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Ok well the first time i saw akira (for those of you who don't know, akira was a ground breaking anime cult classic of the late 80's and is still considered to be one of the gods of anime) any way i was 7 and it scared the hell out of me. Over the course of my life i've seen it again and again and again, saw it my sixth time last night... maybe 7th or 8th but at least 6th.

I just want to know a few things that i have never been able to figure out. I know reading the manga would help but damn those are long and i really am not a hardcore manga fan. ok here are the things i want to know:

1. who are those kids with the weird skin. they look like midgets but have childrens voices.

2. Why does tetsuo get attacked by his stuffed animals?

3.what are they actually exparamenting on tetsuo? I mean they say his "patterns" which i guess mean his ora patterns resemble that of akira, a powerful and phycic god who is now dead and preserved in jars.

4.what causes tetsuo to become phycic.

5. what is the significance in the little girl who has the dreams of the world crumbling?

6.what causes tetsuo so get all... like explody and crush his girl friend in his fat.

I know that's a lot but my 6th or so time through i still don't get it so if some one would help me that would be great.
Read the comic, it should explain some things. Note that the comic was halfway through the story when the movie was made and they diverge around the point where Tetsuo tries to awake Akira.

Anyway, here are my interpretations:

1. The kids are other experiment subjects. Akira was the most powerful one.

2. The other kids are trying to scare him from looking for Akira.

3. Yep, they're trying to enhance/awake his psychic powers.

4. He already has the ability, but the pills he pops and the medicines they give him activate them.

5. Umm.. Do you mean the psychic kid in the bed? She can see into the future, and knows what will happen if Akira is awakened.

6. His psychic powers get out of control and he starts meshing with things around him. Note that this part isn't in the comic.
that clearafies.. SOME things but still a little veague around the kids. So they are adults... who look like kids because of the inhumane exparaments being done on them?
they're playing a sega mega drive when they're being expieremented on. my advice to you. watch eraserhead and tetsuo the iron man and serial expeirements lain after that understanding akira should be a snap.
In most psychic movies of this genre the setup is that your psychic powers lose potency as you age. There is a cool Outer Limits about just this (has Thora Birch in it). So what I have always thought is that the government agency is trying to stunt thier growth and thus maintain the potency of thier powers... but it doesnt quite work like they expected it to. The children still age in a way but thier body stays childlike and immature. And I think you get the old man child appearance because the powerful psychic forces are wreaking havoc on the immature bodies.

This is gonna be crossing genre's a bit but in Star Wars Dark Empire it is mentioned that the Emperor is just a clone and he keeps having to change bodies because his tremdous powers eat away at his body causing him to prematurely age. I think this kind of setup is why the children all look elderly. Thier powers which are being held in place my growth stunting are tearing away at thier little bodies.

just my thoughts... feel free to disagree heh
No, I think that's a pretty good point. There's usually stuff in anime and mangas that you're just supposed to know, but since we (or at least I) haven't been reading them since a kid we don't. Their appearance is linked to the drugs they're given, but I don't recall the exact reason being mentioned. Also consider that children are easier to control. Things only start to go wrong when the teenaged Tetsuo gets his psychic powers (there's probably something deeply metaphoric about the whole story, but I'll be damned if I know what it is).
Ya gotta read the manga to truly understand it all. They took over 1000 pages of story and squeezed it into 90 minutes, and so so so much is missing.

I still wish they would go back and make an Akira ova series, something long enough to fit everything from the books into it.
Well sometime when I have nothing better to do I will run to the local Borders bookstore and read the whole akira manga series. Sure as hell am not buying it at 19.95 a book since there are a bajillion of them hehe.
a lot of my friends and one of my x girlfriends did the digital color seperations on the colorized u.s. translation
i just finished the akira Manga translated and published by darkhorse, and its amazing, the film is small compared to it!!!

Just for a price qoute i got the whole series for 114 dollars!
ok than subura maybe you can answer one of my other questions. What makes tetsuo special i mean why did they even decide to do the exparaments on him in the first place not knowing anything about his phycic ability.
Yeah I always wondered that myself. Watching you movie you get the idea that he was taken in because he was injured and had seen too much. And that the only reason they experimented on him was that he was an easily accessible subject. Kinda "Hey this boy knows to much... lets fuck with his head a bit while we got him"
i was under the impersion that being exposed to the explosion casued byt #17 ( ithink that's the number) caused the germ of psychic powers to be awakened in tetsou, further enchanced by the capsules (both the ones from generic anime mad scientist doctor and the balck market variety) at least i think thats what's aluded to in the new translation
What I think happened with tetsou, is that he always had some ammount of powers from the beginning. When he was riding his motorcycle and crashed into #17, part of his inner psychic mind was awakened. To be more specific, when #17 saw him about to crash, he created a barrier in front of himself made of his own energy so as not to be harmed, tetsou not being powerful enough at the time however was only able to keep himself from being faitly wounded. Once he is brought to the hospital for "treatment", they discover that because of his contact with #17 his mental wave pattern has become odd, and this leads them to belive that maybe he is a worthy candidate for experimentation, the kind that was used on Akira that is. Due to the pills/drugs they gave him his power grows at an exponential speed, feuled partialy also by his strong emmotions of hate for those that treated him so terribly as he was growing up. Later on in the movie (near the end), he starts to loose controle of his powers, this is due to him gaining them too fast. The powers of the "Kids" in the movie were gained over a periode of years, but Tetsou gained them in a matter of days/weeks, and it is too much for his mind to control without the neccesary time to adapt to it.

Well, I have never read the Manga, but thats my take on it.
i think what it was was that yes the contact with 17 awoke his power but the only reason they started messing with him is because they would check his brain patterns ANYWAY when exparamenting and they just saw them match akira's. I dunno but i just saw it again today and that's what i think.
In the comic the illustrate it as being that all of the children were latent psychics untill the millitary gave them the drugs, which are quoted as being "Harsh Fertilizer" allowing the children to have phsycic powers while stunting ther growth, causing madness ect..., once tetsuo is taken back to teh millitray base they discover his potential and begin him on the drug routine inorder to brign out his latent powers which they belive could control Akira and further their research.
No, he wasn't evil. Again I recommend you to check out the comic where Akira actually is awakened, and not just as some samples kept in jars.