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"Oh, flames of purity, raze this corrupt city!"
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Colonel Shikishima (敷島大佐 Shikishima Taisa) is a major supporting character of the AKIRA franchise. He is the military leader of Neo-Tokyo, who is usually called by his rank. He spends most of his time trying to keep Neo-Tokyo's corrupt government in line, while also watching over the Espers.

Appearance[]

The Colonel is a very bulky, large, intimidating man. Sporting a thin mustache, and standing at approximately 203 cm (apx 6'7"), he is a force to be reckoned with. While he was seen sporting a casual suit during a council meeting, he usually wears military attire, with a belt and carrying a pistol.

Personality[]

The Colonel is a serious, stoic figure, rarely displaying emotions. While he appears as a tyrannical figure, he is deeply concerned for Neo-Tokyo and, as a military leader and soldier, always considers the risks in his decisions. He also holds great contempt for Neo-Tokyo and even calls the city " a garbage heap made up of hedonistic fools", yet he still tries to make it better because, in his words, it's what a soldier would do. He isn't held in very high regard by his fellow political leaders, who see him as responsible for Neo-Tokyo's squalid state and blame him for draining the state's funds in favor of taking care of the Espers. In turn, he holds a similar contempt for politicians, once storming out of a Parliament meeting, barely containing anger.

The Colonel holds scientific theory in disbelief and refers to scientists as "romantics". He scoffs at Dr. Onishi's theory of psychic powers being the next stage of evolution, though he muses at one point that humans weren't meant to meddle with natural evolution. Later, when the Colonel visits Akira's cryogenic chamber underneath Neo-Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, he criticizes the Japanese government for trying to hide what they created with their secret psychic experiments, referring to Akira as "Pandora's box".

While the Colonel sees psychic powers as something to be of use for the greater good, he is deeply disturbed by the coming of another Akira. When Tetsuo Shima, a young Capsule gang member, is shown to have similar psychic growth patterns as Akira's, the Colonel tries to have him killed to prevent Tetsuo from becoming another Akira, even actively hunting him down when Tetsuo goes on a violent rampage. After noticing Dr. Onishi's fascination and excitement with Tetsuo's emerging powers, he violently throws him across the room, disgusted at Onishi's neglect of human lives or the ensuing destruction.

He is shown to have a soft side; He deeply cares about Espers and treats them as much as a loving father would treat his own children, interacting with them in a soft, fatherly manner, and, unlike others (besides Onishi), he always acts on their premonitions or warnings. In turn, the Espers respect and are rather fond of Shikishima, and extend their gratitude towards him by using their powers to teleport him to safety in order to survive the destruction of Neo-Tokyo.

History[]

The Colonel's early life is described in a timeline of events released by the Akira Committee. His father was a JGSDF Major who was killed during Akira's destruction of Tokyo. The events of the Third World War profoundly altered the young Shikishima's life, perhaps influencing his decision to later enroll in the National Defense Academy. His excellent grades earned him a recommendation to Officer Candidate School, and he graduated the next year, enlisting in the Army as a First Lieutenant.

During the Colonel's military career, he studied abroad at the US Department of Defense. After returning, he was instrumental in establishing Japan's own Army Special Forces and was promoted to Major in the same year. He was dispatched in the Soviet-DPRK War and was awarded a decoration for his service. Several years later, he created a new unification of land, sea, and air defense systems, successfully allowing Japan to gain independence from the US protective defense system that had been established due to the Third World War.

However, Shikishima's growing power was perceived as a threat by the heads of government. In order to force him to withdraw from the front lines, he was appointed to the sinecure of commander of the nation's top secret Akira Plan as Colonel. The investigation into Akira had been stalled for years, lacking any breakthroughs despite detailed record-keeping and experimentation, but the Colonel still resigned himself to this position, perhaps because he was seeking answers about his father's death, or perhaps due to his own belief in the potential of the research.

After Takashi was kidnapped by anti-government resistance members who mistook him for Akira, the Colonel tries to track him down, with the Esper Masaru aiding him. Using Masaru's powers of clairvoyance, the Colonel finds Takashi on the highway road Route 5 in the old Tokyo, where the boy was involved in the motorcycle accident of Tetsuo Shima, a young Capsule gang member. After successfully retrieving Takashi, the Colonel has his men arrest the Capsules and bring Tetsuo to a hospital while he brings Takashi and Masaru back to the Nursery.

When they find out Tetsuo has similar powers like Akira, he approves the proposal of him being another subject of the experiments regarding psychic powers despite the fact that he feels uncomfortable about it. He witnesses Tetsuo's powers, when they emerge.

When he hears about the prophecy that Akira is going to be awakened again, he wants the Executive Council to give him a special funding so that the danger of another Third World War can be averted. They, however, are only interested in politics and try to make him a scapegoat regarding the bad situation in Neo-Tokyo.

That’s why they decide to arrest him, when he is about to deal with Tetsuo when he flees the facility in order to meet Akira. Pissed off with their corrupt actions, which additionally endangered Tokyo, he acts against them and stages a coup so that he has free hands in dealing with Tetsuo before another disaster like Akira happens.

His attempt, however, fails, and he has to witness the destruction of Tokyo. However, he still survives it, though he also has to see the ruins of Neo-Tokyo after that.

Trivia[]

  • He is named after Professor Shikishima from Tetsujin 28.
  • The Colonel is stated to have been married briefly through matchmaking by his superior officer, but he and his wife separated after two years, never having any children.
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