Akira: Neo-Tokyo

In class we discussed how Akira is a major influence on other works of manga and comics. There are many different themes that could be examined, but the one that stuck with me the most is Neo-Tokyo. The idea of Tokyo being involved in a major catastrophe and rebuilt with a new name is prominent in several anime and manga, but two stood out to me the most: Neon Genesis Evangelion and RahXephon.

Neon Genesis Evangelion ran from October 4, 1995 to March 27, 1996. The anime was produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno and features a futuristic city called Tokyo-3. The story focuses on a teenage boy, Shinji Ikari, who is brought to the city by the organization NERV to pilot an Evangelion, a giant bio-machine, in combat against beings known as Angels.


Tokyo-3; above ground the city during times of peace; below ground defensive position when Angels attack.

Shinji Ikari’s Evangelion Unit-01.
The fourth Angel.




Neon Genesis Evangelion is now considered one of the most successful and critically acclaimed anime television series of the mecha genre in the 1990s. The series has become a cultural icon and is contributed with the influencing of an artistic and technical revival of the anime industry.

RahXephon ran from January 21, 2002 to September 11, 2002. The anime was created by Izubuchi and Bones studio and directed by Yutaka Izubuchi. Multi-dimensional beings called Mulians appear above Tokyo in floating cities near the end of 2012. A conflict escalates into nuclear warfare, and the Mu envelope Tokyo and outlying suburbs within a spherical barrier, known to people outside the barrier as “Tokyo Jupiter”. The barrier has a time delaying effect, causing time inside Tokyo Jupiter to pass one-fifth slower than the outside city still referred to as Tokyo. The series centers around 17-year-old Ayato Kamina and his ability to control a mecha known as the RahXephon against the Mulians.

The barrier encompassing Tokyo Jupiter.


Ayato Kamina’s RahXephon.










The barrier resembling Jupiter is what gives the city inside its name. The image of the bubble strongly resembles that of the bomb going off in Tokyo in Akira.

Nuclear Explosion that Destroys Tokyo on December 6, 1982 starting World War III.


Rahxephon was thought to be heavily influenced by Neon Genesis Evangelion, but many have argued much larger influences that can be said to have beens sources for both shows. And while neither of these shows lays any influential claim to Akira they were the first two that popped into my head when I read about the destruction of Tokyo and its successor Neo-Tokyo.