!!Shotaro Kaneda
->Voiced by: Creator/MitsuoIwata (JP), Creator/CamClarke (EN, Streamline dub), Creator/JohnnyYongBosch (EN, Animaze dub)
->''[[SayMyName Tetsuoooooooooo!!!]]''

* AdaptationalHeroism: While he's by no means perfect in the movie either, many of Kaneda nastier traits from the manga are suspiciously absent from the movie.
* AffectionatePickpocket
* AMFMCharacterization: In the manga, there's a scene where Kaneda sings "Starry Starry Night" to himself in the bathroom.
* BadassBiker: Stands out as this because of his CoolBike.
* ButtMonkey: Gets the most amount of punishment while never suffering anything really irreversible.
* BadassNormal: [[spoiler:Kaneda was taking on a fully powered Tetsuo with a laser gun and ''winning.'' He actually would've pulled off killing him, something even the entire military was failing at at that point, but the gun ran out of energy.]]
* BigEater
--> '''Kei:''' "Is eating all you do?"
* CharacterDevelopment: Goes from a selfish, womanizing jerk to a genuine hero who cares deeply for the woman he loves.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: At the beginning of the manga he's a complete dick, but becomes a little more tolerable by the end.
* ChivalrousPervert
** He's a total pervert to Kei at the start, but later grows fond of her.
** Averted big time, however, with the way he treats his first girlfriend in the manga. He doesn't really care about her much and only uses her for sex and to score drugs (she's doing some kind of internship with the school nurse) and when she tells him he may have gotten her pregnant he ''laughs about it''.
* {{Determinator}}: Throughout the story, and especially in the final battle with Tetsuo.
* DisappearedDad: He IS one (assuming his ex and unborn child survived the events of the manga, which is hardly a guarantee).
* IconicOutfit: The red motorcycle jacket with the Capsules' logo on the back.
* JerkAss: He starts out as a big one, especially in the manga but matures as time goes on.
* LastNameBasis: Always goes by Kaneda.
* NoOneShouldSurviveThat: Kaneda is by far the luckiest character in the story line.
** In fact, it could be argued that [[spoiler:he ''didn't'' survive the obliteration of Neo Tokyo]] and only pulled through because of an odd application of the TimeyWimeyBall.
* PinballProtagonist: He's not exactly the biggest player on the manga, and even gets PutOnABus [[spoiler:after the timeskip]].
* SupportingProtagonist: In the movie.
* UnscrupulousHero: Sure, he saves Neo-Tokyo, but he's still an obnoxious delinquent.

!!Tetsuo Shima
->Voiced by: Creator/NozomuSasaki (JP), Jan Rabson (EN, Streamline dub), Joshua Seth (EN, Animaze dub)
->''[[MemeticMutation Kanedaaaaaaaaaa!!!]]''

