The concept art for AKIRA shows you what the Espers could have looked like

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Akira: A great manga comic, a groundbreaking anime film and something that should never ever be adapted into live action by Americans. Sorry Yanks, I love you all, but your damn emphasis on demographics would murder this film more coldly than a mob hitman.

The film is in a constant state of flux right now, but every now and then, some concept art surfaces which shows off what could have been. And in this case, it’s those creepy Esper children with their psychic power and whatnot. Here’s a  look at some of those weird ideas that were floating around.

Masaru (2)

Masaru (3)

Masaru (4)

Masaru (5)

Masaru (1)

Howard Lau did these mock-ups above according to Film Sketchr, of lead Esper Masaru. And I’ve got to say, I think he nailed the look of the Espers pretty well, a first for the troubled production on this film. They’ve got the right blend of young and old, and it would have been interesting to see how they would have been translated onto the big screen. Anyway, here’s how Lau described the work:

“Part one of a two-part live action American adaptation of the 1988 anime film, ‘Akira’. Set in Neo-Manhattan,  Kaneda is a bar owner, who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel. Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.

Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.

“Design: ‘The Espers’ – three ‘children’ who are test subjects for the secret project. They have the bodies of children but chronologically are in their late 40’s. Their bodies and faces have wizened with age but they haven’t physically grown. They are former acquaintances of Akira, and survived his destruction of Tokyo. The Espers include:  Kiyoko,  Takashi and  Masaru (shown).

“Masaru is overweight and is physically confined either to a wheelchair or a special floating chair because of developing  polio  at a young age. He has the power to use  psychokinesis  and is considered the ‘leader’ among the three espers. He is braver than Takashi and is the first to attack Tetsuo when he tries killing Kiyoko. Masaru looks after the well-being of his friends, especially that of Kiyoko who is physically frail. In the anime, his role is the same as the manga, and the floating chair he rides is used as Kiyoko’s transport. He also summons Akira to stop Tetsuo, and when Takashi is caught in Akira’s explosion trying to save Kaneda, he and Kiyoko help Kaneda out at the cost of themselves.”

Interesting, isn’t it?

Last Updated: August 30, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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