or politically, is more of a new beginning rather than a permanent end. Tokyo was destroyed and rebuilt, only to be destroyed again in the exact same manner. The destruction cycle would then mean that the society that is left from Neo Tokyo will rebuilt again, and as before there will be problems which will destroy it again, either physically or through problems of its economy. It will then be rebuilt again, and the cycle will keep going as long as there are people willing to rebuilt it.

The build up to destruction of any kind can occur both physically, economically, or sociologically. All three of these things are prevalent in Akira. Neo-Tokyo is going through a political crisis, and that crisis is causing the public to revolt. The revolution is causing chaos in the streets and in turn the police are enforcing a heavy crackdown. And combined with that is anti social devastation from delinquent biker gangs that wage war against each other. Its things like that which are the build up to destruction, and from this destruction there will be huge changes.

Akira's end credits show that Tetsuo, after being taken away from Neo-Tokyo, became a big bang which created a new solar system and universe. This also heavily suggests a cycle of destruction, and how destruction isnt a complete end. For Tetsuo to create this new universe he had to be the cause of the destruction of Neo Tokyo. The final result is that from the destruction of a city, a new universe was created.

Akira uses the idea of destruction as being a form of inevitable change for society, or even an entire civilization. It shows how from the ashes of destruction at the end of a social boiling point, there can still be the ability to recreate and rebuild. Akira's destruction of Tokyo is like a symbolic revelation that marks huge changes, out with the old, in with the new. To rebuilt something to be better or different it must first be destroyed and then rebuilt, which is exactly what happens with Tokyo in the film. It suggests that when politicians cant fix the problems, when the people rise up, and when chaos erupts that there has to be change through a great revelation, which acts as a symbolic form of destruction.

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