Anime community names Spider-Man 2's MJ the "first fictional character to fail" an iconic move

Mary Jane looks worried in a screenshot from Marvel's Spider-Man 2
(Image credit: Sony)

The latest trailer for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 shows MJ failing an iconic anime bike stunt, and the fandom isn’t sure how to handle the fumble. 

The ‘Akira slide’ refers to a scene from the 1998 anime where one character tilts and stops his motorbike in ultra-cool fashion. In a film stuffed with unforgettable images, the Akira slide has endured and been recreated in countless other films/games/shows/manga. Basically, an homage to the move is pretty much mandatory if there are bike chases and futuristic settings involved. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 understood the memo, as its newest trailer includes a small snippet referencing the scene. As you can see below, MJ attempts the iconic drift-and-stop before her front wheel detaches and leaves her on the ground. Completing the move with one back wheel is impossible - in her defense - and characters rarely ever fail the slide, so I think the clip is pretty funny out of context.

The slide fandom, meanwhile, is in tatters. “First fictional character to fail the Akira slide,” AzuGleam joked on Twitter. Other memers posted that Mary-Jane’s missions in the original game revolved around “taking pictures with your phone” but the sequel was stepping up with stunts that only Tom Cruise would perform. 

Other forums instead theorised about the character's revamped role. One Redditor speculated about a possible MJ-centric set piece: “Using a motorcycle to get away from symbiote-affected Peter? Count me in.” Over on ResetEra, one fan joked that MJ would master and attempt the slide again: "Maybe somewhere around the end-game moments, swooping in with some gizmo to save it all." Although, another felt the clip painted a gloomier picture: "That actually looks like she's about to fall off the motorcycle not some bad-ass moment like the Akira Slide."

The sinister lighting, debris falling from the ceiling, and dead-end certainly imply that this scene comes at a crucial (and potentially dangerous) point in MJ’s side of the story. But excited fans should be careful around online spaces since Spider-Man 2 recently leaked online, revealing boss battles, cutscenes, and several suits. Developer Insomniac Games also issued a warning regarding pre-launch spoilers: “We worked hard to craft a story packed with surprises.”

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 comes out on October 20th, so we only need to swing around spoilers for a few more days. 

While we wait, here are the best Spider-Man games ever. 

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.