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Characters / Persona 5: Goro Akechi

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Goro Akechi / Crow

Arcana: VIII. La Justice (Justice)

Persona: Robin Hood (Initial)

Weapons: Laser swords and ray guns

Arcana Bonus: Accelerated battle abilities (Persona 5), chance to instantly reveal enemy elemental affinities at the start of battle (Royal)

Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi (JP), Robbie Daymond (EN)

Stage actors: Yoshihide Sasaki (The Stage)
"To paraphrase Hegel, advancement cannot occur without both thesis and antithesis..."
Click here to see Crow
Click here to see Robin Hood
The Celebrity Detective of the Phantom Thieves

My sole interest is uncovering the truth.

The ninth member of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. Akechi is a teenage detective and the "Second Coming of the Detective Prince" who initially tracks the Phantom Thieves as a Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist in connection with the mental shutdown incidents he's been investigating. However, after stumbling upon one of the Thieves' Palace infiltrations, Akechi strikes a deal to help them find the true culprit, citing his hatred for injustice and belief that the Thieves are in fact being used as a scapegoat by a larger criminal conspiracy.

As a party member, Akechi is very well rounded stat-wise, and has the most diverse set of attack skills other than Joker, being able to learn Bless, Curse, and Almighty spells in addition to physical skills. His Persona is Robin Hood, the legendary 14th Century thief of Sherwood Forest who steals from the rich to give to the poor. In some retellings, Robin Hood is also associated with overthrowing Prince John, a villainous pretender to the English throne, The Crusades, and the search for the Holy Grail. As a Persona, Robin Hood has a superhero-like appearance with white armor, a blue cape, a huge winged bow, and a Chest Insignia.

In the original game, Akechi's Confidant is one of four that ranks up automatically, and aside from getting most of his battle abilities when he joins you, his Confidant provides no extra bonuses. For various reasons, this was changed in the Updated Re-release, Persona 5 Royal, where multiple optional events were added to serve as rank up events instead, bringing Akechi's Confidant more in line with the majority of the others. His Confidant initiates in the same way in both games, with him running into Joker by chance and trying to reach out to him, despite the rest of the Thieves' misgivings. Even as their ideals clash and Akechi worms his way onto the team, he still shows a growing respect for Joker as a rival, having become fascinated with him and their conflicting ideologies after a brief debate the two had during a television interview with Akechi that Joker attended as an audience member in May.
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  • AB Negative: His blood type, according to the Maniax Book. Like Futaba, his unique blood type highlights how isolated he is from the rest of the world.
  • Abnormal Ammo: In contrast to the realistic ammo and weaponry used by the other thieves, Akechi's ammo is represented by a stack of futuristic power packs for his toy ray gun.
  • The Ace: As the main foil to the Phantom Thieves, Akechi seems to have it all; he has a sterling reputation as an ace detective that sees him enjoying the kind of popularity the Thieves could only dream of, and he's talented at anything he puts his mind to. To drive the point home, choosing to partner with Akechi in the darts game sees him consistently playing at the highest difficulty and throwing a bullseye every time. Joker can become just as competent over the course of the game provided the player raises his social stats; indeed, to progress Akechi's Royal Confidant to Rank 3, Joker's Knowledge and Charm rankings need to be at their third level. Said Confidant revolves around Akechi realizing that he's not the only multitalented prodigy around anymore, and starting to view Joker as a rival he wishes to surpass.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The Animation gives more roles to Akechi to that in the game, including those where he shows his detective abilities in other Confidants, and those where he bonds with Ren. In Yusuke's Confidant, Akechi is on an investigation to a fund embezzlement case in Kawanabe's foundation. Ren helps him to track down the true culprit while they start discussing the Phantom Thieves, playing chess and making debates over the terms of justice. In Sojiro's Confidant, Akechi supersedes Futaba's role in assisting Ren and Sojiro to deal with Futaba's uncle. In the same Confidant, Akechi helps Ren resolve Futaba's negative feelings caused by Sojiro discovering the Phantom Thieves' calling card in her room. The beginning of Episode 26 also adds scenes in Akechi and Makoto's perspective when they witnessed Ren arrested by the police force, before Akechi regretfully laments that he does not really want Ren to be arrested, neither does he want things to be end up like this. The Proof of Justice OVA also expands on his backstory, and reveals that when he was younger, he would play as an ally of justice with a toy ray gun, which made his mother smile, and also explains why he uses toys for weapons as opposed to realistic replicas.
    • In Royal, his confidant becomes optional, and reveals more about his backstory than the original ever did, with him engaging discussions with Joker about the nature of justice. He also becomes involved in the new story content.
  • All the Other Reindeer:
    • It's implied that much like Naoto before him, for all of his fame and positive press, Akechi isn't particularly well-liked by the police force or the SIU for upstaging them. He also seems to suffer from a case of Intelligence Equals Isolation, in which because people hold him on such a high pedestal, he's not actually able to connect with anyone.
    • After the Phantom Thieves take down Kaneshiro, a gangster that even the cops had failed to apprehend, and bust international hacker group Medjed, the Thieves' popularity skyrockets and Akechi's plummets for daring to speak out against them in the past. Some online users even suggest him as the next Phantom Thief target.
  • Always Second Best: By the Rank 8 of his Confidant with Joker, Akechi admits that he's developed something of a complex regarding this towards Joker. This gets even more pronounced in Royal, where getting to Rank 8 with him requires beating him in a Duel Boss fight between just the two of them. When Akechi loses, he even admits that he hates Joker for his ability to always make the best of a bad circumstance.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Unlike the other male Phantom Thieves, he's never shown or even implied to have any interest in women despite his large in-universe female fan following, not even Ann (who the other male Phantom Thieves are heavily implied to be attracted to). Instead, Akechi gets a fair amount of subtext with Joker, such as the "Honey, I'm home" scene.Note The opening for Royal also has a shot of the two lying down in a pile of treasure next to each other and likewise adds even more subtext between the two through Akechi's reworked confidant and the third semester events.
  • Ascended Extra: He's much more prominent in Royal, being a proper Confidant that Joker can hang out with throughout the game like the others.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Due to his focus on Bless and Curse skills, Akechi is the only party member besides Joker who learns the Instant Kill spells Mudo and Hama. Unfortunately, due to Contractual Boss Immunity (and like the previous Detective Prince), this means some of his most powerful skills are entirely useless on the mini-bosses and bosses in the one Palace he's present for.
  • Badass Boast: When summoning Robin Hood, he can sometimes say "My skills exceed yours!" to his enemy.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's an extremely intelligent ace detective who's also a deft hand with a sword and gun, as his stint with the Phantom Thieves shows.
  • Badass Cape: Both Akechi (as Crow) and his Persona Robin Hood wear capes, and are very competent in battle.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Akechi is not only well-dressed, but a very competent detective and party member as well.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While Akechi presents himself as a clean cut, kindhearted and morally upstanding young man, he reveals a more detached and cynical side when in private. He is also shown to be surprisingly tactless, to the point where his insults are one of the main causes of Makoto joining the Phantom Thieves.
  • Blackmail: He uses photographic evidence of Yusuke and Ann leaving the Palace to force his way onto the team and make the Thieves agree to his plan to steal Sae's heart, and then disband for good.
  • Blatant Lies: Played for Laughs. When he eats the "special" red takoyaki, he tries to pretend he enjoyed the extreme spiciness even though his body and words are both shaking profusely, and his initial reaction made it seem downright painful to swallow.
  • Breakout Character: Although not minor by any means, he mostly turned out to be a Guest-Star Party Member who was essentially forgotten about after his part in the plot was concluded. However, his popularity combined with the ambiguous nature of the way he leaves the narrative made him so popular that Royal reworked his Confidant to provide a better look into his character and brought him back as a full-time party member for the new storyline content. His increased focus in spin-off material such as The Animation and the anthology manga also contributed to him being more popular outside the original game.
  • Broken Ace: Beneath his appearance as a prodigious detective and celebrity is a young man with a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S":
    • Robin Hood's massive departure from his typical portrayal includes his initials as a Chest Insignia much like that of Superman, and Akechi has an "A" on his costume's belt buckle to match it. Ironically in the case of the latter the codename he picks later begins with a C.
    • Akechi also frequently carries around a briefcase with a large "A" symbol on it in the real world.
  • Brutal Honesty: In Royal, Akechi straight up tells Joker he hates him and admits that he's envious of how Joker's handling his unfortunate circumstances, his uniqueness, and the fact that he's growing stronger than him.
  • By-the-Book Cop: In a sense. He's the one that sticks the closest to doing things by the book and caring about solving crime, catching criminals and discovering the truth for moral reasons. When the police department and the upstairs investigation heads make it clear that they care more about their own pride, self-images or agenda, he ends up forging an alliance with the Phantom Thieves as damage control.
  • Camp: The only word that can be used to describe Akechi's mannerisms in the Metaverse. From his outfit and weaponry, which are flashy even by the standards of the rest of the Phantom Thieves, to his movements, which are almost always needlessly over-the-top and flamboyant (his dodge animation is a pirouette) to his dialogue, which ping-pongs between coming across as a failed attempt at sounding like a super hero and being overly-complimentary towards his teammates, everything about him screams "trying way too hard". Justified as he's trying to uphold his flashy Detective Prince persona in front of the Thieves.
  • Casting a Shadow: Robin Hood can use Curse spells, despite being weak to them.
  • Catharsis Factor: His motive for being a Great Detective turns out to be an In-Universe version of this. He's too jaded by his Dark and Troubled Past to fight For Great Justice, so he instead does it to see criminals suffer for their actions.
  • Chick Magnet: He has loads of fangirls in-universe and even has quite the fanbase in law enforcement, particularly among the younger female members.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite temporarily working with the Phantom Thieves, he isn't even so much as mentioned in Persona 5 Strikers.
  • Clever Crows: His Phantom Thief codename is Crow, and not only does he out-gambit Shadow Sae by stacking points on a member's card that not even the thieves knew he had on him, as it was one made with an unconvincing fake name that Futaba had ordered him to dispose of, he is shown to be intelligent enough to qualify as The Smart Guy during the events of Persona Q2 and earn the respect of his predecessor Naoto.
  • Closet Geek: Never directly comes up but his weapons are laser swords and ray guns, in contrast to the other Thieves' more realistic weapons, and his Metaverse outfit and persona are designed to invoke comic book superheroes. The description of said weapons even says they're replicas of popular children's toys making this parallel Naoto from the previous game as her Shadow/Persona and dungeon were also based on media aimed at kids.
  • Composite Character: A weird variation in that it's the same character, but with two different portrayals mixed together. In Akechi's appearance in Tactica's "Repaint Your Heart" DLC campaign, he presents himself in both his Detective Prince and Crow guise, complete with his laser blade, ray gun, and Robin Hood. Personality-wise, he's slightly more like his real Black Mask self; while polite, Akechi speaks more condescendingly and so arrogant that Luca outright calls him a bastard. This even extends in gameplay where, if he's hit with friendly fire, Akechi will snarl at the player for their screw-up, something he wouldn't do in his Detective Prince persona.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Near the end of August, after getting a somewhat cold reception from Sojiro and casually noting that he's not welcome anywhere, Akechi admits to Joker and Futaba that he's a bastard child whose mother killed herself out of shame, causing him to be passed from one child institution to another for years. He's remarkably well-adjusted, all things considered.
  • Ditzy Genius: Downplayed. He's extremely smart and charismatic, but has trouble with his fangirls and other people and a tendency to space out.
  • Duel Boss: In Royal. In order to advance his Confidant to Rank 8, Joker battles Akechi by himself in Mementos.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: While more of a Hero Antagonist than an outright enemy, he nevertheless tries to invoke this trope during the school festival when he barges into the Phantom Thieves' meeting and decides to help himself to their takoyaki just to subtly assert his dominance over them. It backfires horribly on him when he eats the "special" red one, which turns out to be a little too spicy for him to handle.
  • Enemy Mine: While he publicly opposes the Phantom Thieves, he decided that it's a better option to team up with them in order to find the real culprit behind the mental shutdowns and rampages, as the police are either too corrupt or incompetent to do anything about it.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In his Rank 8 Confidant event, he challenges Joker to a fight in Mementos.
  • First-Name Basis: When he joins the party, he starts calling the Player Character and Makoto by their first names.
  • Flash Step: In Persona Q2, his unison attack with Naoto has him perform this, fast enough to catch up to Naoto's bullet despite Naoto firing first and him zig-zagging along the way. And Akechi is the one to hit his target first, meaning he can literally outrun a speeding bullet.
  • Friendless Background: In his Confidant, he reveals to Joker that his upbringing has left him alone his whole life, and that he's never had any real friends.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • The Thieves only begrudgingly allow him into the party because he's got dirt on them. They do warm up to him somewhat once he starts to prove his skills, but he remains the clear outsider of the group. In particular, Futaba and Haru almost never have anything but bad things to say to and about him (and for good reasons), Makoto barely suppresses her annoyance with his general attitude, and Ryuji often just snarks at him. Joker has the option of going either way with this, either being the member of the Thieves most willing to accept and bond with Akechi or being outright standoffish towards him whenever they interact. In the original game, Joker can even end the game with a maxed out Justice confidant by selecting dismissive responses towards Akechi due to the latter's confidant automatically progressing.
    • Subverted in Royal, where the Justice confidant is made optional (although still mandatory for the full version of the True Ending cutscene) and Joker and Akechi have a proper friendship.
    • In Tactica, some of Joker's dialogue choices with him are somewhere between a joke and him trying to piss Akechi off, such as insisting Akechi be the one to root through the garbage, or acting surprised at how Akechi considers himself to be a part of the Phantom Thieves in a Talk Event. Both times, it's noted that Akechi is quite pissed, despite the smile on his face.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Due to his tentative relationship with the rest of the thieves, Akechi rarely interacts with anyone except Joker (and to a lesser extent, Kasumi) unless it specifically involves Phantom Thief business. Notably, he's one of the only characters (the other being Kasumi) to only have one Showtime attack in Royal, and it's with Joker.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Befitting his status as The Friend Nobody Likes, inviting Akechi to play darts with you will result in no one else (barring Morgana, who goes everywhere with Joker regardless) showing up. In addition, Akechi will always play on the 701 difficulty and never asks for advice from Joker, making leveling up his baton pass more inefficient than anyone else's.
  • Great Bow: Robin Hood holds a golden bow that’s about as big as he is, and one of his animations has him shooting an arrow with it at the target.
  • Great Detective: He's a teenage detective who's initially after the infamous Phantom Thieves and later the criminal conspiracy the Thieves have been targeted by.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • During the original game he only joins the Phantom Thieves for a single target, as he's blackmailing them with the threat of exposing their identities to the police. Despite this, the party does warm up to him, as he shows some very clever thinking to outwit the Palace owner, and he has several dialogue options if one chooses to take him into Mementos with the rest of the team, showing him bonding with everyone.
    • This is averted in Persona Q2, where he is playable for the entirety of the game, and Royal, where he eventually rejoins the party permanently.
  • Grin of Audacity: When tagging him in a Baton Pass, he gives one of these after receiving the high-five.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: In the Proof of Justice OVA, an image of him as a child portrays him as having a shorter version of his current hairstyle. However, this is in Joker's imagination, so it's unknown if this what he really looked like.
  • Hero Antagonist: Until he joins the Phantom Thieves, anyway. Akechi holds the stance that, even though the Phantom Thieves may be doing good, they're still breaking the law. He wants to arrest them not out of any sense of malice, but because it's his job. As Sae becomes more obsessed with catching the Thieves, this stance softens.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: As the Foil to Joker who brandishes knives, Akechi prefers to wield swords.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: When the Phantom Thieves become a huge fad across Japan, Akechi inadvertently becomes the face for the anti-Thieves movement. He gets routinely criticized for his stance that the Thieves should be arrested because even if they're doing good, they're still operating outside of the law. This stance noticeably softens over time, but there are still people on the Phan-Site calling for Akechi's head for a while.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • While he outwardly presents himself as an ace detective and upstanding young man with a strong sense of justice, it's revealed he's actually a fair bit more cynical than he lets on. He confesses to feeling used to feeling unwanted while also noting his detective work is more of a means of catharsis to strike at negative aspects of society that screwed him over as a kid. He also shows a surprisingly mischievous and deceptive side during the sixth dungeon, using his detective skills and natural cunning to help rig the palace's challenges in the Thieves' favor.
    • Royal adds new events in his Confidant that shed more light on his character, since it no longer advances automatically. The jazz club in Kichijoji is unlocked when Akechi invites Joker there for Rank 4 of his Confidant, and Akechi notes he's a fan of jazz music. Specifically improv jazz, which he says "creates beauty from chaos."
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: After defeating him in his Rank 8 event, he admits that he loathes Joker for surpassing him and for his ability to keep on trucking in the fact of life's cruel events.
  • High-Class Gloves: Puts on an elegant black leather pair when wearing what appears to be his school uniform.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: His Thief outfit can be described as neon white, red and gold, complete with a Tengu-esque mask and even epaulettes. Stealth doesn't matter at all by the time of his first Palace, as the owner confronts them about 3 rooms in and is aware of their existence before leaving them to explore.
  • Honor Before Reason: He opposes the Phantom Thieves and wants them to be arrested and tried in a court of law, despite them bringing prolific criminals who have gotten away with their crimes for years to justice, purely because they act outside the law to do so and it’s his job.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Robin Hood is actually weak to Curse skills, so if he uses a Mudo skill on an enemy that reflects them, Akechi could be in serious trouble.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: He's the only party member besides Joker with access to Almighty skills.
  • Humble Hero: He frequently downplays his work as a Great Detective, insisting that he's simply an Ordinary High-School Student doing his part for society. But as a Phantom Thief, his costume and battle quotes become quite cocky and hammy.