* AbstractApotheosis: To some degree, by the end, Tetsuo becomes more the personification of his own power than the character he began as.
* AdaptationalHeroism: While he isn't a hero by any definition in the movie either, Tetsuo is significantly more sympathetic and takes a much longer time to [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope take a flying leap off the slippery slope]] than he did in the manga.
* AGodAmI: To some degree.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: [[spoiler:Implied to be Tetsuo's fate in the end of the anime film, as his enormous psychic abilities led to him being the god of a new universe.]]
* ArtificialLimbs: He loses an arm to the KillSat then builds himself a robotic one out of pieces of scrap metal.
* AxCrazy: Moreso in the manga, where he simply kills people because he feels like it.
* BadassCape: In both manga and the anime film.
* BewareTheSuperman: A fair few undertones of this, given that his extraordinary power ends up destroying the lives of nearly everyone he comes into contact with.
* BigBad: While Tetsuo starts off just as confused as everybody else, he becomes the main antagonist eventually.
* BodyHorror: One of the most iconic scenes from the anime involves this. He also suffers from this in the manga, but over a longer period of time.
* BridalCarry: A tragic version. [[spoiler:Tetsuo carries Kaori this way all over Neo-Tokyo after she is shot to death by his own supporters.]]
* DespairEventHorizon: [[spoiler:After Kaori is killed. He goes to Akira's chamber without clear intentions, but seems to be tired of everything and loses control of his powers by the last time]].
* DrivenByEnvy: His motivation for lashing out against everyone and even his childhood friend Kaneda.
* EldritchAbomination: The sheer amount of BodyHorror caused by his SuperpowerMeltdown at the end turns him into one that consumes anything it touches. [[spoiler:The only thing that could stop him was Akira's resurrection and the subsequent birth of a new universe, which definitely adds Eldritch points.]]
* EmpoweredBadassNormal: After discovering his powers.
* EvilAlbino: In the final volume Tetsuo begins to mutate but is able to pull himself together. In his reconstituted form he appears unnaturally white because he lost all pigment in his skin and hair.
* ForeheadOfDoom: Gains a very noticeable one after he gains powerful psychic abilities.
* FreudianExcuse: Poor Tetsuo had to deal with bullies of various sorts his entire life until he discovered his powers.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: And ''how!''
* GoingColdTurkey: Tetsuo goes through agonizing withdrawal to quit the pills the scientists gave him [[spoiler:to keep him from losing control of the Power]]. He throws his stash into the sea.
* GoneHorriblyRight: The military succeeded only ''too'' well in unlocking Tetsuo's powers.
* HealingFactor: To wit, Tetsuo survives [[spoiler:multiple shootings, an overdose of medicine, an assassination attempt by Kei, his arm blown off by a KillSat, gassing with a specially-engineered biological weapon, and a missile landing on him]]. Dr. Onishi and the Colonel discuss his remarkable resilience.
* JapaneseDelinquents
* KickTheDog: Taking young and pretty girls to be his sex slaves, and encouraging them to take drugs that will most likely kill them.
* LimaSyndrome: In the manga, Tetsuo comes to feel some degree of sympathy for Kaori, even letting her take a nap with her head on his lap.
* NoSell: [[spoiler:When a Japanese-American soldier tries assassinating him with a new experimental weapon, it not only completely fails to take out Tetsuo, but also ''heals him'' from the SuperpowerMeltdown he was suffering from]].
* OrphansPlotTrinket: [[spoiler: As a child, Tetsuo has a locket with a woman's picture in it and he tells people it's a keepsake from his mother. He actually found it in the street and just pretends it's her in order to feel some connection with his parents]].
* OutOfTheInferno: Right before he starts fighting the military in the movie.
* ParentalAbandonment: [[spoiler: He did have parents, once upon a time, but it's implied they dumped him in an daycare orphanage and never came back for him. No wonder he became so screwed up later in life]].
* PersonOfMassDestruction
* PsychoticSmirk
* PutOnABus: In the manga. [[spoiler:After getting his arm shot off by the SOL satellite at the end of the second volume, Tetsuo flies off and is not seen again until the end of Volume 3.]]
* SanitySlippage: Suffers from this as time goes on.
* ShadowDictator: Akira is made out to be the ruler of the empire in the manga, but Tetsuo is really the one "ruling."
* ShrinkingViolet: Tetsuo was very introverted as a child.
* TheSociopath: Reads like a checklist for Antisocial Personality Disorder.
* SorcerousOverlord: Tetsuo after the third book. Just replace magic with psychic powers.
* SpikesOfVillainy: Tetsuo's hair. Becomes a lot more defined when he starts using his powers.
* SuperpowerMeltdown
* [[BulletCatch Tank Ammo Catch]]: Tetsuo does this ''with his mind'' in the movie.
* TookALevelInBadass: Thanks to his newly awakened powers!
* TragicMonster: In both continuities.
* VillainousBSOD: [[spoiler: After Kaori is shot to death in the manga, Tetsuo goes on a massive RoaringRampageOfRevenge]].
* WhosLaughingNow: To Kaneda.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Tetsuo goes crazy due to his severe inferiority complex being combined with psionic power beyond his wildest dreams.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Naturally.

->Voiced by: Creator/MamiKoyama (JP), Lara Cody (EN, Streamline dub), Creator/WendeeLee (EN, Animaze dub)

* ActionGirl: Shown when she fights Tetsuo.
* CharacterDevelopment: Begins the manga as a hardened militant who has no problem killing to achieve her group's objectives. As the story progresses, she turns away from violence and tries to spare lives when she can.
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: [[spoiler:While she shows traces of this in TheMovie, it's never explained why the espers chose her out of all the other people in Neo Tokyo, The manga explains that she herself has powers; but her powers are that of a medium.]]
%%* PluckyGirl
* PowersViaPossession: By allowing the Espers to possess her, Kei is able to use all their powers.
* WhatHaveIDone: In the movie, she shoots a soldier to save Kaneda, and completely freezes up afterwards. It's implied that she's never killed before.

