Shibuya Parco has been using an Akira artwork on their construction fence since 17 May 2017. It is a collaboration between the worldwide popular manga author Katsuhiro Otomo and collaborating artist Kosuke Kawamura, who has collaborated with Otomo on other works as well.
The project is drawn on a big wall enclosing the construction site of Shibuya Parco. This artwork is the first of many that will be added slowly until Summer 2019.
Inspiration of Neo Tokyo? Controversy on Social Media
Akira is a manga by Katsuhiro Otomo that was turned into one of the most popular anime of all time. The anime takes place in 2019 in a place called Neo Tokyo, which (in the anime) is under redevelopment for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The anime has resurfaced since it foresaw the Tokyo Olympics.
Online comments are praising the project. People often say that ‘It looks cool!’ and that ‘It’s stylish!’
— MASHed・ROOM (@MASHed_ROOM) May 16, 2017
On the other hand, the manga tells how Neo Tokyo is devastated by terrorism and crime and as the story progresses, it gets destroyed and the Olympics are cancelled. For this kind of development, many people online commented that the collaboration is ‘not a good omen.’
— 須藤玲司 (@LazyWorkz) May 18, 2017
Parco commented on why they chose Akira as a theme. For one, the series is very popular inside and outside of Japan and is a good motif even for tourists who come to Shibuya. Also, Shibuya Parco will open the same year in which Akira is set, 2019.
The collaboration caused a big online controversy, but we can still look forward to more artwork of Akira appearing by 2019.