  • I Am Not Left-Handed: In his Rank 2 Confidant in Royal, Joker will notice that Akechi was playing billiards with his right hand, despite the fact that he's left-handed. Akechi confirms it, saying he was deliberately handicapping himself since Joker is a newbie at billiards. However, Akechi promises to face Joker using his dominant hand if he gets good enough. (As a side note, he actually is left-handed.)
  • Inconsistent Coloring: What color his eyes are is up for debate, as artists tend to switch between dull red, brown, or somewhere in between.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: As far as you can consider him to have them, given his status as a Guest-Star Party Member.
    • His best melee weapon is the Quasar Saber, bought at Untouchable, but this changes in Royal.
    • His best ranged weapon is the Golden Beam, won as a prize at the High Limit room in the sixth palace. It gives him a medium chance to inflict despair. This too changes in Royal.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: As a result of his fame and success as the Detective Prince, Akechi finds it difficult to relate to his peers. The fact that Joker never holds back when debating him is why Akechi ends up respecting him so much.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • The fact that he isn't listed as having any further battle abilities to unlock besides the ones he gains upon joining the party is a pretty big hint that he won't be sticking around for very long. This was such a giveaway that Royal eventually changed his entire confidant to work more like a regular one, with optional advancement and various abilities unlocked slowly over time.
    • Whenever a party member joins, a book about their Persona becomes available in the Shujin Academy library. When Akechi joins, no such book about Robin Hood becomes available. The book, titled The Hero With a Bow, was Dummied Out of the original release, but in Royal it becomes available after Akechi joins.
  • Insufferable Genius: While he's unfailingly polite, this politeness oftentimes comes across as more arrogant and condescending than it does completely sincere. Nearly every other member of the Phantom Thieves, particularly Ryuji, comments about how obnoxiously smug he is at one point or another.
  • Ironic Nickname: Invoked. Akechi's initial "thief" outfit is a white military dress uniform with red mask and cape, yet his Phantom Thief code name is Crow. He chose it deliberately, since he feels having a contradictory codename will throw off the team's enemies.
  • Jack of All Stats: Akechi's stats are fairly balanced, with a slight edge towards Strength. Robin Hood compounds this, giving him access to a variety of Physical, Bless, Curse, and Almighty attacks, as well as Samarecarm and Debilitate for good measure. The downside is that all of these skills take a lot of resources to cast, and Akechi's health and magic pools are pretty small, especially when compared to the cost of his abilities. So while Akechi's moves are powerful, he'll be draining his reserves very quickly.
  • Jack of All Trades: Compared to the likes of Ann or Ryuji he lacks specialization. He doesn't have any boost or amp skills while also having physical, almighty, dark and gun skills, though his dark skills are unfortunately single target only. He also has access to the best enemy debuff skill in the game, Debilitate. The lack of specialization makes him both popular and unpopular as a party member: he doesn't excel at anything, but he also has good single target damage if you don't need to hit weaknesses and can free up Joker from having to debuff the boss.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While it was a low blow for Akechi to make a jape at Makoto's insecurities, he does have a point that Makoto was being a "pushover" to the adults around her, which only caused more problems for others (as with the incident with Kamoshida). The fact that Makoto took the insult to heart shows that there is some truth in what he says.
  • Large Ham: Akechi is normally rather reserved, but his identity as Crow has him in a bright and colorful marching-band like costume and his All-Out Attack has him making grand, showy gestures against an equally colorful backdrop with confetti.
  • Laser Blade: His melee weapon is a lightsaber with a fancy handle.
  • Last-Name Basis: Most characters refer to him as "Akechi", highlighting his status as an outsider and The Friend Nobody Likes among the Phantom Thieves. The localization takes it to the point that he's even referred by his last name both in dialogue boxes and on all of the menus when he joins your party; the rest of the Thieves are listed by their first name. Even in Q2, the Investigation Team and S.E.E.S. refer to him by his surname (even those who achieve a First-Name Basis with other Phantom Thieves), presumably following the Phantom Thieves' lead.
  • Lawful Stupid:
    • He wants to arrest the Phantom Thieves, despite them bringing prolific criminals to justice, because they break the law to do so.
    • Played for laughs. He jokes on TV at one point that if Santa Claus were real, he'd have to arrest him for breaking and entering.
  • Light 'em Up: Akechi and Robin Hood use Bless spells (the Hama and Kouha series) and the latter is resistant to light. During the third term events in Royal, Akechi loses access to both Robin Hood and the ability to use Bless skills in favor of Curse skills, with Kasumi inheriting the role of the team's Bless user instead. In Persona Q2, his skill set is revised to make him a Bless specialist, minimizing overlap with Naoto.
  • Light Is Good: During his time as a Phantom Thief, Akechi wears a bright white thief outfit and uses Bless spells.
  • Lonely at the Top: Akechi is a famous detective and has a lot of fans, but he had no one to call a friend. Said fans were willing to turn on him once he's proven wrong, as proven by the Phantom Thieves' victory over Kaneshiro and Medjed, to the point he's nominated as a target on the Phan-Site.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He has long shoulder-length hair which contributes to his androgynous features.
  • Loved by All: A teen celebrity detective known for his prodigious intelligence and charming personality, and is beloved by the public. However, the Phantom Thieves dislike him for his public criticisms of their methods. He's contrasted against Joker, who is reviled by everyone but his closest friends, while Akechi has no real friends among his fans. This changes after Medjed is defeated and he loses some popularity for speaking out against the Thieves.
  • Magic Knight: To a similar extent to Makoto and Haru. Akechi's stats are mostly balanced, though has slightly higher Strength than Magic. Despite his stat spread, Megaton Raid is the sole Physical skill that he ever learns in the original Persona 5, while he learns several Bless, Curse, and Almighty spells.
  • Meaningful Name: He's named after Kogoro Akechi, a famous Japanese Expy of Sherlock Holmes created by novelist Edogawa Ranpo in 1925.
  • Nerf Arm: As opposed to the other Thieves, who all use realistic-looking Weapons, Akechi's weapon is a Laser Blade and a Ray Gun. They're just as effective as the other weapons however, and Akechi's Ray Gun is actually a silencer.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Not shown in-game, but according to Akechi's Maniax profile, his ideal type of lover is someone who keeps a reasonable amount of distance. This implies he doesn't like overly affectionate partners.
  • Not So Above It All: He's typically polite and straight-laced, not participating in the same comedic shenanigans the other characters occasionally get into. However, he apparently thinks it's funny to inform Ryuji that Captain Kidd was hanged, and in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth he tries to tell the group what the most common ingredient for meat is in sci-fi films, only for Naoto to suddenly cut him off -implying the answer is at least disgusting- while Akechi sports a rare, grinning sprite.
  • Not So Stoic: A variation. While Akechi presents himself as a pristine Princely Young Man most of the time, several small moments showcase that he's not nearly as unflappable as he lets on, most notably when he eats a "Russian Takoyaki" during the school festival.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Rank 8 of the Justice Confidant in Royal sees Akechi admitting that he hates Joker for being able to consistently surpass his expectations. Akechi then inverts this trope by declaring that Joker is the one person he refuses to lose to.
  • Only Sane Man: By the time the game reaches the Spaceship Palace, Akechi has more or less become the only voice of reason within Tokyo law enforcement. This is mainly because Akechi's motivation for investigating the Phantom Thieves is to ascertain the truth. As such, he operates by the rules for the most part, and tries to have everyone else do the same. Trouble is, most of the police have become Driven by Envy because they kept getting one-upped by the Phantom Thieves, making them look incompetent. Their superiors are adding extra pressure to save face and restore societal order for their own means and advancements. Even Sae Niijima's own growing frustrations at the case led to her developing a Palace based on her growing distortions on the nature of justice. Akechi fears that in Sae's ambition and frustration, she may end up resorting to unethical means that her superiors will turn a blind eye to. Akechi even admits to Joker that he's scared that Sae will make up evidence out of whole cloth just to catch someone. When the Phantom Thieves are blamed for the murder of Okumura, Akechi admits on a talk show that he doesn't think the Thieves are responsible, since they've never killed anyone before and Okumura seems like an odd place to start.
    Akechi: Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do alone to stop the flow of things...
  • Plain Palate: Despite running a popular food blog and displaying a sweet tooth on camera Akechi doesn't actually care what food tastes like, and just pretends to for publicity. In the Proof of Justice OVA, he says he's fine with just eating frozen dinners, which were all he ate as a kid since his mom never had time to cook.
  • The Power of Hate: In Royal, after defeating his Duel Boss encounter in Rank 8, Akechi flat-out tells Joker that he hates him for his ability to constantly surpass Akechi and how he handles deft circumstances. Akechi even throws his glove at Joker, challenging him to another duel, saying that he will be the one to take Joker down.
  • Primary-Color Champion:
    • As Crow, Akechi dons a red mask, wears a white outfit with golden accessories, and wields a blue Laser Blade, all as part of his facade as an Ace Detective of Justice.
    • Akechi's Persona Robin Hood also sports a similar white-and-gold outfit in lieu of his usual green tunic, while also adding the color blue in both the underside of his cape and around his Chest Insignia.
  • Princely Young Man: He's known as "The Second Detective Prince", is very popular due to his charming personality, and his Metaverse outfit is lightly and brightly colored with a fancy military theme.
  • Promoted to Playable: Like Shinjiro before him, he's a downplayed example in Persona Q2. He was a Guest-Star Party Member in Persona 5, but in Q2 he's in it for the long haul.
  • Ray Gun: Akechi uses it as his firearm of choice in a fight.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A couple of rather tame ones, both aimed at the Niijima sisters:
    • He gives Makoto a very brief one, namely by calling her "a good girl type of pushover." It stings, but it does force Makoto to question herself rather than just going along with what adults tell her to do.
    • Akechi criticizes Sae Niijima to her face for becoming overly zealous to catch the Phantom Thieves, even at the expense of due process. So much so that he confesses to the Phantom Thieves that Sae may end up making evidence out of thin air just to catch someone in the investigation when forging the alliance. One of the reasons Akechi works with Sae is that she always follows the letter of the law; when she starts wavering in this, Akechi calls her out on it. This reversal by Sae is part of the reason he chooses to work with the Phantom Thieves.
  • Red Is Heroic: Like Ann, his initial Metaverse outfit doesn't have any black, and his presenting image as a result is a flashy, almost comic book-esque hero of justice despite allying himself with a bunch of thieves.
  • Refusal of the Call: He tries this in Repaint Your Heart. After getting pulled into the Streets and watching Guernica murder some cognitions, Akechi's reaction is to casually ask if he can go home, which Kasumi admonishes him for.
  • The Resenter: Akechi admits to Joker in his Confidant Link that he is jealous of how Joker was able to overcome his struggles.
  • Ret-Canon: Implied. In the Proof of Justice OVA of the game's anime adaptation, Akechi mentions to Ren that he never learned to cook because making instant meals is quicker. In Persona 5 Royal, one of the worst potential items to gift him during a post-Confidant hangout is the Kitchen Set.
  • The Rival: His primary role in the game is to be the dashing teen detective who opposes Joker's team of teen thieves. While he's given several sympathetic moments, he never quite completely sheds the mantle of being an antagonist, and his Confidant in the original revolves around him becoming a Worthy Opponent to Joker rather than a more traditional friendship. It's more emphasized in Royal where he becomes incredibly incensed when Joker begins to surpass him - from his analytical skills to his combat prowess.
  • Secret Art: His unique skill in Persona Q2 is Sleuth Insight, which has a medium chance of inflicting up to all three binds on a single target. This upgrades to Detective's Ban which does the same to an entire enemy row instead.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Akechi is a very well-dressed young man; aside from his uniforms, his casual wear is a sweater vest over a collared shirt and dark slacks. This even extends to most of his DLC outfits, save for his Dancing All Night costume.
  • Shutting Up Now: When Makoto tries to reason with her sister's Shadow, Akechi starts to point out that she's not talking to the actual Sae, but the moment Ann glares at him and objects, he immediately apologizes and keeps quiet.
  • Signature Move: Persona 3 Reload gives Robin Hood a unique passive skill called Light Driver, which strengthens Bless attacks by 75%.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: A subdued example for the original game. Though he is the only teammate you can get who didn't have a trailer dedicated to introducing him. He's still on the game's cover and has appeared in streams and promotion, but had been noticeably absent from much of the direct publicity material before the game's release (like the above mentioned trailers) and left out of the game's opening animation, possibly due to his status as a Guest-Star Party Member. He is also the only member of the thieves to never appear costumed in the anime cutscenes, and didn't receive official artwork of his Crow outfit until a few years after the game was released.
  • Sixth Ranger: Despite the team growing by at least one member per mission, he's the last character to join the team in the original, and only does so briefly. He also breaks the group out of otherwise being a Gender-Equal Ensemble, and his rivalry with The Hero and relationship to the Big Bad give him some traditional hallmarks of the trope. Even his Featherman suit is a metallic color, like several Gold, Silver, Titanium etc. Power Rangers.
  • Son of a Whore: His mother was a sex worker who would bring men back to their home when Goro was young, so he would have to go to the public bath while she worked. She eventually quit and began working at a part-time job until she killed herself.
  • Southpaw Advantage: Unlike the other Thieves, he wields his weapons with his left hand.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • In the anime adaptation, Akechi makes recurring appearances in almost every episode and is also involved in certain Confidant events that he had nothing to do with in the original game. For example, he shows up in Futaba's Confidant to confront her uncle about his debts, something that Sojiro and Futaba figured out on their own in the game. The fandom calls this filling the "Akechi quota."
    • In the opening sequence of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, he appears in multiple scenes by himself as often as the four protagonists.
  • Stepford Smiler: Downplayed. He's fairly well-adjusted, but he has a rather Dark and Troubled Past that bothers him a lot more than he lets on.
  • Stock Shōnen Rival: Has some of the same potential as The Hero, but feels like he's alone in the world and has to rely on his own power, instead of drawing even more strength through bonds of friendship. He resents Joker for being a nobody that was able to form genuine bonds, while he's a celebrity that doesn't have anyone to rely on. The more Joker matches and surpasses him in analytical skills, charisma and combat power, the more the resentment grows.
  • Superman Substitute: According to the concept art notes, Robin Hood's design is inspired by Superman, a massive departure from how he's traditionally depicted in works. Instead of wearing green or a hood, he's dressed in white, gold, and blue, with dashes of red.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: An Invoked example. He clearly takes a lot of inspiration from the previous Detective Prince, Naoto Shirogane, in that they're both detectives trying to keep a career-ruining secret from getting out (Naoto being a girl, and Akechi being a bastard child) and are Magic Knights who use a mix of Bless, Curse, Physical and Almighty attacks in combat. The similarities are even noted In-Universe, with Akechi being referred to as the second coming of the "Detective Prince".
  • Sweet Tooth: Subverted. While it's mentioned he enjoys eating sweet foods such as crepes, he confesses during a conversation with Joker and Kasumi during a meetup between the three at a cafe that he only does it to grant himself a public image. In a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, he doesn't like being gifted sweets at the end of Confidant hangouts. And ever since the pancake incident, he doesn't even like hearing that word...
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: He starts as a detective trying to capture the Phantom Thieves, before joining them to fight The Conspiracy they stumbled upon, claiming that while he may not approve of the Thieves' methods, he knows they wouldn't kill people.
  • Tarot Motifs: At first, he seems like the only character in the game who only represents the upright aspects of their arcana, as Justice represents everything you would expect justice to encompass, such as truth, fairness, and law. However, as you progress with the story and his Confidant, it becomes increasingly clear that these only serve to hide the fact that he also shows some of its reversed aspects, namely knowing full well you've done something wrong and either hiding it and hope no one finds out or taking full responsibility for it.
  • Teen Idol:
    • In a sense. Unlike his predecessor from the previous game, Goro revels in the attention being an attractive teen detective gives him, appearing on TV many times throughout the game. He has many fans, especially young female fans, creating an in-universe Periphery Hatedom of those who support the Thieves, which grows larger over time.
    • Also a mild Deconstruction. While he does enjoy the attention, it's implied the desire for attention stems from having been an unwanted child and bounced between child institutions along with a friendless background. Despite this, he is Lonely at the Top and while he revels in it, it doesn't fill the void. He even admits that his detective path is some form of retribution against the darker aspects of society.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • He and Sae seem to have a professional relationship at best. At worst, tensions between them arise, with Akechi criticizing Sae for her overly aggressive methods, while Sae suspects that Akechi stole data from her laptop. By the time Akechi proposes stealing Sae's heart, he and Sae hardly trust each other.
    • To the other Thieves. They're not happy that he coerces them into an alliance through blackmail, and they're put off by his demeanor at times, though they do warm up to him when they learn more about his background and their optional conversations in the Metaverse. At the end of it all, they do grow to consider him one of them.
    • His relationship with Makoto is especially strained, as he often ends up pushing her buttons, whether by calling her "a good girl kind of pushover" in June, or comparing her to Sae in November. Makoto later says that she had "a rivalry" with Akechi.
    • He also gets along poorly with Ryuji, since he thinks of Ryuji as an idiot, although he doesn't make his disdain apparent until later on.
    • If you get his Confidant to the max possible before the Casino, he'll admit that he actually hates the protagonist. Surprisingly, this is actually a step forward: Akechi almost always maintains a polite, friendly facade and acts like he likes everyone, so even if he hates Joker he also trusts him.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Akechi invokes this trope after Joker clears Rank 8 of his Confidant in Royal. Akechi throws his glove at Joker as a challenge.
  • Unknown Rival: On the receiving end of this by Makoto. Makoto is jealous of how her sister manages to be on better terms with Akechi than with her. Akechi doesn't seem to be aware of Makoto's animosity towards him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He often criticizes Sae for her more aggressive investigation methods, particularly her putting pressure on Sojiro to testify. As a result, the two stop seeing each other regularly around the time school starts up again.
  • Worthy Opponent: His Confidant link in Royal sees him viewing Joker as this. After clearing the Duel Boss against him in Rank 8, he says that he considers him a worthy challenger and admits to enjoying their clashes of belief.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: During his time with the Thieves during Niijima's Palace, he has access to Curse, Bless, and Almighty attacks thanks to Robin Hood. His black-alluding name and white and gold clothing can also be seen as a reflection of this.

