I've thought about this regularly since 1997 but never posted it anywhere that I can remember. FFVII seems to have a lot in common with Akira, to the point that I believe the developers were inspired by Akira. Here's a short list off the top of my head:
- The cat slide in Midgar that Cloud climbs onto is the EXACT same slide that you see on the playground when Kaneda and Tetsuo are younger. It's possible that there was an actual slide like this IRL and that Otomo Katsuhiro and some FFVII designers each referenced it.
- Both feature motorcycle chases through the main city, and the same kind of motorcycle combat.
- Midgar is basically Neo Tokyo. They look and feel very similar.
- Shinra is basically the Japanese government from Akira.
- Midgar and Neo Tokyo are both destroyed by cataclysmic events.
- Sephiroth was experimented on and controlled by Shinra. Tetsuo was experimented on and controlled by the government. Basically Sephiroth is Tetsuo.
- Shinra creates numbered test subjects injected with Jenova cells in an attempt to recreate a supersoldier like Sephiroth (correct this if I'm misremembering), The Japanese government experiments on numbered test subjects in an attempt to recreate someone with Akira's abilities.
- Jenova is basically goo that's stored in a facility in Mount Nibel, guarded by Shinra. Akira is basically goo that's stored in a facility under the olympic stadium, guarded by the government (Anime only, different in the manga). Basically Jenova is Akira.
- Cloud has to kill his former friend, Sephiroth. Kaneda has to try to kill his former friend, Tetsuo. It's tough to draw a lot of similarities between Cloud and Kaneda, though, other than the motorcycle and maybe the attitude.
- Sephiroth loses his mind at Mount Nibel and tries to kill Tifa, later does kill Aeris. Tetsuo loses control of his body and kills Kaori.
- Sephiroth summons meteor to destroy Midgar and reset the planet. Tetsuo self-destructs and destroys Neo Tokyo, resetting the city.
- The lifestream and holy intervene to save the planet from meteor. The other telekinetics intervene to contain Tetsuo's explosion.
- Tifa is a primary member of Avalanche and becomes Cloud's romantic interest. Kei is a primary member of the rebels and becomes Kaneda's romantic interest.
It's been years since I've played FFVII or watched Akira, so I'm sure that playing through each and taking notes would uncover a lot more details that I'm forgetting. Does anyone else see a connection here?