SCIENCE IN THE MOVIES
I have seen Akira several times, not because I like it a lot, but to introduce my children and other loved ones to this important film in the history of cinema. I selected five of its topics to analyze in Del Tubo a la Lata: mental manipulation of matter, orbital laser, "tele-transportation", tissue reconstruction and mega-cancer.
Scientific research has shown that the ability to move objects without physical contact does not exist, but there are electronic devices that are able to detect electromagnetic changes in the mind and they are used to operate engines: in this way, the mind can move objects without direct body contact.
The idea of a death ray has at least a century of existence and the closest thing is the laser, but the power of the current laser is low, even if greatly increased in the future, these rays are faced with the problem that, being light, the laser may be simply reflected with a mirror.
Tele-transportation of people is unquestionably fiction, but it is said that subatomic particles have already achieved instantaneous transport. In any case, these conditions belong to quantum physics and it is impossible to apply this to visible objects such as flies, cats and people.
The idea of rebuilding a person from a few cells is not so crazy: In fact my mom completely made me from just two cells! But other than moms, for now no one else can do it. And finally, when the body of the character Tetsuo Shima becomes a huge mass of living flesh, what we are seeing is a large cancerous tumor, something awfully real. One big difference is that tumors kill patients well before they can reach the size shown in Akira, but other than that, this horrendous scene has its feet firmly planted on scientific reality. Thanks to Katsuhiro Otomo and Izo Hashimoto for this story that was ahead of its own time.