AKIRA Character Breakdowns Seemingly Confirm That Taika Waititi Is Looking For Race-Appropriate Actors

AKIRA Character Breakdowns Seemingly Confirm That Taika Waititi Is Looking For Race-Appropriate Actors

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi previously promised that he would cast race-appropriate actors to play the leads in his big-screen adaptation of Akira, and it looks like he's keeping his word...

A casting call for Warner Bros.' live-action adaptation of classic manga/anime Akira has found its way online (via Backstage.com), and it looks like director Taika Waititi is being true to his word and seeking out Japanese and Asian actors to portray the main characters.

There have been several previous attempts to get this project off the ground, but all of them relocated the action from Neo Tokyo to "New Manhattan" and had the likes of Garret Hedlund and Gary Oldman in line to star.

The casting call is for “untitled Warner Bros. live-action film” and all of the characters' names have been changed, but this is clearly Akira and we have a pretty good idea who each of these individuals are supposed to be!

Simply click on the VIEW LIST (ONE PAGE) button below!

Jun/Kaneda

Image result for akira kaneda

Jun (Lead): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-20’s to play 18:

Sharp-eyed, sinewy, tough, handsome, cool. He is the leader of a street gang of teenagers & knows how to have a good time. JUN should not be too cool or too tough. He’s a scrappy, ragtag kid who’s not worried about anything. Your weird, natural authentic self is encouraged! LEAD.


The first side is for "Jun," but based on the description it has to be Kaneda. We had been led to believe that the latest script draft had aged-up the main players significantly, but it looks like they'll be portrayed as being just a couple of years older than they were in the original manga.

Kochi/Tetsuo

Image result for akira tetsuo

KOICHI (Lead): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-20’s to play 17:

Constantly forced to punch up in order to survive. He’s fearless to the point of recklessness. He is haunted by the loss of a loved one. LEAD.


This is almost certainly Kaneda's best friend Tetsuo, who emerges as the main antagonist of the story. Earlier incarnations of the film changed their relationship to make them brothers, so it's nice to see that's been dropped here.

Misa/Kei

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MISA (Lead): Female, 18-30 Female, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-30:

Beautiful, intelligent, strong-willed. She is a member of an anti-government organization trying to save her city. LEAD.


This has got to be Kei; resistance fighter and eventual love interest to Kaneda. She also has some untapped psychic abilities in the original manga.

Reina/Kaoiri

Image result for akira kaori

REINA (Supporting): Female, 18-24 Female, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus). Must be legal 18-20’s to play 17:

Gentle, kind, cute, compassionate. She is a member of a biker gang & cares deeply for Koichi. SUPPORTING LEAD.


The characters' true identities start to get a bit less obvious from here, but we're pretty sure this is Tetsuo's love-interest and ultimately the only person that can control him, Kaori.

Yakamatsu/Yamagata

Image result for akira yamagata

YAKAMATSU (Supporting): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus). Must be legal 18-20’s to play 18:

Large, tough, loyal, short-fused. A member of Jun’s gang & a close friend. SUPPORTING LEAD.


We assume this is supposed to be Yamagata, who is Kaneda's muscle in the manga/anime and harbors a deep distrust of Tetsuo.

Yuki/Kai

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YUKI (Supporting): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus). Must be legal 18-20’s to play 16:

A small, clever, brainy technical wiz, he is the youngest member of Jun’s street gang. SUPPORTING LEAD.


Again, just a guess here, but based on the description we reckon this is Kaisuke, who is the most technically minded of the gang in the original story.

Gen/Takashi

Image result for takashi akira

GEN (Supporting): Male, 10-12 Male, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus), age 10:

A small, mysterious boy on an urgent mission; he is humble, shy, compassionate & wise beyond his years. SUPPORTING LEAD.


This is either Takashi or Masaru, but the "urgent mission" part has us leaning towards the former. Takashi is an esper: a young child with vast physic powers who is being experimented on and used as a weapon by the government.

Aimi/Kiyoko

Image result for akira kiyoko

AIMI (Supporting): Female, 10-12 Female, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus), age 10:

A mysterious girl on an urgent mission; she is kind, gentle, compassionate & wise beyond her years. SUPPORTING LEAD.


Another esper, this is almost certainly Kiyoko. There are three of these physic kids in the manga/anime, but it looks like they may have decided to drop the wheelchair-bound Masaru for the movie.
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