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Akira Premieres March 30 at AMC Empire in Times Square

Pioneer Animation is re-releasing a remastered version of its classic anime Akira. Long renowned as one of the genre's most popular and enduring works, the landmark 1988 film by director Katsuhiro Otomo defined the cutting edge of anime.

    It will open exclusively in New York City on March 31; the premiere is March 30. The official Web site is

    According to, the re-mastering process began with a new Inter Positive (IP) made from the original negative at Tokyo Laboratory in Japan. The new IP was sent to International Video Conversions in Burbank, California, where the film was color corrected on a Spirit Datacine film scanner. A vigorous quality check was made of the new HD master, and scenes were selected for digital restoration. These scenes were uploaded into a digital restoration workstation where dirt and scratches were digitally removed. Results of the restoration were checked periodically on a large screen. Digital projectors were used to test the feasibility of digital projection of the final product. This process puts the new transfer under intense scrutiny but provides superior results for the DVD and VHS release master.

    Pioneer Entertainment has taken out advertising in the NY Times, and plastered the city with publicity. Katie Couric, Susan Sarandon and families are some of the invited guests to the premiere. There is a VIP party following and all 400 invitees will receive gift bags, each of which contains a McFarlane Toys 2000 Akira figure. McFarlane Toys will produce several other characters from Akira in its 3D Animation from Japan Series 2, coming later in 2001.

All stories are Copyright © and TMP International, Inc., and may not be reprinted without permission.

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