Picks and Pans Review: Akira

updated 08/21/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/21/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Sci-Fi Channel (Sat., Aug. 19, 8 p.m. ET)


This 1988 masterwork of feature-length Japanese sci-fi animation gets its first airing on American TV. It's 2019 in Neo-Tokyo, three decades after a nuclear holocaust. The decaying city is beset with motorcycle gangs, student riots, apocalyptic cults and, now, an eerie antihero with terrible powers. The film gets overblown and obtuse as it stumbles to a conclusion, but the exquisitely rendered vision of a violent high-tech future makes Judge Dredd look like Romper Room.

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