[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/82163_slip.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350: Heh, heh... what's happened to me? I must be dreaming. I feel like I can take out the world.]]-]

->'''''"NEO-TOKYO IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE"'''''

''Akira'' (sometimes spelled ''AKIRA'' to differentiate between the work and the title character) is the name of a post apocalyptic [[ScienceFiction sci-fi]] {{Manga}} first released in 1982 and its movie adaptation released in 1988. It is the most recognizable of Creator/KatsuhiroOtomo's works.

In July 1988 (or, in the original manga, at 2:17 P.M. on December 6th, 1982[[labelnote:*]]That's exactly the date in which the manga started to be published[[/labelnote]]), [[TheTokyoFireball a mysterious black-domed explosion]] destroys UsefulNotes/{{Tokyo}} and sets off WorldWarIII. [[TimeSkip 31 (or 38, depending on whether it's the manga or the film you're dealing with) years later]], the rebuilt city -- now known as "Neo-Tokyo" -- has fallen into decay, corruption, and crime.

During a night of civil unrest, as people take to the streets to protest the government, a turf war between two biker gangs rages, only to be halted when a hideously aged escapee from the government is nearly run over by one of the gangsters, using mysterious powers to defend himself and severely injuring the gangster -- a young, nervous kid named Tetsuo. Moments later, the escapee is taken back into custody by the army. However, they also decide to take Tetsuo with them. He then becomes the newest test subject for the "Akira Project", an initiative to imbue capable subjects with telekinetic powers. But when Tetsuo's powers awaken, the combination of an inferiority complex harbored since childhood with power beyond Tetsuo's wildest dreams [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity waste no time in driving him insane]]. He escapes the lab and goes on a super-powered rampage through Neo-Tokyo, killing and destroying everything in his path. It falls to a handful of people, including Capsule leader and Tetsuo's friend Kaneda, to put a stop to the destruction.

There was a highly-acclaimed {{Anime}} movie adaptation made in 1988. It's widely different outside the above mentioned premise. It is primarily known for its great animation, as well as the MindScrew plot, since it primarily focuses on events from the first third of the manga, while simultaneously removing or incorporating plot lines from later in the manga as well as rewriting a few plot points. The film was one of the things that helped disprove the AnimationAgeGhetto, at least for Anime in the West, and is still considered a landmark anime in the US. It has been dubbed twice into English, first in 1988 by Kondansha and distributed by Creator/StreamlinePictures (which lead to a misconception that Streamline produced it themselves) and then in 2001 by Animaze via Pioneer (later known as Creator/{{Geneon}}).

Being over 2000 pages in six hefty volumes, the story the original manga tells is much longer than the film. It is more violent and focuses more on politics. Critical plot developments in the film are often {{Late Arrival Spoiler}}s in the manga. The series is notable for being the very first comic book series to utilize entirely computer coloring, when it was first released in the US by Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}}'s Epic Comics in the late 80s/early 90s. Later English editions from Dark Horse and Kodansha Comics USA restore the original black-and-white artwork, but the pages remain flipped from left-to-right.

An Americanized LiveActionAdaptation[=/=]ForeignRemake had been proposed in 2002, but it spent much of that time in DevelopmentHell with little progress made. The project seemed to be officially cancelled in 2014... Until it was announced in 2015 that Marco Ramirez (who has written for ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'', ''Series/DaVincisDemons'', and ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'') was signed on to write a screenplay for a potential trilogy of films based on the manga. It is ambiguous if the original setting will be retained for the film.

Meanwhile, the [[http://www.akira-project.com Akira Project]] is a crowd-sourced live-action fan trailer which does justice to the source material. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1GO-93Nt3c See the result here]].

Not to be mistaken with Creator/AkiraIshida, Creator/AkiraKamiya, Creator/AkiraToriyama, Creator/AkiraKurosawa, Music/AkiraIfukube (the guy who composed the ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' theme) or Music/AkiraYamaoka (who composed most of the ''Franchise/SilentHill'' games). Or [[TetrisTheGrandMaster Arika]], for that matter.

Oh, and it's [[NoPronunciationGuide pronounced]] "AH-kee-rah", not "uh-KAI-ruh" or "uh-KEE-ruh." Don't mess it up, [[FandomBerserkButton or else]].
----

!!Tropes

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:General]]
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Neo-Tokyo's sewers are spacious enough to patrol them with flying craft.
* ActionGirl: Many of the female cast, most notably Kei who is a resistance fighter [[spoiler:and a psychic medium [[WillingChanneler who can let other psychics possess her and fight through her]] in the manga.]]
* AfterTheEnd: We start with "old" Tokyo already nuked, then Neo-Tokyo gets nuked again but the story continues anyway.
* AlternateContinuity: Though they have similar beginnings and underlying themes, the movie and the manga diverge rather early and become two different stories. Character origins, deaths, and sometimes personalities are different. And while the endings look the same, [[spoiler: the manga implies Tetsuo is gone for good, having been consumed by Akira, while the movie leaves it open to interpretation.]]
* AnimalMotifs: [[spoiler:Mr. Nezu (Japanese for "rat"), a small, greedy, cowardly man with big teeth. Miyako alternatively calls him a "mouse" in the manga.]]
* ApocalypseHow: Regional catastrophe.
* ApocalypseWow: First the prologue that depicts the destruction of "old" Tokyo. After that, the anime and manga diverge.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: It seems that every other character in Akira is a seasoned criminal on their own; the tamest example would be Kei, who has committed murder, trespassing, various degrees of assault and the hijacking of a moped.
