OK, it’s been killed and resurrected more times than Jesus, but I have moderately low hopes that the live-action Akira is being shelved for good, possibly, this time, finally.
The plot synopsis for the live-action (WHYYYYYYYYY????) Akira is up for the world to see. And of course Kaneda is a bar owner and not a teenager in a motorcycle gang, and of course Tetsuo is his brother and not a member of said motorcycle gang, and of course it’s set in New York City and not Japan because HOLLYWOOD RUINS EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND PURE ALWAYS.
So, apparently, the powers that be (moronic) want to cast Twilight’s Kristen Stewart as Kei in the live-action Akira movie. I’m starting to think that Hollywood actually is doing this on purpose, like make this movie just the worst movie it could possibly be because they know, no matter what they do, it will never live up to the original manga. Or anime, if you preferred it. So they’re all like, screw it, let’s cast the worst people ever and sit back and watch the otaku cry.
Also, did you see they plan to make it a franchise?
Hollywood, what did I ever do to you to deserve this? What did we all do?
I have a friend who feels compelled to keep me informed of all live-action Akira updates, possibly because he wants me to commit suicide or something. (Hi, Greg!)
So thanks to him, I now know that Hollywood is still planning to ruin Akira, but at least they will be doing it low-budgetly, so at least it won’t be a blockbuster ruining?
Anyway, I figured we could all suffer together.
Dear (Shotaro) Kaneda,
I just want you to know that I heard the live-action Akira movie is back on and I am so, so, so sorry. Firstly, because they can never do justice to the great original work, and secondly, because they can never do justice to you, the perfect boy.
I mean it, Kaneda. There is no movie star alive that could do you justice.
Maybe if they brought Buster Keaton back from the dead, that might be okay, but even he isn’t Japanese enough, I don’t care how awesome he is (was).
Of course, because they’re making this movie for American audiences, it’s not like any of the cast is going to be any more Japanese than Keanu Reeves anyway, so we should just prepare for … I don’t know. That kid from Twilight.
And I want you to know, Kaneda, that I won’t stand for it! I will staunchly refuse to go see the live-action Akira movie the same way I have staunchly refused to go see any movie I might have to pay for myself since I became unemployed. But with more complaining.
It’s because I love you, Kaneda. You and your laser gun-shooting, futuristic motorcycle-driving, psychic ass-kicking ways.
So rest assured that for me, Kaneda, you will never be (insert affordable white star’s name here), but always a scruffy street punk with panache to spare.
I mean, what with all the good news lately, you’re starting to make me think we could be … I don’t know … friends or something. Like maybe you were just kidding all those times before and now, Hollywood, you’re ready to make amends.
And I just can’t trust that, Hollywood.
Because I know how you are.
For every (FINALLY THANK YOU GOD FOR SMILING UPON ME I AM SO VERY HAPPY) canceled live-action Akira project, there’s a 47 Ronin STARRING KEANU REEVES. (Looks like the rest of the cast is pretty much Japanese, though, thank heavens for small (very small) favors.)
Anyway, I’m not going to thank you, Hollywood, for killing the live-action Akira movie, because, well, you really don’t deserve it. But if you wanna be friends (and ruin the name of my blog), keep it up and we’ll see.
Knowing that Keanu Reeves won’t be in Akira: The Unnecessary Remake that No One Wants is just the best news ever! I feel so lucky, I am going to go out and buy a lottery ticket right now! Whooo!
So, not only a live-action Akira movie (why???) but also they’re thinking of casting Keanu Reeves (WHY????) as my frakking hero KANEDA (WHYYYYYYYYYYY??????)!!!
Goddammit, this is the end times, after all.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I didn’t think there was anyone else who possessed as much awesome as Kaneda to go up against him in a death battle. (Note: These aren’t actually death battles, because this blog is just not that cool.)
But then I remembered there was Spike Spiegel, who is even more awesome than Kaneda.
Or is he?
Only a death battle will decide!!
(Note: Seriously, this isn’t a death battle. Do I have any friends who are good with photoshop??? Or actual death battles?)
On to the (not actually a) death battle!
