In America there was anime, and then there was Akira. Katsuhiro Otomo revolutionized Japanese animation with the 1988 film adaptation of his most popular manga. The comic book/film follows a motorcycle gang leader on a quest to save his friend, who is wrapped up in a government ESP conspiracy. Otomo surprised the anime world by using lip-synched dialogue and fluid animation, making the story more accessible to American audiences. It was quite the feat, especially considering Otomo's film summarized his six-book series in two hours. A few critics said this made for some disappointing (and plot-hole leaving) omissions from the original tale, but Akira is still celebrated for its ability to keep viewers entertained as it waxes philosophical on politics, science, government and relationships. So, make that espresso a double and try to keep up. 8:30 p.m. Domy Books, 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 713-523-3669 or visit www.domystore.com. Free.
Mon., July 6, 8:30 p.m., 2009