* ArtificialLimbs: Tetsuo's right arm, molded into a highly-sophisticated looking artificial limb of complex circuit boards, nerves, and gears, all made from random junk. Impressive.
* AsimovsThreeKindsOfScienceFiction: Adventure
* BigGuyFatalitySyndrome: [[spoiler:Yamagata.]]
* BlackComedy: From time to time...
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler:Tetsuo's horrific mutation scene, which turns him into a disgusting mockery of the human body - expanding his arms, limbs, musculature, and organs to gigantic levels, constantly shifting and re-shifting until he's bursting at the seams, until he resembles a cross between a cancer patient, a car crash victim, a vivisection exhibition, an EldritchAbomination and an amoeba.]]
* BombThrowingAnarchists: The government resistance group seems largely concerned with attacking government installations for some reason.
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl: Tetsuo - who constantly angsts over the fact he's not cool, criminal, and cocky like Kaneda and the rest of his gang - and Kaori, a shy, quiet girl who stays by his side, even after he turns abusive from his burgeoning powers and growing insanity.
* CallForward: Neo-Tokyo is planning to host the [[RealLife 2020 Summer Olympics...]]
* CaptainErsatz: Tetsuo gets a nice ton of [[ShoutOut shout-outs]] in most media. For example, [[Manga/{{Naruto}} Gaara]] and [[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters K9999]] (so much so that K9999 was [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute substituted]] out of continuity.)
* CentralTheme: The anger and frustration of youth, which powers both Kaneda's (eventually) heroic journey, Tetsuo's backlash at the world and powering his insane desire to rule it, and the background riots.
* ClippedWingAngel: [[spoiler:Once Tetsuo's [[SuperPowerMeltdown powers run out of control and beyond his own abilities,]] he mutates into a hideous, deformed, ever-expanding blob of flesh that causes him insane pain and turns him into nothing more than an amoeba who can only consume. In this state, he can't even deflect weaponry like he used to.]]
* ComicBookTime: The Japanese edition of the manga had the destruction of Tokyo occurred on December 6th, 1982, which happened to be the date that ''Akira'' made its debut on ''Young Magazine''. The English editions, which began publication in 1989, moved it to 1992. The movie has it occur on July 16th, 1988, the day that the movie had its Japanese theatrical debut.
** Subverted quite by accident in the throwaway element of the Olympics that was meant to be happening in the stadium that has been repurposed by the military... [[RealLife The (Neo-)Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.]]
* ComingOfAgeStory: Both the manga and anime, ''especially'' the manga. The main characters go through world-catastrophic events that forces them through CharacterDevelopment.
* CoolBike: Essentially every member of the biker gangs have cool bikes but special mention has to go to Kaneda's souped-up red bike that has glowing wheels. It's suggested he stole it. It's often displayed on merchandise, and the most iconic image [[spoiler:that ''isn't'' Tetsuo's mutation scene.]]
* CrapsackWorld: The original Tokyo is a nuclear wasteland while the new one has roaming biker gangs, a corrupt near-fascist government, food riots, a crumbling infrastructure where apathetic teachers teach apathetic kids, and a rebellion that isn't all that far removed from the government in terms of morality. That's just the initial setting. It gets worse. In the movie, Nezu compares the city to an "overripe fruit" while the Colonel calls it "a garbage heap made up of a bunch of hedonistic fools."
* CreepyChild:
** [[RuleOfThree Kiyoko, Takashi and Masaru]] come off as this due to being WiseBeyondTheirYears and how wizened they look compared to their childlike bodies.
** Also, to some degree, Lady Miyako and her underlings Sakaki, Mozu and Miki. In the manga, [[spoiler:Akira himself.]]
* {{Cyberpunk}}: A TropeCodifier.
* DeadlyUpgrade: Tetsuo's psychic powers.
* DeliveryGuyInfiltration: The underground activists infiltrate the military research compound where Tetsuo is being held by pretending to come for cable repair service.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: Kaneda shows no fear confronting a super-powered Tetsuo, even barking orders at him. Of course, from his point-of-view it's just his own childhood friend Tetsuo.
* DramaticChaseOpening: The story starts with Kaneda's gang chasing the Clown Gang through Neo-Tokyo.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Kiyoko and Tetsuo both have portentious dreams about the future.
* {{Flashback}}: Tetsuo gets to experience ones from his own memory. Kaneda sees the Espers' points of view during the endings; this is the only real way we get their {{Backstory}}.
* ForScience: [[spoiler:The reason why the government started experimenting with psychic powers in the first place. It's also implied there was a heavy military component to it.]]
* FrickinLaserBeams: The SOL and Kaneda's laser cannon. The SOL is more WaveMotionGun, though.
* FriendlyTarget: After Tetsuo fully gives in to his delusions of power and escapes custody, he targets his old gang [[ForTheEvulz for kicks]] and as vengeance for what he sees as being treated as the runt of the pack. His first victim is [[spoiler:Yamagata]], and whatever happened to him was ''not'' pleasant.
* TheGlomp: Kaneda gets a big ol' glomp from Kaisuke when the latter sees that he's alive.
* GoalOrientedEvolution: [[spoiler:The plot in a nutshell is pretty much mocking the idea: the government project is attempting to "accelerate evolution" I.E. produce humans with PsychicPowers. [[GoneHorriblyRight They have succeeded at this]], but fail in giving those humans the RequiredSecondaryPowers to keep them from [[SuperPowerMeltdown ravaging their bodies]] or [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity driving them insane]]. Natural evolution ''doesn't'' do dumb shit like that; that's why we don't have bats with super-hearing but without brains that can decipher sonar, or eagles with super-vision but no flash-dampening to prevent the light from ruining their eyes. As Kei puts it, it's as if they were trying to make amoebas with human strength, stamina and dexterity...]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Kei (anime)''': ''But amoebas don't build motorcycles or atomic bombs! They just eat up whatever gets in their way.'']]
