|1989 Voice Actor:||Jan Rabson|
|Spanish voice actor||Benjamin Rivera|
|2001 Voice Actor:||Joshua Seth|
One of the youngest members of a motorcycle gang, led by his best friend Shotaro Kaneda, he initially has problems with being seen as little more than an inexperienced "junior" member, weak and introverted. Shotaro Kaneda is his lifelong bestfriend.
Tetsuo is one of the main characters of both the anime movie and manga, Akira. He is perceived both by himself and others somewhat as a runt, though this is not necessarily a correct assessment of his character. His misdirected views and intentions constantly lead to conflict with all the other characters and he is stubborn and naive about the consequences of his actions.
It often seems, in the earlier scenes of the movie, that he is enthusiatic about motorbiking but can't seem to 'catch up' to his friends.
Throughout the story he reflects more openly on feeling bossed around, and begins exhibiting an inferiority complex. It is when he is injured and later incarcerated by the government that he is left helpless on his own, and begins to take on a corrupt and arrogant attitude, absorbed in his new powers.
Akira is set in the futuristic and unstable city of Neo-Tokyo, built on an artificial island located just above Tokyo bay, not too far from old Tokyo, which was destroyed in World War III. It is hinted during the course of the story that the war wasn't begun in a conventional way, but was in fact the result of the actions of a young boy named Akira who possessed superhuman psychokinetic powers. These powers, it is implied during the movie, ran amok and triggered an explosion that engulfed most of Tokyo, causing mass destruction. Tokyo Bay from space Tokyo Bay ) is a bay in the southern KantÅ region of Japan. ... , literally Eastern capital) is a unique subnational administrative region of Japan with characteristics of both a prefecture and a city. ... World War III (abbreviated WWIII), or the Third World War, is a term used to describe a hypothetical conflict on the scale of World War I and World War II, or even larger, such as a nuclear holocaust. ... Akira ) is one of the characters in the anime movie/Manga Akira. ...
Following a near-collision with Takashi, a child-like military test subject possessed of various psychokinetic powers similar in type but not magnitude to Akira's, Tetsuo began developing these same abilities himself. The abilities soon grow and he becomes their next most powerful wielder besides Akira. The military under Colonel Shikishima attempt to incorporate Tetsuo into their on-going test program, but they are unable to contain him. Takashi and his fellow test subject friends, Masaru and Kiyoko, along with the Japanese Self-Defence Forces later attempted to kill Tetsuo before his powers become too great for him to control. These attempts are in vain and Kaneda, ultimately, does not succeed either.
Somewhat of an introvert, and possessing a severe inferiority complex, Tetsuo is one of the main characters in Akira. Abandoned as a child and raised in an orphanage, Tetsuo's life was one of instability, his one constant being his friend, Shotaro Kaneda. They leaned on each other in their childhood days, and remained very close as they grew up, eventually belonging to the same motorcycle gang, of which Kaneda was leader. It may have been due to growing up in an orphanage and being constantly bullied, with only Kaneda as his aid, that his 'complex' started and his powers caused him to change into someone totally different.
Tetsuo and Kei fight atop Akira's cryogenic chamberSimultaneous with the burgeoning of his power, Tetsuo's mind becomes unhinged, and he is plagued with visions of the mysterious Akira. He comes to develop a vicious misanthropic streak, most keenly expressed in his sudden hatred of Kaneda, whom he still idolizes, but whom he also blames for his feelings of inadequacy and insignificance. Tetsuo rampages through Neo-Tokyo in a quest to discover the identity of Akira, destroying much of the city along the way and triggering a civilian uprising against the corrupt government. Eventually, he discovers the remains of Akira in Neo-Tokyo's Olympic construction site which, following the end of World War III, were gathered and frozen in an underground military installation. Tetsuo gathers that he shall share the same fate, bringing untold destruction prior to his own death. This epiphany further unhinges him.
At this point Tetsuo is confronted by Kaneda, and the pair engage in combat. During the fight, it appears that both of them view their fighting much as a childhood game; there is much exchange of taunting throughout, and both of them keenly dislike outside interference. Tetsuo loses his right arm during the fight due to the Colonel's intervention with the laser satellite SOL. Using his psychokinesis, he constructs a new one from mechanical parts scattered in the wreckage of the installation; despite this remedy, the wound has inflicted a great deal of damage, and his mental deterioration accelerates. Deprived of the stabilizing drugs he needs to control his powers, his body begins to mutate, growing uncontrollably to a monstrous size, attempting to assimilate all organic matter nearby. During the process, he accidentally absorbs and kills Kaori, his girlfriend, which further unhinges him (even as he kills her he assimilates the pain her dying body experiences) and sends him tumbling into madness. Kaneda is nearly killed but manages to escape from Tetsuo's grotesque, swelling body, which has assumed the shape of a fetus, colossal in size.
Downfall and new universeEdit
Mutated Tetsuo's powers are now completely beyond his control; the same fate that claimed Akira is now unavoidable for him. In an effort to save Neo-Tokyo (which has now been gripped by a revolution), Takashi, Masaru and Kiyoko combine their powers and recall Akira; with his apparent help they send Tetsuo 'away' (though the audience is shown some intriguing footage showing Tetsuo's childhood memories interspersed with a white void filled with the wreckage of Tetsuo's rampage, the exact location of his forced refuge is not known). The final shot of the movie is of an apparent Big Bang, in contrast to its first, compelling image of an atomic explosion, during which may be heard the words "I am Tetsuo." Like the opening explosion, this moment of creation otherwise occurs in complete silence. It is thereby possible to infer that, through Akira, Takashi, Masaru and Kiyoko's influence, Tetsuo's power was able to be channeled into an ultimately creative force, which potentially brought about the creation of a new universe.
Transformation explanation provided by mangaEdit
In the manga, the Colonel designates Tetsuo as #41, and Lady Miyako later tells him that it is his destiny to discover what Akira is. However, he is impatient and doses drugs to enhance his abilities, or so he believed. In fact, the drugs acted as a suppressant to his powers' growth. It eventually found a way to maximize itself by breaking free of the limitations of Tetsuo's body by absorbing items around him and is why Tetsuo appears to be mutating towards the end.
This article contains a trivia section. The article could be improved by integrating relevant items into the main text and removing inappropriate items. This article has been tagged since June 2007.*K9999 from The King of Fighters series is based on Tetsuo, with Nozomu Sasaki providing his voice.
- While Kaori (Tetsuo's girlfriend) dies in both the movie and the manga, her death is more painful and gory in the movie, wherein she is crushed by Tetsuo's growing body. In the manga, however, she is shot to death by Tetsuo's lead henchman who is intent on murdering the increasingly-deranged Tetsuo, and who fears she will warn Tetsuo of his plans. Later, this same assassin and his supporting soldiers are killed, caught between a squad of American soldiers and Tetsuo himself. Kaori's body is then carried away by Tetsuo – he appears to attempt her resurrection, the partial success of which is painfully short-lived – and she is later found by Kei in Akira's empty cryogenic chamber. The circumstances surrounding their relationship are also different in the manga: Kaori was brought from the streets to be Tetsuo's lover along with other girls and is the only one who survives (she doesn't take the medicine she's given, saving it for her ill father instead) and Tetsuo asks her to be Akira's keeper, later developing a strong emotional dependence towards her.
- Near the end of the South Park episode titled "Trapper Keeper", the character Eric Cartman mutates into a huge, techno-organic blob monster, which is an obvious reference to when Tetsuo did near the end of the movie. During his initial mutation, a spoof on the theme "Mutation" from the Akira Soundtrack is played, and a reference to the famous Tetsuo arm mutation is made. Cartman even keeps repeating the line "We are Trapper Keeper,We Are One".
- Similarly, in the manga Naruto, the character Gaara, who is a host of the Shukaku demon, once mutated to assume the true form of the Shukaku, which causes his body to swell into blobbish flesh (though actually sand) akin to what happened to Tetsuo. The manga artist of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto, had also commented that Akira was one of his favourite anime, and it had influenced some of his works.
- Then again, it might be a reference to Tatsuo Shimabuku, founder of Isshin-ryū Karate.
- Near the end of Resident Evil 5, the video game's main villain Albert Wesker, in a fit of rage, fuses himself with the bioweapon Uroboros, causing his arm to transform into a flesh like appendage similar to Tetsuo. During the middle of the boss fight however, Wesker's other arm becomes mutated by the virus after being injured significantly by Chris and Sheva.
- In the horror comedy manga Reiko the Zombie Shop by Rei Mikamoto, Risa Nekogami's zombie servant Chameleon Model Six transforms his arm into a flesh like claw akin to Tetsuo during his battle with Yuki Todoh and Jack Guns. Also, Riruka Himezono, Reiko's twin sister and the main antagonist of the series up until her death in Volume 7, was able to mutate her arm into a large tentacle similar to Tetsuo's after being shot in the head with a Shell of Fate, a bullet capable of turning its targets into undead mutants.
- Also, it should be noted that "shima" means "island" in Japanese, so his name is possibly a nod to his isolated nature.
- The Scott Pilgrim character Todd bears multiple allusions to Tetsuo; most notably he has massive psychic powers, and (In a direct allusion to Akira) flies into space and makes a giant crater on the moon which is apparently followed up with "about 30 pages of explosions and tidal waves" Also in the video game he can transform his arm into a blobbish tentacle.
- In a Robot Chicken episode, a spoof upon Japanese cartoons involves Mrs. Claus to transform into a large creature similar to the one Tetsuo turns into at the end of Akira. Tetsuo also make an appearance in the same skit.
- In the Homestar Runner Cartoon "3-Times Halloween Funjob", an easter egg creates a Minigame where you can give one of three items to Stinkoman, an anime satire. If you choose the jar labeled 'Akira' Stinkoman's arm will turn into a tentacle, a reference to Tetsuo's transformations.