On 16 July 1988, a singularity destroyed much of Tokyo. Sometime after the end of the Third World War, people built Neo-Tokyo on a big artificial island in Tokyo Bay. The city is described as a booming, industrial city with the atmosphere of a collapsing one.
There are many high rise buildings and skyscrapers. The largest skyscrapers are over 1 kilometer tall (3280 feet) such as Neo-Tokyo Military Hospital. The outer perimeter of the island has tall and thick concrete walls. Big elevated highways and large pipes connect the city with other islands and mainland Honshu.
The anime film takes place in the year 2019 AD. The city is plagued by corruption, anti-government protests, terrorism, and gang violence.
In the anime, it is stated that the 2020 Olympics will be held there the following year.
Neo-Tokyo is situated on an enormous, man-made island with dozens of smaller artificial islands in Tokyo Bay. They're all interconnected with bridges, tunnels etc. Tokyo Bay is in the Kantō region of Honshu. Honshu is the largest main island of Japan.
Neo-Tokyo is situated right next to the ruins of old Tokyo (north-west). The satellite view of Neo-Tokyo shows there is a big derelict, dark area in the north-western side on the mainland in the Kantō region. However, there are populated urban areas with infrastructure to the north, south-west, east and south of Neo-Tokyo.
As of 2019, the population is 21,451,800 and the total area of the city is 410.32 km2. This would make Neo-Tokyo the most densely-populated city in the world after the original city.
Comparison with Real Tokyo
In real life, the coastline of Tokyo Bay has been radically modified with reclaimed land and artificial islands since the 16th century. The new man-made islands are connected via tunnels, bridges and ferry boats.
A comparison between real life Tokyo (2019) and Akira's Neo-Tokyo shows there are new lands and artificial islands in the northwest and west-side of Tokyo Bay which are not visible in Neo-Tokyo. For example Central Breakwater is adjacent to the Tokyo Gate Bridge. This is because that reclaimed land didn't exist yet when the Akira anime film was released on 16 July 1988.
The center of real life Tokyo Bay is not yet reclaimed with big artificial islands as seen in Neo-Tokyo. However, there's gradual creation of new land towards the center of Tokyo Bay.
Tokyo Metropolis (東京都, Tōkyō-to) has a population of 13,929,286 (June 2019). Greater Tokyo is the world's most populous urbanized area with 38,140,000 people (January, 2017).
Neo-Tokyo was influenced by the 1980s style Tokyo architecture. Such as the neon-illuminated advertisements, structures, Japanese companies, TV shows. It's like a very exaggerated version of 80s style Tokyo. In real-life modern Tokyo the classic neon signs are mostly replaced by screen displays.
Tokyo's skyline increased significantly with hundreds of new skyscrapers (150 meters or taller) since height limits increased to about 400 meters in 2010s. A 400-meter (1,312 feet) skyscraper will open in 2027 in the Tokiwabashi District, northeast of Tokyo Station. Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo. It became the tallest structure in Japan and tallest tower in the world in 2010 with a full height of 634 meters. None of these buildings are in Neo-Tokyo, because they're built after the anime was produced.
In Akira, Tetsuo and Kaneda are members of a bōsōzoku biker gang (暴走族). These also exist in real life, but they're not so violent nor influential. The film shows a significant amount of crime, but real life Tokyo and Japan has low crime rates compared to the rest of the world.
These are important locations in the metropolis.
- Eighth District Youth Vocational Training School
- Lady Miyako's Temple
- Neo-Tokyo Military Hospital
- Neo-Tokyo Olympic Stadium
- Star Bowling
- Warehouse 28
- Zita Bowling
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