* GovernmentConspiracy: The government engineers children with near-godlike psychic powers.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Most characters are at least a little sympathetic, even though they are all violent gang members, psychotic monsters, or militants.
* HarmfulToMinors: [[spoiler:The Espers and Akira were subjected to experimentation at the hands of the government that gave them PsychicPowers - possibly ForScience, possibly for GoalOrientedEvolution, possibly for [[{{Tykebomb}} weapons]], or all three. The manga stated that the experiments were so ''horrific'' that many of the child test subjects either died or survived with severe physical and/or mental handicaps. During the Espers' flashback in the anime, the Espers were shown strapped down to operating tables and hooked up to machines before the procedures started, with Kiyoko fearfully struggling against a doctor putting a breathing mask on her.]]
* InformedAttractiveness: Kei. Kaneda comments how attractive she is just by seeing her picture and is so influenced by her looks he manages to weasel her out of the police station, but for the most part [[OnlySixFaces she doesn't really look that different from any other female]].
* JapaneseDelinquents: The biker gangs.
* KillSat: SOL and Floyd. SOL in particular bears the distinction of being the first anime Kill Sat that many western anime watchers have seen (but is not the first anime Kill Sat period -- that honor belongs to the one in Manga/CatsEye).
* KillTheCutie: Poor, ''poor'' [[spoiler: Takashi]] and [[spoiler: Kaori]]...
* LaResistance: Kei and Ryu's rebellion.
* LicensedGame: An adventure game / visual novel was created in 1988 for the {{UsefulNotes/Famicom}}. It was translated by fans in April 2012.
* LiveActionAdaptation: According to Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}, in the early 1990s, Kodansha Ltd. was in negotiation with Sony Pictures to produce a live-action remake of the film. Talk circulated again a decade later, but the project has yet to materialize. Rumors circulated that the project was canceled in both instances when the projected budget for the film was upwards of $300 million. Talks began again as Creator/WarnerBros signed on to produce the movie with Stephen Norrington (writer) and Jon Peters (producer). Akira was to be developed into two live action films; the first was to be scheduled for a summer 2009 release. Warner Brothers and Appian Way planned to adapt the two movies from the manga, with each one covering three volumes. Ruairi Robinson signed on as director, Gary Whitta wrote the script and Andrew Lazar, Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio, and Jennifer Davisson were to produce the film. As recently as 2010, Lazar was still talking about getting the film out of DevelopmentHell--but as of January 2012 the film project was cancelled.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters The Movie wasn't exactly light on the amount of characters. The manga however takes the cake. Even minor movie characters have a greatly expanded role. On top of that, all are very much relevant to the overall plot and integral to how things work out.
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler:Nezu. This is more apparent in the manga, where he betrays both Kaneda and Co., Lady Miyako, and Ryu in order to get Akira. His plans backfire quite spectacularly in both versions, with the manga version having him unsuccessfully trying to kill Akira so no-one else can use him]].
* MeaningfulName: Nezu. [[spoiler:It means "rat".]]
* MindOverMatter: The source of Tetsuo and Akira's powers.
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: WorldOfPhlebotinum
* MohsScaleOfViolenceHardness: Solid Level 9.
* {{Motifs}}:
** The image of a capsule is repeated throughout the story. It appears on the logo on Kaneda's jacket, the name of the gang, the drugs the gang members take, the PsychoSerum Tetsuo depends on, and, in the movie, the [[spoiler: containers that store the remains of Akira]].
** The double helix shows up several times in the manga, such as when Akira forms a twisted ladder out of pieces of rubble.
* NewNeoCity: Neo-Tokyo.
* NoFEMAResponse: Justified as, by the time major humanitarian aid efforts are on their way to Neo-Tokyo, Tetsuo and his followers have already organized the survivors into a militantly isolationist cult who attack the relief workers.
* NoNewFashionsInTheFuture: It's 2019/2030, but the fashions of most people still look like they did in TheEighties; the government agents with 70's-style hair (in the first volume) and girls with legwarmers come to mind in particular. Not so bad with the business suits and military outfits, as those ''[[TruthInTelevision have]]'' been relatively unchanged, as they have been for a much larger timeframe than the gap between when ''Akira'' was made and when it takes place.
* NostalgiaHeaven: The old playground as it appears in Tetsuo's mind.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Tetsuo and Kaneda develop this attitude toward each other.
* ParentalAbandonment: Tetsuo; no doubt also Kaneda and the others.
* ThePatientHasLeftTheBuilding: Tetsuo runs away from the secret hospital with gauze still wrapped around his head.
* PetTheDog: The only person Tetsuo shows any kindness and tenderness to is Kaori and he is [[spoiler:greatly saddened by her death]].
* PowerGlows: Anything/anyone that makes things blow up tends to glow just before it happens.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: In the manga [[spoiler:the Espers use it decisively during the final battle against Tetsuo by appealing to their reawakened friend, Akira, to use his power once more to create a new universe to contain Tetsuo's expanding power. Later, the children tell Kaneda that one of the perks of being a psychic is gaining a new circle of friends who understand each other perfectly, without words. They even name their former antagonist Tetsuo as one of their friends, leading one to think that this new universe will be a place of harmony.]]
