Akira is the 1988 anime film that introduced the Western world to modern anime. It is directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and is the film adaptation based on his 2,000 page hit manga.
The story begins in 1988 when an unexplained explosion, believed to be an atomic bomb, completely destroys Tokyo and marks the beginning of WWIII precipitating the creation of Neo-Tokyo, a dark and dangerous futuristic megalopolis that had risen from the post-war ashes of the old city.
By 2019 Neo-Tokyo is a police state that crawls with gangs and terrorists. Corrupt politicians barely keep order by puppeteering a powerful military. Rising civil unrest leads to a revolutionary undertone.
From this complex setting comes the story of childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda, members of the biker gang The Capsules, and their inadvertent immersion into a mysterious military operation that leads them on a quest of discovery that unravels to expose the destructive powers of Akira.
Check out the 2006 Absolut Vodka ad that features Akira as the Absolute Anime.
Here is the Akira movie trailer.