The Cyberpunk Anime Classic, Akira, and the Chaos of 2020 #cyberpunk

Katsuhiro Otomo’s cyberpunk anime masterpiece, Akira, was released in 1988. The film takes place in 2019.

On AV Club, Sam Barsanti takes a look at the film and similarities to events in it and what’s going on in our world today:

As established over the course of the bike chase, there are rising tensions in Neo-Tokyo between the haves and have-nots—a conflict the film draws attention to with the bikers harassing a corporate office drone in a car and a wealthy couple who are literally sitting with their backs to what’s happening on the streets. There’s also a steadily growing protest happening at the same time as the biker duel, with a quick glimpse of a TV news report mentioning that a “skirmish has broken out between student protestors and riot police.” (Note the familiar lack of blame put on either party for starting the fight; TV news is apparently ineffectual in every reality.) In Akira, it’s legitimately unclear why the protest turns violent; one moment there’s a seemingly peaceful march, the next the protestors are flipping over militaristic police vehicles, while—in a moment of dark humor that is darker and less humorous now—a riot cop launches a tear gas canister directly into someone’s chest.

The scene is recognizable even if its causes don’t quite match our circumstances. In our world, protestors are marching against injustice and cops are jumping to lethal force. Things escalate, and while it’s not always clear how exactly that happens, we do know that one side tends to show up looking to talk and the other shows up looking for a fight. In Akira, the protest is about tax reforms, a suggestion that the three decades since the war have been good to the rich people of Neo-Tokyo and to no one else. We’re marching against systemic racism and police violence in 2020, but let’s not forget that our rich people are making out pretty well, too: Billionaires have made billions more over the course of the pandemic while millions of Americans have lost their jobs. (Fox News actually aired a graphic correlating major events of civil unrest and violence against Black people—like the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rodney King verdict—with a positive bump in the stock market.)

[H/t: Boing Boing]

As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 32,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — Pololu’s account of the chip shortage

Wearables — Monster-inspired costuming!

Electronics — How to make your own magnetic field probe!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: New Releases of MicroPython and CircuitPython and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — 2021 in Recap!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 1/19/22 Feat. Adafruit 7-Segment LED Matrix Backpack – STEMMA QT / qwiic!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !


  1. The Akira movie took place in 2019 🙂

  2. gareth branwyn

    Oops. You are right. Thanks for the correction.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.