From 2017-2019, the throngs passing through Tokyo's emblematic Shibuya neighborhood were lucky enough to witness a massive art project. The PARCO department store was closed for renovation, and Katsuhiro Otomo and collage artist Kosuke Kawamura seized on the opportunity to stretch Otomo's landmark manga AKIRA across the barriers separating the construction site from the bustling nightlife of Shibuya, Tokyo.
When the project was completed, it was 2019: the very year the story of AKIRA began. To commemorate this milestone, a silver foil-coated collector's box presents an exquisite reproduction of Otomo and Kawamura's work, with the specifications overseen and approved by Otomo-sensei personally. Nearly 75 feet (22.7 meters) of illustrations, speech balloons, and text selected from AKIRA's six volumes stretch across three accordion-bound volumes. A fourth volume includes an exclusive interview with Otomo and Kawamura, as well as photographs of the original exhibition by award-winning photographer TAKAMURADAISUKE. Rounding out the box is a dramatic, 16.5x23.4-inch poster.
In this form, Kawamura's recontextualization of Otomo's manga is reminiscent of traditional Japanese emaki (picture scrolls), the narrative scrolls that some scholars see as manga's most ancient ancestors.