|Date of Birth (Manga)||29 Jul 2015|
|Date of Birth (Anime)||29 Jul 2004|
|Weight||47Kg (103 lbs)|
Tetsuo Shima (島鉄雄 Shima Tetsuo) is a teenaged member of a biker gang who, after a near collision with Takashi, develops powerful psychic abilities. Tetsuo goes on a violent rampage in search of methods to improve and better control his new powers.
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. Kaneda is his lifelong best friend. 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. He is enthusiastic 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.
Following a near-collision with Takashi, an Esper who possesses strong psychic abilities, Tetsuo began developing these same abilities himself. The military under Colonel Shikishima attempt to incorporate Tetsuo into their on-going test program, which tests and encourages the growth of psychic abilities in humans.
Eventually Tetsuo's powers become too much for him to contain. The Espers, 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.
Simultaneous 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. Alternatively, the indication of this interaction resulting in the birth of the current universe gives rise to a second possibility. This is based upon the assumption of linear time being transcended by the accumulative forces of Akira, Takashi, Masaru, and Tetsuo.This is likewise a credible, if not more abstract explanation.
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.