Kanye West’s “Stronger” video = Akira

1 09 2007

Hip hop artist Kanye West just gave me another reason to love him besides just for his crazy fashion sense and dope lyrics. His latest music video is based off the 1988 anime, Akira. As soon as I saw the video for Kanye’s “Stronger,” I jumped up and down.


 Which one looks scarier?

 In the video, Kanye is in some kind of machine and these robots are looking at him and then he wakes up in a hospital bed with a bandage wrapped around his head and realizes that he has psychic powers. There are also Japanese characters splashed on the screen every now and then and other shots that give you the feel of Japanimation. This cat is crazy! 

Some screenshot comparisons:


Motorcycles zooming around Tokyo wit’ the light trails


 Gettin’ dat brain scan


Can’t sleep


Gettin’ annoyed


Nice uniforms…too bad those weapons aren’t gonna help ya


The film was supposedly shot in Tokyo and Los Angeles according to music video producer Hype Williams. Thinking back to when Hype did that Janet Jackson “Call On Me” video last year, he must really dig that Asian feel. Hype talked to www.sohh.com about the video.

“The original idea was always Kanye’s,” Hype explains. “He was inspired by some Japanimation that he liked. My whole world is animation, Japanimation and science fiction, so it was something that I had a lot of experience in.”

“He was always inspired by Akira,” Hype said of ‘Ye. “There was a point where we really dove in and wound up filming parts of that movie for the video, but we decided to back off of it and do something a little more abstract for the final version. So originally it went from inspired by — to us really diving into that world and giving him a piece of the story and that kind of transmutated into the video that’s out now.”

That’s why Hype won that MTV Video Vanguard Award last year…he shoots hot fire! 

In case you don’t know, Akira was that movie that really got the ball rolling with anime in the States. Before this movie, anime was cheap-looking because the artists used to cut corners with production. They would have the face of a character stay the same and just move the lips a little bit or keep using the same reoccuring shots in order to cut production costs. In Akira, there was fire and motorcycle accidents and people blowing up…an orgy for your eyes.  The film was based on the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo. It takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a city that rose from the ashes of the original Tokyo that was believed to be destroyed by an atomic bomb which consequently starts WWIII. Later it is revealed that the catastrophic explosion came from a child named Akira with dangerous psychokenetic powers that are being studied by the government. The new city is plagued with delinnquency, terrorism and a corrupt government. Tetsuo is a member of a motorcycle gang. After having an accident, he is captured by the government and studied because his psionic abilities matched that of Akira. Tetsuo then goes on his own rampage and ultimately destroys the city. You’re going to have to see it for it to make sense.


I’m definitely purchasing (yes, spending money) Kanye’s Graduation on September 11th. I really want to see him win that bet with 50 Cent.

Kanye my man, if you are going to go all Tetsuo on a sista at least rock that red cape…dat would have made the video more complete! (Oh and get rid of Cassie’s no-talent behind)

– Da Coolest Nerd On Da Block




2 responses

2 09 2007

The more you know… o_o

Since I haven’t seen Akira before, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to make that connection. But Kanye has been saying he’s a fan of anime, and with things like this, why disagree? 😛

3 01 2008

I never liked Kanye West until i saw this video today. I imediately made the connection to my favorite anime and smiled. Wow i havent felt this good about a music video ever. Freakin hardcore of Kanye. Much Props.

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