Where do you go after watching Akira? It's not an easy question to answer, as even many anime similar to Akira likely fail to live up to the animated masterpiece. Akira redefined animated movies in more than just Japan with its amazing and innovating animation. Aside from becoming a hit in Japan, it served as a gateway for future anime fans the world over.
After you finish both of Akira's anime and manga versions, you probably want to find other anime like Akira. Though they may not measure up to Katsuhiro Otomo's opus, plenty of similar titles exist out there for fans to devour. Cyberpunk elements, philosophical conundrums, and slick animation all mark the signs of an anime with a similar vein to the 1989 classic. Akira may occupy a class all its own, but its influence presented a chance for these titles and series to shine in their own ways.
From one anime masterpiece to another, the 1995 Ghost in the Shell movie might stand as the best recommendation for anyone who loved Akira. Both of these cyberpunk movies explore the themes of humanity and the questionable advancements of technology. Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell lives in a technological world where hacking a human's brain for political warfare is just another day at the job.
#11 on The Best Movies of 1995
If you're in the mood for another beautifully animated movie like Akira, then Metropolis lies right up your alley. Like Akira, Metropolis deals with heavy political themes that arise as technology advances faster than humans can regulate it. The discrimination and scapegoating of the movie's robotic characters, such as humans blaming them for "taking their jobs," hits too close to home.
Psycho-Pass tells the story of a futuristic police force known as the Criminal Investigation Department, tasked with maintaining order in a dystopian world. Just like in Akira, the evil government of Psycho-Pass holds an authoritarian grip over its people. Willing to kill anyone they deem unstable, the Department chooses targets based on the negative signals an individuals gives out through their scanners. Psycho-Pass follows two members of the force as they go about their jobs and the toll it takes on them as arbiters of judgment.
If Akira surprisingly enough felt too "normal" for you, then Serial Experiment Lain might provide the oddities you seek. The 1998 anime series explores many of the same philosophical themes of Akira, through a visually striking and surreal narrative. Akira and Serial Experiment Lain also feature two young protagonists with godlike powers, but who are polar opposites in personality.