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Nightmare Fuel / AKIRA

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.
It gets worse. MUCH worse.

  • After Tetsuo first escapes from the lab and is rescued from the Clowns by Kaneda and crew, he gets assaulted by horrific flashes of the future, including a nightmarish hallucination where he falls and hits the ground and spills his guts onto the ground and tries to scoop them back up.
  • The scene where Tetsuo and Kaori get cornered by a group of Clowns can be pretty hard to watch. Especially the part where one of them rips open her shirt, then punches her square in the face, knocking her out. Which causes her to faceplant on the ground. Keep in mind, this is a frail looking, terrified, 15 year old girl being both physically and sexually assaulted by guys twice her size. And all of it is played disturbingly straight.
  • There's the nightmare scene. After undergoing the experiment, Tetsuo is left to recuperate in what looks like a child's bedroom. At first, he sees miniature versions of a teddy bear, stuffed bunny and an anthropomorphic car tool crawl onto his bed in an eerily human manner. After they vanish, Tetsuo then sees see all the toys scattered all over the room come together to form some kind of gigantic teddy bear with a ravenous, fanged, green reptile for a right hand, a plush rabbit with fangs, and a toy car- who comes out of one of the walls that breaks apart like lego blocks, all spewing milk, that try and kill him, while mentally traumatizing him with very surreal imagery. The designs of the bear and bunny, specifically, invoke the same creepy feeling of a certain group of equally dangerous animal mascot animatronics that would come years later.
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  • Tetsuo's way of dispatching hospital personnel - splat.
  • And then there's the mutation scene, where Tetsuo loses control of his powers and transforms into a giant human amoeba that consumes everything it touches, and we also get to see Kaori get slowly crushed to death in a bloody pulp inside of Tetsuo. The anguished cries of Tetsuo and Kaneda accentuate to the terror. And the music does not help...
    "Help me, Kaneda! Help, please!"
  • The official soundtrack for AKIRA is able to be frightening without words. Never try to listen to this at night with the lights off.
    • To elaborate nearly every song in the ost has some form of nightmare fuel in it.
      • Some versions of Kaneda's theme like this one start out with the sound of motorbikes screeching in the background. To someone at home not expecting it and listening to it on headphones, it can be quite startling.
      • Battle against Clown is full of it. There's perhaps no other song in the ost that sounds more post apocalyptic. The beginning basically consists of what sounds like an asthmatic older man breathing with some terrifying clashing noises in the background. Not helping is that it plays during some of the most violent scenes in the film like the resistance member's death.
      • Exodus from the Underground Fortress is perhaps the most upbeat track on the movie but even it has some. There's a rather unsettling part in the song when it sounds like the instruments are all just pilling up on each other. it only lasts a few seconds but its still pretty unnerving.
      • Shomyoh. Just Shohmyoh. Especially if your not used to listening to Buddhist chanting. Especially the first two minutes of the song where it's basically non rhythmic chanting with creepy ancient percussions in the background. Let's not even get started on the second half of the song. Even people who are used to that kind of chanting can definitely feel terrified as the tone of the song starts to get more and more desperate.
      • Doll's Polyphony is in a league of its own. It sounds a lot creepier in the scene that it's played in but the whole unnerving tone of the song makes it also creepy outside of context. The song really starts getting creepier when the older voices join in.
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  • The death of the spy escorting Takashi in the film is equally scary and sad to watch, especially how ruthless the military are in gunning him down. Granted, he pulled his gun on them, arguably to get them to shoot him dead so they wouldn't be able to interrogate him and make him spill the beans, but still...
  • While the anime is pretty famous for its Nightmare Fuel, the original manga which the anime was adapted from was pretty nightmarish, too. For one, the characters live in a Crapsack World where there's lots of people dying left and right in brutal ways, unruly and savage teenagers who run vicious bōsōzoku gangs, brutal policemen, a shady and corrupt government whose members engage in all sorts of clandestine activities, powerful psychics, and of course an autistic child who was responsible for the destruction of not one city, but two! And the world they live in is still reeling from World War III, and is thrust into the brink of another World War by the events in the manga.
  • The fact that the Espers, including Akira, were once ordinary children who were taken in by the government and subjected to horrible experiments so they can become psychic weapons to be used for military and political purposes. In the manga, it was said that some children ended up physically handicapped (like Masaru and Kiyoko), or were so damaged that they ended up brain-dead. The anime doesn't help as in a flashback we see Takashi strapped to an operating table, while Kiyoko struggles against her bindings with a terrified expression as the doctors operating on her force a breathing mask full of anaesthetic gas (used to calm patients during surgeries) onto her face.
  • The realistic portions of the movie are pretty nasty as well. One of Taneda's buddies makes the unfortunate choice of jumping on the front of the Clown's leader's bike. He gets headbutted off and flies under the wheels of the bike. You can hear the nasty sound of his arm shattering to pieces from being run over.
  • The opening of the movie. It's a long shot of Tokyo that pans out, showing the city on July 16th, 1988. Then, the black dome appears and vaporizes everything. Millions of people, just going on with their lives like normal, all gone in an instant. And the only sound during all of this is an eerie gust of a wind.


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