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The biker gangs of Akira may be a thing of the past

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Biker Gangs numbers dwindling.

While Otaku the world over are keeping a wary eye on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (and what could be buried underneath the stadium) the biker gangs that made Akira, GTO, and other iconic images of modern Japanese culture so awesome may have gone the way of the dodo.

The traffic police of the Hyogo Prefecture, in the Kansai region of Japan, have reported that fewer young rebellious "bousou-zoku" are joining up to form the large hell-raising biker gangs that made so many cyberpunk anime movies and shows so great. 

The traditional image of these gangs was usually of  delinquent young men and women in long dark coats with sunglasses terrorizing the people of their "turf" or cruising around on their custom bikes causing hell for commuters on the highways.

Researchers have found that these gangs, specifically gangs with five or more members, have been steadily shrinking since 2001. That year there were an estimated 98 different gangs with a membership of five or more. Over the years the number has fallen steadily, ending in April of this year when the last of these gangs in the area retired two of their members.

So what's going on?

Researchers have said that while new public education programs have kept some of these young men off the street entirely, it is more due to the shift in thought for these young people. It is said that the hierarchy of your traditional gang of leaders and followers is no longer attractive to potential members, instead, these riders rather stick together with a small group of friends where everyone is equal in their chaos-causing activities. 

However, it should be noted that the actual crime and disturbances haven't actually gone down due to these gangs breaking up. The police of the area report that incident reports of law breaking on the road have actually risen, with this year's number around 4,700. So you still might want to watch your butt if you hear the roar of a bike creeping up on your exhaust.

[via Japan Today, image courtesy JapanCrush]

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Soul Tsukino
Soul TsukinoContributor   gamer profile

Soul Tsukino lives in the state of Maine. When not enveloping himself in a new fiction story he also comments on happenings in the animation and Otaku fan scene. A creative writer since he was yo... more + disclosures


 


 



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