Akira (volume 3), by Katsuhiro Otomo

My Copy: 9781935429043 (image from bn.com)

Whew! This might be one of the shorter volumes–page wise–but not on impact. The players all seeking Akira out are starting to meet in the middle, and there’s a helluva lot of damage that’s going on in about a 24 hour span of time.

And there’s a big difference between Akira “awake” and “AWAKE!”

Akira (volume 3) has very little Tetsuo this time around: the focus is primarily on Akira and where he is. The Colonel is looking for Akira and has to enlist the help of the old-children (my name for Kyoko, Masaru and Takashi) to telepathically search for him.

Lady Miyako, a spiritual leader and person who knows first-hand about government experiments, tells Nezu that Akira needs to be found and brought to her. She has three children on the grounds that have unique abilities of their own and she sends them to find Akira as well, because she can’t trust Nezu for much longer.

Kaneda and Kei have found Akira and they’re trying to keep him safe, not really knowing what the deal is about him (especially not Kaneda), and they hide out at a resistance member’s house named Chiyoko. One thing I noticed about Chiyoko (other than her general bad-assery) is that she seems to know a little more about what’s going on than either of her cohorts Ryu or Kei. She’s a feisty, large arms dealer who is built like a tank and can drive one, too.

Yeah, at one point, they end up driving a tank around to avoid the military and martial law robots to go get Akira back. It’s a long and crazy night.

There’s a lot of confrontation and missed chances going on here. There’s no time for introductions and nobody seems to know who is on what side, so Akira is under some different person’s protection at different moments. The concluding pages of this volume have so many opposing elements come together.

And then there’s the worst case of “bad timing” in history… right in front of Akira.

Let’s just say you can really soak in those last few pages. And I mean that. Really examine the detail, the artwork, and if you haven’t seen the movie, then just imagine the pages playing out as a movie in your head (I have a black and white version, color would be more helpful, but you can still get what you’re seeing).

And I really wonder what will come about after this crazy moment. Where will the story go from here?

Good thing I’ve got volume 4 on the shelf.

Time to get cracking…

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