Neo-Tokyo Pays a Visit to New York

Skyline-Movie-Sutton Place-New York-Untapped Cities-Jonathan DeLise

Manhattan has always possessed one of the most recognizable skylines in the world.  But, when you think about which Manhattan neighborhoods best exemplify the tropospheric spirit, the Sutton Place skyline likely doesn’t place in the top five.  Wait a sec-do you even know where Sutton Place is?  With that in mind, do you think Katsuhiro Otomo, the Japanese director of the 1988 anime (Japanese for animation) movie  “Akira,” had a clue?  On second thought, there’s always that Japanese hotel named Sutton Place

Akira was loosely based on a disheartening comic (manga) of the same name showcasing a dystopian post-modern skyline in Tokyo.  The story revolves around two members of a bike gang, the protagonist Kaneda and the antagonist Tetsuo, and Tetsuo’s accidental involvement with a clandestine government science project, called Akira.  The animated movie was expertly produced, and for me, much of the replay value stems from the unabashedly urban setting in which Akira takes place.  In fact, while I’m on the topic of skylines, even when you factor in the two times during the 20th century when Tokyo had to rebuild from scratch, the skyline surprisingly is not among the most well-known.  However, when someone does mention the phrase Tokyo skyline, I think of the movie Akira.

Gloominess aside, on the off-chance I’ll be in the area, I’ll always think of the corner of 53rd St. and Sutton Place as my very own miniature – and tangible – Akira movie set.

This entry was posted in Architecture, Human Nature, Japan, New York City and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


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