Violence in anime can often be something we take for granted, much like we take it for granted in action films, even though there seems to be an explosion every minute. In general violence isn’t bad, if it is for a particular reason, however, there are times when violence is used in a gratuitous and unnecessary way. The results are often described (quite accurately in many respects) as torture porn, with violence essentially taking the spot where a proper plot or story would go.
In anime there was a period where many films and OVAs employed ‘ultra violence’, with the gratuitous use of violence and general destruction and dismemberment of characters for no apparent reason. In many respects films like Akira help to demonstrate elements of the violence used, with the obvious ending sequence when Tetsuo finally loses control exemplifying the extreme direction of some anime. Although in this case there is a distinctive reason for the scene and in it perfectly encapsulated elements of Akira’s story.