|Kai, from the film adaptation of the manga, Akira|
|1989 Voice Actor:||Bob Bergen|
|2001 Voice Actor:||Matthew Mercer|
Kai is a short-statured teenager who is a member of the motorcycle gang, The Capsules. Although he is sometimes picked on by other members of his group of friends, he becomes particularly close with Kaneda, the main protagonist of the story and the de facto leader of the gang. Despite his size, Kai is tough in battle, a trait he exhibits in The Capsules' various gang fights and in the battle against Tetsuo in the last quarter of the story. Like many of his friends, Kai is a skilled operator of motorcycles. He's the most intelligent member of the group.
Kai is a secondary character in the story. He and his friends, all members of The Capsules, are enrolled at a "youth vocational training school" for troubled kids in Neo-Tokyo whose curriculum includes intense discouragement and corporal punishment via the gym teacher, Mr. Takaba (a.k.a. "Mr. Jaw" or "Jawhead"). After Tetsuo becomes aware of his powers and subsequently takes over the Clown gang, Kai joins his friends in The Capsules to fight a gang war with the rival group. After the two gangs collide and, shortly after, the military descends on the scene, Kai is sent to juvenile prison along with the now-deposed Clown leader, Joker.
Kai is separated from Kaneda (and absent from the story) from that moment until the last quarter of the story when he reunites with Kaneda. At that point, Kai recounts how he took refuge in Lady Miyako's temple after Akira's second destruction of the Tokyo/Neo-Tokyo area. After the destruction, he also befriended Joker, who he rescued from being crushed under a fallen wall. From that moment on, Kai explains, the two became buddies and stuck together to help each other get by in the post-apocalyptic, razed terrain of the city. After Kai, Joker and Kaneda are reunited, they all team up for the final battle against Tetsuo and the Great Tokyo Empire.
Kai's role in the film is more marginalized than his role in the manga. Similarly, he is a member of the bike gang and helps battle Tetsuo. He's the most intellgent memeber of the group. The death of Kaneda's right-hand man shakes Kai to the core. Having witnessed it and told Kaneda, he implies that they are the last surviving members of the capsules gang. One notable difference is that he doesn't befriend Joker in the second half of the story.
He is an often comical character providing relief at various points in the film.