I am fully aware how many people, particularly old-guard anime fans, are going to want to chuck spears at my face for this statement, but Akira should be remade. While I acknowledge how important the original film was in terms of popularizing anime in America as well as revolutionizing Japanese animation, I have several issues with the story of the film. The challenge that faced the filmmakers was that they were trying to translate a 2000-page cyberpunk manga epic into a 2 hour film. While the first two acts were incredibly memorable and tension-building, the film fell apart in its final act. I'm now going to go into a detailed level of plot discussion for the film, so if you're that bothered skip to the bottom of END SPOILERS
Okay, the manga of Akira is split in six volumes of material. If you had read all of them, you would notice that the first two acts of the film cover wonderfully Volumes 1 and 2. Problems occurred with the last act of the film where plot elements from Volumes 3, 4, 5 and 6 are crammed together for the final half hour of the film. This leads to several plot holes that are never explained in the film:
-Why did the Espers (the geriatric-psychic children) need Kei's help specifically?
-Why was Kaneda able to harm Tetsuo whereas everyone else could not?
-Why was Tetsuo transforming into the blob-like creature he became at the end of the film?
-How did Akira die and get chopped up into several pieces, only for him to reconstruct himself at the end?
-What the hell does happen to Tetsuo at the end of the film? Is he alive? Is he in a heightened plane of being?
The list goes on and on. The ironic part is that all these questions are (mostly) answered in the manga. Now before some of you claim, "Oh they only had 2 hours to make a film, you can't expect them to have all these answers in there", you're missing the point of vital and seminal science-fiction. While there's a fantastical story being told, it is supposed to progress quite logically. You can't simply suspend logic for a few moments, or worse yet, expect the audience to come up with the answer themselves. This works well very rarely, and even then with only one or two unresolved plot points.
The end of Akira leaves you with more questions than answers. For me, I found the answers by reading the manga. But doing so lessens the punch the film is supposed to have. I should not have to consult an outside
source to explain shit.
Now a remake could solve the problem of fixing the maligned third act of the original film. This is reason enough for a film to be remade, since you want to tell the story the "right" way. What has me excited though, is that the producers want to make 2 films. One for the first three volumes, and the second for the rest. This takes care of the problem I mentioned in the spoilers of being able to explain shit. Better yet, in terms of the actual story of Akira, there is a good few month time gap between Volume 3 and 4 as opposed to the mere minutes-gap in all the other volumes. This would be a perfect place to split a huge movie in a way that would make more sense than even Kill Bill. Add in the bonus that Volume 3 has a conclusive ending that COULD stand alone as a climax for a single film, and you have an interesting prospect indeed.
Now, I am aware that American adaptations of anime films haven't been doing so well, And maybe the Hughes Brothers are not the right people for this material, nor would a live-action adaptation be able to capture the bizarreness of the world of Akira. However, to remake Akira as a 2 part anime film may work wonders. For one the hardcore fanbase will not be alienated from this rendition done animated. And best yet, we won't have to leave the film in the hands of some idiotic American producers who have no idea how to translate this story into film.
So am I insane for believing a remake could be a good thing? Or is there a glimmer, however small, of hope?