I can't believe anyone is complaing about this... This is not HD-DVD (no flames please). Blu-Ray has a 48mb/s datarate(!), with 8mb/s dedicated to audio and 40 to video. That means if you do not use 8mb/s for audio, you can't re-use it for video, then you can call it 'wasted'... Now granted, Akira probably uses quite a bit more than the 8mb/s dedicated audio-bandwitdth. My guess Is that the Japanese True-HD track alone probably uses between 8~13 mb/s. (I can agree though that the PCM stereo was kind of unnecessary, they could've used True-HD) But then again, the video-bitrate on Akira is far away from bit-starved, the average bit-rate is about 20mb/s! That's more than most WB titles... I haven't seen any reviews that claim compression artifacts. In fact, the screenshots I've seen looks far better than I anticipated. I was afraid they were going to use the 2000 HD-Remaster as source (which had EE from hell). Any 'problems' people might percieve in regards to the video, is probably related to the source and not the bitrate of the video.
Now, 192khz 24-bit lossless might seem like overkill. Especially since the average home Hi-Fi equipment (or high-end equipment for that matter), can't really do it justice, neither can't most people tell the difference between 48khz and 96, let alone 192. But I admire the balls Bandai have to push the format to it's limit. That's great. The bar should be high, if you went by what most people could discern of differences in a blind-test, then most studios wouldn't use lossless tracks at all, DD 448kbit would be 'good enough'. Just like the saying that 192khz MP3 is as "good as CD"...
For the Special Feature fanatics; I don't agree that Bandai should have compromised the audio-tracks or video-track to make space for Extra Features. If they had prepared any Special features, they should have thrown it on a second disc, a dvd even, just like Pioneer did with the US Tin-box release in 2000. And if you like me, allready own the old tin-box release, just get yourself a two-disc Blu-Ray cover and place it together with the Blu-Ray, voila, now you have a 2-Disc Special Edition
Btw, I found these pictures among some old DVD-Audio discussion documents which I downloaded some years ago. They show how different sampling-rates look on a oscilloscope when compared to the original signal. The first picture is the orignal 10khz Square noise signal which is almost impossible to represent properly as a sine-wave. The second picture is how the wave looks when sampled as a 44khz redbook CD. The third picture shows the same signal encoded to DVD-Audio at 96khz, and finally the last picture shows the signal encoded as 192khz DVD-Audio.