Akira is known for having one of the most phenomenal soundtracks in not just Anime, but animated film history, with an OST consisting entirely of traditional Japanese noh and Indonesian gamelan, with nods to European classical music and European/American Progressive Rock. The unique soundtrack surprisingly fit the movie better than any stereotypical action score would have. Just see for yourself.
The score was composed by the musical collective Geinoh Yamshirogumi, a band formed by an agricultural scientist that featured over a hundred different musicians who had similar day jobs (professors, scientists, journalists, etc.). Akira director Katsuhiro Otomo reportedly heard their 1986 album Ecophony Rinne and liked it so much that he gave Geinoh Yamashirogumi carte blanche to compose what they saw fit.
- Kaneda's Theme is undoubtedly the most iconic song in the entire OST as well as the theme for the main character (and the movie as a whole). It's a mostly upbeat epic track that consists of rhythmic percussions and epic chanting of the characters' names. It's when the vocals kick in that the song really sounds powerful. Perfect theme for bikers rampaging through the streets of Neo Tokyo.
- "Battle Against Clowns" is a violent sounding song that plays often in the movie and serves as the theme for the movie's most violent scenes. It consists of mostly chaotic percussions clashing with bits and parts of Kaneda's theme mixed in. The most famous part is the beginning with the asthmatic sounding guy breathing but the best part is towards the end when the Kaneda theme sounding parts sound like they're competing with the violent sounding parts (representing the Capsules rivalry with the Clown Gang). In the end, the Kaneda sounding parts come out victorious.
- "Exodus From the Underground Fortress" is a fast paced song that sounds similar to Kaneda's theme. It sounds like a unique mixture of traditional Japanese music and electronic rock with a sort of Hawaiian feel and still manages to sound amazing. It really captures the feel of escape and plays during the movies most frantic scenes.