10 Anime That Influenced Hollywood

6 AKIRA

Year: 1988
Dir: Katsuhiro Otomo

What’s It About? Set 31 years after an atom bomb has destroyed Tokyo, Shotaro Kaneda is the leader of a youth motorcycle gang named the Capsules. When he and his friend Tetsuo stumble upon a secret government project to develop telekinetic humans as weapons, they also learn of Akira – an ESPer truly responsible for Tokyo’s destruction. As Tetsuo develops his own psychic powers and becomes increasingly dangerous, Kaneda is forced to take down his friend before history repeats itself.

Who/What Has It Influenced? Both the film and its original manga were an influence for director Alex Proyas’ 1998 neo-noir film Dark City. In fact, the final sequences of the film, in which buildings begin to restore themselves, are a direct homage to Akira. Josh Trank was also inspired when making Chronicle, admitting in an interview to be a “fan of all things Akira” – telekinetic teen Andrew’s attack on police forces mirrors Tetsuo’s rampage through Neo Tokyo. Also, any time you ever see a motorbike in a sci-fi city, you can’t help mentally shouting, “Tetsuo!”