[[folder: General ]]

* AdaptationDisplacement: The movie is undoubtedly more well known than the original manga, in part because the source material had a really screwed up release. Marvel Comics bought the rights to translate it/bring it over to America when the movie was released in the US in 1989 and but Katsuhiro Otomo's decision to redraw the last 1/6th of the manga led to the US version seeing a massive delay in the publication of the last eight issues and by the time the last issue came out in 1995, the series was out of print as well as the trade paperbacks, of which only 10 of the proposed 13 volumes ever saw the light of day. It was not until Dark Horse Comics got the rights to the series in 2000 that the manga received wide release, in terms of availability.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Especially regarding the roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo in the story.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Most of the soundtrack, but especially the opening/ending music, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af5r8ONtacw Kaneda]].
* DesignatedHero: Kaneda, at least in the beginning.
* EnsembleDarkHorse: Kaori, and to some extent, Akira himself.
* HollywoodHomely: A prominent example is Kai (aka Kaisuke), the necktie-clad biker from Kaneda's gang. Like Tetsuo, he's not drawn in MrFanservice fashion, but a lot of people call him the {{Bishonen}}.
%%* HoYay: Kai. Of the bikers it is rather conspicuous that Kai never has any female hangers-on, and seems rather attached to Yamagata. He's effeminate and neatly dressed, by far the shortest member of the gang, and actually cries over Yamagata's death. WordOfGod is that Kai is gay and has a bit of a crush on Yamagata, who is straight.
* IAmNotShazam: People who have seen covers for the movie or comic often mistake either Kaneda or Tetsuo for Akira since they are more prominent.
** Also, there is a literal example in the first dubbed version of the movie. When Tetsuo hears the name Akira in his head, he shouts "I'm not Akira!". In the second dub, he says "I don't know who that is!"
*** And Akira's doomsday cult in the movie think he's Akira after he shows off his powers battling the army, a misconception Tetsuo is in no hurry to correct.
* InformedAttractiveness: Kei. Kaneda comments how attractive she is just by seeing her picture and is so influenced by her looks he manages to weasel her out of the police station, but for the most part [[OnlySixFaces she doesn't really look that different from any other female]].
* JerkassWoobie: Tetsuo's had a pretty sucky life. And then he pulled all kinds of shit on others.
* MemeticMutation
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo-snXAkF-8 TETSUOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO]]
** [[https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts?tags=otomo_katsuhiro_%28style%29 The poster where Kaneda walks towards his bike.]]
* {{Moe}}
** Kaori, in a fair few ways (although the movie came out before the trope was [[UnbuiltTrope really recognized]]). Like a lot of early examples from this time period, [[spoiler: [[BreakTheCutie it doesn't end]] [[NightmareFuel well for her]].]]
** Akira's the most ''adorable'' walking apocalypse ever.
* MoralEventHorizon: Tetsuo crosses it when he [[spoiler:kills Yamagata]] in both the film and the manga; earlier on in the manga than in the film.
%%* UglyCute: Kiyoko, Takashi and Masaru.
* TheWoobie: Kaori, She's one of the few characters who actually loves and cares for Tetsuo and for simply liking the guy, she was molested by a biker gang that was rivals with Tetsuo's, is constantly shown to be in a state of sadness due to all the crap that happened to Tetsuo, and is [[spoiler:rather cruelly killed off at the end]]. Tetsuo himself would be here on this list too if not for his more villainous actions.


[[folder: Movie ]]

* AnimationAgeGhetto: Despite the original release having warnings that it was not for children and the re-release being rated R, you can still find stores that put this in the "family" shelf. Other stores at least put it in the dedicated "Anime" section, leaving it to the person browsing the shelf to at least use their own discretion when searching for stuff to show their children.
** The movie is sometimes cited as the one thing that first proved there was potential for animation beyond the ghetto.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeArt: [[HolyShitQuotient Dear GOD YES!]]. Even people who aren't fans of the film won't deny how stunning its animation is.
* GatewaySeries: Towards anime. Steven Spielberg had claimed the movie to be Unmarketable in the U.S. due to the AnimationAgeGhetto.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: For some reason, the film was overlooked in Japan while it received positive reviews in the Americas and Europe, basically introducing anime in those regions. The film version was also cited, along with ''Anime/GhostInTheShell'' and ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'', as influences for American films like ''Franchise/TheMatrix'' and ''{{Film/Chronicle}}''.
* HarsherInHindsight: As Tetsuo advances towards the city we see a young man standing down a tank, an anti-government demonstration, government censorship of the media, and the massacre of countless civilians. Remember that the movie was released in 1988. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 Do you know what happened in China the following year]]?
* HilariousInHindsight: The story is in a backdrop of the 2020 Neo-Tokyo Olympics, and Akira was apparently below the unfinished Olympic stadium. On September 9, 2013, Tokyo was selected as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
** In addition, the giant teddy bear and rabbit resemble Freddy and Bonnie respectively from ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'', even invading the main character's darkened room with murderous intent.
* HypeBacklash: Inevitable given the amount of praise it still gets.
* {{Narm}}
** Original Japanese version: "Bird-brain!"
** The 1988 dub: "Do it NOW!"
** The 2001 dub: "You mess with my head!"
* NauseaFuel: You might want to stay away from meat for a while after watching [[spoiler:Tetsuo's horrible mutation sequence at the end of]] the film.
** Also in the film, [[spoiler:Kaori's death - she's pulled inside Tetsuo's mutating, expanding body and ''squashed like a bug.'' '''Onscreen.''']]
* RetroactiveRecognition: Creator/MatthewMercer, who would become better known in the 2010s, appeared in the 2001 dub.
* RomanticPlotTumor: Just narrowly averted with Kaneda and Kei's romance, because it's not really developed that much onscreen.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: The 1988 dub, which was well regarded when it first came out, but is disliked by newer fans who are used to hearing the 2001 dub. Likewise, older fans who are used to the 1988 dub dislike the 2001 dub.
* SignatureScene: The single most famous scene, the one that has been homaged several times and will be remembered forever in popular culture, is the scene where [[http://kotaku.com/everyone-wants-to-ride-motorcycles-like-in-akira-877851402 Kaneda stops his motorcycle]]. Bonus points if they use their foot as a brake.
** There's also [[spoiler: Tetsuo's mutation]] at the end of the movie.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: Many fans of the manga have this complaint because because the film tries to cram the first half of the manga into a single movie (many for first two acts it has plotlines following three to four characters at a time) and doesn't use the second half due to a divergence in plot.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Kaori is Tetsuo's girlfriend and probably one of the few people who really understood/cared for him. She only gets a handful of lines and screentime before being [[spoiler:killed off unceremoniously]].
* {{Woolseyism}}
** Tetsuo's "Bitchin'!" line.
** A couple of Kaneda's lines.
--> Kaneda: ''"Let's sit down and talk about the Revolution and stuff!"''
--> Kaneda: ''"Hey, your bike's still burnin', man!"''