_____   _   _   ___                ____
  |_   _| | |_| | | __|             jXXXXXb
    | |   |  _  | | __|             XXXXXXX. "The Hardrock-Comic of the 90's!"
    |_|   |_| |_| |___|             XXXXXXXX                       [Moebius]
		     ________       `XXXXXXX.
       ___.xxxxxXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXb     `XXXXXXx_             ,xxxxxxx.
      XXXXXXXXXXXX~~~~~~7XXXXX'    .dXXXXXXXXXXXX           `~~~~~~'___
      `XXXXXX~~~~XXXxxx/XXX~'       XXXXXXXXXXX~'    ,-  .xxxxXXXXXXXXXXb.
       `~~~~'   XXXXXXIXXX~'        `~~~xxXXXXx_xxxx~~  (XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX'
	       XXXXXX'~             ,dXXXXXXXXX~'       `XXXXx~' .dXXXXV'
	      XXXXX'               `XX~~    XXXXb              .dXXXV~
	  ,XXX'                                `XXX.      /~'
	  XV'      _    _ _   _   ___    _      `XXb     ___    _      _
		  / \  | | | | | | , )  / \    __`Xx_   | __|  / \   /'_`\
		 | I | | .<  | | | . \ | I |  |_____\|  | _|  | I | | (_) |
		 |_T_| |_L_| |_| |_|_| |_T_|            |_|   |_T_|  \__\_\

				- Version 1.08 -
		       First release: 22nd of December, 1995
		       Last updated: 9th of February, 1996

		                  by Taro Rehrl

	AKIRA and the Akira logos are trademarks of The Akira Committee
   Other names can be trademarked as well without being explicitly declared.

		   Manga: Copyright 1984-1993 by Mash Room
		   Anime: Copyright 1988 by The Akira Committee



Lee Earle		(l.earle@hbs.gu.edu.au)
Trevize Bayta Seldon	(TrevizeNFX@aol.com)
David Tonhofer		(tonhofer@msn.com)
Mike Voorhis		(mvoorhis@wpi.edu)
Zoo			(astrozoo@airmail.net)
Ken Arromdee		(arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu)
Raistlin		(csuos@warwick.ac.uk)
Hitoshi Doi		(doi@tcp.com)
rec.arts.manga          (the FAQ)


You may freely distribute this FAQ but please follow these restrictions:
- Don't modify the FAQ in ANY way without asking me.
- Don't modify the zip archive in which this FAQ came.
- Distribute in electronic form only.
- ** It's strictly forbidden to sell this FAQ or gain in any other way
     profit from it **
- Don't include the FAQ in any software packages like CD-Roms.
- The FAQ may be distributed only in it's entirety.

You are allowed to quote separate paragraphs in newsgroup articles etc.
without asking me; just be sure to declare it as a part of the

       Thank you !


This FAQ isn't related in any way to the arcade fighting game Virtua
Fighter 2 (tm) by Sega.  If you want to find out more on the "Akira"
character in VF2, read Joji Suzuki's FAQ.  You'll find it at FTP site
ftp.netcom.com  in the /pub/vi/vidgames/faqs directory.


All statements in this FAQ with a scientific, psychological or
religious content are absolutely hypothetical and must not be taken
for true.  I'm not responsible for any damage to people or objects as
a result of reliance in the theories of this FAQ.  You don't think you
can increase your physic powers by taking narcotics, do you ?  I also
can't guarantee that my statements match Otomo's true intentions.
Sorry about that ^_^.

Ok, let's go (at last).

0. About this FAQ -----------------

0.1 Usage
0.1.1 Why an Akira-FAQ ?
0.1.2 Is it worth reading ?
0.1.3 What do the letters in brackets behind most questions stand for ?
0.1.4 Where do I find the right answer to my question ?
0.1.5 My questions haven't been answered !
0.1.6 Some questions are bloody trivial !
0.1.7 Do I have to fear spoilers ?

0.2 Maintenance
0.2.1 What's the significance of the version number ?
0.2.2 Where can I get future versions of the Akira-FAQ ?
0.2.3 How can I contribute to this FAQ ?
0.2.4 What's new ? Tell me about the history of the Akira-FAQ.

1. General Questions --------------------

1.1 In case you don't know of Akira yet
1.1.1 What kind of show is this ? (A/M)
1.1.2 Tell me about the author of Akira and his works. (A/M)
1.1.3 Why would I want to watch/read Akira ? (A/M)
1.1.4 Does Akira contain sex and/or violence ? (A/M)

1.2 The Akira market
1.2.1 Why has Akira been delayed ? (M)
1.2.2 I heard Otomo has written an alternative ending for the western market. What did he change ? (M)
1.2.3 What is Akira Club ?
1.2.4 Hey ! Wasn't that from Akira in this other show ? (A/M)
1.2.5 What about this Akira live-action movie ?
1.2.6 I want to get the Akira soundtrack ! (A)
1.2.7 Are there computer games based on Akira ?
1.2.8 Is there any Akira related material for my computer ?
1.2.9 Is there any more Akira stuff ?

1.3 Form, Style, Design, Background
1.3.1 Why do people in Akira look different than in other anime or manga ? (A/M)
1.3.2 When exactly has the very first bomb exploded ? (A/M)
1.3.3 Why is "Akira" written in Katakana ? (A/M)
1.3.4 How is "Kei/Kay" really spelled ? (A/M)
1.3.5 What's the right pronunciation of the characters in Akira ? (A/M)
1.3.6 The word "RESCUE" on that helicopter is in mirror writing. Why ? (M)
1.3.7 Which voice-actors contributed to Akira ? (A)

2. Characters -------------

2.1 Akira
2.1.1 Is Akira mute ? (M)
2.1.2 Why doesn't Akira say anything ? (M)
2.1.3 Akira plays with rocks. What's the significance of those shapes ? (M)
2.1.4 Who is calling Akira ? (M)

2.2 Tetsuo
2.2.1 Tetsuo's hair got longer. Does that mean anything ? (A/M)
2.2.2 Tetsuo's hair got shorter. Does that mean anything ? (M)
2.2.3 I thought Tetsuo was so powerful. Why doesn't he manage to finish Kaneda off ? (A/M)
2.2.4 "I am Tetsuo." ? What does that mean ? (A)

2.3 Kei
2.3.1 Why did Kei's hairstyle change ? (M)
2.3.2 What's this fuss about amoebas Kei is talking about ? (A)
2.3.3 I thought Kei was a pretty normal girl. Why is she able to fight with psychic powers ? (A)
2.3.4 Huh ? Kei's character changed all of a sudden ! (M)

2.4 Kaneda
2.4.1 Kaneda wrecked a bike. Why ? (A)
2.4.2 How did Kaneda survive that drop from the sky ? (M)
2.4.3 How did Kaneda survive that rain of rocks ? (A)
2.4.4 Why does Kaneda know where Kei is ? (M)

2.5 Miyako
2.5.1 Is there ANY connection between the Miyako in the manga and the one in the anime ? (A/M)
2.5.2 Where has Tetsuo seen the relief in Miyako's temple before ? (M)
2.5.3 What's this fuss about a flow Miyako is talking about ? (M)
2.5.4 Hm ? I thought they wanted to attack Akira not Tetsuo. (M)

2.6 Takashi, Masaru and Kyoko
2.6.1 Why do the kids look so funny ? (A/M)
2.6.2 Why can Kyoko predict future events ? (A/M)
2.6.3 Toys are attacking Tetsuo! (A)
2.6.4 What's so bad about waking Akira ? (A)
2.6.5 The kids meditate in front of the Akira tubes. What do they plan ? (A)
2.6.6 What has just begun ? What do they want to achieve ? (A)

2.7 Miscellaneous
2.7.1 Who's the prophet with the funny hairstyle and dark glasses ? (A)
2.7.2 Who's that short guy in Kaneda's gang ? (A)
2.7.3 Who's that lone scientist working for the Colonel ? (M)
2.7.4 Is Ryu really Kei's brother ? (M)
2.7.5 Is Chiyoko really Kei's aunt ? (M)
2.7.6 Is Yuri really Kei's sister ? (A)
2.7.7 Nezu's looks remind me on something. (A/M)
2.7.8 Where did Sakaki and company get their powers ? (M)

3. The Power, the Universe and Everything -----------------------------------------

3.1 Basics
3.1.1 Tell me about the main theory in Akira
3.1.2 Where does the Power come from ?
3.1.3 So the Power is in everybody of us ? In me, too ? (A)

