10 Books/Manga Like Akira | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Books/Manga Like Akira

Akira is a fascinating read from Katsuhiro Otomo. The manga offers a deeper dive into the world of Neo Tokyo and the people who inhabit it. The manga examines the lives of two bikers named Tetsuo and Kaneda. They’re fierce rivals and best friends. To prove himself as Kaneda’s equal, Tetsuo pulls a charade that brings forth the government’s Akira secret. With its fascinating gun battles and tighter focus on characterization, the Akira manga is an essential read for everyone who loves the film or adores sci-fi. 

If you’re in the mood for more action or sci-fi-themed books/manga that offer a similar vibe, fear not! We’ve gathered together 10 books/manga to check out when you’ve caught up with Akira. Of course, if you feel we’ve missed any of your favorites, do comment below and let us know!

Blame! – Tsutomu Nihei

Similarities – Sci-fi, Detailed Artwork, Settings

Blame is a great sci-fi tale akin to the likes of Akira. Like Akira, it features a dystopian setting, complex storyline, and captivating artwork. Moreover, it’s another tale that features a chaotic world overrun by technology and showcases how humanity suffers from it.

In Blame, our protagonist, Killy, navigates through a world populated by hostile machines. The story’s bleak setting mirrors the politically corrupt and otherworldy aspects found in Akira’s environment. Moreover, both stories have multi-layer plots that gradually unfold. Killy’s quest to find human DNA gets more convoluted over time, leading him down various mysteries that’ll intrigue audiences greatly.

In addition to having highly detailed illustrations that depict the immense scale of Blame’s universe, this is a tale you shouldn’t overlook Akira fans.

Battle Angel Alita – Yukito Kishiro

Similarities – Action, Themes, Sci-fi

Battle Angel Alita is another fabulous sci-fi tale with an alluring world and cast and excellent analysis of the human condition. Like Akira, it’s another work that has humans grapple with the problems associated with advanced technology.

The tale’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where the wealthy live in a floating city called Tiphares. Much like Neo-Tokyo, Tiphares features a hierarchal structure of some kind with some folks living high or low-class lifestyles. That said, Battle Angel Alita’s setting, much like Akira’s, creates a backdrop for exploring ideas concerning societal day and technology’s impact on people.

Moreover, both tales tackle political intrigue, power struggles, and existential questions. As our robotic protagonist, Alita embarks on a journey to understand who she is, she’ll become entangled in a ploy involving the ruling elite. This mirrors Kaneda and Tetsuo’s dilemmas in Akira as well.

On top of having fabulous action scenarios, Battle Angel Alita is a must-read for Akira fans.

Eden: It’s An Endless World – Hiroki Endo

Similarities – Psychological & Sci-fi

Eden: It’s An Endless World is a mature sci-fi story and one that bears many similarities with Akira. For instance, both tales feature post-apocalyptic worlds where humans face existential threats and grapple with issues surrounding well-developed tech.

In Eden, the story features a society on the brink of collapse due to a virus. Similarly, Akira features a city reeling from destruction and political unrest. Both settings serve as backdrops to allow their authors to examine humanity’s complexities. That said, both tales exceptionally incorporate aspects of political intrigue and personal relationships to keep readers invested.

Whether you’re following Ennoia’s endeavors through a web of conspiracies or Kaneda’s attempts at reaching Tetsuo, you’re bound to enjoy what both tales deliver.  

Ghost In The Shell – Masamune Shirow

Similarities – Complex Storytelling, Setting, Themes

Ghost In The Shell is a popular sci-fi tale with incredibly written characters, a delightfully rich futuristic setting, and compelling action segments that’ll have you glued to the page. Like Akira, it offers readers a world where technology plays a central role in shaping society. It takes place in a universe where cybernetic enhancements and interconnected networks are commonplace. This raises questions about the nature of one’s identity and consciousness.

Similarly, Akira’s Neo-Tokyo houses beings with psychic abilities and is a place where advanced tech causes disruptive scenarios to befall its streets. Moreover, both stories excel at blending action, political intrigue, and existential contemplation. While Ghost In The Shell’s Makoto Kusanagi investigates cybercrimes, she’ll have many questions concerning her own identity due to her cyborg roots. Similarly, Kaneda and Tetsuo get caught up in a huge government conspiracy that’s far beyond their understanding.

If you happen to love tales with depth, beautiful imagery, and engaging action, Ghost In The Shell is worth a read.

20th Century Boys – Naoki Urasawa

Similarities –Themes & Drama

Naoki’s Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys is a splendid sci-fi epic with a great ensemble cast, a rich plot, and enough twists and turns to hold your attention. This story follows a group of friends as they try to unravel and prevent a global conspiracy.

Like Akira, this tale incorporates elements of mystery, conspiracy, and drama exceptionally. It gradually reveals shocking revelations through its plot to captivate audiences.