!!Colonel Shikishima
->Voiced by: Taro Ishida (JP), Tony Mozdy (EN, Streamline dub), Creator/JamiesonPrice (EN, Animaze dub)

* ActionSurvivor: In TheMovie, he is one of the only four survivors. He also survives everything in the manga, though not unscathed.
* TheAtoner: In the later part of the manga, after he sees first hand what his evil plans have done to the nation he swore to protect.
* BadassMustache
* BloodKnight: While he is the OnlySaneMan of the military, Shikishima does not hesitate to enjoy a good fight, as being a soldier is the one thing he can do best.
* ColonelBadass
* OnlySaneMan: The movie can give this impression of him, given that he is dealing with heavily corrupt politicians on one side and researchers who [[ForScience don't seem willing to balance the potential benefits of their research against the demonstrably severe risks.]] He's trying to run the research program while also trying to minimize the risk to the surrounding city.
* PapaWolf: To the Espers, and also to Kaori in the movie. Because Tetsuo was advancing on her, he was the only one aside from Kaneda to score a hit with his gun.
* TookALevelInBadass: The Colonel, after the timeskip in the manga. Before, he's a very angry EliteMook who spends his whole time shouting conflicting orders. After, he's a much more thoughtful and outright heroic character who shows that he's a very badass fighter who's not to be messed with as time goes on, leading up to him attempting to take out Tetsuo head on.

* AmbiguousDisorder: His behavior in the manga heavily resembles nonverbal autism, but it is never given an official explanation.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence [[spoiler:The big explosion that left that massive crater was caused by him ascending into an energy form. E=mc^2 and all that.]]
* BrainInAJar: Only in the movie. [[spoiler:And only temporarily]].
%%* CreepyChild
* DeadAllAlong[=/=]PosthumousCharacter: [[spoiler:By thirty years in the movie. Subsequent resurrections notwithstanding.]]
%%* GoneHorriblyRight
%%* HumanoidAbomination
* HumanPopsicle: In the manga, he is placed into cryogenic storage while still alive. Tetsuo later thaws him out.
%%* {{Living MacGuffin}}
%%* PersonOfMassDestruction
%%* PsychicChildren
* NeurodiversityIsSupernatural: In the manga, he can barely speak or do anything by himself (Kaori has to feed him), but he's still the most powerful psychic in existence. However, it was never explained whether or not he was like that before the government experimented on his brain.
* SchrodingersCast: [[spoiler:Alive throughout the manga, but DeadAllAlong in the movie (though he gets better.)]]
%%* SealedEvilInACan
* TheStoic[=/=]TheUnfettered: Willing to stop Tetsuo in the later half of the manga by whatever means necessary. Barely emotes.
* TheyWouldCutYouUp: [[spoiler:In the movie they ''did'' after he died. However, he fails to stay cut up.]]
%%* TomTheDarkLord
%%* WhyAmITicking
%%* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds

!!Kiyoko, Takashi and Masaru
->Kiyoko is voiced by: Sachie Ito (JP), Melora Harte (EN, Streamline dub), Creator/SandyFox (EN, Animaze dub)
->Takashi is voiced by: Tatsuhiko Nakamura (JP), Creator/BarbaraGoodson (EN, Streamline dub), Cody [=MacKenzie=] (EN, Animaze dub)
->Masaru is voiced by: Kazuhiro Kando (JP), Creator/BobBergen (EN, Streamline dub)

