Joe Peacock (previously on Neatorama) has been collecting Akira cells and production art since he was 14 years old, and now he has collaborated with ToonSeum to show the entire world why Akira is the pinnacle of Japanese anime:
No other film has ever looked like Akira, before or since. It’s stunningly fluid and detailed animation often required as many as nine separate cel layers. The 125 minute feature was comprised of over 160,000 cels and almost as many backgrounds, each one completely hand–drawn and hand-painted. Purists recognize Akira as the last completely hand-created animated feature, as cel animation quickly gave way to cheaper digital production and CGI technology.
Filmmakers, animators, art students and anime fans have largely missed out on in-depth looks at how original, cel-based animation was created - and what better example than the magnum opus that is Akira? No other animation in history - from Japan, the United States or otherwise - focused so much attention to detail in every single aspect, on every single frame and background. Each piece is a study in color theory, layout, motion dynamics and technical artistry. And it is my mission, along with ToonSeum, to expose as many people as possible to the brilliance inherent in this collection.
Links: Art of Akira - via The Journal of Joe The Peacock. Yay.