Codename #28 in the Japanese government's secret ESP project. An estimately 8 year old boy around whom the story revolves. Akira's power was so immense that he inadvertantly caused the destruction of Tokyo in 1988 and was secretly sealed afterwards in a cryogenic chamber underneath the destruction site. Manga Spoilers
Unlike in the animated feature, Akira makes an actual appearance in the manga. After his awakening by Tetsuo, he loses control of his power again as he witnesses his friend Takashi being murdered, and the destruction of Neo-Tokyo ensues. Though he is known as the figurehead of the Great Tokyo Empire--which was established after the destruction of Neo-Tokyo--Tetsuo is actually the one in charge and he uses Akira to perform miracles with his power to control their followers. Kaori is then appointed by Tetsuo to keep him company and look after him. Akira displays autistic behavior and has actually very few lines throughout the second half of the manga. Though in flashbacks he appears quite happy with the younger versions of Takashi, Masaru and Kyoko. At the end, he's shot by Ryu and joins with Takashi and his friends from the institute to absorb Tetsuo who had lost control of his powers. Though Akira is gone, he still lives in the hearts of Kaneda, Kei and other survivor who begin to build the Great Tokyo Empire.