This character is a spoiler for late-game events in Persona 5. You Have Been Warned!

The Black Mask

Sin: Cavum (Emptiness)

Persona: Loki (Ultimate) → Hereward (Third-Tier, Royal only); Wild Card

Weapons: Serrated swords and silenced pistols

Exclusive Skill (Royal): Rebellion Blade - Colossal Almighty damage to one target. More effective if target is downed.
"Ha! It's been quite a while... Nothing gets me quite as excited as this."
Click here to see Loki
Click here to see Hereward
Black Masked Assassin of Emptiness

I decide the truth.

In the wake of Sae's Palace, Akechi is revealed to be the mysterious "Black Mask" and the traitor, serving as an assassin for Masayoshi Shido, The Conspiracy's leader, and his illegitimate father. His persona is Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, as his Persona. As a Persona, Loki appears as a tall Humanoid Abomination with golden hooves and a body covered in dazzle camouflage, striped horns that seemingly emerge from its eye sockets, and wields a large burning blade being handled by a pair of pliers that acts as a hilt. Loki has the special power to incite Psychotic Breakdowns that can drive the real-life counterpart of a Shadow insane, allowing him to discredit and eliminate Shido's opposition easily. With a powerful and pragmatic hitman in his hands, Shido's political conspiracy became virtually impossible to contain via conventional means.

Akechi is ultimately confronted and defeated in Shido's Palace, only to be presumed dead following a Heroic Sacrifice.

In the events of Royal, however, Akechi returns in the third semester. He rejoins the Phantom Thieves in order to stop Takuto Maruki and his plans to trap the world into a Lotus-Eater Machine. This time, knowing there's no point hiding his true colors, Akechi keeps his Black Mask attire and uses this form exclusively in combat.

He drops his Bless skills in favour of Riot Gun, and his Laevateinn skill is brought back but reworked into a Physical skill. Otherwise, his stats and loadout remain similar to how he was before, that being a well rounded fighter overall.

