neo-tokyo is about to e.x.p.l.o.d.e

Rebecca McKenzie


Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 film Akira is a cult science-fiction film. The anime follows the life of Kaneda, a teenage leader of a biker gang, and his journey through a cyber-punk, dystopian and all around violent depiction of Tokyo in 2019, having been re-built and re-branded as Neo-Tokyo after the fallout of World War 3. Kaneda’s odyssey through the city is incited by his somewhat redemptive quest to save the life of his childhood friend, Tetsuo, who is being held by the unrestrained and seemingly lawless military.  Akira is an astonishingly energetic film, boasting extraordinarily detailed yet sensationally slick animated visuals. In the world of Japanese animation, the techniques used were truly innovative at the time; with 50 of the 327 colours used being created specifically for the film.

The painted cityscape consequently breathes life with a dreamlike, fluorescent atmosphere, wherein this playlist takes its primary inspiration. This movie has inspired everything from Stranger Things to Kanye West (the music video for Stronger directly recreates scenes from Akira). A mix of instrumental and some rap, with particular focus on music rather lyrics, this playlist seeks to recreate the tone and mood of Akira. The playlist is intended to prompt you to watch (or re-watch) what is one of the most astounding animated films ever made. 

You can listen to the playlist via Youtube below: