Kaneda’s Bike: Redux

Oct 30, 2021


Reading Time: 2 minutes

09 Jun 2024

This came up as one of those off the cuff Twitter ‘challenges’, when the uber talented games concept designer Shaun Mooney asked who else would like to join him in redesigning what is only known as ‘Kaneda’s bike’, an iconic design from the even more iconic movie, Akira.

‘What sort of sacrilegious bastardy is this?’ I can hear the screams now…

I would never have thought about doing it, if for nothing else than the original is such a pop-culture icon; appearing on everything from t-shirts through to a real running version. Maybe it was the fleeting mention that tickled me, or maybe it triggered something deep down that I had been mulling over for some months now – dabbling in two wheeled and ‘speed’ concepts once again. It’s been a long time.

As this is one of those concepts you could just keep going with endlessly, I gave myself a time cap of a week or so to come up with something in the gaps of the day. It was also a good test of my ‘new’ way of working – no one’s paying me to do endless finished 2D renders which, to be honest, I never really enjoyed, so these days I have been going from loose doodles, where all the character of the idea is captured and heading right into 3D, where I can explore with ‘digital clay’; something that could never have been done when Akira was made.

So here is my take on a design ‘what if’.

The design is not a blank canvas concept, I wanted to think what would have happened if  Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira’s creator) took a right turn instead of a left in his own design process for the bike. So keeping some of the core notions from his design, I fused them with my own to go down a very different road.


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