* PstandardPsychicPstance: The three children more than Tetsuo or Akira.
* PsychicPowers: Akira, Tetsuo, and the Espers Kiyoko, Takashi, and Masaru. [[spoiler:Kei turns out to be [[WillingChanneler a medium capable of channeling the powers of other psychics through her (younger and healthier) body]]]].
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Takashi, Kiyoko, and Masaru. Closer to NeverGrewUp, but with shades (wrinkles?) of this.
* RealityWarper: Akira. Tetsuo also became one in the end.
* [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Real Life Mirrors The Plot]]: Katsuhiro Otomo chose 2019 as a sufficiently distant time in the future, even using that Neo-Tokyo was hosting the Olympics in the following year... completely failing to expect that Tokyo '''WOULD''' get the Olympics in 2020 '''''FOR REAL'''''.
* SayMyName: "KANEDAAAAA!" "TETSUOOOO!"
* SceneryGorn: Post-apocalyptic hellscapes are rarely given such attention.
* SceneryPorn: While it's mostly SceneryGorn, the background scenery are absolutely ''breathtaking''. It helped that [[WordOfGod Otomo]] was once studied architecture.
* SchrodingersCast: Takashi lives in the movie, but [[spoiler:is shot to death in the manga]]. Meanwhile, Akira is alive in the manga but [[spoiler:is dead in the movie ([[BackFromTheDead though he briefly gets better]])]].
* ScienceIsBad: [[spoiler:If it weren't for government scientists deciding to give people psychic powers, the story would not have happened.]]
* SealedEvilInACan: The military's perception of Akira. [[PersonOfMassDestruction Fairly accurate]].
* {{Seers}}: Kiyoko has precognitive abilities.
* ShoutOut: Shoutarou Kaneda's full name is the same as the KidHero from ''Anime/{{Gigantor}}''. Gigantor itself was a secret military weapon, just like Akira and they were both number 28. In fact Otomo himself stated that Akira was essentially a retelling of ''Anime/{{Gigantor}}''
* SleepyHead: Kiyoko is so physically weak that she's always confined to her bed. It's implied that the drugs the Espers have to take to limit their power, combined with [[spoiler:the government experimenting on them]], made her that way.
* SmugSnake: [[spoiler:Nezu and Tetsuo's Aide. It didn't end well for both of them.]]
* SpecialPersonNormalName: Akira is a very common given name in Japan.
* SphereOfDestruction: The black dome that wipes out Tokyo and Neo-Tokyo. [[spoiler:Both times, it was caused by Akira.]]
* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: All of the psychics get this treatment during their experimentations.
* SuperSerum: The military uses drugs to kickstart the development of psychic powers, but they ultimately prevent the user from reaching their full potential (partly as a safety measure).
* TechnologyPorn: More-so in the manga than the film, but slick technology plays a pretty big part of both stories.
* TeensAreMonsters: Teens are depicted as volatile and dangerous, if not evil. Characters include rioting student protesters, drug-addled thugs, and terrorists. Zig-zagged in the manga in that the restlessness and energy that makes the kids so destructive also prepares them to [[spoiler: create a new society out of the ashes of Neo-Tokyo]].
* TerroristsWithoutACause: Kei and Ryu's organization opposes the government but that's all we're told. Just ''why'' they're opposed is never revealed. It's not impossible to think it's a good reason when it's revealed [[spoiler: all of the psychics were created through experimentation, to be used as weapons. Who knows just what else the Neo-Tokyo government might have been doing?]]
* TheTokyoFireball: Several times in the form of black domes.
-->"Tetsuo's our friend. If anyone gets to kill him, it should be us!"
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: There is [[TheTokyoFireball the destruction of Tokyo]] within the first few seconds of the prologue. Neo-Tokyo is constructed adjacent to the God-sized crater. By the end of the movie, Neo-Tokyo is also toast. They can't seem to catch a break.
* {{Tomboy}}: Kei.
* TorturedMonster: Tetsuo suffers terribly [[spoiler: during his mutation]]
* TronLines: From the bikes.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: It is set roughly in the early twenty-first century (it was made in 1988).
* UsedFuture: The decaying, rundown Neo-Tokyo.
* ViceCity: Neo-Tokyo is filled with crime and corruption.
* YourHeadASplode: Generally, a lot of people.
* {{Zeerust}}: Chunky computers without touch screens are still in use in 2019. ''Partially'' justified by technology being held back by TheTokyoFireball and subsequent conflicts. Also, no digital cameras. Ryu at one point gives Nezu a roll of film to develop.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:1988 Movie Only]]
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Kei's reaction to Kaneda and Kai's banter about the latter's bike being on fire.
* AdaptationalAlternateEnding: [[spoiler:The original manga has Tetsuo defeated by Akira and merely killed when Akira's psychic explosion intentionally cancels out his own and absorbs Tetsuo, and Akira is still alive.]] In the movie adaptation, [[spoiler: Akira is dead to begin with, and instead of killing Tetsuo when he returns in corporeal form, he seals him in another dimension where it's implied he becomes the God of it.]]
* AdaptationDistillation: A feature length film adaptation of a 2,000-page manga. The film follows the manga fairly closely up until Tetsuo gets to Akira, then jumps right over [[spoiler:the post-apocalyptic plot arc that took up half the manga]] and goes straight into Testuo losing control of his power in the finale.
* AdaptationalEarlyAppearance:
** In the manga, Kaori doesn't show up until halfway into the series. In the movie, however, she's there from the beginning.
** Yamagata's death. In the manga, he gets killed at the end of the first volume. In the film, he doesn't die until more than halfway into the story.
