Supreme is always putting us up on game, whether it be a type of garment, designer or an artist. This week the big homie is giving us a manga 101 course on Katsuhiro Otomo’s cult classic, Akira. Largely credited with popularizing anime in the States, Akira was released in 1982 as a manga, or comic book, and as a film in 1988. The series tells the story of marginalized youth under a corrupt government in Neo-Tokyo. The story shares many of the same themes that Supreme embodies.
The collaboration features semi-original (a couple graphics feature hidden Supreme branding) black and white illustrations from the manga version of Akira. The collection this week is extensive, featuring a fishtail parka, coveralls, 4 short sleeve tees and ceramic plates to name a few.
Let’s get it!
The Neo-Tokyo L/S Tee is simple in design and appearance. The explosion of Neo-Tokyo illustrated on the back gives a subtle nod to the manga in a way that allows someone that is unfamiliar with the artwork the ability to appreciate it, while not putting a target on your back signaling an Akira fanatic to grill you about the nuances of the story. The standout portion of this piece is the use of font from the Akira film poster for the Supreme branding on the chest which includes “Akira” overlayed in Japanese as seen on the original logo. Although the tee comes in burgundy, lime, white and slate, the collaborative branding is most vibrant on the black version, pictured above. The Neo-Tokyo L/S Tee has an estimated retail of $54.
There are three different hoodies dropping in this collaboration, which is nearly unheard of, but the Akira Arm Hooded Sweatshirt stands alone from the pack due to the hidden branding that’s not found on many pieces. This hoodie has gained a significate amount of hype solely due to its illustration featuring Tetsuo wearing the coveted Supreme Box Logo Tee. The inclusion of Supreme in the illustration is a great use of rebranding, however, it doesn’t warrant as much hype as a BOGO release so don’t expect it to appreciate in value or sell out as the Box Logo does. The final detail of the piece is the “Akira” embroidery in Japanese on the hood, a simple element that adds texture to any outfit. This quietly branded but dope hoodie will retail around $158.
Supreme has released numerous soccer tops in the past, but none have been as pleasing to the eye as this piece. The “Akira” embroidery on the right breast paired with the explosion of Neo-Tokyo and Supreme in old English on the left breast gives this top the same look as the heavily branded soccer kits found in the English Premier League. The addition of the collar to this jersey dresses it up enough that you could get away wearing it to a dinner with your girl’s parents. Had this week’s collection been narrowed down this piece could have easily found its way into the “Bangers” section, but the sheer amount of tees, hoodies and accessories kick the Akira Soccer Top to the wayside. If you decide you like another piece more or if we discover that there are some heavy hitting lookbook items dropping tomorrow then this is a solid item for the second checkout. Expect retail for this top to land around $110.
Anything that doesn’t include the dual Akira and Supreme branding is a Dud. The Akira/Supreme logo reinvention found on the Neo-Tokyo long sleeve and Akira Work Jacket is the best graphic in the collection and should have been featured more often throughout the collab. Even the Japanese “Akira” lettering saved several of the pieces this week. The Akira Skateboard Deck with the “Supreme” spell out is one of the most hyped items of the release but would have been significantly more appealing with the Akira/Supreme logo. Most of the complaints heard about this week’s collab stem from lack of color in the images as well as a desire for more of the biker gang theme. It’s understandable that Supreme elected to use the black and white images from the manga as they are award-winning illustrations from the man himself, Katsuhiro Otomo. However, use of color elsewhere possibly with a recreation of The Capsules biker jacket or accessories using Tetsuo’s iconic bike would have added some pop to the collection as a whole.
How to Cop
Regular drop this week.
Available in the US, Europe, and online November 2nd
Available in Japan November 4th