4 years before the cult classic anime 'Akira' was released, legendary artist Katsuhiro Otomo created two commercials for the debut of the Canon T-70. The original title for the project was, 'Canon T-70: Future Cityhen (未来都市篇)'.
The Akira manga was actually being published since 1982...but could this have been the first on-screen arrival from the Akira universe? 🤔
Not much information is available on the project at all, except that the building seen in the commercial was inspired by the historic paintings (c.1563) of Pieter Bruegel's depiction of the Tower of Babel. Otomo is a true artist.
The song in the first clip is titled 'Dawn' by Japanese synth-pop artist, Takumi Iwasaki and the second is titled 'Fragments of Time', also by Iwasaki. If you saw our previous posts of the Takeshi Kitano commercials, they also used a song from Takumi Iwasaki and its featured on this same album release on the B side!
Also interesting is that Otomo designed the cover illustration for the release of the record, which also ties in with the commercial. It would be cool to know what the story behind the commercial was about🤔.
Another curious note is that in the later Akira movie, the 'Canon' logo was shown on the side of Kaneda's bike. A nod and thank you to Canon perhaps?
Has anyone seen these commercials before or have any more information at all? Let us know!
Below are various images we found related to commercial, album artwork and the lesser known English version of the commercial.
We are big fans of Konica at Third Culture and even bigger fans of this questionable Konica advertising jingle sung by Hong Kong Canto-pop icon & actor, Leslie Cheung (RIP Legend).
Did you know Konica actually pre-dates Kodak in the photography business, starting in 1873? Konica have always been a very innovative company: releasing one of the first all Japanese produced 'compact cameras' (Cherry Portable Camera) in 1902, pioneering the creation of auto-exposure in cameras with focal-plane shutters in the 60's, developed countless cult favourite film cameras such as the tiny half frame 'Konica Recorder', 80's on-trend aesthetic 'Konica Tomato', voice-activated 'Konica Kanpai', compact legendary 'Konica Big Mini' series and my own daily camera the (super underrated) Konica Hexar RF.
Konica's own 'Hexanon' lenses were that highly regarded (but still underrated commercially!) in terms of optical quality that they were used by the Japanese Government as the standard against which all other lenses were measured. ALL other lenses. Yup..even against Nikon & Canon giants.
They also were a major player producer of 35mm film, originally sold under the name 'Sakura' (seen at the start of the video) but changed the name worldwide in 1987 to fall under 'Konica'.
Konica was the genuine, fun brand that did their own thing, never followed trends and kept it real. They were once the greatest optical company in Asia and one of the top in the world. All until..digital cameras took off and they got left a bit behind. They eventually called it quits in the photography business in 2003 and merged with (another once glorious company) Minolta and decided to make photocopiers together instead.MF photocopiers, man. Damn shame.
Remember the Konica legacy next time you're thinking of photocopying your ass at work and pay respect to the OG instead.✊🏽