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Anime classic ‘Akira’ suddenly becomes free to watch, in its entirety, on YouTube

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japantoday– Christmas is the only holiday that’s also a movie genre. Sure, there are a lot of horror films and romance flicks that get released close to Halloween and Valentine’s Day, since those are what people are in the mood for, but usually their stories take place at different times of the year.

Christmas movies, though, don’t just come out at Christmas, they’re about Christmas too. And not only is there a new crop of them every year, each December also doubles as comeback time for hits from previous Christmases, like “Home Alone” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

That’s great if you can’t get enough of the yuletide spirit, but if you’re feeling sick with Santa saturation, you can watch a classic film of a completely different sort, as “Akira” is now free to watch on YouTube.

The landmark 1988 anime film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, who also created the manga it’s based on, suddenly appeared on the Full Anime TV YouTube channel on Christmas Eve.

While the timing makes this a welcome palate cleanser for those whose cinema taste buds are tired of saccharine Christmas fare, the real reason for the gift of free “Akira” is to celebrate the upcoming release of the Complete Works of Katsuhiro Otomo manga collection, which will go on sale January 21.

The free “Akira” will be available until December 28. And while the film is in its original Japanese-language version, its amazingly detailed animation and one-of-a-kind art design remain amazing require no translation, nor do the conversations that consist of the two main characters shouting “Tetsuooooo!” and “Kaneeeedaaaa!” at each other.