Tokyo's Reborn as Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira in NHK Special
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Broadcaster NHK enlisted the help of manga artist and director Katsuhiro Otomo for its Tokyo Reborn special series where as the name indicates, the metropolis is reimagined as something akin to world of Akira (minus the exploding psychic teenagers).
The special remodels Tokyo for the year 2020 while taking notes from Akira to create an eye-popping, futuristic city. Otomo supervised the special's title image design and Akira film composer Shoji Yamashiro and Akira manga logo calligrapher Hiroshi Hirata are also working on the special. The first of six episodes will air on December 23 and focus on the Tokyo Bay area where 15 Olympic facilities will be located.
NHK is streaming a promotional video at the program's official site. Note: the video is region-locked outside of Japan. The official Twitter account for NHK's PR shared the video, too.
Clips from the video show a character in Kaneda's signature jacket jetting around the areas of Tokyo on his bike.
The program will include a look at the Ariake Arena and the Tokyo Aquatics Center. Ariake will host the 2020 Olympic Games' volleyball competition and the Aquatics Center will be home to swimming, diving, and artistic swimming competitions. Simulated versions of the new facilities are pictured below.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were predicted in the Akira manga and Japan seems to be embracing the connection despite the story's otherwise dark themes. Scenes from the film were included in a projection mapping screening by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the upcoming sports festival in 2016 and Akira made its presence known in Tokyo last year as part of giant construction mural surrounding the PARCO department store in Shibuya.