* AdaptationalHeroism:
** Colonel Shikishima treats the Esper children more nicely and comes across as the OnlySaneMan in the government as well as the much better choice as leader of Tokyo when compared to [[ObstructiveBureaucrat the other guys in the same boat]].
** While Kaneda is still no perfect hero, some of his nastier traits he displayed in the manga were suspiciously cut out in the anime.
* AirVentPassageway: Kaneda tries to escape custody through the ventilation duct. He doesn't get far though.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: [[spoiler:Implied to what happened to Akira, Tetsuo, and the Espers.]]
* BattleAura: Tetsuo sports a red one during his battles.
* BerserkButton: "Grrr! [[MaamShock Don't ever call me old man, you little punk! You listen here, kid; I'm only 25 years old, I'm not even married yet!]] So watch your mouth, get out of here!"
* BlownAcrossTheRoom: Happens twice near the end when the Colonel shoots Tetsuo with a handgun and Kaneda shoots him with a laser rifle (which both have no impact at all).
* BrickJoke: While Kaneda and his gang are at the police station, a fanatical member of LaResistance tries to bomb the place with a grenade. The grenade fizzles, and the resistance member gets beat up by police. After Kaneda leaves the station with Kei, the grenade goes off.
* BulletDodgesYou: Tetsuo's power renders bullets useless.
* CombiningMecha: The psychic kids' giant killer toys are actually constructed from lots of normal-sized toys.
* ConspicuousCGI: The brainwave pattern indicator that Doctor Ōnishi uses to measure Tetsuo's abilities. It especially sticks out since it's the only thing in the entire film to use CGI; the rest is regular cel animation.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Tetsuo digs up Akira's cryogenic capsule only to find out that he's nothing but preserved organs. [[VillainousBreakdown He doesn't take it well]].]]
* DelayedExplosion: The dud grenade BrickJoke.
* DemotedToExtra
** Lady Miyako, a big key player in the fight against Tetsuo in the manga, gets roughly ten seconds of screen time in which she ''praises'' Tetsuo, as she believes he's the new Akira. And then she's [[WeHardlyKnewYe quickly killed]] when Tetsuo takes out the bridge she's standing on.
** The Joker gets this as well. Though he appears in one of the film's most memorable scenes battling Kaneda and his gang, that's the ''only'' scene he appears in, whereas in the manga he becomes a fairly major character, being forced to deal with Tetsuo's antics when the latter usurps control of the Clown gang so he can get drugs and towards the end of the series becomes a valuable ally of the heroes.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: From the Animaze dub: "Those are army helicopters! It's the army!"
* DiesWideOpen: [[spoiler:Nezu dies this way from a crushing heart attack. Ryu, too, after spending his last moments watching the people rioting throughout the city.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: A giant teddy bear with a snake arm that gushes milk? [[BlatantLies That can't mean anything]].
* DueToTheDead: [[spoiler:Kaneda ritually crashes his friend Yamagata's bike, sending it to the afterlife after him, immediately after learning of his death at the hands of Tetsuo, in a possible ShoutOut to ''Film/{{Stunts}}''.]]
* EarlyBirdCameo: Kaori shows up along with the girls dating the rest of Kaneda's Capsule gang in this version; she and Tetsuo are already together.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: If you look carefully during the scene where Tetsuo first begins to hallucinate you can see a series of events that happen later in the movie like [[spoiler: Tetsuo's rampage on the city, his fight with Kaneda, Tetsuo's mutation, Kaori's death, and his flashbacks to when he first met Kaneda]].
* GainaxEnding: After two fairly straightforward acts of action and exposition, the finale of the film is surreal.
* GenreShift: While the manga focused mainly on action and political intrigue, the movie has a lot more psychological horror involved.
* GlassShatteringSound: The creepy child early on, in response to the death of his companion.
* HairRaisingHare: A giant killer plush rabbit attacks Tetsuo while he's in the hospital. [[spoiler:It's actually Kiyoko in disguise trying to kill Tetsuo to avert a prophecy foretelling Neo-Tokyo's destruction]]
* AGodAmI: Akira and Tetsuo to some degree; [[spoiler: at the end, possibly A Universe Am I]].
* IllGirl: Kiyoko is physically weak and constantly bedridden. Masaru is a male example who was afflicted with polio at a young age.
* IronicNurseryTune: The jingling toy bells and squeaking as the killer toys attack.
* JawDrop: Kaneda and the Colonel each start sporting noticeable, epically drawn-out ones [[spoiler:upon witnessing Tetsuo's horrific mutation]].
* LipLock: The film's MouthFlaps are unusually well animated for a Japanese cartoon, which has caused translators no shortage of grief.
* TheMenInBlack: Practically the quintessential definition of this trope appears briefly to intimidate the Capsules when Tetsuo is being taken away a second time. Black suit, black tie, white shirt, black opaque glasses, mute, and seemingly 7 feet tall.
* MoodWhiplash:
** The juxtaposition of the happy cartoon dogs with the ravenous police dogs that get shot very messily in short order.
** For a film with so much hard violence and horror, Kaneda has a surprising number of slapstick comedy bits. That is also common in the manga.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: The film's soundtrack combines ancient Buddhist chants and instrumentals with futuristic techno.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In the end, the psychic kids summon Akira to take out Tetsuo, in the process destroying Neo-Tokyo. In the manga, Neo-Tokyo had already been destroyed by Akira at this point.
* NonSerialMovie: A sequel was never made even though the manga continued long after the events of the anime.
