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

%%* AffectionatePickpocket
* BadassBiker: Stands out as this because of his CoolBike.
* ButtMonkey: Gets the most amount of punishment without 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.
* 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''.
%%* {{Delinquents}}
* {{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!!!]]''

* 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.
* BigBad: While Tetsuo starts off just as confused as everybody else, he becomes the main antagonist eventually.
%%* BodyHorror
* 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
* 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.
* FreudianExcuse: Poor Tetsuo had to deal with bullies of various sorts his entire life until he discovered his powers.
%%* FromNobodyToNightmare
* GoneHorriblyRight: The military succeeded only ''too'' well in unlocking Tetsuo's powers.
%%* JapaneseDelinquents
* 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.
* OutOfTheInferno: Right before he starts fighting the military in the movie.
%%* ParentalAbandonment
%%* 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
* 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
%%* 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.
* GirlishPigtails: Kiyoko, although she is far from youthful.
%%* HandicappedBadass: Masaru
* IllGirl: Kiyoko is bedridden and has weaker health than the others. Masaru has polio and is confined to a wheelchair.
* NeverGrewUp: Implied to have been a result of all the drugs they have to take.
%%* PsychicChildren
* 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: Although their relationship is a rather platonic friendship.
* 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]].
* 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.

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

%%* BigGood
%%* BlindSeer
* DemotedToExtra: In the film.
* 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.
* MentorArchetype: Assists Kei in [[spoiler:honing her skills as a medium]].
%%* ProphetEyes
%%* TeamMom
%%* WomanInWhite

!!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.]]
%%* 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