Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo has now become publisher Kodansha’s first ever series to be reprinted 100 times. Stemming from a new print run set to go on sale September 25 – nearly four decades after the series was first published – this showcases how relevant Otomo’s series still is today, echoing as it does so many of our modern fears and anxieties. It is also eerily prescient, as all good sci-fi is.
But first, as Comic Natalie points out, the Akira manga has had to overcome many problems over the many years of its publication. From deterioration in the original printing films and color changes on the cover to stoppages in paper production, there are many different versions of the manga out there that come as a consequence of years of reprints.
Original print runs of the Akira manga can, in fact, sell for upwards of 60,000 yen (around $550 USD) and are rarely found on the collector’s market. In this case, however, the Akira manga’s 100th reprint will go on sale for the normal price of 1500 yen on September 25.
Still, though, the fact that the Akira manga is still getting reprinted speaks to how beloved it is in Japan and, indeed, the entire world. As Eddie pointed out earlier this year, it is also eerily prescient today: everything from the suspension of the Olympics to how the world appears to be falling apart is exactly as Akira depicted, showing the power of good sci-fi when it can fully grasp the trajectory of modern society and the human condition.
If you have yet to read the original Akira manga, why not give it a try? This 100th reprint edition certainly gives you an excuse to do so, and there may be some catharsis found in seeing the downfall of humanity play out in miniature. Kodansha Comics has the English versions available via their website.