The story is set in Neo-Tokyo in the year 2019, A.D. after the holocaust of World War III. The Olympics are expected to take place in Neo-Tokyo the following year. The motorcycle gang of "healthy, juvenile delinquents" race through the city led by Kaneda.
An unusual looking boy, Takashi, suddenly appears in front of them and Tetsuo, Kaneda's best friend, is hurt by the boy's paranormal powers. As a result, Tetsuo is institutionalized in a military hospital. During his hospitalization, the military Colonel and doctor discover Tetsuo's own hidden power and transfer him into the laboratory to perform power awakening experiments.
Meanwhile, Kaneda is involved in an anarchist riot and inadvertently saves Kay, a female rebel. As a result, he finds out that the resistance target is the secret experimental laboratory where Tetsuo is being held captive.
Due to the excessive psionic awakening experiments, Tetsuo acquires unlimited power and loses all self-control. This nightmare becomes a horrifying reality, as was the appearance of "Akira" Which instigated World War III.
Now, the survival of Earth is dependent on Kaneda, Kay, the Colonel, Takashi, and the battle of wills with Tetsuo.