* ObsessiveCompulsiveBarkeeping: When Tetsuo goes to a bar after gaining his powers, the bartender is cleaning out a glass.
* OminousLatinChanting: There are some Latin lyrics in [[http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/akira/requiem.htm "Requiem"]].
* OminousPipeOrgan: Requiem again.
* OneWordTitle
* OvertookTheManga: The movie came out in 1988, but the manga was not finished until 1990. Although the film was mostly based on the first two parts of the manga, the film and book have very similar endings.
* PapaWolf: The Colonel to Kaori, whom he tried to protect [[spoiler:from a mutating and rampaging Tetsuo.]]
* PillarOfLight: The laser coming down from SOL (the Japanese orbital satellite).
* PragmaticAdaptation: Due to the necessity of cutting down a 2,000-page manga into a feature length movie, [[spoiler:the post-apocalyptic story arc that took up almost half of the manga was cut out entirely.]]
* ProductPlacement: Ever-present. Kaneda's motorcycle has company logos plastered all over it, including Canon, Citizen, Shoei and Arai. It also sports a US Air Force roundel.
* RealMenWearPink: Kaneda wears a pink polo shirt, though this wasn't quite as girly to audiences in TheEighties.
* RecurringRiff: Tetsuo's {{leitmotif}} begins with a few hard notes, and develops into something way more badass.
* ReluctantMadScientist: Dr. Onishi. He ignores an order to shut down his work if Tetsuo's vital signs get out of hand. Nobody ever blames him for [[PersonOfMassDestruction the outcome]] in the manga, but the Colonel gets angry at him in the film.
* RevealShot: The police station where the biker gang is being held looks like one corridor and one questioning room. As they go to leave, the camera pans out revealing that there are dozens of interrogation rooms where suspects are being questioned or beaten.
* RocketRide: The hovercrafts in the sewers.
* RRatedOpening: Within the first ten minutes, we get cursing, drug references, and plenty of blood from the gangs or the rebel that gets gunned down in the opening by [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill a handful of soldiers with machine guns]]. In fact, Tokyo explodes before the credits are even finished.
* SayMyName: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4COLV6CleU "KANNNEEEEDDDAAA!!" and "TETTTTTSUUUUOOO!!" make up most of it]], but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3KJnhcfSNo there's plenty of name-calling in it]].
* SealedEvilInASixPack: The title character [[spoiler: was dissected and placed in a series of vials. He came back in a more ethereal form]].
* ShoutOut: The jukebox Kaneda fiddles with sports advertisements for various rock bands, including Cream, Led Zeppelin and The Doors.
* SilenceIsGolden: The beginning of the film with the TokyoFireball is completely silent.
* SittingOnTheRoof: At Kaori's dorm.
* SlidingScaleOfAdaptationModification: Type 3 (PragmaticAdaptation). The manga was ''very'' long and would have been unfeasable to fully adapt to a feature film, so a good chunk of its content got the axe to keep the film at a reasonable length.
* SnowyScreenOfDeath: The TV coverage of the military's takeover of Neo-Tokyo.
* SoundtrackDissonance: The end credits in the 2001 edition feature the song "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC_jf6FUh-U Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy]]" (briefly heard in the background during one scene in the movie) over the second portion of the end credits.
* StuffBlowingUp: The movie ''starts'' with the mother of all kabooms, and it's not the last one.
* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDcoQGTCEEQ "That's Mister Kaneda to you, punk!"]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Kei, after she was taken on by the three kids, and also Kaneda in the final confrontation with Tetsuo.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Manga Only]]
* ActionSurvivor: Kaisuke lacks the fighting skill and grit of most other characters, but is one of the few characters to survive the entire story.
* AmericaSavesTheDay: Subverted. America seems to be the only country to notice the potentially world-ending events taking place in Tokyo (although an international team of scientists is also dispatched to investigate the phenomenon), as they send a carrier strike group to Tokyo Bay, but their attempts to solve the problem either have no effect or make things worse, especially the US fleet admiral's decision to first carpet-bomb Neo-Tokyo with the aircraft of his air wing, followed by his decision to deploy the United States' own orbital laser, Floyd, against Neo-Tokyo.
* AngstNuke: Happens several times. In book three, [[spoiler: Akira's traumatized reaction to the death of Takashi sets off a massive explosion of psychic energy that levels most of the city]]. Later, Tetsuo [[spoiler: rises into the sky and supernovas after enduring painful withdrawal from power-inhibiting drugs]], signifying that he has awakened. May or may not have been the nature of Akira's first awakening which destroyed old Tokyo, as the circumstances were never fully explained.
* ApologeticAttacker: [[spoiler:Takashi, as he kills Mozu in self-defense.]]
-->"I'm sorry, but you don't leave me another choice..."
* TheApunkalypse
* AttemptedRape: Kei is ambushed by Empire soldiers, who immediately try to rape her. Emphasis on ''attempted''. It takes [[ActionGirl Kei]] and Chiyoko less than five minutes to take them out.
* BeautifulDreamer: Tetsuo teleports into Kaori's room to watch her as she sleeps.
* TheBigDamnKiss: A hard-earned one. Kei and Kaneda finally get theirs after about 1800 pages.
* BigGood: Lady Miyako.
* BlindSeer: Miyako and Bird-man.
* BraidsOfAction: Chiyoko sports them.
* BridalCarry: A sad version of this is [[spoiler:Tetsuo carriying Kaori's lifeless body around after she's shot to death]].
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl: Tetsuo and Kaori end up as a rather screwed-up version of this.