* AfraidOfBlood: In the anime, the three are so terrified when Tetsuo cuts himself on a shard of glass [[spoiler:that it foils their attempt to assassinate him]].
* ApologeticAttacker: [[spoiler:Takashi uses his PsychicPowers to pretty much ''blow up'' a girl named Mozu, but it's clear that he saw it as the only alternative and apologizes to her before ''and'' after doing so.]]
* CreepyChild: All three can come across as this.
* GildedCage: The Nursery serves as this for the Espers, possibly because [[HeKnowsTooMuch they know too much]] about what the government intends to do with their psychic powers.
* GirlishPigtails: Kiyoko has braids, actually. Although she is far from youthful.
* HandicappedBadass: Masaru. Taking on a teenager who is wholly more powerful than he is takes a lot of balls.
* HarmfulToMinors: In both the manga and the film, Takashi watched a member of the resistance be gunned down by riot police. You can guess what happens next...
* IllGirl: Kiyoko is bedridden and has weaker health than the others. Masaru has polio and is confined to a wheelchair.
* MindOverMatter: Takashi and Masaru's powers.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Takashi being out on the road all by himself directly led to Tetsuo's motorcycle accident, which later led to Tetsuo's psychic powers emerging and a series of events that ultimately resulted in Neo-Tokyo being utterly demolished. [[SarcasmMode Thanks a lot, Takashi]].
* NeverGrewUp: Implied to have been a result of all the drugs they have to take. However, while they stayed children, their bodies aged prematurely, so they look unnaturally old.
* PsychicChildren
* OlderThanTheyLook: Due to the drugs and the experiments, the Espers aged prematurely, so they look like they're between their late-40's and early-50's.
* PinkIsFeminine: In the anime, Kiyoko is seen wearing pink clothes.
* PsychicLink: All three are mentally connected to Akira. [[spoiler:When Takashi is shot in the head by Nezumi, the surviving Espers scream in pain as they felt their friend dying in front of them]].
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler:Takashi, who gets shot in the head by Nezumi (who was most likely aiming for Akira instead.) And right when he had found Akira and was happily going to him! This completely causes an horrified Akira to fall in despair and fully release his powers, '''taking almost all of Neo Tokyo with him'''.]]
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Takashi, in the movie.]]
* TwoGuysAndAGirl: But since they're children, their relationship is platonic.
* WaifProphet: All of them, but especially Kiyoko.

->Voiced by: Creator/YurikoFuchizaki (JP), Creator/BarbaraGoodson (EN, Streamline dub), [[Creator/MichelleRuff Georgette Rose]] (EN, Animaze dub)

* BreakTheCutie: More like [[spoiler: crush the cutie]] in the anime.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler:In the anime. During Tetsuo's mutation he accidentally crushes her, ''and we see everything.'']]
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: In the manga, she is Tetsuo's closest confidante and the one he turns to when he needs to be consoled. When she [[spoiler:is shot to death in an attempted coup, Tetsuo's grief leads to his losing his grip on the power completely.]]
* LoveMartyr
* MoralityChain: She's one of the few persons Tetsuo cares for. [[spoiler:When she dies in the manga, he went APESHIT.]]
* StockholmSyndrome: In the manga, Kaori comes to feel sympathy towards Tetsuo, despite the fact he forcibly recruited her and tried to turn her into a sex slave.
** AMatchMadeInStockholm: Compare it with Tetsuo's LimaSyndrome towards her.
* TokenGoodTeammate: To the Great Tokyo Empire.

!!Lady Miyako
->Voiced by: Koichi Kitamura (JP), Drew Thomas (EN, Streamline dub), William Frederick (EN, Animaze dub)

* [[AFatherToHisMen A Mother To Her Followers]]: She deeply cares for her followers and anyone under her protection. [[spoiler:When Sakaki is morally wounded by the Colonel's soldiers, Miyako senses her death and screams the girl's name. She grieves her loss for the rest of the manga]].
%%* BigGood
* BlindSeer
* DemotedToExtra: In the film, she's a religious zealot.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: While probably coincidental, she seems to play a very similar role to Mother Abigail in ''TheStand''.
** Then again, the book does seem to have a decent following in Japan. Creator/NaokiUrasawa is also a fan.
* GambitPileup: Engaged in one with the military. Basically she can't directly expose the truth about their experiments because it would cost her the cult she built around herself and they can't expose her as a fraud without publicly acknowledging their own misdeeds, all while they both try to undermine each other behind the scenes.
* GodGuise[=/=]ScamReligion: A somewhat more benevolent example than most. She uses the powers she got from the government's experiments to convince people she's a MessianicArchetype in order to gain followers to help her bring down the sadistic military industrial complex that ruined her life. She does seem to genuinely care about her followers, doing all she can to help people after the city is destroyed and even seems to believe some of her own hype, as she considers her powers and those of the other psychics to be a manifestation of some greater mystical force that the military simply blundered into discovering.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: She goes to battle a mutated Tetsuo with a couple of her followers so Kiyoko and Masaru can be protected, despite Tetsuo being way powerful than them]].
* LettingHerHairDown: [[spoiler: Does this as in the last volume as she prepares to battle a mutated Tetsuo]].
* MentorArchetype: Assists Kei in [[spoiler:honing her skills as a medium]].
** ProphetEyes
** TeamMom
** WomanInWhite
* ParentalFavoritism: It is implied that although she loves all her followers, Sakaki has a special place in her heart. [[spoiler: When Sakaki is killed, Miyako spends the rest of the manga grieving her death]].
* TechnicalPacifist: Miyako and her empowered monks try to repel an invasion of the temple by Empire soldiers non-lethally.

