‘Akira’ (1988) and autoethnography

This week in class we discussed the concept of auto ethnography and also looked into the screening of Akira, whilst engaging in live tweeting.

When I first heard of the concept ‘autoethnography’ I thought it was quite complex and possibly even difficult to understand. I was introduced to the concept in my second year subject BCM241, at university, where I discovered that the concept is not at all what I had in mind.



Akira (1988)

Autoethnography is an approach that “analyses (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno)” (Ellis, C, Adams TE & Bochner, AP 2011.) As Ellis, Adams & Bochner clarified most often autobiographer’s write about epiphanies, which refers to “moments that are perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s life” (Ellis, C, Adams TE & Bochner, AP 2011.)

I don’t watch anime or manga myself, however when I realised that this weeks screening would be ‘Akira’ I was quite fascinated and was looking forward to watching it.


Akira (1988) Trailer

After having watched the screening in class, Akira was not at all what I was expecting. I was very intrigued by the amount of detail included in the film, the amount of effort, work and thought put into its creation. I was impressed with the artwork and graphics, the colour scheme used especially after having discovered that 50 unique colours were created out of the 327 used, for the production. I noticed that most of the film took place in a night atmosphere, which I found different and interesting, it added a lot to the concept and plot.

I was intrigued that the plot focused on youth, however had such a deep and dark concept behind it. I found it engaging that motorcycles were involved and rebellious behaviour. To be completely honest due to the long duration of the film, I did get a little bit confused, however I managed to understand all that went down. It was definitely quite a spectacular discovery that Tetsuo gained supernatural powers.

I don’t usually engage in films such as Akira, it’s not quite the genre I follow. However, every now and then I like to step out of my comfort zone and experience something new, something different. Akira was definitely something different and I liked it.

I was also impressed that Kanye West is a huge fan of the film. Through research I conducted, I discovered that he went as far as to parallel a lot of the scenes in the anime classic in his music video for “Stronger.” This shows the impact anime films have in the western society.


Kanye Wests’ Akira inspired music video ‘Stronger’

During the screening I experienced an epiphany, whilst watching the film and experiencing a different cultural experience I became more conscious of past experiences, in my case viewing the Kanye West music video. In other individuals cases, they related Akira to films they viewed prior such as Toy Story.

Thank you for reading, stay tuned for next weeks blog!


Feel free to leave comments below


Dee x

Ellis, C, Adams, ET & Bochner, AP 2011, Autoethnography: An Overview, Forum: Qualitative Research, vol. 12, no. 1.