* AChildShallLeadThem: [[spoiler:After Neo-Tokyo is destroyed in the second awakening, Akira is dubbed Emperor and becomes the nominal ruler of half of the city. It's actually his 15-year-old "Prime Minister", Tetsuo who [[TeenageWasteland calls the shots]]]].
* DancinInTheRuins: One of the crazed zealots from the Empire celebrates not having to pay taxes anymore.
* DecompressedComic
* DefaceOfTheMoon: To impress his empire, Tetsuo blows a hole in the moon. Unlike most examples of this trope, [[RealityEnsues this immediately begins screwing with the tides.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Chiyoko. The lengths she goes to save the esper children...
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: In spite of the fact that Testuo shrugs off explosions and total vaporization, Kaneda manages to punch him out at one point.
* DividedStatesOfAmerica: Japan, in this case. After Tetsuo takes over Neo-Tokyo, he tries to establish it as the "Great Akira Empire." At the very end, [[spoiler:Kaneda tries to establish the city as the Great Tokyo Empire.]] During the course of the manga, Lieutenant Yamada also reveals to Ryu that the Soviets have occupied Hokkaido in the aftermath of Neo-Tokyo's destruction.
* {{Doorstopper}}: Six volumes the size of phone books, a collective 2,182 pages. Because the plot is at least 50% chase scenes, however, it's a surprisingly quick read.
* EliteMooks: Tetsuo's telekinetic {{Mooks}} such as Birdman and Eggman.
* EnemyMine: Kaisuke enlists the help of Joker, the former leader of a rival gang, against Tetsuo.
* EnlightenmentSuperpowers: The monks at Miyako's temple developed psychic power in a limited capacity through discipline and meditation.
* EvilAlbino: In the final volume [[spoiler: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.]]
* EvilChancellor: Tetsuo installs himself as Prime Minister of the Great Tokyo Empire.
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: Sakaki, Mozu and Miki. [[spoiler: Later, Kei.]]
* FanDisservice: Few after [[spoiler: having taken pover Neo-Tokyo]], Tetsuo is shown in bed with three naked and very pretty girls. But the girls are his sex slaves, drugs are involved in the foursome, Tetsuo has one HELL of a mental trip under the influence of said drugs, and once he's back... [[spoiler: two of the girls are ''dead'' as after-effects of the drugs, and are shown naked and bleeding with terrified expressions on their faces. The SoleSurvivor, Kaori, is in a TroubledFetalPosition, wrapped in a ModestyBedsheet and clearly terrified of him.]]
* {{Flashback}}: It's really scarce in the manga, as the characters are physically subjected to intentional in-universe flashbacks. Actual flashbacks include:
** Ryu's reminiscing about his friend's early death when descending to Akira's cryogenic holdout.
** Another flashback is presented after the moment the first Black Dome occurs (decades before the main story) showing the surviving Espers coming out of the mud from the crater.
* FacelessGoons: The non-psychic {{Mooks}}.
* ForScience: The Juvenile-A team study the events in Neo-Tokyo mostly out of scientific curiosity.
* FromBadToWorse: Happens to the citizens of Neo-Tokyo in pretty much all of the second half of the manga after [[spoiler: Akira destroys most of Neo-Tokyo]]. By the end of the manga, things are only looking up slightly, the general attitude being that the survivors know how much worse it could really be (and on the whole they're better people and a bunch of jerks get what they deserve).
* FuroScene: Kei takes a [[{{Fanservice}} ritual bath]] in Miyako's temple [[spoiler:to prepare herself to being used as a psychic medium by the Espers and Miyako.]]
* FutureFoodIsArtificial
* GenreShift: The second half goes from cyberpunk to [[spoiler:post-apocalypse]].
* GeniusBruiser: Subverted with Joker. Kaneda marvels at the bikes that Joker has restored, saying that he never expected Joker to be a mechanical whiz, but Kaisuke confides that Joker had help. Though he gerry-rigs a flying platform, it spends as much time broken down as actually flying.
* 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.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: The Soviet Union apparently exists into the 2030's in the manga timeline.
* 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.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot
* KickTheDog: Tetsuo taking young and pretty girls to be his sex slaves, and encouraging them to take drugs that will most likely kill them.
* {{Malaproper}}: Yamagata.
-->"I can't contain my indigestion!"
* MamaBear: Chiyoko. Start praying to God if you happen to hurt anyone in her care.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Tetsuo was really the one performing Akira's "miracles".
* MauveShirt: George Yamada, leader of the U.S Marines sent to assassinate Tetsuo and Akira.
* {{Mooks}}: The Great Tokyo Empire.
* MuggingTheMonster: A newly empowered Tetsuo is cornered by members of a rival motorcycle gang just after escaping from the hospital.
* MustHaveNicotine: The Colonel uses cigarettes to bribe a scientist suffering from nicotine withdrawal into working for him.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Tetsuo seeks the advice of [[BigGood Lady Miyako]], who tells him that his destiny is to become as powerful as Akira. She says that in order to do this he must stop taking the pills that awaken psychic potential [[spoiler: and inhibit its growth]]. Her plan is to [[spoiler: use Tetsuo's power to check Akira]]. He takes her advice to heart. What she didn't tell him was that [[spoiler: if he quit taking the drugs and pushed himself too hard, he could lose control of it, putting himself and the rest of the world in danger]]. When Tetsuo learns this the hard way, he's justifiably angry at the set-up and calls her out on it.
** Kaneda and Kai borrow a couple of motorcycles from Joker; then, [[spoiler: Tetsuo blows up a big chunk of the moon]] and a tidal wave floods the underground where Kaneda and his scouting party are. Kaneda has to return the motorcycles to Joker with a severe case of saltwater damage. Joker, predictably is not to happy about the state of his machines.