His new third-tier Persona is Hereward, a real-life 11th century English nobleman and a leader of the local resistance against the Norman Conquest of England who is believed to be one of the potential real world inspirations for the tale of Robin Hood. It appears as a Paint It Black version of Robin Hood clad in black armor, with a modern compound bow.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Though he briefly allies with the party during Sae's Palace, Akechi doesn't properly join the Phantom Thieves until the third semester at the end of Royal.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In Royal, Hereward is the last of the Phantom Thieves' third-tier Personas to become available, provided if you answered his rank 7, 8, and post-10 Confidant questions correctly.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Akechi's claim that he was attacked by a mysterious assailant during his first visit into the Metaverse that led to him Awakening to his Persona. It is all a lie, he IS the assailant.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Akechi gets hit with this badly in The Animation. In the game, the Phantom Thieves had to rely on their strength in numbers to defeat him, praising his own power after the fact. In the anime, he's beaten fairly quickly in a one-on-one duel with Joker and Arsène. His cognitive self is also a case of it, since in the anime, it disintegrates after Akechi shoots it, leading to Akechi's Uncertain Doom against the Shadows. Furthermore, Akechi and Loki's powers are hardly displayed as, besides the initial use to drive some shadows psychotic, Akechi never makes himself go insane for a power up. His Persona never uses its sword and more or less only gets into shoving match with Arsène, which Loki quickly loses. He doesn't even summon Robin Hood in the battle at all, reducing his Wild Card abilities to an Informed Ability.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: All he wanted was to be acknowledged by his father. He also admits that his goals and the Phantom Thieves are ultimately the same, and seemingly dies protecting the party from Shido's projection of him.
  • All for Nothing: Threefold. Fitting, considering his sin is Emptiness.
    • Right from the start, Shido never trusted Akechi and planned to dispose of him once he wins the elections. He was already even aware that Akechi was his bastard son. If Akechi failed to expose Shido beforehand, all Akechi managed to accomplish was that he propped up the career of the man he loathed, rather than humiliating his father as he had intended. In the face of potentially failing in getting his revenge, Akechi suffers from a massive breakdown in the face of the Phantom Thieves potentially stealing Shido's heart instead of ruining him himself.
    • In practice, due to how incompetent the rest of Shido's political entourage is, there's a very high chance where a scenario of him exposing Shido could go down as intended. However, Yaldabaoth's manipulations in tandem with the public being subject to More than Mind Control would have meant that society at large would not have reacted as he wished; this ultimately comes to pass even when the Phantom Thieves steal Shido's heart, and since Akechi lacks the bonds and resources that the Phantom Thieves have, he will simply be haplessly banished from the public's cognition.
    • In Persona Q2, he ends up on the verge of pulling a Heel–Face Turn, as he makes genuine bonds with the other Persona users and begins to rethink his goals and personality. It's just too bad that memory loss means it won't go anywhere, something he's aware of and leads him to not want to leave.
  • Aloof Ally: In the third semester of Royal, he is allied with the Phantom Thieves once again, but he doesn't really get along with them very well due to his previous actions.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • In the original game, Akechi is never mentioned by the public again after his Bolivian Army Ending, only in a one-off line by Sae (saying he disappeared, so there are no other witnesses to Shido's crimes) and in Lavenza's explanation of Yaldabaoth's plan. No one else mentions him, not even an NPC known as his biggest fan, despite him supposedly being a huge celebrity and a party member. The Animation at least has his voice heard among the other Confidants during the final battle.
    • Royal maintains the ambiguity of Akechi's death: Maruki believes that Akechi died in Shido's Palace. Maruki only rewrites history to a point prior to a person's death and/or corruption to revive people; however, the Akechi encountered during the third term events remembers fighting his doppelgänger in the Metaverse. Joker also never told Maruki about Akechi at all, so he isn't supposed to know anything about the affair between them, as the Akechi boss fight happened way before Maruki is capable of knowing any desire from anywhere. The fact that Akechi retains his original personality, as opposed to Okumura, whom Maruki not only brought back from the dead, but also reformed, raises further questions. Things get more confusing in the true ending, as a person who resembles Akechi can be seen in the background as Joker leaves the city, which is followed by Joker seeing his own Phantom Thief self in his reflection. The Persona 5 Royal Official Complete Guide interview with the creator clarifies that Maruki jumped into the Phantom Thieves' memories and didn't truly know if Akechi is dead or alive.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Early in the third semester, he becomes the navigator in battle instead of Morgana or Futaba for a short time. However, all of his navigator lines are ruthless and violent (when he's not having Anger Born of Worry).
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: On a New Game Plus file in Royal, Akechi can switch between his Crow and Black Mask outfits - he's notable for being the only thief to have multiple outfits without DLC. However, his mannerisms are dependent on when you're playing as him and don't change with his costume.
  • Anger Born of Worry: After he rejoins in the third semester, he still shows a lot of concern for the other party members, especially Joker... generally by threatening to kill them himself if they die.
  • Animal Motifs: Crows. Not only is his codename Crow, but his mask also has a long red nose reminiscent of a beak. His second outfit as Black Mask also enforces the connection, being all in dark colors and his helmet resembling a crow's skull. Crows are often associated with bad omens and death, referencing his status as The Antisocial Force's personal hitman and the mole in the Phantom Thieves plotting Joker's death.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Akechi has the unique ability to drive anyone to insanity, which he uses to terrorize the population on behalf of the Antisocial Force. In battle, this manifests as the skill "Desperation", which he uses on himself to buff his attack at the cost of debuffing his defense. Unlike Akechi's other skills, which can be used by the party, no playable character in the game can learn Desperation; Royal reinforces this trope by excluding it from Akechi's moveset once he rejoins the Phantom Thieves during the Third Semester.
    Akechi: **snicker** That's right! It's my power- one that you don't have!
  • Antagonistic Offspring: An Evil Versus Evil example to Shido. While Akechi is helping Shido, it's only so he can sabotage him later on.
  • Anti-Hero: What he evolves into during the events of the Third Semester. As a result of Maruki rewriting reality so that it grants everyone's' deepest desires, he survives his supposed death in Shido's Palace and gets off scot-free with regards to causing two years worth of psychotic breakdowns and mental shutdowns after willingly turning himself in. Unwilling to accept the new reality that Maruki created for him he resolves to work with Joker and the Phantom Thieves one last time, all without once considering betraying them and even with the full knowledge that doing so will more than likely result in his death. That said, when working with the Thieves this time around he makes no effort to hide his ruthlessness or abstain from making derisive comments aimed at them, and the Thieves for the most part only agree to work with him due to the mutual goal of stopping Maruki and returning everything to normal.
  • Ascended Meme: One of his Mementos lines in Royal acknowledges the role of pancakes in the Thieves seeing through him and its association with him.
    Akechi: Pancakes... I don't want to hear that word again for a long, long time.
    Ann: Hey, leave the pancakes out of this.
    Ryuji: Well, uh, we're all fans, since they're what helped us figure out your bullshit.
    Futaba: Letting your guard down for even a second can cost you everything. Don't you forget it.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance:
    • Loki is covered in Dazzle Camouflage, a mess of contrasting stripes painted on boats not to hide them but to make it so observers couldn't get a read on their heading or direction. It's very apt for a trickster god of chaos, especially one as blatant as Loki.
    • Akechi's second outfit is this, resembling a Featherman suit yet dark and twisted looking, showing that not only is he a Fallen Hero of sorts, but also how much he hasn't changed as a child (while hinting he may have genuinely wanted to be a hero, but became consumed by his bitterness).
  • At Least I Admit It: In Royal, post Heel–Face Turn. He's still Ax-Crazy, but he's honest with himself about how selfish he is and is disgusted with Maruki trying to erase that part of him. He may be a monster, but he admits he's a monster.
  • The Atoner: Dialogue from Maruki and his overall actions suggests this is what Akechi most desires to be post-Heel–Face Turn. However, even if he didn't consider himself Beyond Redemption, Akechi wants to do it on his own terms, even if it means he gets Killed Off for Real. As such, he doesn't see any value in Maruki's reality because he just sees it as becoming yet another puppet.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Befitting his new fighting style, Akechi's moveset in the third semester is mostly built around dealing as much damage with high-power skills to the enemy as possible, regardless of what resistances they have or if he can even hit their weaknesses. He packs the colossal-tier Physical skill Laevateinn and severe skills Megidolaon and Riot Gun, eventually learns the colossal-tier Rebellion Blade right before the battle against Maruki, and starts with Attack Master to give him an attack boost and hit hard right off the bat. His main weakness is that many of his skills have high HP/SP costs, meaning he struggles in prolonged fights where he can't end the battle quickly and his resources may run low.
  • Attention Whore: He uses the fame he attains from his detective escapades as a flimsy barrier for the sheer loneliness, sadness, and anger that he garnered growing up.
  • Ax-Crazy: While averted during the Niijima Palace arc, this side of him comes out during his breakdown in Shido's Palace shortly before he attacks the Phantom Thieves and remains when he rejoins the Phantom Thieves during the third term events in Royal, where he gets a deranged expression for his new All-Out Attack screen to match and his battle dialogue consists mostly of insults and eagerness to kill his enemies.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: During the third semester, Akechi manages to deduce on his own before Maruki confirms it that he is a cognition of Maruki's creation. He came to this realization through combination of his lack of memories from the time of his supposed death to his sudden reunion with Joker during Christmas Eve, and the sudden revivals of Okumura and Wakaba.
  • Back from the Dead: Possibly. If he did indeed die in Shido's Palace, Akechi was brought back in Maruki's altered reality - his remembering the encounter with the thieves in the engine room confirms this since Maruki would have had no knowledge of the event, meaning a cognitive copy wouldn't have had it either. Akechi is presumed dead once more after reality is reset back to normal, but if his confidant was maxed out beforehand an additional scene plays during the ending that heavily implies he came back for real.
  • Bad Actor, Good Liar: Inverted. Akechi is a skilled actor, appearing kind and charming as the Detective Prince on TV, a role which has earned him a devoted fan base. However, he speaks awkwardly when he lies to the Thieves on having heard Morgana before.
  • Badass Boast: Subverted. While shielding Joker from Maruki in preparation for the final blow, he is the only Thief who doesn’t say one of these or voice his resolve to win. Instead, Akechi frustatedly yells at Joker to just finish the doctor off.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": A rare example of this being Played for Drama. His "surprise" at hearing Morgana speak when he joins the team is given intentionally wooden delivery. It's later revealed that his bad acting here was one of the things that tipped off the party to his betrayal. Even Morgana lampshades it.
