In 1999, Satoshi Kon released his first feature, Perfect Blue, into U.S. theaters. The film would mark the beginning of an illustrious yet tragically short career of animated films that tapped into societal obsession and isolation, themes that still resonate today. Kon’s work, especially Perfect Blue, dove into what it means to have two personalities: one presented to the public and the “real” self.

From Breaking Bad’s arrogant, embittered Walter White to Conan the Barbarian’s titular brute, the masculine urge to dominate is a prevalent narrative force in popular art. How many movies and shows consist more or less solely of men struggling with one another for control over a lover, a kingdom, a company? Katsuhiro Otomo’s legendary 1988 animated sci-fi feature Akira, a brutal film about a futuristic Tokyo gripped by unrest and corruption, a gang of rough-edged young biker punks, and the mysteries surrounding a group of children with terrifying psychic powers, delves deep into this stock element of so much action-driven fiction, probing at the seldom-touched origins of masculine violence with surprising poignancy.