Akira Wiki
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Manga, Film

Akira (アキラ, Akira) is a manga written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the work uses conventions of the cyberpunk genre to detail a saga of turmoil.[1] Initially serialised in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected in six volumes upon completion by Japanese publisher Kodansha.[2] The work was first published in an English language version by the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics, one of the first manga works to be translated in entirety.[3] Otomo's art on the series is considered outstanding, and the work is a breakthrough for both Otomo and the manga form.[4] An identically titled anime film adaptation was released in 1988. The film is set in a futuristic and post-war city, Neo-Tokyo, in 2019. While most of the character designs and basic settings were adapted from the original 2,182-page manga epic, the restructured plot of the movie differs considerably from the print version, pruning much of the last half of the manga.

The manga takes place in a vastly larger timeframe than the film and involves a far wider array of characters and subplots. Through the breadth of the work, Otomo explicates themes of social isolation, corruption and power.

Otomo's Akira projects – the manga and its film adaptation – marked his transition from a career primarily in the creation and design of printed manga to one almost exclusively in the creation, direction and design of anime motion pictures and television.


In 1988, Tokyo is destroyed by an apparent nuclear explosion that leads to the start of World War III. Thirty-one years later, Neo-Tokyo, a new megalopolis built on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, is gripped by political strife, anti-government terrorism, and gang violence. Shotaro Kaneda (金田正太郎) leads his motorcycle gang, the Capsules, which find themselves in a gang war with another group called the Clowns. As Kaneda and his best friend, Tetsuo Shima (島鉄雄), battle a pair of Clowns on a highway, the latter almost runs into a child with wizened features and is injured when his bike suddenly explodes. Tetsuo and the child, Takashi (タカシ), are taken away by armed soldiers. Kaneda and his gang are taken in for questioning, where Kaneda unsuccessfully flirts with a young woman named Kei ケイ, a member of the terrorist Resistance. Kaneda, Kei, and the remaining Capsules are later released.

Colonel Shikishima (敷島大佐) and Doctor Onishi, two members of a secret government project, discover that Tetsuo possesses mental frequencies similar to Akira (アキラ), a little boy with essentially god-like mental abilities who destroyed Tokyo decades before. Because Kiyoko, another one of the aged children called the Espers, has had visions of a similar destruction of Neo-Tokyo, the Colonel orders the Doctor to kill Tetsuo should he go out of control. Tetsuo escapes, meeting up with his girlfriend, Kaori, and stealing Kaneda's motorcycle. As they attempt to leave the city, they are attacked by Clowns, whom Kaneda and the gang defeat upon their arrival. As Kaneda helps the couple recover, Tetsuo begins to suffer a painful, hallucinatory headache. On the Doctor's orders, a government van arrives and takes Tetsuo away. That night, Kaneda sees Kei at the scene of a terrorist attack, helps her avoid arrest, and accompanies her to the Resistance headquarters. Kaneda offers to help after the terrorists unintentionally reveal their plan to infiltrate a high-security hospital to rescue Tetsuo.

Akira Espers

The Espers

That night, the Espers - Takashi タカシ (also known as No.26), Kiyoko キヨコ(also known as No.25) and Masaru マサル(also known as No.27) - attempt to kill Tetsuo before he grows accustomed to his new powers. However, this only makes Tetsuo more powerful. He goes on a violent rampage through the hospital to the Espers' hospital room, where he learns that Akira is now in cryogenic storage below Neo-Tokyo's new Olympic Stadium. The Colonel, Kei, and Kaneda, arrive too late at the Espers' room, learning that Tetsuo is heading for the Stadium to meet Akira in the hopes he can give Tetsuo more information about his powers. Kei and Kaneda are detained, but Kiyoko - speaking through Kei as a medium - explains that Tetsuo must be stopped and helps them escape. Meanwhile, Tetsuo kills Yamagata 山形, Kaneda's right-hand man. He travels to the Stadium, brutally dispatching soldiers who attack him. Arriving at the Stadium, Tetsuo battles and defeats Kei, who is voluntarily being used by the Espers.

Tetsuo finally unearths Akira's cryogenic chamber, only to discover Akira's organs, stored inside glass jars. The Colonel - who by now has taken over Neo-Tokyo and declared martial law - tells Tetsuo that Akira's remains had been meticulously analyzed after Tokyo's destruction and that he's been dead the entire time. Kaneda, having learned of Yamagata's death from Kai 甲斐, uses Tetsuo's moment of confusion to fire on him with a laser rifle, but Tetsuo is able to block the attacks. While Tetsuo is distracted by Kaneda, the Colonel tries to shoot Tetsuo using an orbital laser weapon but manages only to sever his right arm. Tetsuo takes off into orbit and destroys the weapon, then spends the night recovering at the Stadium, psychically forging himself a new arm from inorganic material while studying Akira's organs. His girlfriend Kaori カオリ arrives and tries to calm him down as his powers create immense physical pain.

Akira Tetsuo

Tetsuo's transformation

The Colonel pleads with Tetsuo to return to the lab, but Tetsuo attacks the Colonel. When the Colonel fires back, with Kaneda (protected by the Espers) joining the fray, Tetsuo is unable to keep control any longer, and his body begins to transform into a gigantic mass that crushes and kills Kaori. The Espers, watching from afar, realize the only way to stop Tetsuo is to call forth Akira, his life force contained in the body parts in the glass jars. Akira's manifestation causes another explosion, and the Espers teleport the Colonel to safety. In spite of Kiyoko and Masaru's insistence that trying to save Kaneda alone would be futile, Takashi jumps into the ever-expanding psychic field. Kiyoko and Masaru agree to join Takashi, aware they likely will not be able to return, and help save Kaneda. Kaneda experiences Tetsuo's and the Espers' memories, including how much Tetsuo trusted Kaneda as a friend and how the children obtained their powers. The Espers remove Kaneda from the field and tell him that Akira will be taking Tetsuo "away" and to find somewhere safe to ride out the explosion. The explosion engulfs nearly the whole of Neo-Tokyo, and when it shrinks and, finally, vanishes, leaves a void that is quickly filled by the nearby ocean. Kaneda wakes up to find that Kei and Kai are safe, and they drive away from the ruined stadium and the dead city. The credits begin with a Big Bang and Tetsuo saying three last words, "I am Tetsuo".

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  1. Amano, Masanao; Julius Wiedemann (2004). Manga Design. Taschen. p. 138. ISBN 3822825913.
  2. Gresh, Lois H.; Robert Weinberg (2005). The Science of Anime. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 168. ISBN 1560257687.
  3. Brooks, Brad; Tim Pilcher (2005). The Essential Guide to World Comics. London: Collins & Brown. pp. 103. ISBN 1-84340-300-5.
  4. Amano, Masanao; Julius Wiedemann (2004). Manga Design. Taschen. p. 138. ISBN 3822825913.

This article uses Creative Commons licensed content from revision 314115146 of Wikipedia's Akira_(film) article.

The list of authors can be seen in the page history there.


This article uses Creative Commons licensed content from revision 313745216 of Wikipedia's Akira (manga) article.

The list of authors can be seen in the page history there.

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