Q: Akira, one of your most famous works, is also well recognized abroad. What do you think is the reason behind its worldwide success?
A: I didn’t make it with a foreign audience in mind. To be honest, I haven’t made anything intentionally directed toward a foreign audience. But I was certainly surprised when I recently went to the Academy Awards and received a standing ovation.
Q: The Tokyo Olympics are set to be held in 2020. The fact that this corresponds with the plot of Akira has led some web users to believe that you predicted this would happen, or are some kind of prophet. What are your thoughts about this?
A: It’s merely a coincidence. I just imagined how many years it would be until another Tokyo Olympics, and went with that hunch. It was an acquaintance of mine who actually told me about it. They said, “Isn’t it amazing?” and I remember responding, “What are you talking about?” Until then I had no idea, so I was quite surprised.