!!Sakaki, Mozu and Miki
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: Miki looks older than the other three girls and acts very aloof.
%%* AmazonBrigade
* BlondesAreEvil: Toyed with in regards to the blonde Mozu. She's not exactly ''evil'', but very ruthless [[AttackAttackAttack and attacks others without thinking of the consequences]]. [[spoiler: So much that she won't stop attacking Takashi even when he tries pleading with her, causing him to release his powers and kill her in self-defense.]]
%%* BoyishShortHair: Mozu
%%* CreepyChild: The three of them.
%%* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl
* FatGirl: Mozu is noticeably plumper than the other girls. [[LightningBruiser It doesn't exactly stop her.]]
%%* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Miki]]
%%* HotBlooded: Sakaki
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler:Sakaki]] goes absolutely apeshit when she sees [[spoiler:Takashi]] a while after [[spoiler:he kills Mozu in front of her.]]
-->'[[spoiler:'''Sakaki''']]: "YOU KILLED [[spoiler: MOZU]]! I'LL KILL YOU!"
%%* ShortHairWithTail: Sakaki
* TrueCompanions: They see each other as such. [[spoiler:Miki calls out to Sakaki and Mozu when she's shot to death to cover their escape, and later Sakaki is '''horrified''' when Mozu dies.]]
%%* TykeBomb
* UndyingLoyalty: The three girls are totally devoted to their leaderess, Miyako, [[IOweYouMyLife who took them into her group and gave them something to live for]].
%%* [[WomanInWhite Young Girls In White]]

* AdaptedOut: Sadly, she does not appear at all in the movie.
%%* BadAss
* BrawnHilda: However, she's not very ugly.
* GenreSavvy: Tells Kaneda that she thinks the food is poisoned.
** CassandraTruth: And it is.
* MamaBear: Never EVER touch anyone in her protectorate. Like Kei, or [[spoiler:the psychic children]]

%%* AmbiguouslyBrown
* DemotedToExtra: In TheMovie, we only see him in the very beginning.
* EnemyMine: He and Kaneda form an alliance to fight against Tetsuo's "empire."
%%* GeniusBruiser
* HeelFaceTurn: In the manga, he helps fight against Tetsuo.
* MonsterClown: Averted in the manga where he becomes pretty friendly.
* ScaryBlackMan: Sort of. His face is pretty Asian-looking, but he has very dark skin.

->Voiced by: Hiroshi Otake (JP), Tony Mozdy (EN, Streamline dub), Ray Michaels (EN, Animaze dub)

%%* FatBastard
* MeaningfulName: His name means rat in Japanese.
* TheMole: Nezu is the anti-government group's spy in the Executive Council, but [[DoubleAgent he's perfectly willing to stab both sides in the back.]]
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: In the manga. [[spoiler: He tries to shoot and kill Akira but winds up accidentally shooting Takashi in the head, which causes Akira to have a ''massive'' FreakOut and destroy Neo Tokyo, reducing it to a post-apocalyptic wasteland ruled by two different factions.]]
%%* SmugSnake

!!Kaisuke / "Kai"
->Voiced by: Creator/TakeshiKusao (JP), Creator/BobBergen (EN, Streamline dub), Creator/MatthewMercer (EN, Animaze dub)

* ActionSurvivor: He manages to survive the entire manga, ''and'' in the movie, is one of the four main survivors. (The other three being Kaneda, Kei, and the Colonel)
* {{Adorkable}}: Even though he's part of a biker gang, he definitely comes across as this.
* AmbiguouslyGay: There is a lot of debate on this. He certainly does seem the neatest, best-dressed of the gang, he's pretty small, he cries when he tells Kaneda that Yamagata got killed, and he's ''really'' happy when Kaneda is found alive.
%%* JapaneseDelinquents
%%* SharpDressedMan

->Voiced by: Masaaki Ōkura (JP), Tony Mozdy (EN, Streamline dub), Michael Lindsay (EN, Animaze dub)

%%* BookDumb
%%* JapaneseDelinquents
* PipePain: Weapon of choice.
* VikingFuneral: Yamagata gets the bosozoku version of this in the animé, with Kaneda deliberately crashing his bike.
--> '''Kaneda:''' I'm gonna send Yamagata his wheels...

* LibationForTheDead: Ryu pours out his flask for a fallen comrade at the scene of his death.
* DrowningMySorrows: In the manga, he does this to cope with the deaths of his friends.
%%* LaResistance