Moreover, both manga explores thought-provoking themes and raise questions about one’s role in society. In 20th Century Boys, you’ll learn about cults, the nature of memory, and the impact one’s childhood dreams can have on their adult life. Similarly, Akira tackles power, corruption, and the search for identity.

As one can tell, both stories wonderfully reflect on the intricacies of human existence and showcase ways people can shape or be shaped by their environments. 

Dorohedoro – Q Hayashida

Similarities – Themes, Setting, Action

Written and illustrated by Q Hayashida, Dorohedoro is a captivating tale that captures Akira’s dark atmosphere well. It’s another manga that presents readers with a world marked by violence and decay. Dorohedoro takes place in a desolate area called “The Hole.” It’s populated by mutants and sorcerers, mirroring Neo-Tokyo’s gang and psychic population structure. 

Like Akira, Dorohedor features complex and morally ambiguous characters. The protagonist, Caimon, seeks to regain his memories and hopes to find a special sorcerer who’ll assist him in his lizard-like state. During his quest, he’ll meet many victims and perpetrators who ended up in their situation because of society’s effects on them.

With its excellent handling of societal corruption and its incorporation of humor and action, Q Hayashida’s Dorohedoro is a marvelous tale that’ll leave Akira fans satisfied. 

Devilman – Go Nagai

Similarities – Psychological, Characters, Themes

Devilman is an iconic horror tale with gruesome imagery, fantastic psychological aspects, and endearing characters. As with Akira, this manga pushes the boundaries of storytelling within its medium, challenging traditional conventions and offering fans a thought-provoking experience.

Devilman follows Akira, a boy who merges with a demon to become Devilman. He’ll fight numerous foes to protect the innocent from their dastardly plans. Similarly, Akira’s Tetsuo obtains psychic powers due to external reasons and becomes a menace to society because of them. To that extent, both manga explore the consequences of wielding powers beyond human comprehension. 

In addition to both tales delving into the dark depths of the human psyche and corruption, Devilman is a noteworthy tale that’ll please Akira fans. 

Psyren – Toshiaki Iwashiro

Similarities – Setting, Action, Psychological

Psyren is an underrated shonen gem with fabulous supernatural elements and a slightly complex storyline. Like Akira, it presents readers with an environment that’s on the brink of destruction. This area is filled with people with dangerous powers who can threaten humanity too.

Psyren follows Ageha, a boy who gets involved in a dangerous game that transports him and others to a post-apocalyptic battleground. This environment echoes the dangers found in Akira’s Neo-Tokyo as it houses folks with psychic powers capable of bringing it to ruin.

Furthermore, both tales feature multifaceted narratives with incredible mysteries that are unraveled over time. Ageha and company become drawn by their realm’s web of secrets as they fight to survive. This parallels Tetsuo and Kaneda’s navigation through their world’s government conspiracies well.

In addition to exploring similar themes concerning power, corruption, and the search for identity, Psyren is a well-written shonen that’ll impress Akira fans. 

Chainsaw Man – Tatsuki Fujimoto

Similarities – Action, Psychological, Characters

Chainsaw Man is a modern shonen series with a strong grasp of the medium. Like Akira, it presents readers with a gritty world that’s jam-packed with visceral action sequences. It’s another manga that captivates audiences with its unique blend of otherworldly elements and compelling storytelling.

Chainsaw Man follows Denji, who merges with his sidekick Pochita to become Chainsaw Man. Similarly, Akira has Tetsuo, a boy who develops psychic abilities due to his involvement with the government. Both manga examine the dangerous lives Tetsuo and Denji lead after they obtain their powers, which is anything but pleasant.

With its examination of gory violence and exceptional handling of existential themes, Chainsaw Man is a stellar and ongoing work (as of this writing) that you should read. 

Ajin: Demi-Human – Tsuina Miura & Gamon Sakurai

Similarities – Atmosphere, Characters, Themes

Ajin: Demi-Human follows Akira and Chainsaw Man in being a dark, psychological story with a similarly-themed protagonist. Its tale revolves around Kei, a boy who becomes an immortal being called an “Ajin” after a terrifying truck accident. Like Tetsuo, Kei can no longer return to the life he once lived and must navigate through several hurdles with the newfound powers he’s attained. 

Both manga wonderfully explores themes of power, corruption, and the frailties of human nature. You’ll adore seeing Kei break down and pick himself back up throughout his journey in Ajin: Demi-Human. Not only that but Ajin: Demi-Human’s antagonists experience significant development and display actions that’ll challenge readers’ perceptions like Colonel Shikishima in Akira. 

Therefore, if you’re after a dark and visually-striking tale with similar themes and characters, check out Ajin: Demi-Human. 

So there we have it, our 10 books/manga to read after you’re caught up with Akira.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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