Physicality. You know what I hate the most about the physicality category? The way I always try to spell it psychality. I mean, what the hell is that? Why did I even make a category I can’t spell? And how can one cartoon character be hotter than another? Am I going to turn into one of those Japanese men who dates his body pillow? Do they even make Spike Spiegel body pillows? In conclusion, Kaneda is certainly awesome, but Spike Spiegel is drawn better. Plus, he’s got that lanky thing going, which is my kryptonite. Winner? Spike Spiegel. The real winner? Lokifire, if she can find a Spike Spiegel body pillow.
General bad-assedness. Here’s where the battle really begins. Sadly, it’s not a battle to the death because one of these characters is already dead. By the way, I appreciate my friends who try to console me by saying (spoiler alert) that Spike could just be resting at the end of the Bebop series, but he’s dead. Thanks anyway. I mean it. *sniff* Errr, moving right along. Spike Spiegel studies Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, which was the martial art created by Bruce Lee, who is a god among action movie stars and also everyone else. He gets stabbed, tossed out a church window, exploded, bit by dogs, punched, shot, etc., etc., and doesn’t die. You know, until he does. (Personally, I think his body was just like, damn it, stop putting me in these situations! That’s it, if I’m going down, I’m taking you with me!) He goes up against more serial killers than the entire cast of Criminal Minds (that show’s about serial killers, right?)! And he always comes out OK! Until he doesn’t. But what of Kaneda? Man, Kaneda faced off against two powerful psychics with only a laser gun and some chutzpah. And if you’re like: “Powerful psychics, schmowerful schmychics,” then, 1) I’m impressed with your abillity to pronounce that; 2) Apparently, you didn’t see Tetsuo punch a hole in the godsdamned moon. Winner? I’m sorry, Spike, but we’re going on Kaneda with this one. 1) Those were some powerful psychics; and 2) he’s not dead.
Better first name? Spike’s first name is Spike. I don’t know if he was born with that name or what. Kaneda’s first name is Shotaro. There’s a couple of ways to write the kanji for Shotaro and I can’t read kanji so I don’t know for sure how Kaneda’s first name is spelled, but the traditional way is Sho = Pine and Taro = boy. So Kaneda’s first name is probably Pine Boy. Winner? Spike.
Better friends? Spike Spiegel hung out with the crew of the interstellar craft Bebop, which includes the following: 1) Jet Black, a guy with a robot arm who used to be an interstellar cop and is now a bounty hunter; 2) Faye Valentine, a con artist from who was woken from cyrogenic sleep and also wears hardly any clothing; 3) Ed, the young computer genius; and 4) Ein, the really cute data-dog who is also a genius in addition to being a Welsh Corgi.
Kaneda hangs out with the survivors of Tokyo, who include: 1) Kei, his love interest who is a powerful conduit for psychic power and also pretty handy with a gun; 2) Chiyoko, Kei’s aunt, who is roughly the size of a water buffalo and just as deadly; 3) Kaisuke, some little short dude who was in Kaneda’s gang before Tokyo was destroyed (the second time), and is totally loyal and good in a fight; 4) The Colonel, who isn’t really Kaneda’s friend at all, but does control some sort of satellite super-beam. The winner? Holy cats! These guys have awesome friends. This is totally a draw.
Lives in a dystopia? Both Cowboy Bebop and Akira are set in futures where Tokyo has been destroyed at least once. However, in Cowboy Bebop, it’s not just Tokyo taking the brunt of the destruction, it’s the whole earth. However, people have colonized Mars and Venus and some other places, and they have interstellar space travel, so it’s cool. In Akira, though, Tokyo gets destroyed a couple more times and also, Tetsuo punches a hole in the moon. Tetsuo’s a bit of a prick. Winner? Um, I guess Kaneda, if the winner of this category is the one who lives in the worst future/society. If not, then it’s Spike, because he has a spaceship.
Ran with a gang? Kaneda and Tetsuo used to be juvenile delinquents in some sort of motorcycle gang. Before Tokyo was destroyed (for the second time). Spike used to be in the interstellar Mafia. Why, yes, I do enjoy using the word “interstellar.” How did you know? Winner? Spike, because “Interstellar Mafia” sounds waaaay more badass than “Motorcycle gang.”
Cooler vehicle? They’re both red. They’re both fast. But between Kaneda’s motorcycle and Spike’s Swordfish, only one is up for interstellar travel. (It’s the Swordfish.) Winner? Spike “Interstellar Traveler” Spiegel.
