Awaken Akira is a homage piece to the 1988 cult film, Akira, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. Akira is a Japanese animated post-apocalyptic science fiction film based on Otomo’s manga of the same name.
The film is set in 2019 and tells he story of Shōtarō Kaneda, the leader of a local gang, and his friend Tetsuo Shima who acquires telekinetic abilities.
Awaken Akira was created by Ash Thorp and Zaoeyo (XiaoLin Zeng), two avid fans of the original who wanted to collaborate on a tribute on the iconic anime. What they’ve created is an even darker rendition of some of the key images from the original, produced with a higher level in intensity and drama. Mixing various styles from full 3D to a combination of processes has lead to a beautifully crafted short film with a gorgeously grungy, dystopian aesthetic. The piece is accompanied by a killer soundtrack thanks to the talented Pilotpriest, that references the original opening titles but pushes it even further.
As well as creating the short film, the pair have also invested an incredible amount of time an Awaken Akira website. Here you will be able to dive down into the pairs process of making the film (amazingly done) and also be able to look at the varying shots that are reinterpretations from the original film. It really is mind blowing, incredible work.