From its heart-stopping opening shot of a silent explosion engulfing Tokyo to its hyperkinetic chase sequences to the final confrontation of friend vs. grossly mutated friend in the Tokyo Olympiad, Akira is two-hours of eye-popping, gasp-inducing animation. Katsuhiro Ôtomos anime masterpiece takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a dystopian city plagued by terrorist attacks, bizarre cycle gangs, an army tipping toward fascism and an esoteric mystery cult. How can a group of scruffy teens survive all this? Kaneda gets by on fury and his boss motorcycle, while Tetsuo has a host of uncontrollable telekinetic powers, courtesy of the top-secret government project code-named "Akira." Gorgeous, sprawling, frightening and occasionally confusing, Akira screens at 8 p.m. at Moore Auditorium on the Webster University campus (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries) in honor of its 20th anniversary. Tickets are $5 to $6.
Sun., April 6, 2008