Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Released in July of 1988, the film takes place 31 years in the future. For those with poor math skills, that would be 2019 (next year, if you’re reading at or around the publish date of this article). True to the best that science fiction has to offer, Akira makes plenty of predictions about the future. Here are just a few of the scenarios the manga and film envisioned. Let’s see how many turned out to be true.
Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympics
When the bid for the XXXII Olympic Games was awarded to Tokyo, many Akira fans probably stopped in their tracks. The site of the 2020 Olympics plays a prominent role in key story developments halfway through the manga and at the climax of the film. Hopefully, we won’t see the next evolution of mankind at one of the newly renovated Olympic venues anytime soon.
Biker gangs would rule the streets
Because of a revision to the traffic laws in 2004, Police have more power to arrest individuals on the road. As a result, bōsōzoku membership have dropped significantly. Only a few thousand members remain throughout the whole of Japan. Though Katsuhiro Otomo envisioned a future where disenfranchised youth would run rampant through the streets on their heavily modified motorcycles, an economic recession and the distraction of technology and social media has consumed Japan’s younger demographics today.
The Japanese military would regain power
FALSE (for now)
Though the Abe administration has tried to amend the Japanese constitution over the years by replacing the nation’s self-defense force with a full-blown standing military, progress has been slow to gain traction. That doesn’t mean that things won’t change in the future, especially if the Liberal Democratic Party (Japan’s current ruling party) retains its hold on the country’s political leadership.
Oversized stuffed animals would make a comeback
The over-sized stuffed animal craze of the 80’s (otherwise known as fur-pocalypse) never did make the comeback that Akira predicted. It’s such a shame, too. Things seemed to be moving in the right direction with Beanie Babies and Furbies in the late 90s and early 2000s. Alas, this was the last we would see of stuffed animal dominance. We won’t mention the furry subculture. For the love of all things good, let’s just leave that be.
Scientists would still be looked down on
Sure, some scientists have the reputation of taking things too far, but that really only happens in the movies. Most of the time, scientists spend their time warning us about stuff that could potentially have a huge impact on humanity. You know, like climate change and the dangers of using kids with psychic abilities for military purposes. For the most part, they end up being right. You know, because they’re SCIENTISTS. They study this kind of stuff for a living.
Have you noticed any other predictions that Akira or any other science fiction films have made that have turned out to be true or false? There are hundreds of examples, so get at us on Twitter and let us know about them.