Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Akira (1988)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Akira (1988, Jp.)

In Katsuhiro Otomo's landmark, visually-spectacular animated film about 30 years after an atomic bomb (during WWIII) was detonated in Tokyo, following experiments on Esper children possessing lime-green skin (with extraordinary psychic powers of ESP):

  • the Blade Runner (1982)-styled, cyberpunk, post-war dystopic view of "Neo-Tokyo" in the year 2019 following WWIII, complete with reconstructed, gigantic skyscrapers and 3-D holographic, animated advertisements on billboards
  • the opening kinetic, adrenalin-fueled sequence of two rival vigilante bike gangs of cyberpunks (the Capsules vs. the Clowns) attacking each other through the streets of the futuristic metropolis, culminating in a game of chicken between teenaged, cocky delinquent Capsule leader-hero Shōtarō Kaneda and rival Clown gangleader
  • the sequence of Kaneda's anti-hero friend Tetsuo Shima being captured when he crossed paths on his bike with one of the weird Esper children - a wizened, greenish-skinned, pale and psychically-powerful child named Takashi (an Esper aka Number 26, who was kidnapped by terrorists from a government lab, and now recaptured after being on the loose); wounded, Tetsuo would be victimized after being taken away and hospitalized
  • the sequence of secret psychic experiments performed on Tetsuo and a trio of Espers (to release their dormant psychic powers) by the government's scientists, directed by Colonel Shikishima
  • the mysterious title character named 'Akira' -- a legendary boy with ultimate, phenomenal powers who caused the destruction of Tokyo 31 years earlier in 1988, and whose dissected organs were now stored in cyrogenic jars buried below a construction site - the future site of the Olympic Stadium
  • the climactic confrontational ending in which an uncontrollably-powerful, mentally-unstable Tetsuo with triggered latent psychokinetic powers - seeking violent retribution against all authority - had his right arm shot off by the government's orbital laser weapon (which he dismantled in outer space!); he used his psychic powers to reinstate a prosthetic arm; then his body mutated, regenerated, morphed and swelled to gigantic and grotesque proportions as a fleshy and featureless blob -- leading to his demise when the three Espers together called forth the awakening, messianic Akira - a destroyer who caused a white sphere to form around Tetsuo (Akira's consciousness) and transform him into another plane of existence (a 2001: A Space Odyssey-ish "Star Baby"?); this was followed by a massive explosion and the urban destruction of Neo-Tokyo
Tetsuo's Loss of His Right Arm
Restoring Arm with Prosthetic
An Awakening Akira
Massive Explosion and Destruction of Neo-Tokyo
  • the end credits sequence of the cosmic 'big-bang' creation of the universe by a god-like Tetsuo ("I am Tetsuo")

Neo-Tokyo (2019)

Bike Gang Conflict

Esper: Takashi

Secret Experiments on Tetsuo

'Akira''s Severed Body-Part Remains in Cyrogenic Jars

Three Espers

The Colonel

"I am Tetsuo"


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