3.2 Using the Power
3.2.1 Did Tetsuo get his psychic powers out of nowhere ? (A/M)
3.2.2 Where does Tetsuo's headache come from ? (A/M)
3.2.3 What effect do drugs have on psychic powers ? (M)
3.2.4 Why are some people stronger than others ? (A/M)
3.2.5 How can people "give" their powers to a medium ? (M)
3.2.6 Why is it dangerous to make heavy use of the Power ? (M)

3.3 Dreams and visions
3.3.1 Which meaning have the hallucinations Tetsuo had just before they brought him back to the laboratory ? (A)
3.3.2 A holographic phenomenon ! How strange ! (M)
3.3.3 What's the significance of Tetsuo's dream after "having fun" ? (M)
3.3.4 What did Tetsuo see in Akira's head ? (M)
3.3.5 There are many strange things happening in the giant sphere . . . (A/M)

3.4 Mutation
3.4.1 Tetsuo just changed into a giant blob. What happened ? (A/M)
3.4.2 Why does it start on Tetsuo's arm ? (A/M)
3.4.3 Where does all this mass come from ? (A/M)
3.4.4 Why is the blob shaped like a baby ? (A/M)

3.5 The sphere(s) and other phenomena
3.5.1 I see a giant sphere. What the hell is going on ? (A/M)
3.5.2 A new universe ? What's the Doc talking about ? (A)
3.5.3 A new universe ? What are the scientists talking about ? (M)
3.5.4 In the sphere: ??? Why do I see events from the past ? And what's going on in here, anyway ? (A/M)
3.5.5 Many buildings drop from the sky ! (M)
3.5.6 What do the scientists mean by 2-dimensional / 3-dimensional ? (M)
3.5.7 What's the significance of the earthquake ? (M)

4. Miscellaneous ----------------

4.1 Politics and Intrigues
4.1.1 Does Nezu work for Miyako or what ? (M)
4.1.2 What does Nezu want ? (A/M)
4.1.3 Should I join the Great Tokyo Empire ? (M)

4.2 High-tech stuff
4.2.1 Who dropped that bomb at the beginning ? (A/M)
4.2.2 Why do small stones rise just before SOL shoots ? (A)
4.2.3 I've seen SOL again. But that can't be ! (M)
4.2.4 A nuclear missile exploded. Why didn't everybody die ? (M)
4.2.5 Cool. Kaneda's bike has got a reverse gear. (A)

0. About this FAQ

0.1 Usage

0.1.1 Why an Akira-FAQ?

Akira is the most known manga/anime in the western world, to a certain degree even among people unfamiliar to anime or manga. Some of them may have seen anime like 'Star Blazers' or 'Robotech' before but didn't recognize it as a part of the anime universe ("So Akira is one of those new *anime* thingies ?").

However, most people have got a question sooner or later: "What the hell is going on ?!"

Due to it's complex and often confusing storyline, Akira is quite difficult to understand. Ok, I admit it's VERY difficult to understand. The one who understands the story completely by watching the film for the first time is a genius. I've tried to solve as many questions as I can by setting up this FAQ. Also included: any other information concerning Akira I could think of.

However, feel free to mail me any comments, suggestions, wishes, corrections, etc. at rehrl@informatik.tu-muenchen.de . You can help to make this FAQ more interesting and complete. More info concerning this matter can be found at 0-2-3 (How can I contribute to this FAQ ?).

I hope you enjoy this FAQ as much as I've enjoyed writing it. It isn't that serious kind of FAQ. In fact I've tried to make it fun to read. It's like discussing the Warp drives in Star Trek: The theories can fill a whole universe. But of course you know all that can't be true, or ? Or ? Think again. Really ? (Luckily, we're no scientists.)

So have fun !

0.1.2 Is it worth reading?

Go find it out by yourself! ^_^

0.1.3 What do the letters in brackets behind most questions stand for?

If you've only watched the anime, you'd be interested in questions with an "(A)" behind it. Question marked with "(M)" deal with the manga only. "(A/M)" doesn't mean that you're expected to have watched the anime AND to have read the manga. The answers to those questions reveal info considering both versions. If the question isn't marked with any of these tags, they don't deal with the anime or the manga themselves, for example questions concerning merchandising.

0.1.4 Where do I find the answer to my question?

All possible questions I could think of are listed in the table of contents. Here are short descriptions of the main parts:

0. About this FAQ

Don't expect any info concerning Akira here. This part deals only with the FAQ itself. Remember: You, too, can be a part of it (More info at 0-2-3).

1. General Questions

All questions which don't have a relation to the STORY of Akira are listed here. For example the question "What the hell is going on?!" wouldn't be answered there. Sorry for the slightly misleading title. But you're getting an overview along with info on merchandising, the author and so on.

2. Characters

I've been thinking a long time about how to organize the questions. A chronological structure turned out to be bad because I'd have had to split the questions into anime- and manga-related. Some questions would have been doubled and others just can't be put in chronological order.

So I decided to organize the FAQ in another way. If you have a question concerning one of the characters in Akira, search for the answer in this part. If you don't find it, think about another topic the question might refer to and look it up in the appropriate section.

3. The Power, the Universe and Everything

Probably the part which you are most interested in. The explanations for many strange events related to psychic powers and its' effects rest within this section. Most of the questions are derived from "What the hell is going on?!".

4. (The dreaded) Miscellaneous

Some topics aren't big enough to have own subsections. These are all put in this part. So far there are two of them:

4.1 Politics and Intrigues

Sometimes, the political goals of certain groups are a bit unclear. Use this section to look them up.

4.2 Hi-tech stuff

This offers some sort of playground for high-tech-freaks trying to explain how these new weapons, machinery etc. which appear in Akira work. Perhaps you're interested in the new Sol theory. Note, that questions in this part are not necessarily related to technology itself.

You can use your editor's search tool to go to the desired section. Just search for the ID number of the question, you'd like to get answered. BTW that's the reason why pointers to other questions have a different syntax. For example if the FAQ says "Go to x-y-z", you should search for "x.y.z". Of course you can as well let your editor search for keywords.

0.1.5 My questions haven't been answered!

Then tell me about 'em. Every single suggestion can help me making the Akira-FAQ better. Go to 0-2-3 (How can I contribute to this FAQ?) for more information.

0.1.6 Some questions are bloody trivial!

Yes it's true. Some questions may be trivial for you. But consider this: The Akira-FAQ wants to help any people who have problems with Akira. Some of them may have seen the anime but never read the manga. Others just didn't read so far yet and don't know whether their problem will be solved later or not. The rest must live with those trivial questions ^_^.

0.1.7 Do I have to fear spoilers?

And I thought you were looking for 'em. Yes, several passages of the FAQ give away something. If you don't want to obtain information you might not want YET, try avoiding the answers to questions, which don't mean anything to you.

0.2 Maintenance

0.2.1 What's the significance of the version number?

Everything starts on version number 1.00. Additions and/or changes have following effects on the version number v:

v+0.01: Minor changes or corrections; questions added etc.

v+0.10: New section added; Section rewritten; Main part reorganized etc.

v+1.00: New main part or similar reorganizations of the FAQ (including a complete one. I truly hope that this will never happen.)

More of those can be added at the same time. Each new version will tell you how many things have been changed (e.g. 1.00+0.06). All changes are logged in the FAQ history (0-2-4). All people who have helped me with the Akira-FAQ are listed there, too.

0.2.2 Where can I get future versions of the Akira-FAQ?

You can always download the newest Akira-FAQ version at the Akira Homepage: http://www.informatik.tu-muenchen.de/~rehrl/Akira.html

If you don't have WWW access, send me e-mail: rehrl@informatik.tu-muenchen.de

0.2.3 How can I contribute to this FAQ?

Glad you asked that! The Akira-FAQ surely needs help from outside to fulfill its final destiny: to become an Akira-AAQ (all asked questions).

If you have ANY info concerning Akira which isn't implemented yet, don't hesitate to contact me: rehrl@informatik.tu-muenchen.de and we'll talk about it.

In return you'll be credited in the next version of the FAQ with name, e-mail address (only if you want) and what you've done for all Akira fans in the world. All helpers are credited in the history below.

