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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 69

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at an awfully poignant moment from the end of Akira.


Okay, you don’t HAVE to be familiar with Katsuhiro Otomo’s amazing epic, Akira, to really understand what I’m about to show you, but it sure doesn’t help if you are.

In any event, as fans of Akira well know, the book had an absolute ton of awful stuff happen to an awful lot of people. Otomo depicts it all in a wave of stunning dynamism, and I’ll certainly be returning to some of these moments in future installments of a Year of Cool Comic Book Moments.

But for today, I’d like to visit perhaps my favorite scene in the whole saga, and it happens almost at the end of it all.

Tetsuo Shima caused a lot of bad things to happen, and as we reach the end of the series, his friend/foe/friend/foe/friend/foe (their relationship is quite complex) Shotaro Kaneda has a sort of metaphysical meeting of the minds with Tetsuo while Tetsuo is in a bit of an uncontrollable rage of power.

Kaneda is basically transported back in time to when he first met Tetsuo, and Otomo strongly implies that the path that led Tetsuo down to the events of Akira likely could have been averted if this first meeting between the two had been handled differently, and we then learn that it was all a misunderstanding…

It is a beautifully haunting scene in the middle of the chaos that is Akira.

What a wonderful twist by an amazing creator, and a very cool comic book moment (as to THE moment, I guess when Tetsuo says he’s glad to have a new friend).

NOTE: For whatever reason, WordPress won’t let me put a macron over the o’s. Sorry.


Wow! You’ve just reminded me that I need to read the original manga…
I’ve seen the movie dozens of times, and love it to pieces…
Thanks, Brian!

Michael Gallagher

March 11, 2009 at 5:24 am

I’ve tried many times to sit down and read this. I always get the first few chapters finished but give up. After seeing this, I think I’m definitely gonna get back to it now.

I know that this was reprinted in the west (Epic /Marvel, right?) but wasn’t the reprint history spotty? Did Epic/Marvel ever collect the entire series in one book?

I read the comic several years back and it was an incomprehensible mess; but then again, I didn’t like Promethea at that time either…

cool moment and a classic .. for they might have had their differance’s but in the end both Kaneda and Tetsueo kept thire friend ship int he end. something the animated version glosses over

I have the collected 6 vol. edition from Dark Horse. I found them at Half Price Books, in my LCS’s discount manga bin and online for super cheap. It was well worth it, I had read bits and pieces of the story and I own the movie but had never read it from beginning to end. The scope and depth to the story is amazing, highly recommended.

Saw the movie and read a few of the comics (Epic versions) but not even close to the whole thing so maybe that explains why I’m confused. But I don’t understand how Tetsueo misinterpreted Kaneda’s intentions. Did he just run off in spite of Kaneda’s words because he was still wary of being beat up by other kids? If that’s the case, I don’t really see how their initial meeting could’ve gone any other way.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 11, 2009 at 8:29 am

Epic/Marvel never reprinted Akira in one book. Only in singles.

Dark Horse, however, reprinted Akira in a series of trades. 5 or 6, I think.

I don’t get it.

But the movie is on my Netflix queue. Along with a billion other things.


That’s all I remember from the movie. Not really, but it was pretty memorable.

Marvellous comic, one of the best I’ve ever read.

Funny, I always thought the film would be totally incomprehensible to anyone who hadn’t read the comic. Akira was one of the first “American” comics I collected: the alarming halt before they finally brought out the last 4 or 5 issues always sticks in my mind. As for great moments: the last three pages make the best ending ever.

I always thought the ending of Akira was particularly weak. For the most part it’s good though.

Akira is great. If anyone is interested in manga but doesn’t know where to start, try reading the Dark Horse reprints of Akira.

I agree with Callum; I don’t understand what happened there. If it’s what it looks like, I don’t see how Kaneda could have prevented it.

I read the translated, colourised manga that came out in 1990 but I don’t remember it well enough to know what that scene is showing.

Felicity’s got my back.

Ok, so, Necro’d bigtime, but I feel compelled to reply to the last few comments.

It isn’t that Kaneda COULD have avoided all the horror. That was how they met. But Kaneda never really understood their friendship from Tetsuo’s point-of-view. Tetsuo was intimidated by Kaneda, from day one and forever more into their relationship. That childhood resentment and anger stayed with him and exploded out when he gained the powers within the Akira story. Kaneda never really understood how important and significant he was in Tetsuo’s world view and that was the real tragedy behind them both that caused so much pain and suffering. Obviously a lot of other stuff would have still gone down, but if Tetsuo and Kaneda hadn’t had the relationship they had, it would have gone down pretty differently.

I own the 6-Volume Dark Horse version (and I love it) but I would like to see it all “unflopped” (in the original Japanese right-to-left format) rather than the Western left-to-right version which, unfortunately, requires the art being mirrored. But I can’t read Japanese so I’d need an “unflopped translated” version. Probably easier to just learn Japanese right?

read the manga today.

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