    Morgana: You realized it too, then. It was our conversation about pancakes, right? There's no way he could've reacted like that if he hadn't heard me.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the first bad ending, Akechi kills the real Joker instead of a Metaverse fake. Given that Shido was on to Akechi the entire time, however, not to mention Yaldabaoth using everyone for his own ends, it's doubtful his victory would amount to much.
  • Bad Influencer: Downplayed as the "bad" part is only revealed late-game and has nothing to do with his influence in this particular field. Akechi runs a food blog for the sake of maintaining his social media reputation as a young celebrity, and openly admits as such to Joker during his Confidant. He's ambivalent about the taste, preferring to sample what's popular at the moment; Akechi may admit to liking a dish if it's good, but there's no passion there.
  • Bad Liar: Despite being incredibly good at acting, Akechi appears to be actually terrible at lying. When he was trying to goad the Thieves into Niijima's Palace so he could dispose of them and Sae, he mostly resorts to Metaphorically True statements and Exact Words to get what he wants from the Thieves. It ultimately backfires when Morgana points out that the fact he was able to understand him was what made him and Joker realize his true intentions.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: His signature power is making people go psychotic, which he inflicts on their Shadows to cause their real-life counterparts to go off the rails and commit crimes, which he then "solves". In Royal, this is shifted to Akechi focusing on curse attacks, heavy-damage moves, and Debilitate.
  • Bastard Angst: Big time. The power-hungry politician Shido is his father; he abandoned his mother (who would eventually commit suicide out of shame for conceiving him), and the stigma of being an illegitimate child has haunted Akechi since childhood. To top it off, it's heavily implied Shido bore him accidentally by having impulsive sex with a call girl, meaning his entire life might probably be a mistake. Shido did suspect Akechi was his son, but not only did he not care, he planned to have him killed off eventually. Little wonder he's so full of anger.
  • Bastard Bastard: He's Shido's bastard son and a ruthless hitman. Deconstructed in that society's horrible treatment of bastard children was pivotal in molding his wicked ways to begin with.
  • Batman Parody: In contrast to how Robin Hood is based on Superman, Hereward greatly resembles Batman, especially with his all-black armor, tattered cape, and the pointy accents on his helmet that resemble bat wings. Additionally, Batman is the "world's greatest detective", fitting Akechi's "Detective Prince" facade. Even Akechi's Black Mask suit itself bears a passing resemblance to Batman, as it covers his entire head and most of his face akin to a cowl or helmet, unlike the other Thieves' masks, and has claws instead of gloves similar to Terry McGinnis.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: In Royal's third semester he doesn't try to sugarcoat any of his previous crimes. Part of why he opposes Maruki's "perfect world" so much is because it strips him of any responsibility or consequences of his choices. He flat out tells Joker that he'd rather face punishment and even death than accept an "improved" life without his autonomy and openly expresses disgust with Joker if he accepts the deal.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Even under a ruse, he nevertheless still bonds with the Thieves to a degree, making it the one genuine bond he's had in life. Doubly so for Joker, as he views him with equal parts admiration and intense jealousy. These two factors are the key in his partial Heel–Face Turn.
  • Becoming the Mask: Undergoing this is an important facet of his redemption in Shido's palace. In the new bad ending in Royal where Maruki's reality merge is complete, it's implied that Akechi's subconscious wish was for his kinder detective personality and friendship with the Thieves to be genuine, becoming a literal case of this.
  • Being Evil Sucks: What he realizes at the end of his second boss fight. He never really got what he wanted at all until he became friends with the Thieves, but by that point, he had too much blood on his hands and too much trauma to really change.
  • Beneath the Mask: For most of the game, Akechi appears to be a really nice guy who is a clever detective. In reality, he's something of an unstable sadist. Throughout the game, there is something off about his personality that makes his cheerful appearance ring false, but it isn't until his 8th confidant rank in Royal that it really begins to slip, and in Vanilla there's barely any warning at all before he pulls his trigger on Joker in the interrogation room. In the third semester, he doesn't even bother hiding his instability, gleefully reveling in violence in combat.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Pity. Anything he perceives as pity, even with the best intentions, will enrage him. Choosing more empathetic dialogue options during his boss fight will serve only to tick Akechi off even more, and Joker's hesitance to let him die by rejecting Maruki's reality makes him upset as he sees it as too-little-too-late mercy. In general, he doesn't respond as well to kind dialogue.
    • Being controlled. Once he realizes he's only been a puppet to Shido, he is greatly angered and prompted to pull a Heroic Sacrifice. He's also the only one to never have second thoughts regarding Maruki's reality, as he simply cannot accept living under anyone's thumb, and would rather die with his free will than live as a puppet ever again.
  • The Berserker: Fittingly for someone whose Persona is a Norse God of, amongst other things, Madness; he uses his own power to inflict psychosis on himself during his boss battle, and never fully recovers from that even as a party member in Royal. His Black Mask outfit is torn, his All-Out Attack photo bears a deranged expression, and his Showtime attack with Joker shows him wildly hacking and slashing at targets with gleeful abandon. It also helps that his outfit heavily resembles Gut's Berserker armor.
  • Best Served Cold: Akechi and his mother were abandoned by Shido, resulting in his mother committing suicide and leaving Akechi with a deep grudge against his dad. But as Akechi was just a kid and Shido was already an influential politician, there was nothing Akechi could do until Yaldabaoth gave him the power to enter the cognitive world. Of course, rather than kill Shido using his newfound powers, Akechi instead plays the long game by acting as Shido's hitman and propping up the man's career for years. Then, Akechi plans to snatch away Shido's victory from him just as he wins the election, all so he could twist the knife as deep as possible. Unfortunately, it turns out that he couldn't even came close to reaching what he wanted when it was revealed that Shido knew who he was all along, and even in a scenario where he will manage to pull it off, Yaldabaoth would ensure the public will not react as intended.
  • Beware the Superman: He has the same powers the Phantom Thieves do for the most part, but while they use it to take down criminals beyond the reach of the law, he uses it to commit murders without the possibility of being exposed.
  • Beyond Redemption:
    • Averted in the main story. Akechi believes that the Phantom Thieves are going to kill him after defeating him in battle after everything he's done to them. Much to Akechi's shock, they don't; they even offer Akechi the chance to join them again. Akechi is left momentarily stunned at this.
    • In Royal, Akechi's belief in that he's irredeemable is precisely why he is able to see through Maruki's Lotus-Eater Machine. What Akechi desires is impossible because he genuinely believes he doesn't deserve to be saved after everything he's done.
  • BFS: Loki wields a sword that's as big as its entire body. It sits on top of the hilt in its idle animation.
  • Big Bad Friend: He's one of the masterminds of The Conspiracy, and was secretly infiltrating the Phantom Thieves in order to bring them down. On the other hand, Joker was one of the few people he considered a friend.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Despite the Antisocial Force being Akechi's brainchild and his desires to supplant his father Shido, Akechi, in reality, is nothing more than a self-absorbed pawn of both Shido and the Greater-Scope Villain. It turns out that Shido knew who Akechi was all along and made plans to have him killed after he wins the election, and Lavenza later even explains to the Phantom Thieves that just like Joker, he is no more than a pawn for Yaldabaoth to justify bringing forth his dystopia.
  • Black Knight: As the mysterious Black Mask, the supernatural hitman for the Antisocial Force who wears black armor with blue and black highlights.
  • Blood Knight: Now that he's not pretending anymore, Akechi admits that he gets a thrill from crushing Shadows.
    Akechi: God, I feel SO ALIVE! - Well, that was disappointing.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: His ultimate goal is to prop Shido up as Prime Minister and then expose all his crimes, which would not only destroy Shido's career, but also throw society into anarchy by the colossal breakdown of trust in authority and government.
  • Boom, Headshot!: He kills Joker via a silenced pistol shot to the head in the game over scenes. In the good ending, Joker survives by some machinations by the Phantom Thieves, due to Akechi being Out-Gambitted.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: In the original game, he's last seen battling a doppelgänger of himself. Gunshots can be heard, but Futaba is unable to sense his presence afterwards. In Royal, he seems to have survived the encounter and allies with the Phantom Thieves for the third term of the game, but it turns out that he was just actualized by Maruki for Joker's happiness, which can mean that he can be dead or alive but is nonetheless, manipulated. Once the Phantom Thieves return to their true reality, Akechi still isn't really brought up or mentioned by anyone other than that one major scene, but during the game's final scene, Joker happens to see someone who resembles Akechi. Even at the game's conclusion, it's still unclear if the real Akechi is alive or dead.
  • Broken Ace:
    • Behind all the grandstanding of his Detective Prince persona lies a lonely teenager who really just wants friends and a place to belong. However, he's only known lies and hatred his entire life. A combination of his own pride and Sunk Cost Fallacy prevents him from making a Heel–Face Turn, realizing what Shido has in store for him until it's too late or realizing that supernatural forces will ultimately cause his plans to just end up void and moot.
    • This is also reflected in his overall abilities. Akechi is both smart enough to execute an elaborate plan to frame the Phantom Thieves for his murders and powerful enough to fight them by himself, only losing due to being outnumbered. He also has the power of the Wild Card, but his loneliness and spite prevent him from properly developing it. As a result, he only has two Personas: Robin Hood and Loki. Directly acknowledged in Royal, in one of Futaba's rewritten lines after the battle with him:
      Futaba: If you've got more than one Persona, maybe you actually have the same kinda power as Joker's. But you trusted no one, so you only got two Personas: one for your lies, and one for your hate.
    • His skills are also acknowledged by the other Thieves. While he resents Joker for being Always Someone Better, when forced to face him, the Phantom Thieves readily admit it was only because of The Power of Friendship and trusting in each other's skills that they were able to beat them, as Akechi is better than any one of them alone.
  • Brutal Honesty: In the Third Semester, he's significantly more blunt and caustic, no longer hiding behind his gentlemanly facade.
  • Byronic Hero: He fits this trope to a T, Handsome? Check. It's All About Me? Check. Broken Ace? Check. The Cynic? Check. Runs on The Power of Hate? Double Check. Cunning and charismatic? Check. And the list just keeps on going.
  • Call-Back:
    • As a Persona user that uses these abilities to assassinate people without being caught in the real world, and who also commits a major plot critical murder in October, both call back to Takaya Sakaki in Persona 3.
    • He is also likely a nod to Tasuya Sudou in the Eternal Punishment timeline, a very similar disloyal contract killer who commits violent crimes for his father to fulfill a certain goal, becomes their biggest stepping stone to political fame and are one of the most valuable pawns on an evil entity's chessboard. The difference is that Sudou is so insane and delusional that he is seemingly completely detached from reality, while Akechi has agency over his actions and is a much, more intelligent and sane person compared to Sudou.
  • Call-Forward: There are several subtle nods to the revelations about his character in Q2.
    • When he shows up late for a Mementos run at the beginning of the game, Ryuji suggests they leave him behind in an uncharacteristically caustic manner.
    • When the Phantom Thieves get dragged into the cinema world, Ryuji immediately accuses Akechi of being responsible.
