Akira became the inspiration for a majority of people as soon as it came to the cinematic screens. From the film producers to the people leading a country, the movie gives lessons about different aspects of society, which are even relatable to the current world. Katsuhiro Otomo was the man behind this amazing gift to the Japanese cinema that changed the dynamics of American and European cinemas like the perfect trendsetter. Well, call it the charm of the iconic Akira Jacket or the genius plot execution of Otomo, the movie was warmly welcomed by the audience worldwide.
After the ‘80s, many movies were released on the idea of Akira, which surprised not just us but even Otomo as well. Let’s have a look at some of them;
The Reference of Tetsuo and the Espers in Stranger Things:
The destruction caused in Akira roots back to the illegal experiments by the officials of the government on innocent kids. That resulted in the psychic powers of Tetsuo as well as the creation of Esper children, including Akira. The same thing is portrayed in ‘Stranger Things’ that happens to be a TV series owned by Netflix. Although the main theme of the TV series is kept the same, there is an edginess of showing a foreign influence in the experiments.
The main protagonist of the series, Eleven, is a teenage girl possessing psychic powers resembling those of Tetsuo’s, who is kept in a governmental facility. Although she didn’t burst out like Akira’s Tetsuo, she attempted to escape it. But she reminds us more of the terrified Esper kids, especially Takashi, the most fearful kid. But no one from the director or the producer has confirmed anything about the homage.
The Weak Control of Cid, like Tetsuo, in Looper:
Although the plot of Looper, released in 2012, is very contrasting from Akira’s, the influence of Akira on it is hard to ignore. Looper portrays a team of sometime travelers who fight and get rid of the people in several time zones. The creator of Looper, Rian Johnson, confirmed that he had created the character of Cid being motivated by Akira.
In Looper, there is a kid named Cid who also possesses psychic capabilities like Tetsuo. Like how Tetsuo lost command over his supernatural powers in the concluding scenes of Akira, the same happened with Cid. He lost his control over the incredible powers and created multiple problems.
The Telekinetic Powers Featured in Chronicle Just Like Akira:
Chronicle is the story of a trio of boys who became the possessors of telekinetic abilities after getting in-contact with a weird thing. The sci-fi thriller shows us how two of them started to invest their powers in pulling some goofy pranks; the third boy named Andrew used his power to go into a dark place. He then loses all his control over his powers in that world and tries to kill the whole of humanity. This reminds us of Tetsuo, who started his murderous rampage in the ending scenes of Akira.
The Appearance of Bartkira:
Not exactly a part of the TV series or movie of Simpsons, there was a fan art created by almost 500 fans from all over the world that shows ‘Bartkira.’ It is the depiction of The Simpsons in Neo Tokyo of Akira. The art style was not the same; the resemblances of the characters were uncanny. Bart was the Simpsons’ version of Kaneda, Tetsuo looked like Milhouse, and Akira was portrayed as Ralph Wiggum.
The cartoonist behind the art, James Harvey, explained the art by saying that both the characters, Bart and Kaneda, were the portrayals of the rebels. Both show what happens to the minds of people when there is this much cruelty and injustice shown by the government as well as the establishment.
The Matrix Shares The Concept With Akira:
The Matrix and Akira resembled in one aspect the most – the depiction of a world destroyed after a war. The residents of both worlds were fighting and struggling to meet their ends and even to survive. Spoon Boy from The Matrix and Tetsuo from Akira both highlighted characters from the movies possessing telekinetic powers. The themes of both films were also kept the same – extremely aesthetic, the perfect cyberpunk, and modernized urban.
The Hallway Shot From Akira in Descender:
The comic series from the sci-fi genre, Descender, penned down by Dustin Nguyen and his co-creator, Jeff Lemire, was also inspired by Akira. However, the themes of both didn’t resemble much. As Descender is more about robots and machines, there is no such thing as bikers wearing motorcycle jackets like Akira Jackets. However, there is a shot in which a man-made robot goes through rebirth in an estranged mining area, reminding us so much about Akira. The influence of this movie and Katsuhiro Otomo has reached some places!