0.2.4 What's new? Tell me about the history of the Akira-FAQ.

Very well. First, I wish to thank all helpers for their time. Good job, all of you! Here they are again:

Lee Earle (l.earle@hbs.gu.edu.au)
Trevize Bayta Seldon (TrevizeNFX@aol.com)
David Tonhofer (tonhofer@msn.com)
Mike Voorhis (mvoorhis@wpi.edu)
Zoo (astrozoo@airmail.net)
Ken Arromdee (arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu)
Raistlin (csuos@warwick.ac.uk)
Hitoshi Doi (doi@tcp.com)
rec.arts.manga (the FAQ)

And of course Katsuhiro Otomo. Without him, I would have never heard of Akira and all the other cool people ^_^.

Version 1.00 (22nd December, 1995):

First release of the FAQ. It's stuffed with all info about Akira I could think of. Ken provided the Anime Video Game List which also holds info about the Akira games. I took the info about the Akira-CDs from Raistlin's Anime CD Guide.

Version 1.06 (22nd January, 1996):

With this new version, a history informs you about the changes. You're reading it right now. But you probably know that -_^. Trevize developed a cool theory about the Sol killer-satellite. Have fun with it. Some grammatical and spelling corrections have been made by Mike and Trevize. I've done a little cosmetics here and there. I also added a pointer to another Akira-mod. Zoo told me why the enemy in Robocop3 is called Otomo. There's now info about the Japanese voice-actors of the anime. They have been taken from Hitoshi's Seiyuu Database. Thanks to Lee, you now know what's behind the rumour that Otomo has rewritten the ending of Akira and what this has to do with the long wait.

Version 1.07 (29th January, 1996):

I forgot to add the information about the delay of the western Akira release I've obtained from the rec.arts.manga FAQ. Sorry about that. I've updated 1-2-2 appropriately. However, the last conclusion remains the same: The long wait wasn't Otomo's fault.

Version 1.08 (9th February, 1996):

In the previous versions, answer 4-2-3 was definitely wrong. I must have been blind confusing the American Floyd satellite with SOL. Thanks to David for correcting me.

1. General Questions

1.1 In case you don't know of Akira yet

1.1.1 What kind of show is this? (A/M)

In Japan, the comic market is organized in a different way than in the western world. There are magazines, several 100 pages long, being published weekly or monthly called Manga. These Manga contain several comic stories in serial form bundled together and are very popular. They're being read regularly by most people and almost everywhere. Because Japanese comic art is so much different from western comics, the word 'Manga' now stands for Japanese comics in general.

One of these serial stories is AKIRA. It appeared first in the end of 1982 in Young Magazine, which is aimed towards teenagers and students. Becoming very popular, it was reprinted in 6 fat tomes.

It's a science fiction story loaded with action and suspense (though I must admit the story goes a bit downhill at the end) being set 38 years after World War III in Neo-Tokyo, a megalopolis built on the ruins of the city formerly known as Tokyo. The Japanese army plans to use children with ESP powers as weapons but nobody could have foreseen how dangerous the project would become. The true proportions of the iceberg under the tip they're standing on are beyond imagination. A gang of teenage bikers is drawn into the whirlpool of events as well as a group of underground activists trying to uncover the army's plans.

An Akira anime (the animated pendant to manga) has been produced in 1988. It's a compressed version of the original story with quite a lot of changes. They stuffed 2160 pages in 120 minutes. That makes 18 pages per minute or 3.33 seconds per page. Nice job, eh ? (Please don't take that calculation seriously)

1.1.2 Tell me about the author of Akira and his works (A/M)

Akira has been written by Katsuhiro Otomo. He has also directed the anime. He is probably the manga artist who has approached most towards international comic culture. Therefore his works are ideal for manga newbies. However they're still pure manga.

Otomo's other manga include 'Fire Ball' (short story) and the longer 'Domu' which won a prize, the 'Great Science Fiction Award'. Both are about psychic powers. He also wrote a couple of short stories published by the 'Action' magazine including:

For Better or for Worse Memories Buried in Sand The Mission The Touch of Old Times Birds The Martian (my favourite) Chronicle of Planet Tako Chronicle of Planet Tako: The Beginning

(Please excuse any poor translations)

On the anime sector, he contributed in the production of 'Roojin Z' and 'Robot Carnival'. His new own anime 'Memories', too won a prize on Anime Expo '95 for the best premier film. It's based on his short story of the same title.

Otomo is now working on his new manga, 'The Legend of Mother Sarah'. Currently, I've got no more information about it.

1.1.3 Why would I want to watch/read Akira? (A/M)

It's obvious that some people like Akira more than others. Others don't like it at all.

To find out if you would like Akira, I've prepared a little test for you. Answer the questions and add up the points (Only one single choice per question). In fact, there are two types of them: Anime-points and Manga-points.

Example: 1A means add 1 Anime-point, 10M means add 10 Manga-points

Are you an action-fan ?

Yes, YES, YESSS!: 8A, 8M
No, but I can live with it: 4A, 4M
Action is the devil's tool: 0A, 0M

Are you looking for "babes" (eventually with guns)?

Yes!: 1A, 1M
I prefer normal girls: 8A, 6M
I prefer cool girls: 5A, 10M
I'm a girl myself: 7A, 9M

How realistic should a manga/anime be?

If I wanted realism, I'd watch the news: 6A, 6M
Realism is good but there HAS to be something else: 9A, 9M
What? Akira isn't a real-life-story?: 2A, 2M

How should a storyline be to please you?

I just want to relax and enjoy the show: 1A, 2M
I like complex but non-confusing storylines: 2A, 5M
I enjoy analyzing every single scene for its meaning: 10A, 9M

Solution (one result for each type of points) :

36-31 points: Congratulations! You're the ideal Akira-lover! So why don't you have it yet?

30-21 points: You're a pretty normal manga/anime-fan. Check Akira out. You might like it!

20-15 points: Be careful! Your Akira-potential is quite low.

< 15 points: Er, never mind. Probably you don't like Anime or Manga in general.

1.1.4 Does Akira contain sex and/or violence? (A/M)

(seriously) Your scruples are partially justified. Both the anime and the manga are violent. The nature of the violence is mostly comparable to those of common American action movies (massive damage to property; occasionally killed men etc.). And there are isolated splatter effects (e.g. squirting blood; open wounds - yes, they're very open) even though they're not very detailed and quite rare.

The VERY few scenes with a "sexual" content in Akira seems to be a problem only in America. Anime and manga don't go further than female breasts (anime: only once; manga: twice, 3 times to be exact). Well the manga had some more to offer (see 1-2-2) but thanks to some alterations, the American market doesn't come in contact with it. And all these really aren't there to turn the audience on, believe me.

All in all, if you think your children are old enough for the violence, the "sex" really should not be a problem. The best way to decide if Akira is suitable for your children is to get an idea of it by yourself. Then, TALK to them about your opinion. 'Tis better than just presenting your decision without further explanation. By the way, that applies to BOTH cases.

1.2 The Akira market

1.2.1 Why has Akira been delayed? (M)

You may have heard that Katsuhiro Otomo was dissatisfied with the ending of Akira and has therefore rewritten it. But the "rewriting" was only the reason of the first delay. See next question for more detailed information concerning the rewriting rumour. After a couple of months, the next Akira issue was still not available. Marvel, the publisher of the American Akira release, decided to hold back the last issues for marketing reasons. Too bad they didn't say a word concerning their intentions. This could as well fit in part 4 of this FAQ.

1.2.2 I heard Otomo has written an alternative ending for the western market. What did he change? (M)

Here's how this rumour originated: Otomo had to interrupt his work on the manga because he wanted to do the anime first. So he wrote a quick and dirty ending for the Japanese manga readers. Of course, nobody including Otomo himself liked it. After the film was finished, he dropped this ending and continued the manga. After the film reached American cinenas, Marvel had just begun to release the American Akira edition. The serialized version of Akira in Young Magazine came to an end in July 1990. The earlier issues have already been reprinted in those thick volumes. The last volume has been suspended, however, because Otomo wanted to do some rewriting. He did little changes and additions here and there but he mainly wrote that epilogue which you all can read now. Apparently he took his time about it; The last sixth volume was finally released in March 1993. Now the American version: It's delay had begun after the release of issue #33 (very) roughly at the same time the last Japanese volume came out. Otomo changed a few pages for the western release. Note that this has nothing to do with the q&d ending which has itself nothing to do with the later rewriting. They both apply only to the Japanese versions. The alterations for the American market were quite little and not important for the story, however. You see the long wait wasn't Otomo's fault at all. (At least not for the non-Japanese Akira-fans.)

Here is a list of all changes I found. I've used the German edition for comparison which should be equivalent to the American one:

- A citizen of the Great Tokyo Empire caused a public nuisance at the Akira festival. The resulting black spot most likely wasn't applied by Otomo so I've included this one only for completeness' sake.

