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Metropolis (Metoroporisu) is a full-length animated film. It was released in 2001 and was written by Katsuhiro Ōtomo. Ōtomo was the creator of the manga and anime Akira, which has become a landmark anime in both Japan and the United States. Metropolis, as well, began as a manga and then, due to its popularity, jumped onto the big screen and made a huge impact when it did so.


Metropolis focuses on the journey of a private detective named Shunsaku Ban and his nephew, Kenichi, after they arrive at the city known as Metropolis. Metropolis is a huge city, more the size of a state, really, that is unofficially ruled by a man named Duke Red. It is a time when robots have become the norm, but humans do not trust them, and so do not allow them to have human names and do not allow them to travel beyond any of the cities borders without special passes. A group of men has even been created to police the droids, but instead of policing them, they generally just destroy them.

Shunsaku and Kenichi, along with a robot named Perro, are looking for a doctor named Dr. Laughton who is supposed to be trading human organs. Dr. Laughton, however, is not trading human organs, but has instead been hired by Duke Red to create a super robot modeled after his dead daughter named Tima. It is Duke Red’s plan to have Tima control the nation, so that he can control it through her. The laboratory gets destroyed, but Kenichi ends up saving Tima, thinking that she is a real person. Kenichi and Tima end up becoming lost after they fall down a drain. They then spend some time looking for the detective while trying to avoid the robot police. Kenichi ends up teaching Tima how to become a human, including the explanation of emotions, of which Tima has a difficult time understanding.

Tima then ends up under Duke Red’s thumb again, and comes to understand, after she is shot and survives, that she is a robot. Tima then takes her place on her super throne and starts a robot revolution. Kenichi ends up taking Tima from the throne and attempts to once again teach her about humanity. The story builds to a climax as Metropolis gets destroyed and Tima and Kenichi end up hanging on for their very lives.


  • Shunsaku Ban – The detective that is sent to look for the doctor who is supposedly trafficking in stolen human organs.
  • Kenichi – Kenichi is Shunsaku’s nephew and is the humanitarian of the group. He has a boy’s innocence and tries to make Tima more human during their time together.
  • Tima – An artificially intelligent life form that was created by Duke Red. He means for her to control the world, but she is changed when she spends time with Kenichi.
  • Duke Red – The unofficial leader of Metropolis. Duke Red builds up a supercomputer that only Tima will be able to control. He names Tima after his dead daughter.

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