Manmeet Sodhi

As we  celebrate the 40 year anniversary of Akira  today, we must note the impact that it has had on modern cinema. The color red is a prominent one, in the movie and everything based around it. After four decades, it is important to highlight past the primary color in the production.

We are greeted with  gritty hues of blue, green and orange that mirror the dark narrative of the story.  Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the colors serve as a reminder of the heavy environment. Akira is a movie about understanding the implications of nuclear war.  The bleak future it presents for the common man suffering the repercussions of a war between nations.  The color of smoke, dirt and destruction compliment the blood red that is present throughout the film.  As we understand the depth of the complex narrative, director and animation studios intentions behind the choice of palette. Evoking a sense of dread and impending doom, constantly throughout every frame.

We look at colors as something that fill a shape  but color actually fills the heart.  It evokes emotion, creates a connection between the shape and the viewer. The colors we see are subjective to us, a color stands out specifically to us because of how important it is to us as the audience. For some, the blue in Akira reminds them of hope, like the director intended but for some, the darker tones of blue create unrest as they mimic bruises.  The subjectivity and requirement of complimenting colors is at the core of this exploration.