Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira going back for 100th reprint

(Image credit: Kodansha)

The first volume of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira is going back to press, with the 100th additional printing due out in its native Japan in early October.

(Image credit: Kodansha)

Announced by its publisher Kodansha (via Crunchyroll), this 101st printing of the first Akira collection is the first title in the huge manga publisher's line to be reprinted this many times.

"Thank you for reading for such a long time," Otomo says in the announcement.

Akira follows the lives of several teens living in the ruins of Neo-Tokyo, a city slowly rebuilding after a thermonuclear attack. With a cyberpunk aesthetic and shades of superheroic (or rather, super villainous) superpowers, Akira became a seminal work of fiction in Japan, and eventually in North America.

Otomo's Akira was originally serialized from 1982 to 1990 in Japan's Young Magazine, and later collected in trade paperback form beginning September 14, 1981. In a unique practice, Kodansha has held the cost of all six volumes of Akira to its original price since its first debut; in the case of Akira Vol. 1 that is 1500 yen, which in 1984 would've been $6.11 in U.S. dollars and is now roughly $14.23.

In 1988, Marvel Comics began publishing a translated, colorized edition of Akira. Besides its notable quality, this U.S. foray was significant for being the first ongoing comic to be colored digitally, and the one of the first manga to ever be completely translated into English.

Kodansha's North American division currently publishes the Akira reprints in English but has held off releasing the title digitally.

Whether you've read the comic or not, it's worth checking out the 1998 animated film adaptation - overseen by Otomo himself. Check out GamesRadar's review of Akira here.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)