- Kei and the Colonel had troubles with falling debris during the earth quake. Otomo dropped one page and changed the other one with Ryu and Lt. Yamada slightly. The result: 2 pics instead of 8.

- Another missing page: The reaction of the members of the Great Tokyo Empire after the Colonel fired SOL at Tetsuo was formerly two pages long.

- A little greater change was made when the Admiral decided to attack Neo-Tokyo. The group of scientists was more excited in the original. Now, they're acting more resigned. More pics have been changed/ replaced in this part. Former 6 pages have been reduced to 5 pages.

- After Kei's fight with the blob, Tetsuo emerges from the debris. This scene has been changed, but not cut. The Colonel was unconscious in the original. Now he's awake. And naked Tetsuo is now drawn from a different visual angle. Have a guess, why.

That's all folks. No more changes especially at the very end. Some additional material will be published after completion of the story filling perhaps two issues (#39+#40 ?).

1.2.3 What is Akira Club?

This is actually an art-book offered by Kodansha, the Japanese publisher of Akira. On 261 pages, you'll find various illustrations plus some postcards. The main part is a title page collection of the original Akira series which made it's appearance in Young Magazine. About a little more than a half of the pictures are B/W. Akira Club costs 3500 Yen. It's number is ISBN4-06-330003-X.

1.2.4 Hey! Wasn't that from Akira in this other show? (A/M)

Maybe you're right. I've discovered Akira samples in these two productions:

American motion picture 'Sliver':

In the apartment of that "computer game programmer" (What was his name? 'Eek'?), some samples from the manga hanged on the wall. Bad photography if you ask me: The cameraman seemed to be more interested in this vulcan thingy and various other stuff than in Akira !

Michael Jackson's music video 'Scream':

There's a VERY short (5 frames) extract of the anime in the last part of the video. You can see (and hear) Tetsuo falling from the military hospital/laboratory. All other anime samples aren't from Akira.

American motion picture 'Robocop 3':

Robocop's enemy in the second sequel is called 'Otomo'. This is no mere coincidence. The scriptwriter Frank Miller is actually a fan of Katsuhiro Otomo and his works. You may have heard of him; he is also a comic-author. His most known work is the Batman-saga 'Return of the Dark Knight'.

1.2.5 What about this Akira live-action movie?

At least this is a rumour with some roots. Yes, Tri-Star planned to do an Akira live-action film. It would have surely required a (very) big budget. They decided not to risk that much money on this experiment (no stars; comic adaption; Japanese (?); length of the story). All they did was a calculation of the costs, e.g. for the special effects. But we can surely live without a Hollywood Akira film, don't you think ?

1.2.6 I want to get the Akira soundtrack! (A)

You can have it. Here's for example the Akira-section of Raistlin's (csuos@warwick.ac.uk) Anime CD Guide :



Invitation CD-S: VDRS-1077 (1988.7.16), Y937
2 tracks, 14:00 {Contains a melange of BGM from the movie}
1. AKIRA no TE-MA 6:05 [Akira's theme]
2. Tetsuo no METAMORUFO-ZE 7:56 [Tetsuo's metamorphosis]

Akira Symphonic Suite

Invitation VDR-1532 (1988.7.27), Y3008
10 tracks, 69:35 {Contains re-performances of the instrumental tracks by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. Not really the original music but as close as one is going to get. This is also available domestically in a translated format from US Renditions (Books Nippon). Cheaper too! Recommended only for those who likes the music in the movie. Some of the tracks sound like religious chants. Vocals are used to create interesting effects.}
1. KANEDA 3:11
4. TETSUO 10:18
6. SHOUMYOU 10:12
7. MUTATION 4:49
9. ILLUSION 13:57
10. REQUIEM 14:27

Akira Original Soundtrack

JVC JMI-1001 (1990), $18.00
10 tracks, 69:35 {This is actually the Symphonic Suite described above. Detailed liner notes in English too! So unless you're rich or a collector, don't get that one, get this one!

There is also a German edition of this "original soundtrack", with all information except track names in the CD booklet printed in German. Order number is CD 68.948 from Nektar, a division of Tropical Music, POB 2230, D-3550 Marburg, Germany. It cost 159 NOK in Norway.}
1. Kaneda 3:11
2. The Battle Against the Clowns 3:37
3. Winds Over Neo-Tokyo 2:48
4. Tetsuo 10:18
5. Dolls' Polyphony 2:55
6. Shoumyou 10:12
7. Mutation 4:49
8. Exodus From the Underground Fortress 3:19
9. Illusion 13:57
10. Requiem 14:27

Akira original motion picture soundtrack

Victor VDR-1538 (1988.10.10), Y3008
4 tracks, 43:10 {Contains audio excerpts from the movie- Music, dialog, and SFX. Not a soundtrack in the traditional sense!}
1. Kaneda 9:57
2. Tetsuo I 12:35
3. Tetsuo II 12:33
4. Akira 7:58

Some of these CDs are available from another company, Demon Records, too:

Akira Original Soundtrack
# 7 40155 800 72 7

Akira original motion picture soundtrack
# 7 40155 800 67 3

1.2.7 Are there computer games based on Akira?

Akira games do exist but not for any computer systems. They're all for video game consoles. The games' quality seems to be quite low; you wouldn't want to buy the games for playing them.

Anyway, here's the appropriate section of the Anime video games list by Ken Arromdee (arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu):

------- AKIRA Famicom, "Akira", N/A Taito ???, Y6800

SNES, ???, "Akira" THQ, $??? (Action Game)

Genesis, ???, "Akira" THQ, $??? (Action Game)

Sega CD, ???, "Akira" THQ, $??? (Action Game) The above three games were to be produced in the USA. A comment in the June 1995 Gamepro magazine indicated that they will not be coming out. (Has anyone got any information from a real information source?)

CD^32, N/A, "Akira" Ice, L30 (Action Game) A British game for the CD^32, this got a very bad review. The CD^32 is basically an Amiga 1200 with a CD drive and no keyboard, and hasn't been released in either the US or Japan, but I'm listing the game here for completeness' sake.

Ultra 64, "Akira" (?), ??? ???, Y??? -------

Ken, too, will appreciate more info on the Akira games. Remember to mail him if you find something out.

1.2.8 Is there any Akira related material for my computer?

First, there's of course the AKIRA Homepage. You can visit it at: http://www.informatik.tu-muenchen.de/~rehrl/Akira.html

So far it contains a nice picture archive, a short info about Otomo, a small ASCII Art Collection, a page of links, several reviews and synopses and an access statistics page. And you can always download the newest version of the Akira-FAQ there, of course.

I've compiled a little list of links to various Akira stuff on the net. So far I know of 4 things:

A sound patch .WAD for Doom2: Hell on Earth by iD Software. I fear that this has left the net forever (No, I don't have the WAD myself). However, if the situation changes, the FAQ will be updated appropriately.

Mod Music file: Akira Rave II (Pray for a Sequel Remix) This is only for hardcore-fans and people resistant to noise. Any connection to the original Akira music can be hardly detected by listening to this Mod although some samples contain Akira waves.

ftp://plaza.aarnet.edu.au/pub/aminet/mods/ephnx/AkiraRaveII.lha (Australia)

ftp://quepasa.cs.tu-berlin.de/pub/amiga/aminet/mods/ephnx/AkiraRaveII.lha (Germany)

ftp://info2.rus.uni-stuttgart.de/pub/systems/amiga/aminet/mods/ephnx/ AkiraRaveII.lha (Germany)

ftp://ftp.pu-toyama.ac.jp/pub/.b/ftpmail/ftp.cdrom.com/pub/aminet/mods/ ephnx/AkiraRaveII.lha (Japan)

ftp://ftp.luth.se/pub/amiga/mods/ephnx/AkiraRaveII.lha (Sweden)

ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/aminet/mods/ephnx/AkiraRaveII.lha (USA)

Mod music file: Akira Rave. The Predecessor of AR II. It's quite similar to it and is a bit more bearable (but not much).