Gets the girl? Kaneda and Kei end up being the rulers of Neo-Tokyo (which has been destroyed three times at this point, so good luck with that, kids). Spike dies. Also, he was mean to Faye up until the end, when they! would! have! made! such! a! cute! couple!! Winner? Kaneda. (Gods, Spike, you should’ve just hooked up with Faye already.)
Lives to fight another day? Winner? Kanedaaaaaa!
Overall winner? Spike Spiegel. But only barely. Mostly because of his spaceship.
It was pointed out to me that perhaps, just perhaps, mind you, the previous matchup of Akira and his military training and Carrie and her telekinesis brought on by the travails of puberty was just a bit unfair.
Let the battle of destructive forces of nature begin!
Physicality: As mentioned previously, Akira is a cute little cutie who cutes (and destroys the world). Godzilla is a giant monster. Incidentally, Godzilla’s Japanese name, Gojira, is a combination of gorira and kujira (gorilla and whale, respectively). Also incidentally, Gojira sounds a lot like Godzilla to American ears, hence the bastardization of his name. The winner? Hey, Akira’s cute, but who isn’t impressed by a hideous giant monster? Godzilla.
Destroyed Tokyo? Akira destroyed the city once as a small child, then again thirty years later as a small child (still) and then again some indeterminate amount of time later. Admittedly, Tetsuo lent a helping hand the second and third times, but that’s hard work for a kid who looks about 6 or 7. On the other hand, Godzilla’s been in more movies than I can count (I have a learning disability) (Editor’s note: Lokifire’s learning disability is called “too lazy to do the work.”), and I can only assume (Editor’s note: see my last note) that he destroys Tokyo in all those movies. The winner by a landslide, possibly literally: Godzilla!
Trapped: For Akira, the military locked him in a seven-layer chamber for about 30 years. It was kept at Absolute Zero. I just capitalized Absolute Zero for no particular reason. Godzilla was trapped under the sea, with all the singing sea creatures. The winner? Akira, because Absolute Zero is really, really cold, and it really, really should have killed him dead.
Hangs out with Kanedaaaaaa? I really like Kaneda. Akira wins again! (On a related note, I’ve read Akira over a dozen times, and I never really realized that Kaneda was his family name and that his name is Shotaro, which, no wonder they all call him Kaneda. Jeez.)
Name recognition with millions of Japanese and a few thousand geeky Americans? This? Is a tie. Ask the right person, and the words “Godzilla” and “Akira” are only synonymous with “destruction of Tokyo.”
A parable for their time? Godzilla was brought into being through nuclear radiation. Akira was the product of a crazed military, trying to create weapons (or something. They’re the military, I assume weapons, but maybe they were trying to create an army of psychic housekeepers). These fears are both rational and likely to affect our lives at any minute. In fact, we might have the most to fear from irradiated telekinetics. My. God.
Forced into a realllllly bad Hollywood remake? The winner (or loser, as the case may be): Godzilla. Although there are horrible, horrible rumors floating around that Akira may be made as a live-action film, and I’m sure Hollywood will find some way to shoehorn Keanu Reeves into the film. (Note: if he is cast as Kaneda, I intend to murder every Hollywood exec I can find, because isn’t it bad enough you bastards want to cast him as Spike Spiegel? Must you ruin every great Japanese anime/manga character? Must you??!!!)
The tiebreaker? Technically, Godzilla just won by winning that last category, but since it’s such a craptacular category to be the victor of, we shall have one final, tie-breaking face-off. Why I am stalling, you ask? Is it because I couldn’t think of a tiebreaker, you ask? Hey, I could put this post on hold for three days and you wouldn’t know I couldn’t … fine, I’m having trouble thinking of a tiebreaker….
OK, here’s the tiebreaker for reals: Ultimate, tragic death? Akira (*sniff*) dies when his powers collide with Tetsuo’s (I think? Seriously, things get a little weird toward the end of Akira, and I’m always like, man, that’s so cool, what just happened?), and he has a vision of all his little psychic friends and, awwwwww! Godzilla apparently died at some point of a nuclear meltdown (huh?), but his son (double huh?) quickly took over the reigns of horrible, mutant monster. Winner? Akira!
Overall winner: What can I say? I’ve got a deep-seated fondness for that little city-destroying sweetie-pie. Akira, you win again.