Akira Predicted The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Way Back In 1982

Nice work, Japan. We're all gonna die, aren't we?

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Over the weekend, while much of Australia was on the lookout for cheap accommodation in New Zealand or Canada, the International Olympic Committee was gathering in Buenos Aires to award the 2020 Summer Olympic Games to its new host city.

Faced with a virtual shitbox of choices — Istanbul, who shares a border with the civil unrest (and potential US attacks) currently raging in neighbouring Syria; Madrid, who’s poorer than your loser friend who always skips out on their pub round; and Tokyo, who’s still dealing with the nuclear fallout in Fukushima — the IOC went with the most exciting of three evils and awarded the Games to the Japanese capital, after Prime Minster Shinzo Abe convinced them all that the country was on top of things and would get rid of the nuclear contamination pretty shortly, like he’ll just stick it all in a garbage bag and throw it in the neighbour’s bins or something.

More excitingly, though, as the clever folks at Kotaku discovered, Tokyo-ites have probably expected news of the impending Games for decades. Akira, the iconic cyberpunk manga and anime written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, predicted the 2020 Games back in 1982.

The plot — which follows the adventures of a teenage biker in a dystopian Tokyo beset by government subterfuge — is set in the year 2019, against the backdrop of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as a sign spotted in the film makes clear: “147 days until the Tokyo Olympics. With everyone’s effort, let’s make this a success.”, reads the sign.


Sure, there are some slight factual errors in the film: the sign indicates that they’ll be the 30th Olympic games, when they’ll actually be the 32nd, and, as far as we know, there’s no god-like psychic currently being held in a cryonic chamber underneath the Olympic Stadium. Still, as far as film predictions go, this is way more impressive than that time I Am Legend nerdily foresaw the upcoming Man Of Steel 2.

And now, excuse us as we have to go and closely examine the rest of the movie’s predictions for our own financial gain; we gonna be rich.