    • When the party meets the Velvet siblings, one of them notes that the power of the Wild Card has been strengthened before making comments that imply they might think another Wild Card might be present.
    • In one special screening, you find Teddie's discarded costume without him inside. You can immediately accuse Akechi of murdering him.
    • In another special screening, Marie asks him if his sparkly exterior is hiding something darker.
    • Several members of S.E.E.S. and the Investigation Team get the feeling he's hiding something; Ken realizes he is similar to him on some level, the P4 Hero recognizes he's carrying some heavy burdens, Yukiko accuses him of having a dark secret during a session of "Junpei's Believe It or Don't", and Shinjiro gets a feeling he has a lot of deep regrets.
  • Challenge Seeker: Akechi finds Maruki's "perfect world" boring precisely because it caters to everyone's whims.
    Akechi: A world that caters to your every whim is so mundane. Where's the thrill if there's no competition?
  • Child by Rape: Maybe. At the very least, the power dynamic between Shido and Akechi's mother was not an equal one.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Justified. He goes into this after he assumes his true form in Shido's Palace, and his voice actor sounds like he's having a pretty good time cackling like a comic book supervillain. As the Black Mask in Royal, he still does this in combat almost all of his combat lines involve him speaking like a Saturday-morning cartoon villain, cackling maniacally, relishing in the pain he's inflicting, talking down to his opponents, among other things. All with an incredibly dynamic vocal range that goes from raspy to a Smug Snake to a shouty Large Ham in seconds.
    Akechi: [wheezing like he's on a drug high] I'm getting a warm, tingly feeling from all this POWER!
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Betraying the Phantom Thieves aside it is also revealed that he would have done the same with Shido as his ultimate goal was to get him elected just to steal his victory away from him as a part of a revenge plot.
  • Chuunibyou: When he rejoins the party in the Third Semester in his Black Mask guise, everything about him, from his mannerisms, to his voice lines, to the way he fights, make him seem like an edgy try-hard. He may have dropped the pretense of being the flashy Detective Prince, but he's just as much of an Attention Whore as he was before.
  • Climax Boss: Akechi is fought right before the end of Shido's Palace. After his defeat, the only major bosses following him are Shido himself, the true Big Bad of the story, and (assuming the proper conditions are met) Maruki.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • During the final battle against Maruki, the doctor ceases fighting and starts approaching his Persona instead. Unlike the others who simply stare, Akechi immediately opens fire, pointing out they can't afford to let Maruki give himself an advantage when everyone could die. Unfortunately, Maruki is able to block all his shots.
    • Later in the same fight, Akechi aids the Phantom Thieves in blocking Adam Kadmon while Joker makes the killing blow. However, unlike the others who give words of encouragement and reaffirm their resolve, Akechi doesn't waste time and yells at Joker to just get it done.
  • Combination Attack: He is one of only two characters (the other being Kasumi) to have a Showtime attack with Joker. His involves him and Joker attacking the enemy on top of a rooftop in a rainy cityscape, and Akechi's part of the attack has him using his berserking powers on himself before charging at the enemy.
  • Competition Freak: Not as much as Sae, but one of the few traits his that's actually genuine from the get-go is his love of competition. Part of why he takes a shine to Joker is that the thief challenges him, and many of their interactions involve the two playing various games or literally fighting, with Akechi despising the idea of losing to Joker. He also has a mental breakdown over the idea of the Thieves actually beating him during his bossfight and becomes progressively more frustrated and angry before he's finally defeated. Conversely, he dislikes the idea of winning without a struggle, and thus sees Maruki's conflict-free world as pointless.
  • Complexity Addiction: When Akechi gained his Persona powers, he could have taken revenge on Shido simply by killing him or stealing his heart, which the Phantom Thieves point out during their confrontation. Instead, Akechi went for the significantly more complicated and vindictive plan of propelling Shido to the top of the political world then outing himself as his bastard son to destroy his life and shatter the public's faith in the government, seemingly just to make him and society suffer more. Playing the long game only ended up hurting Akechi in the end; the Antisocial Force was given enough time to bolster Shido's Palace to the point that his Shadow grew too powerful for any one person to take down, and Shido came up with a countermeasure just in case his prime agent ever betrayed him.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Inverted. Because of his two-year head start with his Persona abilities, he's more powerful than any of the Phantom Thieves, allowing him to take on the entire gang at once by his lonesome. It's their teamwork that allows them to triumph over him in the end, and they outright tell him that afterward.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: A downplayed trope. Akechi is the only Phantom Thief who wears gloves out of his thief costumes. While fitting the elegant facade he's built for himself, they're also useful in keeping Akechi's finger prints off the stolen SIG-Sauer he uses to stage the murder-suicide of the protagonist.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Akechi serves as one to Tohru Adachi in Persona 4, another detective who hid his grotesque personality behind an affable mask, and used their supernatural powers for murder and mayhem. Both saw themselves as victims of society, and they strive to see its downfall through their actions.
    • However, Akechi directly participates in the murder of his victims, since he serves as Shido's personal assassin. Adachi, excluding his first two victims, prefers to leave the heavy lifting to an Unwitting Pawn whom he manipulated under the pretence of saving them.
    • Adachi's actions were simply motivated by Small Town Boredom, relishing in the bedlam caused by the murders and kidnappings in hopes of making his life more interesting. Akechi, on the other hand, has an actual agenda beyond Adachi's nihilistic For the Evulz. He seeks revenge on his abusive father, while at the same time using his powers to set up cases he could solve to win fame and adoration from the general public.
    • Adachi's aloof upbringing encourages him to look out for himself, causing him to be unwilling to forge bonds with others. Akechi's lonely childhood, in contrast, makes him crave for acknowledgement and to have friends.
    • Akechi poses as the prodigious ace detective, while Adachi acts as a bumbling and carefree one.
    • Adachi does a far more efficient job in concealing his malicious personality from the Investigation Team than Akechi did with the Phantom Thieves. The Investigation Team never suspected him to be the Killer until late in the game. The Phantom Thieves, on the other hand, never trusted Akechi from the moment he joins their team.
    • Both also indirectly reveal themselves in their own words the main difference is the timing, Adachi's case is closer to the climax of the story (revealing how the murders were committed) while Akechi's case is unknowingly his own introduction (hearing Morgana and saying something that only Morgana said).
    • With the exception of Yu, the Investigation Team do not show any sympathy for Adachi's reasons, seeing how flimsy his motivations were, and doesn't excuse his actions at all. While the Phantom Thieves don't forgive Akechi, they nonetheless sympathize with what he had been through and were willing to accept him back into their group.
    • Adachi only has one persona, while Akechi is a Wild Card user, and has access to two Personas (Robin Hood and Loki).
    • Lore-wise, both are stronger than the individual party members (save their respective Wild Card), which requires the entire party to defeat them. For Akechi, it's because he has a two-year head start on all other Persona users in his game. Meanwhile, Adachi is the last Persona user of his game to gain his abilities, yet he's an Instant Expert who's already strong enough to fight Yu to a standstill.
    • Akechi is considerably more sentimental than Adachi was, despite the greater magnitude of his crimes. It's implied during his Villainous Breakdown that he was subconsciously remorseful for what he had done and even considers changing his view. This is in contrast to Adachi who openly gloats for the mayhem he had caused, and only chooses to repent for his crimes once he was defeated, and even then does not change his worldview.
    • They and the respective protagonists were chosen to determine humanity's fate by the real villains. While Adachi's actions had the most effect on Izanami's decision, it didn't matter what Akechi did because Yaldabaoth already had his own plans. And while Adachi realized that he was a pawn of Izanami and gave Yu the clues to discover her manipulations, Akechi (at least in the vanilla game) did not live long enough to find out that Yaldabaoth was pulling his strings.
    • Both of them undergo a Hazy-Feel Turn and form an Enemy Mine with the group that thwarted them in opposition towards a new threat, yet comparing their personalities Akechi comes off as the more obvious douche of the two. Adachi in Ultimax while still a Troll and a sociopath to boot, at least outwardly projects a jovial and carefree demeanor. Take this in contrast to Akechi during the events of Royal, who is far more blunt and rude when it comes to voicing his opinions.
    • While both are hesitant to accept the protagonists' offers to reform, play a part in allowing the heroes to stop the remaining villains, and are shown to prefer accepting the punishment of their crimes, Adachi ultimately accepts his chance to reform and ends up with a content life in prison, while Akechi's fate may or may not have already been sealed and possibly sacrifices himself for the Thieves to continue.
  • Cop Killer: Shoots an officer guarding the interrogation room where the protagonist is held. Who's supposed to be killed to tie up loose ends. It turns out to be a cognition; the real cop was scared away by Sae.
  • Costume Evolution: Akechi's thief outfit changes at least twice over the course of the game:
    • When he initially joins the party, Akechi dons a white and gold Prince Charming-inspired outfit with a red mask. However, after the revelation of his actually being the murderous hitman Black Mask, Akechi reveals his true outfit: a black and blue spandex outfit with spikes and a transparent, dark red mask.
    • A minor case occurs after Akechi rejoins the thieves in Royal's third term: he retains the Black Mask outfit, but the red mask is discarded in favour of a black one.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • The Phantom Thieves rightly point out there's no reason for Akechi to fight them in Shido's Palace, as using the method Morgana taught them, they could steal Shido's heart. This would likely turn Shido into a man who would actually care about his son, like Akechi always wanted. Unfortunately, Akechi's inability to admit he's second-best, let alone that he wasted two years of his life and hurt countless people All for Nothing, causes him to attack the party anyway.
    • Akechi himself comments during his Villainous Breakdown that he probably would've gone down a completely different path if he had supportive friends like the Phantom Thieves when he awakened to his persona abilities.
  • Crutch Character: With Loki's natural access to powerful skills like Megidolaon and Debilitate as well as having high stats across the board, Akechi in the 3rd Semester serves as a means to survive Maruki's Palace should the player feel underprepared for it for any reason (such as not having high enough Confidants maxed to have many good Personas on Joker or have the other Thieves with 3rd-Tier Personas). If the player is prepared, however, Akechi can fall behind the pack due to lacking any boosting skills like Charge, Concentrate or Curse Amp, a cluttered overall skillset, a lack of enemy Shadows with Curse weaknesses and a Bless weakness that Maruki can exploit.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Despite the fact Akechi's "Detective Prince" persona is merely a facade, he does actually have the competence and professionalism for detective work and solving complex roadblocks, as shown when he has a contingency plan against Shadow Niijima moving the goalposts and when he manages to dig up dirt about Maruki while the protagonist is investigating the other Thieves' ideal reality. He could have become an actual detective, if he wasn't spending most of his time in the Metaverse committing mass murder and his time as a detective covering up these murders. This trope goes to shows that Akechi's current misery is largely his own doing and that he could've turned turned his life around if he wasn't consumed by Revenge.

