Anime fan or not, the image of Shotaro Kaneda on his motorbike in Akira is an iconic image instantly recognisable to most people. Akira fan Shinji Tejima from Fukuoka, Japan has spent $121,000 ( £75,000) turning his fantasy of owning the super cool bike into a reality by building an almost exact replica of Kaneda’s motorbike from the film.
Over the years a number of Akira bike replicas have come on to the market but what makes this different is that its officially recognized by Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo. Working from his auto repair shop ‘Showa Studio’, it took Tejima seven years to complete his pet project. Now finished, Tejima could have taken a break and basked in geek glory but instead has opted to use it as a force for good. He is driving it across Japan in order to raise money for the Bokura Company, a charity support group for children with autism.
The final destination will be the Katsuhiro Otomo Genga Exhibition in Tokyo. There fans will be able to sit on the bike and have photographs taken with all proceeds going to help victims and aid reconstruction of the regions devastated by the tsunami last year. With the following Akira has and its popularity with fans of anime in general, I imagine this will be a popular exhibit. And credit to Tejima for having the dedication to spend seven years building an almost flawless replica.
Check out the videos below to see the bike in action.