"Cyclewars" graphics and sound demo for Ms-Dos. Probably the most interesting demo for Akira-fans. The French demogroup Distorsion coded it and implemented a lot of Akira-pics from the manga.

ftp://ftp.uni-paderborn.de/pub/msdos/demos/alpha/1994/c/cyclewar.zip (Germany)

ftp://ftp.sun.ac.za/pub/msdos/demos/alpha/1994/c/cyclewar.zip (South Africa)

ftp://ftp.luth.se/pub/msdos/demos/alpha/1994/c/cyclewar.zip (Sweden)

ftp://ftp.uwp.edu/pub/msdos/demos/alpha/1994/c/cyclewar.zip (USA)

ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/msdos/demos/1994/c/cyclewar.zip (USA)

1.2.9 Is there any more Akira stuff?

Yes, and plenty of it, too. Part of it is only available in Japan I guess. Ask your local anime provider for it; you're more or less likely to find something which is on this list:

- T-shirts, many different motives, about 10 or even more. The most popular one seems to be that from the film poster (Kaneda with laser rifle). - A trading card set with 100 cards plus some bonus cards and an album

- Model Kits (various materials): Tetsuo, Kaneda's bike along with Kaneda, Miyako, SOL, army robot

- An Akira pinball machine (Don't ask for this at your local anime shop)

- buttons, stickers and baseball caps

- Leather jackets, just like Kaneda's, with the capsule on the back. These are all in the hands of fans, I guess.

That should be enough for a while. Happy treasure hunting! You could also try a mail-order firm.

1.3 Form, Style, Design, Background

1.3.1 Why do people in Akira look different than in other anime/manga? (A/M)

Otomo's style of drawing is somewhat different than the "typical" manga style, because he was heavily influenced by early western films. His characters tend to be drawn in a more realistic way (at least as far as anatomy is concerned). Faces are not that realistic but certainly more than Leichi Matsumoto's for example. Eyes, noses, and mouths are just normal sized (especially the noses).

However, they had some difficulties implementing the characters when making the anime. Going through the animation machinery, their special fascination got lost. Many people had the impression that the characters almost look alike. So read the manga and see this isn't the case at all.

1.3.2 When exactly has the very first bomb exploded? (A/M)

Unfortunately (or luckily) Otomo isn't so good in prophecy as in manga writing. Several dates for the beginning of World War III have expired so far.

Original manga: 6th December, 1982 (Rather pessimistic. The manga started in the very same year in the very same month.)

Anime: 16th July, 1988 (Still pessimistic. The anime started in 1988, too.)

International manga release: 6th December, 1992 (10 years have been added.)

The time didn't change: 14:17

You'll have to live with this paradox. Just think of a parallel universe in which WW III started in 1982 to solve the problem.

1.3.3 Why is "Akira" written in Katakana? (A/M)

The Japanese use Katakana for:

- foreign words and names (e.g. "Mosukuwa": Moscow) - animals and plants (e.g. "nezumi": mouse or rat) - some female christian names (e.g. "Kaori") - sounds (e.g. "DON": gunshot) - interjections (e.g. "Are !": What ?!) - slang (e.g. "deka": cop) - telegrams - words and names they want to emphasize (e.g. "AKIRA")

You surely agree that Katakana looks quite cool. Words written in Katakana attract attention more easily and are therefore often used in advertisements.

1.3.4 How is "Kei/Kay" really spelled? (A/M)

Ke-i, in Katakana (BTW Katakana is a japanese alphabet of syllables; the other two Japanese alphabets are Hiragana and Kanji) but that's perhaps not what you wanted to know.

First, it's more important by far to know the right pronunciation: Speak "K-e-i" as in "Hey". To convert the word to romaji, the normal latin alphabet, a word must be chosen which matches the pronunciation correctly. Be careful: different languages may use different spellings. "Kei/Kay" causes confusion because there are different spellings for the same pronunciation and different pronunciations for the same spelling at the same time.

I'll try to cover the most important languages:

Latin (If there would be a Latin Akira edition): "Kei" because there's no "y" in Latin. Latin gives you the right pronunciation for a Japanese word in most cases if you convert it to romaji.

English: Both "Kay" and "Kei" are right but be extremely careful with "Kay": People tend to pronounce "Kay" in an americanized way which is wrong. Use the correct pronunciation as described in dictionaries. "Kay" is used in the English Akira release.

French: I'd advise the French Akira fans to use "Kei" although the French Akira distributor Glenat uses "Kay". The reason: apparently Glenat is sort of confused with the names in Akira. They use "Kei" for Kai, the member of Kaneda's gang. More below.

German/Italian: "Kay" would cause an Americanized pronunciation in these countries due to associations with the English christian name. So "Kei" is the appropriate spelling.

Asian languages: Well, these don't use the latin alphabet anyway.

1.3.5 What's the right pronunciation of the characters in Akira? (A/M)

Non-Japanese people generally tend to lengthen a syllable when speaking a Japanese word which is wrong. You should lengthen a syllable ONLY if you're told to do so, e.g. in "shoojo".

Consider these names: Akira Kaneda Tetsuo Yamagata Kai Kaori Kei Ryu Takashi Masaru Kyoko

All names don't contain lengthened syllables. So "Akiira" as used in Streamline's dub is completely wrong.

To pronounce correctly, try to speak fluently with no special emphasis on any syllable even if it sounds a bit unusual to you. Use the latin pronunciation for vocals. For example "Kaneeda" would be also wrong.

1.3.6 The word "RESCUE" on that helicopter is in mirror writing. Why? (M)

In the Japanese Akira release, it's not. The reason for this slight mistake is the standard method to convert mangas for western releases. As manga are originally to be read from behind and from right to left, they use a simple trick to convert them: they just mirror the pages. The text in the balloons is being replaced anyway so it doesn't matter. The pages which can be read in either way needn't to be mirrored but in this special case it couldn't be avoided. You can blame the helicopter pilot for this; he wanted to appear on this double page (and to say something). BTW this happens some more times near the end.

1.3.7 Which voice-actors contributed to Akira? (A)

Thanks to Hitoshi Doi's Seiyuu Database, I found out almost all important Japanese voice-actors of Akira. I've got too few informations about the voice-actors in any other language, sorry. Perhaps in a future version.

Armi Kazumi Tanaka The Colonel Taro Ishida Girl C Yuka Ohno Kai Takeshi Kusao Kaneda Mitsuo Iwata Kaori Yuriko Fuchizaki Kei Mami Koyama Store owner Yoosuke Akimoto Tetsuo Nozomu Sasaki Watanabe Taro Arakawa

2. Characters

2.1 Akira

2.1.1 Is Akira mute? (M)

No. Just read on ^_^.

2.1.2 Why doesn't Akira say anything? (M)

His own powers prevent him to act like a normal boy. The Power has taken over his mind leaving only a bit more than the body functions. In his current state, Akira's behavior is controlled mostly by the Power.

2.1.3 Akira plays with rocks. What's the significance of those shapes? (M)

The rocks are forming two curved lines connected to each other... This represents the double helix of the DNA carrying the genotype of a living being.

2.1.4 Who is calling Akira? (M)

Nobody. But Akira is being attracted when someone is using the Power or if it acts on its own.

2.2 Tetsuo

2.2.1 Tetsuo's hair got longer. Does that mean anything? (A/M)

This happens twice in the manga and once in the anime. If you're talking about the first time, the answer is no. It's just for the show. At most it could be explained by normal hair growth. The second time it's somewhat similar to 3-4-4 / 3-1-2. His hair was longer in the past and his body "remembered" that fact. Another example: Tetsuo's arm began to bleed when SOL's shot hit the ground right next to Miyako's temple. That was his old wound.

2.2.2 Tetsuo's hair got shorter. Does that mean anything? (M)

Yes, and his behavior did change significantly, too. And his pain seems to have vanished. This has something to do with the earthquake. Go to 3-5-7 to find out more.

2.2.3 I thought Tetsuo was so powerful. Why doesn't he manage to finish Kaneda off? (A/M)

He had the opportunity quite often. But he never did it. The idea is, that Tetsuo still cares (a last bit) about Kaneda. When Otomo was asked in an interview about the anime, he said it was about "friendship". Whether this is realistic or not is perhaps a point of controversy but hey! It's just a story.

2.2.4 "I am Tetsuo."? What does that mean? (A)

This phrase comes under the 'famous last words' category. Do you have a problem with this? ^_^

Sorry, just kidding. It's one of those typical phrases which have got a deeper meaning than the obvious one (Yes, that's Tetsuo). We're talking about "self-consciousness" here. To be aware of oneself is not an easy task indeed. Or do you know which part of your body or mind is actually "you" ? I don't know either. But here, exactly this part speaks: "I am Tetsuo". And that's the point: In this universe (see 3-5-2 to 3-5-4), Tetsuo is reduced down to his inner self.

2.3 Kei

2.3.1 Why did Kei's hairstyle change? (M)

I guess she's got her hair cut, because Otomo ordered her to. The new hairstyle looks better, doesn't it? That's all about it.

