Funimation announced on Tuesday that it will release the 4K remaster of the Akira anime film in a limited-edition 4K Blu-ray Disc on December 22. The limited edition will include a box featuring art from the film and a 40-page booklet.
The company also announced that its release of the late Satoshi Kon‘s Paranoia Agent television anime series on home video — which includes the series’ first Blu-ray Disc release in English — will ship on December 15.
Both AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are listing a September 24 date for the 4K remaster of Akira in select theaters in the United States. In addition, Regal Cinemas is listing the screening as a Funimation screening, with only English subtitles available.
The 4K remaster opened in Japanese theatrers on April 3 on 36 IMAX theaters. The film ranked at #9 when it opened. The anime was originally scheduled to debut at Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) 2020 event on March 14, but organizers cancelled the event due to COVID-19.
The remaster shipped on 4K Blu-ray Disc in Japan on April 24. At the time of the remaster’s announcement, it was also planned for screenings in the United States.
Otomo’s original science-fiction action manga is set in Neo-Tokyo, a city rebuilt after being destroyed in a mysterious explosion. The manga ran in Kodansha‘s Weekly Young Magazine from 1982 to 1990. Otomo directed his own animated film adaptation that premiered on July 16, 1988 — the same day that the story has the fictional Tokyo being destroyed.
Manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo announced at Anime Expo panel in July 2019 that a new anime project of his Akira manga is in the works. Sunrise president and CEO Makoto Asanuma said at the same panel that the staff wants to incorporate the entirety of the manga’s story.
Warner Bros. announced a live-action film adaptation of the manga in 2008, with Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) directing the film. Entertainment news website Deadline reported last December that Warner Bros. moved its planned film off its release schedule. Entertainment news website Variety reported in July 2019 that Warner Bros. has delayed the film indefinitely. The film was previously slated to begin production in fall 2019, and its release was scheduled for May 21, 2021.