My Copy: 9781935429074 (image from bn.com)
Oh boy, it’s all gearing up to a big ‘ol fight…and the myriad of new characters is just making it crazier.
Akira (volume 5) reunites us with some earlier characters that will play a larger part in the end game, such as Joker (former head of one of the bike gangs). There are also players for many nationalities (soldiers, sailors, and scientists) vying for the chance to study or take down Akira and Tetsuo, and their Great Tokyo Empire with them.
The stakes are higher as Tetsuo evolves and loses control, and time is running out for those who oppose Akira and Tetsuo. Tetsuo’s underlings show more concern about the fact that their followers are starting to desert and that the people need an exhibition of Akira’s power to keep them together and in line.
Kei’s abilities as a medium also evolve and she and Kaneda get a little closer. This book also gives more about the “old children” and Lady Miyako, and what their abilities really entail.
There are so many characters and motivations to choose from and follow… far too many to list. We still have our main characters, and the mystery of Akira is still ever-present.
It’s a thick work, but a necessary one. Volume 5 is largely about setting players up for the final battles to come, and giving us what we need to follow the motivations and events. There are still some impressive scenes and the vivid action scenes and cityscapes really pop off the page.
It’s a worthy stepping-stone to Volume 6, the last of the Akira collection, and will be fun to revisit.