2.3.2 What's this fuss about amoebas Kei is talking about? (A)

Actually, Kyoko is speaking through Kei's mouth. Most of what she said is explained at 3-1-1. But for further understanding (her explanations are a bit unfortunate), I'll add a little more info. She said there could be something like genes in the air. She made this comparison to point out that the future is determined by some sort of energy as your looks are determined by your genes. "What if amoebas had the same powers as humans ?" Good question. She actually means the Power. If it's being used too much, it disturbs the flow (-> Part 3) which leads to unpredictable results.

2.3.3 I thought Kei was a pretty normal girl. Why is she able to fight with psychic powers? (A)

Kei is a so-called medium. If there's nobody around making use of her abilities, she is a normal human being like everybody else. Answer 3-2-5 (How can people "give" their powers to a medium ?) contains more detailed info.

2.3.4 Huh? Kei's character changed all of a sudden! (M)

You think they put something in the water, eh? Actually not her character but only her behavior changed because of her decision. And this change wasn't too surprising either. Just read the earlier issues more carefully.

2.4 Kaneda

2.4.1 Kaneda wrecked a bike. Why? (A)

The bike was Yamagata's. Look at the emblem on it: Yamagata had the same one on his t-shirt. Don't you think, too, that young Japanese men of the 21st century have some really obscure funeral ceremonies ?

2.4.2 How did Kaneda survive that drop from the sky? (M)

Remember this is a manga. Kaneda's guardian angel just has a full time job. Have you ever noticed that this always happens to the same type of characters (semi-naive troublemakers)?

2.4.3 How did Kaneda survive that rain of rocks? (A)

Remember this is an anime. See previous question.

2.4.4 Why does Kaneda know where Kei is? (M)

Kei told him. But NOT by speaking to him. And Miyako probably arranged it. Note that Kei stopped short at something shortly after the beginning of her trip with the Colonel.

2.5 Miyako

2.5.1 Is there ANY connection between the Miyako in the manga and the one in the anime? (A/M)

Uh, they look alike ? At least both are concerned with "religious" topics.

2.5.2 Where has Tetsuo seen the relief in Miyako's temple before? (M)

He has seen it in "Akira's head". That relief represents the flow of time. Tetsuo is so frightened about it because it's like a maelstrom to him. Chapter 3-3 (Dreams and visions) deals mostly with Tetsuo's experiences.

2.5.3 What's this fuss about a flow Miyako is talking about? (M)

The flow itself is roughly described in Chapter 3-1. The following paragraphs try to explain the meaning of some of Miyako's rather cryptic statements.

She said the flow carries the universe to a final state. Consider this: At the time of its birth the universe was very small. All matter/energy (You know, E=mcý) was very concentrated. You may have heard that the universe constantly expands. So the concentration decreases of course. The final state is reached when concentration reaches zero. But this state can't be reached forever and the flow will continue carrying us with it.

Miyako stated that the Power wants to stop the flow. Actually nobody, how powerful he might be, could stop it. Remember that the flow controls the whole universe and even earth is only a tiny grain of sand compared to it. Even Akira couldn't do that (if his powers were of the ordinary type; read next paragraph). But if somebody is able to use the Power, this person can stop a small part of the flow by destroying objects etc., but not for long. It will return to its original path with doubled force. That means it'll hit back on the originator of the disturbance. It won't just cause the Power to deteriorate. The disturbance doesn't vanish that easily. Instead the flow will mess up with the Power with strange events as a result.

"Akira isn't in the flow." That's a rather confusing fact at first sight. But let's see. Akira's powers are different than Tetsuo's. He can create a huge sphere which vanishes after a while taking all swallowed objects with it. But where are they now ? Not in the flow anymore. Because the whole universe is in it, the objects are not in this universe but in another NEW universe created by Akira. Akira himself is some sort of a universe on two legs. Please don't take this literally. His body is in the flow anyway. Only that part of his mind which is the origin of his powers has detached itself from the flow.

2.5.4 Hm? I thought they wanted to attack Akira not Tetsuo. (M)

They want to play Tetsuo's power off against Akira's. To accomplish this they must bring the two together. Teasing Tetsuo is the last possibility left for Miyako and her companions to bring him to the right place (BTW do you happen to know 'Zork II' by Infocom?).

2.6 Takashi, Masaru and Kyoko

2.6.1 Why do the kids look so funny? (A/M)

The Japanese army started their project to use people with paranormal abilities as weapons. The kids already had some potential but not enough to meet the army's expectations. So they give drugs to the kids to increase their powers. To learn more of this subject, look up question 3-2-3 (What effect do drugs have on psychic powers ?).

2.6.2 Why can Kyoko predict future events? (A/M)

First, read the "Basics" section in part 3 of this FAQ, then return here.

From this point of view predicting future events should be quite easy if you're able to use the power, shouldn't it? Just be aware of that which will be. The main course is given but it's possible to choose many different paths to follow it just by taking the corresponding actions (You only have to belong to the small group of people whose decisions are of any importance for the future). That is what Kyoko meant by talking about the different futures.

2.6.3 Toys are attacking Tetsuo! (A)

The toys are hallucinations created by the kids. They plan to kill Tetsuo and are using this ability to threaten him. They weren't too successful, though. No wonder, they can't stand the sight of blood for example.

Just for fun: Who's who teddy bear - Takashi rabbit - Kyoko toy car - Masaru

2.6.4 What's so bad about waking Akira? (A)

Oh, well . . . ^_^ This question is directly related to the one at 4-2-1.

2.6.5 The kids meditate in front of the Akira tubes. What do they plan? (A)

They want to use Akira to stop Tetsuo. Akira has already reacted to Tetsuo's "development". It's important to make use of Akira's power cleverly to fight Tetsuo's.

2.6.6 What has just begun? What do they want to achieve? (A)

To get out of this new universe and return to the normal world. There's even a chance to get Akira and Tetsuo back. But "One day we'll get outta here." obviously doesn't sound so good. They use the mystic phrases only for the show.

2.7 Miscellaneous

2.7.1 Who's the prophet with the funny hairstyle and dark glasses? (A)

That is Miyako. Her role in the anime is much less important than in the manga, though.

2.7.2 Who's that short guy in Kaneda's gang? (A)

His name is Kai. His name was mentioned in the anime only once so you may have missed it. In the manga his name is revealed in the Great Tokyo Empire era.

2.7.3 Who's that lone scientist working for the Colonel? (M)

You have seen him before. Have a look at the earlier issues of the manga: He's one of the two scientists assisting the Doctor in the Akira project.

2.7.4 Is Ryu really Kei's brother? (M)

No, he isn't.

2.7.5 Is Chiyoko really Kei's aunt? (M)

Yes, she is.

2.7.6 Is Yuri really Kei's sister? (A)

No. In fact she was born on a completely different pla... Hey! Which show do you watch right now?!

2.7.7 Nezu's looks remind me on something. (A/M)

You mean he looks like a rodent (most likely a rat). Well, i guess his looks are meant to fit his character. The anime doesn't go into this but in the manga Miyako and Kaneda nicknamed him. Whether he deserves the nicknames or not should be left to everyone's discretion.

BTW, do you know the Japanese word for "rat"? (You needn't look it up in a dictionary; It's somewhere in this FAQ.)

2.7.8 Where did Sakaki and company get their powers? (M)

They're just gifted. Miyako has trained them to use the Power properly. But their powers are weaker than the numbers'. More info on this subject is at 3-2-4 (Why are some people stronger than others ?).

3. The Power, the Universe and Everything

3.1 Basics

3.1.1 Tell me about the main theory in Akira


If you hold a stone above the ground and release it, what will happen? Easy: It'll fall to the ground. Of course, it just follows the laws of nature. But let me rephrase this statement: it's DESTINED to fall to the ground. That sounds a bit theatrical, but is very useful for this answer. You surely agree that the laws of nature apply to every other object (lifeless or not) in the universe. Now imagine that the natural laws predetermine the future of the whole universe, not only the stone's. Impossible ? You're right. The chaos theory defeats this model. But the philosophy in Akira goes one step further. But first, let me construct a connection between this theory and the statements Miyako/Kei(Kyoko) has made in the manga/anime. So here's the

2nd example (from the anime):

Imagine yourself when you were just one mere cell. At that time your gender, hair and skin color etc. were already a fact as well as parts of your character. Whatever you do is depends on your genes as well as on your environment. Genes are only information. And your environment, too, to a certain extent. And you do this and that, write, construct something etc. only as a result of this information. It's impossible to predict your future actions but think about simpler life forms e.g. ants. Their behavior is mostly controlled by their genetic code. And it's (almost) possible to simulate an ant colony on a computer. So future events depend on information. But where does this information come from ? As far as your hair color is concerned, from your parents. But the origin of it goes back to the beginning of time (Your parents, too, got their hair color from their parents and so on).

