The Pop Culture Lens

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Episode 25: Akira (1988)

July 3rd, 2016

In the twenty-fifth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard welcome friend of the podcast, Charley Reed, to discuss one of the most influential anime feature films of all time, Akira (1988).

In this episode -- which at times features poor audio due to issues with Skype, for which the co-hosts apologize -- the three discuss their fondness for the film as being central to their anime fandom. The conversation focuses on the themes of Akira, from generational and national tensions to the purpose of dystopia in Japanese, American, and perhaps global societies. The cyclical nature of destruction and creation is explored through this film, and perhaps indicates why it has had such a global and long-lasting impact on pop culture.

They also discuss the attempts to make an American adaptation of the film, with all the problems associated with such an undertaking. But you can see some ideas for doing so here. Christopher talks more about Akira in relation to Japanese cinema on his blog here.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website