  • Dark Magical Girl: The Spear Counterpart is what he is, at his core. He desperately wants the love and affection neither parent gave him, preferably from his actual living parent. Unlike most examples of the trope though, he can't let himself accept anything less.
  • Dark Is Evil: Played straight before the third semester where he wears a black costume, can drive people to psychosis with his Persona, specializes in Curse skills, and is a deranged assassin willing to cause the collapse of Japanese society for the sake of Revenge. Downplayed when he rejoins for the third semester. He no longer uses Robin Hood or his Detective Prince outfit in favor of Loki and his Black Mask outfit and is the most violent and morally unscrupulous of the thieves, but is still fighting on the side of good.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: When he rejoins the thieves in the third semester in Royal, he wears his Black Mask outfit, uses Loki, and fights using Curse attacks, but is firmly on their side and sincerely wants to save reality from Maruki.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Akechi rejoins you in Royal he's dropped his Detective Prince personality and openly snarks at you for various things from being naive enough to give him a second chance to missing a hit on an enemy when he temporarily acts as Mission Control.
  • Deuteragonist: He's this to Joker as confirmed by Word Of God, serving as the latter's rival for most of the game, with his powers serving as a catalyst for the game's story and the fallout from said powers serving as a reason for most of the Thieves joining. He also plays a major role in the third-term events of Royal alongside Joker and Kasumi.
  • Death Is the Only Option: How he sees Maruki's world. If Akechi goes along with it, he'll be trapped under Maruki's control for the rest of his life and brainwashed beyond recognition. As someone who spent so long being manipulated by Shido, Akechi adamantly rejects this reality even if it's likely he'll cease to exist, preferring death over being a puppet again.
  • Death of Personality:
    • Akechi is able to play this trope literally by killing the Shadows of his victims, which contain not only their distorted desires, but all of them- including the desires to eat and live. Those whose Shadows he's murdered will die shortly after, suddenly deprived of all incentive to live, with Wakaba and Kobayakawa not bothering to move for oncoming traffic.
    • This effectively happens to Akechi himself if Joker chooses to accept the fake reality, as so much of Akechi's personality is based around hatred and vengeance that after Maruki's world fuses with the real one, he's left a pleasant and friendly puppet bearing little to no resemblance to his true personality.
  • Death Seeker: Played with. Maruki creates a perfect utopia for everyone and brings back Akechi so Joker will be happy. However, Akechi is not fooled by the Lotus-Eater Machine and is none too pleased his second chance entails living under Maruki's control, while also viewing it as pity. Thus, he accepts the fact that he might die when they win and pushes Joker to reject the reality, even becoming upset should Joker choose to spare his life and take Maruki's deal.
  • Delinquent: Downplayed. When he reveals his real personality, Akechi is rude and curses frequently, disrespects authority and enjoys getting violent. Even before he drops his act, his comments imply he doesn't think too highly of school, as he tells Makoto final exams don't really matter. He also becomes the Thieves Token Evil Teammate.
  • Determinator: In the Third Semester, Akechi immediately rejects Maruki's reality and never questions his decision, being so adamant on retaining his autonomy that he refuses to give it up even for the perfect life. Moreover, he is the only one to never have second thoughts on the matter and repeatedly pushes Joker to fight Maruki, despite knowing full well he may die if he gets his way.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Given Shido's Bad Boss tendency to dispose of anyone who had either failed him or has outlived their usefulness, Akechi as Shido's hatchet man should have thought of the probability that Shido might betray him, but apparently considered his unique access to the Metaverse and extremely high competence made him too invaluable to Shido's plans to become a liability, underestimating his willingness to discard anybody so long as he eventually succeeds in his goals. As a result, he gets caught off-guard when he's confronted by his cognitive self in Shido's Palace. He even curses himself for his short-sightedness. Even worse, assuming if a scenario where he did kill Shido would go through, he still didn't account for the public not even caring in the first place because of Yaldabaoth's machinations, and the false god would wipe him out of the masses' cognition while unleashing hell upon humanity.
  • Discard and Draw: He loses all of his Robin Hood skills when he returns in the third-term, but makes up for it with a wide array of powerful attacks like Laevateinn and Riot Gun, as well the insanely useful debuff Debilitate. Justified, as Robin Hood and Loki are two separate Personas.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Hilariously, Akechi develops a distaste for pancakes after realizing that his initial love for them tipped the thieves off to his true nature.
    Akechi: Pancakes... I don't want to hear that word again for a long, long time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Akechi is one of the first people to realize Maruki's reality is fake due to him being unable to believe that anything good could ever happen to him, and vigorously pushes Joker to reject the dream world despite knowing he would likely disappear. Even if the player chooses the dialogue option accusing Akechi of oversimplifying, he will dismiss the issue and continue to advocate for the dream world's destruction. Altogether, this heavily resembles suicidal ideation.
  • The Dog Bites Back: His partaking in berserking/mentally shutting down assorted Asshole Victims as Shido's enforcer is his way at getting back at a society that put him down for something that genuinely was completely out of his control: being an illegitimate child, left behind by a mother who couldn't cope with his existence. The fact that many innocents were also harmed during his missions make Akechi's methodology a particularly dark Foil to the Phantom Thieves' own methods and reasons for fighting the corrupt.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!:
    • He has some elements of this, particularly his being infuriated that people whom he looks down upon would sympathize with him. Taking more supportive dialogue options during his boss fight incurs reactions such as this. He also expresses similar sentiments during the trailer for Royal.
      Akechi: Is that supposed to be pity...? You piece of shit!

