Fan Breaks Down the Striking Similarities Between Kanye West and Famous Manga Series ‘Akira’

Published 12/02/2023, 10:34 PM EST

via Getty

Japanese content has long been a source of inspiration for Western artists, be it manga series or anime shows. People who constantly remain updated with the trends might know Hollywood studios have been focusing on comic book adaptations lately. After the live-action adaptation of One Piece took the world by storm, directors have turned their eye to bringing titles like Akira onto the screen. However, they might not know that Kanye West has already done a loose adaptation of the manga series. 

A fan has broken down the striking similarities between the rapper and Akira. And it might just blow fans’ minds because he took inspiration from it more than they could imagine.

Kanye West and his favorite graphic novel and anime Akira 

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A fan page named YM on X, formerly Twitter, rolled out a thread, drawing comparisons between Kanye West and Akira. They posted pictures of his splashy outfit from the ‘Donda’ album release event, which was identical to Shotaro Kaneda’s. Through this post, he pointed out that the Grammy winner was right when he said in a now-deleted tweet that not just the song ‘Stronger’ but his shows and clothes often matched the leading character.

One picture showed the ‘Praise God’ singer donning a pink polo shirt that looked the same as Kaneda’s t-shirt from the graphic novel. The second snap depicted him walking in a black puffer jacket while the fan shared a photo of the same jacket from the comic. More photos featured scenes from the 2007 song where the pop icon took inspiration from the anime adaptation.

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These posts prove West’s obsession with Katsuhiro Otomo’s artwork and that it has heavily influenced his career. While the former billionaire might have loved this manga, he was not the only one who approved of its legacy.

Akira played an instrumental role in making manga popular internationally

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Set in a post-apocalyptic and futuristic world, Akira revolves around a teenage biker gang leader, Shotaro Kaneda. The comic series originally came out in 1982 and later got published in the United States by Marvel Comics. It was one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety into English. The manga received universal acclaim from readers and critics for the storyline, characters, and Otomo’s artwork.

The writer released an animated film adaptation in 1988, which also garnered a cult following. After several theaters and VHS releases, the film racked up over $80 million worldwide. It has been acknowledged as a masterpiece and is often cited as one of the greatest films ever made. Meanwhile, among all those fans, the one who clearly showed his love for the series was Kanye West.

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What do you think about Kanye West’s connection to Akira? Drop your comments below!

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Shikha Arya

2077 articles

Shikha Arya is an experienced entertainment writer at Netflix Junkie, having contributed over 1000 articles to the platform. She holds a Master's degree in English Literature from a prestigious university and has honed her writing skills over three years. Shikha's forte lies in crafting thought-provoking pieces about the lives of pop culture icons.

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