So now we've got natural laws and information. As mentioned before, this is not enough to explain a predetermined future. There is something else. To explain this, Miyako speaks about a giant flow which the universe is in. Important: Natural laws, as far as we know of them, are only a part of it. The other part isn't physical but it's the more important one: it carries us and our world away to a final destination of the universe. Read more at 2-5-3 (What's this fuss about a flow Miyako is talking about ?) about this topic. Some of Miyako's further statements are explained there. The flow's energy originated at the birth of our universe, the big bang. And it's this kind of energy which can't be explained by natural laws and logical considerations.

But that's still not the whole story (Last paragraph, I swear !). The flow can be compared to an ordinary river and for example you are sitting in a boat floating on it. So far, I've only explained why the river flows (Natural laws, information, maybe even more components of the "gradient"). But of course, the river comes from somewhere and leads to somewhere. Whereever your boat might float now, the place where it was before is still there. So is the place where its going to. The point is that the flow should be seen in its entirety. Don't just look at the present but also be aware of the past and the future.

But all this doesn't explain the Power yet (Although you might already have a clue). Go to next question.

3.1.2 Where does the Power come from?

(Hope you've read the last answer before)

The Power isn't a form of physical energy or something like that. If you're looking for it with all sorts of measuring instruments, you won't find it. The Power comes from within the people. You may call it ESP, but its background differs from the ordinary ESP theories (energy fields created by one's mind etc.). Human beings are living mass memory entities carrying tons of information concentrated on a small space. Did you know that the memory density in a human gene is about 10^27 Bits/m^3 ? That makes 116,415,321.8 Gigs on one mm^3. The idea is that people carry the memory of earlier events or facts within them, more than the memories of their childhood for example. You can even go back in evolution and further back till you reach the beginning of time. There are parallels to the flow theory aren't they?

These two things are actually the same. People carry a small part of the energy of the flow within them along with the info in their genes. People who can use the Power unwittingly take advantage of this fact. They separate themselves a bit from the flow, which means they separate "their" part of the flow's energy from the rest of it, and are able to disturb it a little from that different state (Although some of them think they can control it ^_^). For example if you manipulate an object, you are altering its path within the flow.

3.1.3 So the Power is in everybody of us? In me, too? (A)

Yes, and no. Theoretically, anybody is able to use the Power. But it seems you have to have certain qualities, talent if you want. People whose psychic oscillations are more qualified are able to use the Power more easily. The Power can even act on its own if the mental conditions of a certain person are given.

3.2 Using the Power

3.2.1 Did Tetsuo get his psychic powers out of nowhere? (A/M)

No. His "talent" was always there. But before his accident with Takashi it was hidden. After that event his brain activity was unusual enough to startle the Doctor. If the army hadn't started experiments on him, he probably would have never discovered his abilities and how to use them.

3.2.2 Where does Tetsuo's headache come from? (A/M)

Not from the dope or something like that alone, that's for sure. The army is interested in progress. To increase Tetsuo's powers artificially, they use drugs and treat him with rays. But that's a quite rude way to wake the Power within him. The drugs and the other experiments are quite dangerous. Tetsuo was lucky having only a headache; other test subjects of the project (not all of course) became mentally handicapped or died an unpleasant death. Oops. The next question offers more info on narcotics.

3.2.3 What effect do drugs have on psychic powers? (M)

Narcotics affect people's brain activity. Because the Power can be activated by one's mind, it's obvious that the drugs affect the Power, too. The stronger the drugs Tetsuo takes are, the greater get his psychic powers but an overdose might be quite dangerous, though. But it also works the other way round. If the Power starts getting greater than he can bear, the drugs can hold it back if they're strong enough.

But of course taking drugs regularly isn't so good for your health. Just have a look at Takashi. He was born before WW III and he's still that short. And this blue skin color . . .

3.2.4 Why are some people stronger than others? (A/M)

Ok, here's a small list for you. This classification isn't from the story. But I think it's a good way to help to distinguish the characters in the it.

Sakaki type: These people are clean. They built up their powers without drugs or any other means of manipulation but with mental exercises and meditation. Therefore their abilities are relatively restricted but still impressive. The great advantage of this type: they don't have to fear any (bad) consequences except exhaustion when using the Power. Miki, Mozu and the priests in Miyako's temple are also of Sakaki type.

Takashi type: The most "common" type. People with potential got stuffed with narcotics (or other nasty experiments were being made with them) to increase their powers artificially. As a result, they're quite strong, stronger than Sakaki type representatives but are dependent on the drugs/medicaments. Usually, Sakaki type and Takashi type subjects had the same amount of potential at the beginning. Takashi type characters are Masaru, Kyoko, Miyako and Tetsuo's "ESP-Warriors". Tetsuo himself was Takashi type, too, but his original talent exeeds the normal value by far. But something happened and Tetsuo became

Tetsuo type: Now here's a separate type classification for Tetsuo later in the story. His powers have been pushed by medicaments all the time. When the drugs' action went down at this high and unstable Power level, it got out of control. In the manga, Tetsuo was able to control the Power by his own will a short period of time but failed at last.

Akira type: Akira is the result of experiments made on somebody with an extremely high potential. For example he is able to create a new universe. It's true ! Whole sections in this FAQ are dedicated to those events so they're not listed here.

Media: They should be not so rare but there's only one representative appearing in the story: Kei. A medium can't use the Power in any way without help. But people who have this ability are able to channel their powers into the medium. So Kyoko can for example tell Kaneda about the Power or Tetsuo's whereabouts through Kei's mouth. More on that below.

3.2.5 How can people "give" their powers to a medium? (M)

A medium is just like a normal person. The difference is that their minds can be manipulated from outside more easily. There are many possibilities such as tapping the medium's optic nerve to see what he or she sees. Controlling the body is also possible as you can see in the story. As the Power can be controlled by one's mind, the medium can be given the ability to use it. If you want to accomplish this, you'll have to get the medium's mind synchronized with your own. That means not the whole mind but the part of it which can be used to wake the Power. Both body control and channeling of psychic powers can be applied separatedly. For example you can give the medium your powers for free use.

3.2.6 Why is it dangerous to make heavy use of the Power? (M)

Miyako answered this question when Tetsuo confronted her in her temple. Her answer isn't too clear though: Read the answer at 2-5-3 to find out what she means.

3.3 Dreams and visions

3.3.1 Which meaning have the hallucinations Tetsuo had just before they brought him back to the laboratory? (A)

The Power growing within him makes some sort of a mess in his mind. Actually he was being confronted with the flow. Upstream there is the past, showing Kaneda and him when they were younger. And there's the future: the big sphere which is going to swallow him. Do you want to see more of the future ? Watch the scenes with the "Ping!" sound frame by frame or in slow motion if your VCR can't do single frames.

3.3.2 A holographic phenomenon! How strange! (M)

These phenomenons appear several times. Whoever appears as a "ghost" touches our world from another universe. Note that the time of the apparitions is independent from the times (according to our time) these universes were created. A connection is given only by the involved people.

3.3.3 What's the significance of Tetsuo's dream after "having fun"? (M)

The answer is equivalent to that at 3-3-1. You see both the past and the future embedded in the flow. This is not the flow itself, Tetsuo's feelings and memories are mixed up with it. For example he fears that Kaneda is still looking down on him.

3.3.4 What did Tetsuo see in Akira's head? (M)

He saw the flow in all its might. Tetsuo disturbed the flow earlier causing it to drag him with it much more powerfully. Tetsuo's fear is mainly based on his inability to escape the flow. His vision was a warning. But though he talked to Miyako he still didn't realize that the flow would become more dangerous for him than he might have expected.

3.3.5 There are many strange things happening in the giant sphere... (A/M)

Yes, they're strange. There are so many that I've dedicated a whole section to it. Go to 3-5 to get some answers.

3.4 Mutation

3.4.1 Tetsuo just changed into a giant blob. What happened? (A/M)

As long as his willpower was strong enough to control the Power, everything was okay. Tetsuo didn't know that the medicaments helped him in that way. Without drugs and his power risen to a level that high, he was lost. The blob is a result of uncontrolled Power. Without guidance, it focused on the nearest object and that is Tetsuo's body.

