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28 years later, Akira is still on the minds of anime fans everywhere.
The trailer, called Akira 28, features iconic images of the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo as well as an homage to central character Shotaro Kaneda’s beloved red motorcycle.
Director Brad Kremer and 3D animator Dean Fowler first came up with the idea of a tribute trailer to Akira when they both lived in Tybee Island, Georgia in 2011. On the video’s Vimeo page, Kremer says that they have both moved many times since, but somehow managed to find time to continue to work on the project in drips and drabs.
“Basically 95 percent of everything you see on the screen I modeled, textured, lit, and animated,” Fowler told the Daily Dot. “I had finished it at one point in 2013 but kinda hated it and started over. I knew it would be great if I could just stick with it and bring it all the way to fruition. Now, I look at it and I’d like to do it again!”
Fowler says that he didn’t fully grasp Akira when he first saw it as a child, but he fell in love with the film’s aesthetic and Kaneda’s impressive red bike. Today, he looks back through the eyes of an animator about why the film captured his interest.
“Akira was something that a lot of us didn’t have access to when it was released,” he mused. “There was no internet, just a little bit of cable TV, so when you saw something like that it was really special because it just wasn’t saturated. I think it meant a lot more (to me) because of that. It’s one of those things like Star Wars, it just has a sweet spot in your heart.”
Fowler also remarked that many people commenting on the video were younger fans unfamiliar with Akira—and those just might be the people ripe to see a remake.
“I think what’s cool about Akira is that it’s clean. There’s such a big passage of time there where no one has done anything to it. I do think that might make a remake interesting,” he said.
Colette Bennett is a writer and editor who specializes in geek culture, beauty products, and Amazon deals. Her work has appeared on CNN, HLN, Engadget, Kotaku, Colourlovers, and Continue Magazine. She's also given talks on working in news for CNN's Leadership Unplugged program. Bennett also runs popular Korean beauty blog Chok Chok Beauty and regularly slathers her face in snail slime.