Akira fans can soon own an officially licensed replica of protagonist Shotaro Kaneda’s iconic red jacket – thanks to Funimation.
The entertainment company – which gave Akira a 4K remaster last year – is selling just 300 of the jackets next month. Funimation shared the news on Friday (June 25) via an Instagram post that has since amassed nearly 19,000 likes.
The leather jackets, as described on Funimation’s official website, were designed in Italy and manufactured in Germany. Based on the Akira manga while “while leaning into the movie’s style”, they notably don’t include the capsule stitching on the back of Kaneda’s jacket in the film.
Each jacket will cost USD$450 and will be available for pre-order exclusively via the North American Funimation store from July 13 onwards.
Akira – created by Katsuhiro Otomo – first debuted as a manga series in 1982 before it was adapted into an anime film in 1988. Set in the dystopian Neo Tokyo of 2019, Akira tells the story of lead protagonist Shotaro Kaneda, the leader of a biker gang.
Kaneda and his friend Tetsuo – who harbours telekinetic abilities after a government experiment goes wrong – have to fight to survive from the clutches of the military.
Akira has long been considered one of the most influential anime productions in history. Films such as Looper, Chronicle and Midnight Special are all said to have been influenced directly by the manga series. Artists such as Michael Jackson and Kanye West have also been inspired by the film.
Every stage show I’ve ever worked on Every video not just Stronger every product even when I was in the hospital I would think… oh shit this is like Akira
— ye (@kanyewest) August 27, 2018
A live-action Hollywood adaptation of Akira produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Taika Waititi was originally announced for a May 2021 release, but was put on hold in 2019 due to scheduling conflicts.
In a 2020 interview with Variety, Waititi said he reckons the film will still get made at some point, although he isn’t sure if he’ll be the one to direct it.
In other anime news, Netflix has confirmed that its live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop – which will feature John Cho, Danielle Pineda and Mustafa Shakir – is set to premiere sometime in the fall this year.