3.4.2 Why does it start on Tetsuo's arm? (A/M)

Since Tetsuo's body is like a cage to the Power, it first breaks through at it's weakest point. You can compare his body to a toy balloon. If the hull is thinner at a certain area (which has to be big enough) the balloon will bulge there.

3.4.3 Where does all this mass come from? (A/M)

Good question. The only possible solution is, that there is no new mass. The body is being inflated and only its density is changing. That means that no cavities are created but the mass itself is becoming less dense. Then if the mass is the same, why is Tetsuo's body able to wreck many things and create so much havoc (Tetsuo weighs not too much, does he) ? Don't forget the Power. The mass is completely under its control.

3.4.4 Why is the blob shaped like a baby? (A/M)

Just another example for the flow theory and it's pendant, the origin of the power as described in 3-1-2. Uncontrolled Power puts Tetsuo's body in an earlier state of evolution.

3.5 The sphere(s) and other phenomena

3.5.1 I see a giant sphere. What the hell is going on? (A)

It was created by Akira. His awakening was a result of Tetsuo's activities and the meditation of the other kids. Tetsuo is now trapped in the sphere which is a kind of a new universe (!). Unfortunately, Kaneda is trapped, too. So Kei and the kids are going to save Kaneda. There's more information about the universe-topic at 3-5-2 / 3-5-3.

3.5.2 A new universe? What's the Doc talking about? (A)

The doctor has observed several physical phenomena which give him a clue this might be a new universe but that's not the whole thing. An universe consist of two components: space AND time. As far as the space is concerned, Akira takes it from our universe; The giant sphere just swallows it. When the sphere disappeared from this world, it's own time axis was established. Akira's universe is now separated from ours.

3.5.3 A new universe? What are the scientists talking about? (M)

They're talking about the second Akira phenomenon (the first wiped out Tokyo). It's equal to the one in the anime and you can look up the answer in the previous question. But something happens with the new universe this time. It reenters our world at 3-5-5. Another difference: this universe is timeless because neither Tetsuo nor Akira entered it. If you don't understand this, just read the next answer.

3.5.4 In the sphere:??? Why do I see events from the past? And what is going on in here, anyway? (A/M)

Akira's world is very different from ours. First, it's much smaller than the universe we used to know. But you can't just leave it by walking out because there's nothing like a margin of the universe (just like ours). So you can think of this model: The main elements in here are of course Akira and Tetsuo plus their powers. You're entering their minds and see their earlier experiences.

Did you read 3-5-2 ? The "time axis" mentioned there has been set up by Akira's and Tetsuo's minds and their genetic code. It's a little flow like the big one in our universe. Of course it doesn't behave as our time axis. Akira's universe is just too small. If it would, you could just walk out of it in a couple of minutes.

3.5.5 Many buildings drop from the sky! (M)

You've surely noticed that the buildings look quite familiar. They're those which have been swallowed by Akira's sphere earlier in the story. Tetsuo's activities caused the former separated universe to reunite with our world. As you can see, nothing has changed in it since it was created.

3.5.6 What do the scientists mean by 3-dimensional / 2-dimensional? (M)

The second Akira-phenomenon was 3-dimensional (a huge sphere). The third one was 2-dimensional: a circular hole appeared in the sky and those buildings dropped out of it and to the ground. That's all about it.

3.5.7 What's the significance of the earthquake? (M)

The scientists and Miyako realized that it wasn't a normal earthquake. Most likely Tetsuo has caused it as a sort of a test. He dropped the drugs and is therefore able to use the power much more efficiently. And he has learned something about the flow and his own powers after his painful experience before (though reading the FAQ would have been easier). Which means he understands now parts of the flow model as described in 3-1-1 to 3-1-2. Do you remember that Karma Tangi said they (Akira and Tetsuo) were tired from the playing ? That game is called "setting off an earthquake".

Tetsuo's changed appearance after their return reflects his all-new attitude: short hair and no cape. Note that Tetsuo changed his looks himself. They aren't a result of strange events or something like that. A last thing would be his grey hair. It can be explained with his former experience. You may have heard that people's hair get grey or even white after a dreadful experience.

4. Miscellaneous

4.1 Politics and Intrigues

4.1.1 Does Nezu work for Miyako or what? (M)

Nezu's party has got a religious background. And Miyako is the spiritual leader of that religion. Well, it's more a philosophy than a religion as you can see. As Nezu is a politician and Miyako is a kind of cleric, Nezu is still quite independent from her.

4.1.2 What does Nezu want? (A/M)

He doesn't want to save the world from Akira, that's for sure. He doesn't want to save the poor people in the laboratory from the army's experiments either. He just wants to strengthen his position in the parliament like almost every other politician.

4.1.3 Should I join the Great Tokyo Empire? (M)

Yes. Or don't you like Akira @_@?

4.2 Hi-tech stuff

4.2.1 Who dropped that bomb at the beginning? (A/M)

Nobody. In fact it wasn't a bomb ^_^. This is the corresponding question to 2-6-4.

4.2.2 Why do small stones rise just before SOL shoots? (A)

Perhaps the beam generates a strong electromagnetic field which causes even stones to rise. Or the air has been heated up so much that a suction evolved strong enough to drag up the stones.

What if Sol was a generator for artificial lightnings rather than a laser cannon ? I've edited the following theory as little as possible because I fear otherwise I would've mixed up everything -_^.

------- Lightning strikes up, in a downward fashion. A lightning bolt first has a negative tracer, like a laser pointer on a gun, that travels downward from the cloud in small steps. It moves, stops to rebuild a charge, and moves again in an unrelated direction, forming a crooked line. This continues until it nears the ground. When it is around 100 feet from the ground, everything on the ground gives off it's own little positive tracer. This has been filmed as blue streaks reaching upward toward the bolt. Once a tracer touches, The electromagnetic energy is given off, first by the lowest straight line, then by the one above it, and that one, until it reaches back to the cloud. At the cloud there is a massive discharge of all remaining current down the path to the earth.

If Sol's EM field was powerful enough, it would need to establish a pathway for that current to flow: a slow, static stream of EM field, like an empty wire. That awoke the tracer's tails. The rocks were excited to release a tracer positive stream of their own. If the EM field were very strong (like Sol's), it might pull the rocks up by their tails. The especially long lifting period can be explained by the gigantic discharge, great distance, and necessity for targeting accuracy that the Colonel was so worried about. The final blast is the actual damage dealer, whence a tracer touches the static EM stream connecting the circuit.

For his second blast, Sol focuses his blast a little deep. This is also much larger, and more powerful. But the large rocks are ripped from the ground, implying both an upward force and a downward force. Sol probably added the two new projectors (remember the refocusing) to the circut. Sol would be all out of electrons from the first blast, so this blast would establish a circular current, both replenishing his supply and diminishing it simultaneously. The upward momentum of electrons being stripped off, as well as the misaimed electrons being reconcentrated below and pushing out, would be sufficient to lift even the big rocks.

The successive blasts are the alternating firing projectors, shooting at random at the city. The one firing on Kaneda's friends must have been beaming the electrons into the street, creating the electron buildup and the upturning of the ground, like frozen water forces apart cracks in a sidewalk. -------

That's it. If you've got any questions, Trevize (TrevizeNFX@aol.com) is the right man to ask. Mail me if you find out anything important.

But perhaps it just looks cool, this is all nonsense and there is no reason for the rising stones.

4.2.3 I've seen SOL again. But that can't be! (M)

I truly hope I'm not the only one who has been mistaken about this. SOL was not destroyed by Tetsuo. Tetsuo dealt with the American Floyd satellite which was sent by the Admiral. Floyd looks a bit different than SOL and is more massive. Right before the attack on the stadion both SOL and Floyd can be seen together on one page (Floyd appears twice on the page if you look closely). And a couple of pages later there's even an American flag painted on Floyd's exterior. Apparently the Admiral ordered to crack SOL's access code just to disactivate it or he wanted to use SOL just in case Floyd could not be activated in time.

4.2.4 A nuclear missile exploded. Why didn't everybody die? (M)

The nuclear powers use nuclear missiles with a smaller explosive force (tactical weapons) to be able to combat specific targets. The Admiral's men were lucky that this wasn't that sort of bomb which can devastate whole cities.

4.2.5 Cool. Kaneda's bike has got a reverse gear. (A)

Yes, but that's not so unusual. Many heavy motorcycles have got a reverse gear.