** [[spoiler:Kiyoko, Masaru, and Takashi attempts to kill Tetsuo to avert Kiyoko's vision of Neo-Tokyo's destruction results in ''causing'' Neo Tokyo's destruction. The apocalyptic story arc was their fault as much as it was Akira's.]]
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore: The second half of the story. Ignoring the ''numerous'' changes in the individual characters, [[spoiler:the conflict has become a post-apocalyptic showdown between the followers of Lady Miyako and Akira. Also of note is foreign involvement]].
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry: Soldiers of the Great Akira Empire resist foreign intervention so effectively that they turn half of Neo-Tokyo into a hermit kingdom. Later, [[spoiler:after the final showdown between the Akira Empire and Miyako's forces, Kaneda and his fellow survivors gather under the banner of the newly-formed Great Tokyo Empire and chase off UN peacekeepers as a threat to their country's sovereignty.]]
* OrphansPlotTrinket: 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.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Kaneda sees his own apparition [[spoiler:which is actually an astral projection of himself from the future, when he got caught up in Akira's blast]].
* PathOfInspiration: The Akira cult. It's only there so Tetsuo can rule the city.
* PietaPlagiarism: [[spoiler:Tetsuo carried Kaori's lifeless body around after she's shot to death by one of his own aides.]]
* PracticalCurrency: A tavern serving the local refugee population takes things like batteries as currency.
* ProgressiveEraMontage: The spread in the last two pages of the manga provides a remarkable example that can only be done in the medium of comics. Kaneda and his motorcycle gang ride through the ruined streets of Tokyo toward the horizon, and as the reader's eyes move upward on the page, the buildings metaphorically rebuild themselves until, at the top of the page, the future city in the distance has become even greater than before.
* PsychicLink: [[spoiler:The Espers are revealed to be connected this way when Takashi was accidentally shot dead by Nezu. The surviving Espers (and Akira) all feel their dying friend's pain and they simultaneously start screaming. Even Miyako feels the pain, too.]]
* PsychoSerum: A drug that either kills or awakens psychic powers, but also [[spoiler:holds them back from developing too far, as Miyako reveals to Tetsuo. He quits them]].
* PublicExecution: A particularly gruesome one happens to an American spy.
* PutOnABus:
** [[spoiler:Kaneda after the timeskip. He is assumed to be dead after falling into Akira's psychic blast at the end of volume 3, but at the end of volume 4 he is transported back along with various other buildings (and some of the Colonel's soldiers) that had fallen into the blast as well.]]
** Also happens to Tetsuo in Volume 3. [[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.]]
* ResistTheBeast: Tetsuo attempts to get [[spoiler: his painfully mutating body under his control again]]. When it doesn't work, he tells Kaori to run as far as she can.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Tetsuo's reaction when [[spoiler:Kaori]] was shot by his own {{Mooks}}.
* SeeingThroughAnothersEyes: How Miyako gets around being blind.
* SexSlave: Kaori, at least before she was promoted to Akira's caretaker and then becomes Tetsuo's MoralityPet.
* ShoutOut: One of the citizens of the Empire screams out "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!", a reference to ''Theatre/KingLear'' [[spoiler:while Tetsuo [[spoiler:attacks the moon itself]].
* SleepCute: Subverted in one volume. [[spoiler:Yes, Kaori looks sweet and peaceful when she sleeps with her head on Tetsuo's lap, but then we see that Tetsuo is in ''extreme'' pain and his arm is mutating again]].
* SpiderTank: The government deploy a number of small robotic spider tanks to enforce martial law after Akira is released. [[spoiler:One of them was used to help transport the surviving Espers Kiyoko and Masaru to Miyako's temple in the second half of the manga.]]
* SplitScreenReaction
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler:Tetsuo's Aide later stages a coup toward the end of the story, which was justified due to Tetsuo's AxCrazy-ness. Then he just had to shoot [[MoralityPet Kaori]].]]
* TeamMom:
** Miyako is a quite dark example.
** Kaori tries to be one [[spoiler:after she becomes Akira's caretaker per Tetsuo's orders.]]
* TechnicalPacifist: Miyako and her empowered monks try to repel an invasion of the temple by Empire soldiers non-lethally.
* TinCanTelephone: A character trying to describe telepathy uses it as an analogy.
* TokenGoodTeammate: Kaori is this to the Empire.
* TrainingFromHell: Tetsuo's psionic EliteMooks are subjected to this, provided they survive the audition.
* TrueCompanions: The Espers have a special bond that surpasses mere words. [[spoiler:It's revealed in the final volume to be the reason why all the psychic children were willing to be subjected to ''horrific'' experimentation by the government - it gave them powers that allowed them to understand their friends completely.]]
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Kaneda projectile vomits after eating a meal that was poisoned.
* WhamEpisode: Volume 3 ends with [[spoiler: Akira destroying Neo-Tokyo the same way as the original thirty years before]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In the first volume of the manga, Nurse Hoken tells Kaneda she might be pregnant, and then is never seen again. It's possible (if not probable) she was killed at the end of Volume 3, but it's never specified.
* WouldHurtAChild: [[spoiler: Nezu and Ryu. The former was aiming for Akira so no one would control the boy, but wound up shooting Akira's friend Takashi instead. The latter was extremely reluctant, but it was either shoot Akira or the world will be destroyed.]]
* YouCanBarelyStand: Kei is taunted with this line during a brutal fight with Tetsuo.
[[/folder]]
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