|In an effort to improve the wiki, this character article is to be divided into seperate manga, and anime articles.|
Shotaro Kaneda (金田正太郎, Kaneda Shōtarō) is the leader of the Capsules biker gang and the main protagonist of the Akira manga and anime franchise. Kaneda is childhood friends with Tetsuo Shima. He is also the teenage version of Osomatsu Matsuno.
Kaneda is portrayed as the main symbol of defiance against the traditional forms of authority, particularly Colonel Shikishima, being very rebellious and anarchic. His fellow bikers and classmates all describe him as being "egotistical", as he likes to show off in everything he does. He is known to act before thinking things through, which gets him into trouble several times. Despite his failings, Kaneda is brave, independent and has a heart of gold. Beneath his tough and cocky exterior, he looks out for the safety and well-being of the members of his biker gang (most notably Tetsuo Shima, his best friend), and becomes angry to the point of tears when he loses one of them. Kaneda is very trusting in his friends, but is vengeful when that trust is broken.
Kaneda is a young man standing at near average height, with short black hair and dark eyes. His most notable feature is his attire that consisted of a red biker jacket that had its sleeves pulled up, on it's back is a large design of a capsule. He wears biker jeans that are similar in color to the inside of his jacket and dark red biker boots. On his hands he wears red motorcycle gloves. Under his jacket he wears a yellow short-sleeved T-shirt.
As a child, Kaneda lived in the same orphanage as Tetsuo, whom he befriended shortly after his arrival there. In their teens, they become members of a bike gang called The Capsules, of which Kaneda is the leader. During a chase with a rival gang, Tetsuo is severely wounded in a collision with Takashi, while Kaneda and the rest of the gang are arrested by Colonel Shikishima's men and taken in for questioning. While there, he meets Kei, a female resistance member whom he takes a liking to. He attempts to hit on her by following her around, which leads to him saving her life twice. When he discovers that Tetsuo has gone on a murderous rampage with his new-found psychic powers, he makes it his mission to personally end him, both because he feels responsible for him as his friend and in vengeance for Yamagata's murder. He finds Tetsuo and provokes him into a brawl, which continues until the Espers awaken Akira, whose appearance destroys Neo-Tokyo. Kaneda is dragged into the field of energy teleporting Tetsuo away, but the Espers rescue him at their own cost. He holds the final remains of Tetsuo's physical presence, a small glowing orb, in his hands and says his last goodbye to his friend before riding into the city's ruins with Kei and Kaisuke.
Kaneda's futuristic motorcycle has become an iconic feature of the series. As the group's leader, Kaneda is entitled to have the most technologically and aesthetically advanced bike. It is a high performance red racing bike of unspecified make and model - though a badge closely resembling the BMW logo is visible on its left hand side in the movie. The bike also bears the logos of Canon Inc., the Citizen Watch Co., Shoei co. and Arai and the roundel for the U.S. Air Force. It has a reverse function, as well as a "ceramic double-rotor two-wheel disk drive." Guess what kids Kaneda jacked it off a truck. Tetsuo get the freak out of my bike. Now where is the freaking baby room?
Kaneda was named after the protagonist of Tetsujin 28-go, who shares his name exactly. Several other references to Tetsujin 28-go permeate the Akira series.