(Variety) - ``Akira,'' one of the earliest and most
popular films in the Japanese anime film wave, is
being restored in preparation for a theatrical re-release
in the U.S. this spring.
Beach-based Pioneer Entertainment (USA), which specializes
in Japanese animated programming, is spending $1 million
on the restoration of the violent and gory science-fiction
film released in 1988. Pioneer is planning to introduce
the first DVD version of the cult favorite and a new
VHS edition in the fourth quarter.
picture, based on a comic book, follows teenage motorcycle
gang members in post-World War III Tokyo who try to
control one of their own members who rages out of
control when he is given psychic powers as part of
a military experiment.
restoration being done by Intl. Video Conversions
will include a high-definition mastering and a remixing
of the audio components to create a soundtrack in
Dolby Digital AC3 Surround Sound. A new English dub
will also be created from a fresh translation of the
original Japanese script.