Akira 3 by Katsuhiro Otomo: A+

From the back cover:
In the 21st century, the glittering Neo-Tokyo has risen from the rubble of a Tokyo destroyed by an apocalyptic telekinetic blast from a young boy called Akira—a subject of a covert government experiment gone wrong now imprisoned for three decades in frozen stasis.

But Tetsuo, an unstable youth with immense paranormal abilities of his own, has done the unthinkable: he has released Akira and set into motion a chain of events that could once again destroy the city and drag the world to the brink of Armageddon. Resistance agents and an armada of government forces race against the clock to find the child with godlike powers before his unstoppable destructive abilities are unleashed!

Holy crap! Where do you go after a finale like that?!

Each volume of this series seems to have a central location of sorts. Last time, it was the military facilities, while this time it’s the streets of Neo-Tokyo. The whole plot can be summed up as: a lot of people want Akira, and different folks manage to nab him at different times. There are four or five sides in the conflict, and possession of Akira shifts back and forth between them all multiple times. There’s shooting in the steets, tanks rumbling through malls, kids flying around, and spectacular yacht crashes into bridges.

Otomo’s art continues to be amazing, with nice big panels (aided by nice big pages) to keep the pace feeling brisk. At the end, there are fifteen dialogue-free pages depicting the effect of a cataclysmic event, which enforce a kind of silent solemnity to mark the immensity of what has just happened. I also love that one of the resistance fighters, the extremely badass Chiyoko, is depicted as overweight. She also has dialogue like:

Kei or Kaneda (can’t tell): Chiyoko, can you drive a tank?!
Chiyoko: Yup.

The best thing about this ending is that I really do worry about the fate of some of the lead characters. In most series, I’d know that they’d come out of it okay, but with Akira I’m not sure, and it’s awesome.

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