Akira rappresenta per molti appassionati un passaggio che ha segnato in maniera ineluttabile un cambiamento, che fosse a livello narrativo, personale o grafico poco importa; a distanza di 30 anni da quando uscì la versione cinematografica siamo ancora qui ad illuminarci appena ne risentiamo il nome. Il capolavoro di Katsuhiro Otomo aspetta da anni una versione live action ( siamo proprio sicuri debba esserci?), le leggende circa la sua realizzazione si moltiplicano di anno in anno, da Leonardo di Caprio alla Warner pronti a metterlo in produzione. Poi all’improvviso é uscito AKIRA AWAKEN di Ash Thorp e Mike Zeng ed é subito scoppiata un’incredibile onda di nostalgia, potente quanto quella che distrusse Tokyo nel 2019; se ci pensate nel 2020 ci saranno le olimpiadi in Giappone come fu previsto nel manga. Coincidenza? Non credo proprio.
Non volendo divagare troppo e mantenere l’originalità dell’intervista, vi riporto qui di seguito, in lingua inglese, cosa mi hanno risposto su quello che é senza dubbio il miglior omaggio ad Akira.
Who are you and what drives you on Akira Awaken?.
ASH: I am a director, designer, and creative working as a freelancer in the feature film and video game industry for the past several years. Akira has influenced me greatly as a creative person since I first saw it as a kid back in the 90’s.
MIKE: I am a visual and CG artist from China, Ash and I take passion projects are very important subject to express ourselves as an artist. Also I am a big fan of Ash’s work, then we decided to do a collaboration on our favorite masterpiece, Akira, together.
Have you considered that Akira Awaken could have this huge impact all around the world? I continuously read on the web that people are asking you to do a full movie, would you be interested? Have you sent this to Otomo?
ASH: We are both very flattered by the kind words and praise our efforts have gotten on the tribute. It was never my personal intention to use this as an effort to translate Otomo’s masterpiece into a film. I personally wanted to do it to pay an honest homage to a master of our time and to progress and learn more about CGI with my friend Mike in the process.
MIKE: Personally, I think there would not be quite a HUGE impact, but there certainly is an impact on the community. If we could have the chance to join the team of AKIRA official film, that would be wonderful, but personally, I would not do a whole film, it’s quite hard and time-consuming. We haven’t sent to Otomo san yet:)
Which program did you used to make this short?
ASH: We employed many different programs, some got used more than others, but I will try and list all of the ones I can remember us implementing: Fusion 360, MOI, Marvelous Designer, 3D Coat, Adobe after effects, Adobe Premier, Adobe Bridge, Adobe photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Cinema 4D, Octane render for C4D and a few others I might be missing.
MIKE: Like Ash said, we are mainly using Cinema 4D + AfterEffects, and lots of different software to boost our modeling and texturing.
In an hypothetical live action movie who would you like to be Tetsuo and Kaneda?
ASH: A teenage versions of Toshiro Mifune and Akira Ishihama would be my pick. You would need two incredible young male actors from Japan that could carry the weight of the story like Mifune and Ishihama did all those years back.
MIKE: I am not quite certain, but usually in an anime live action, the actor tends to be dressed like an anime character, exaggerate hairstyle, strange uniform and unreal action. I’d like to have a normal person whose character fit with these characters in Akira, and all the designs are reasonable like Nolan did Batman, why Batman needs that “stupid” bat ear? because there are sound transmitter fit with that size and can do actually help, that’s a reasonable design.
I saw in the backstage there is a props of the Kaneda’s bike, would you will release it?
ASH: Most likely not, since we only modeled half of the bike and the actual shot never made it into the final tribute.
MIKE: Yeah, like Ash said, we definitely wish we could put that in the film:)
A question that no one have asked you and which you would answer.
ASH: Q. Who would you ride with? The Capsules or the Clowns? A. The Capsules.
MIKE: Q-Where is the full film? A- I don’t have it, it could be in somewhere of the universe.