Akira Volume 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo is getting its hundredth reprint in Japan, with the 101st printing of the first collection of the famous sci-fi series that broke open the manga market in the US and the UK, when it was translated and published by Marvel Comics from 1988. The new printing from Kodansha will be published this coming week.
Originally serialized in the publisher's Weekly Young Magazine from 1982 to 1990 and collected in six volumes, it has become the first of the publisher's manga series to reach its 100th printing and beyond, in constant publication over the last 36 years, since September 14th, 1984. Remarkably, all six volumes are still priced at their original price points between 1400 and 1600 yen – between 13 and 15 US dollars – which may also explain how it has been through so many printings.
The author Katsuhiro Otomo added a short message, "Thank you for reading for such a long time."
Akira tells the story of a future technologically advanced world, recovering after another world war, with new signs of psychic powers emerging and being monitored and captured by the Japanese government, while a biker gang finds themselves intricately involved when they stumble across an escaped patient, who helps bring out the powers of one of their own.
Welcome to Neo-Tokyo, built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by a blast of unknown origin that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that leveled Tokyo. At the core of the agency's motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear of an unthinkable, monstrous power known only as Akira. Katsuhiro Otomo's stunning science fiction masterpiece is considered by many to be the finest work of graphic fiction ever produced