- Akira / Tokyo 2020 / Tokyo Olympics
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Akira is a 1988 full-feature anime based in a post-apocalyptic “Neo Tokyo.” In the cult-classic, director Katsuhiro Otomo was incredibly successful at bringing a gritty, dystopian future to life. The anime, based in the year 2019, was lauded by critics and has been a fan favorite for decades.
The movie is part of the canon of the cyberpunk genre. Originally a manga written by Otomo, the series is of the same caliber as Neuromancer, Ready Player One, and any of the other outstanding titles in the field. The set sold millions of copies and helped popularize manga in the Western world.
And that's where it ends. Akira was a fun manga and an even more entertaining movie that fans still reminisce about from time to time.
Predicting The Tokyo 2020 Games
Up until recently, it’s been difficult for Japanese residents to escape the buzz surrounding the 2020 Olympics. Businesses and municipalities have been gearing up for years. There have been significant investments in infrastructure and noteworthy development of the service industry.
Media outlets covered much of the fanfare, including the efforts to make the games entirely green. Fans and admirers reacted, making the attendance to the 2020 games the most sought out ever.
Outside of the mainstream, many netizens and fans of Akira focused on something else: the motion picture proved to have incredible foresight. In one scene, following a brief scuffle with police, the character Tetsuo is taken away in a police helicopter. Flying over Neo Tokyo, the chopper passes the construction of an Olympic stadium as well as an advert for the 2020 games. “Only 147 days remaining,” the sign reads.
In 2013, the International Olympic Committee announced that Tokyo would host the 2020 games. It didn't take long for fan bloggers to notice the coincidence. As many noted, the scene even predicted a new Olympic stadium, mirroring the construction of the New National Stadium.
Fan reactions were pretty awesome:
Was it a spectacular coincidence, a moment of incredible foresight, or some Olympic Committee fan of Akira orchestrating it all? It’s hard to say. Nevertheless, many fans picked up on the foreboding undertones.
The plot of Akira centers on societal collapse and out of control psychic power. There are themes of government corruption, gang violence, and military overreaching. If Otomo truly had insight into the future, this seemingly happy coincidence was more likely a veiled warning.
Currently, the entire world is waiting to see what the COVID 19 pandemic will become. As of writing, there are 4300 confirmed deaths and countless hospitalizations. As part of Asia, Japan has been particularly hard hit by the spread of the infections disease.
Japan has had the unenviable position of an early responder. Positioned next to China, the first confirmed case of the disease occurred in mid-January. Not long after, the Diamond Princess cruise ship housing infected passengers took harbor at Yokohama. The action effectively quarantined 4000 passengers.
Officials scrambled to outline quarantine policies while confining passengers to their rooms. International criticism mounted against the quarantine policy, and the handling of the isolated cruise ship was widely seen as a debacle.
To date, there have been 495 confirmed cases in Japan, not counting the hundreds of diagnoses on the Diamond Princess. In hard-hit Hokkaido alone, there have been 63 infections and two deaths.
As the situation develops, Prime Minister Abe has taken sweeping action to avoid further spread. The administration dismissed schools throughout March, canceled public gatherings, and mobilized emergency funds to fight the effect of the virus.
Unfortunately, under the current condition, even more drastic steps may be required. Despite spending billions of dollars in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, the government is considering whether or not it will be necessary to cancel the games.
Indeed, the pandemic situation is dire. As governments enact draconian measures to limit the spread of the disease, the dystopian future of Akira becomes a little easier to imagine.
Online fans claim the creators of Akira foresaw everything. Looking back at the police scene mentioned above, on the Olympic advert is spray-painted "中止 だ! 中止." In English, this translates to "Just Cancel It."
And here's where this creepypasta culminates. The hashtag #中止, with respect to the Olympic Games as well as other live events, has been trending. It seems the visionary creator Otomo had a crystal ball, foreseeing the chaos of the pandemic and the oncoming societal collapse.