In the twenty-fifth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast, Charley Reed, to discuss one of the most influential anime feature films of all time, Akira (1988). Charley is a tremendous fan of the anime and manga, as is Chris, and we wanted to talk bout the film and it’s impact on global pop culture in time for its 28th anniversary.

In this episode — which at times features poor audio due to issues with Skype, for which we the co-hosts apologize — we three discuss our fondness for the film as being central to our 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.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by posting here or 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 me on Twitter (@mediaoracle).

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