Since its release in 1988. the Akira animated adaptation has been hailed as one of the greatest anime films of all time. There may even eventually be an Akira live-action remake, but for now, a new fan-animated creation has recreated some of the classic moments from the movie.
Editor Brad Kremer and animator Dean Fowler have released a CGI animated short that takes us back to Akira‘s Neo-Tokyo. In the short, the lead character, Kaneda, and his gang, the Capsules, race through the streets of the city as they battle their rivals, the Clowns. Fowler even revisits some of the film’s signature visuals, including the famous sequence where Kaneda abruptly stops his bike and turns towards the camera.
Note that in this rendition, Kaneda is wearing a skull insignia on his helmet, but that may have been to avoid animating his face and hair. Still, it’s an impressive demo of Fowler and Kremer’s skills and a reminder that Akira still resonates nearly three decades after its release.
The original Akira manga by Katsuhiro Otomo was first published in 1982, and it was one of the first manga series to be fully collected and translated into English by an American publisher. Its influence still looms large in manga and anime, which is why there is still talk about a live-action Akira film. Warner Bros. currently has the rights for that, and Fast and the Furious director James Wan was reportedly in talks to take it on. As recently as a few years ago, Warner Bros. probably would have pushed for a more Americanized version of Akira, but Akira‘s story, characters and themes have more power if they retain the original setting and culture. And damn it, we want to see Neo-Tokyo, not Neo-Los Angeles, or any substitute U.S. city.
What did you think about the Akira animated short? And what would you like to see in the eventual, probably inevitable live-action adaptation? Let us know in the comment section below!
Image: Brad Kremer/Dean Fowler