      Akechi: You should know me by now. Did you think this would please me, being shown mercy? I don't want your pity. Are you really this spineless?
    • Joker deciding to accept Maruki's offer to spare Akechi's life enrages him as he sees it as too-little-too-late mercy that at this point is only an act of pity, completely betraying his wishes to die a free man.
      Akechi: Do you really think I'd be happy with this? Being shown mercy now, of all times? I don't want to be pitied- this isn't something I'm debating with you!
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Downplayed Trope: On the one hand, Akechi wasn't as smart or powerful as he thought he was, he was a pawn to Yaldabaoth, and Shido had a plan to thwart him knowing he would betray him. On the other hand, Akechi was the only reason Shido had a chance at even coming close to taking over Japan, was Shido's only means of destroying his competition, and once Akechi is out of the picture Shido's entire plan unravels. The Thieves even call Shido out on this.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He's the enforcer of Masayoshi Shido's Evil Plan, killing the protagonist in the bad ending and serving as the final obstacle before you go after Shido himself. In truth though, he's just plotting to destroy Shido's reputation after elevating him to power as revenge for his cruel upbringing.
  • Dramatic Irony: His rank 7 and 8 confidant events in Royal let you have Joker, who is fully aware of Akechi's involvement in the conspiracy at this point, obliquely comment on your awareness of his true personality and criminal actions, and even offer him a chance at a Heel–Face Turn. Sadly, Akechi's overconfidence makes him none the wiser to the fact that you've already seen through him completely.
  • The Dreaded: He is seen as this by most members of the Antisocial Force who are aware of his existence, due to being a Professional Killer who can easily kill them without leaving a trace of evidence. Shadow Madarame and Kaneshiro both express fear that Akechi could be prowling around in their Palaces, ready to execute them should they spill the beans to the Phantom Thieves. Unlike every other person in Shido's political circles, his reputation is wholly justified since he's not only Shido's sole method to actually threaten his opposition bar petty lawsuits, he's noticeably a lot more intelligent than the opportunists, busybodies, and con-men that form the group.
  • Easily Forgiven: Zig-zagged.
    • The Thieves express a desire to work together with him to take down Shido despite him murdering Futaba's mother and Haru's father respectively, among many others, but make it clear that they haven't completely forgiven him. Haru, especially, says that while she can't forgive him for murdering her father, she nonetheless understands why he turned out this way. They see Shido as more to blame, as it was his actions that led to Akechi turning out the way that he is.
    • Seemingly played straight in the third semester, where he's released. He is sincerely alarmed by this and realizes that it's just an aspect of the Lotus-Eater Machine. The Phantom Thieves hardly blink an eye when they see him hanging around Joker, but when they reject the new reality and get their true memories back, they begin to treat him with the disdain and mistrust they had before, though they put aside their grudge after realizing they need his help.
    • Averted with Futaba and Haru, who make their feelings known in Safe Room conversations inside Maruki's Palace. Haru says she can't forgive Akechi, and only works with him because they need his help. Futaba says that she's keeping herself busy navigating to avoid having to think about having her mother's killer on the team. That being said, they still have no qualms about engaging in conversation with him for whatever reason, as they both have several lines of Mementos dialogue with him.
    • In the third semester, the thieves will all still play billiards with Akechi, even Futaba and Haru, which is either this trope or Gameplay and Story Segregation. However, darts are a different story: no party members will invite Akechi to play, and if you invite him yourself, nobody else will come.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite his antagonism towards the Phantom Thieves during the main story, he joins them for real during the third semester in order to take down Maruki.
  • Engineered Heroics: Akechi uses his powers to instigate crimes as the Black Mask, and subsequently solves them as the Detective Prince, to build a reputation as a hero and a celebrity in the eyes of the public. This satisfies his craving for attention and adoration but ties him to Shido's conspiracy; if it falls, so does Akechi's charade. This is why he can't just join the Phantom Thieves when they set out to change Shido's heart, because he'd be dooming himself.
  • Empty Shell: What he does to people by killing their Shadows, and also something that applies to Goro himself; his sin is Emptiness and everything about his mask is proven to be fradulent and replaced with nothing bar his hatred for Shido. Eventually, he gains a grudging camaraderie for the Phantom Thieves, but it's unfortunately too late.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Akechi remains oblivious to the trick the Thieves pulled on him until he goes on a talk show: first he muses that he felt a little dizzy after killing Joker... only to realize the dizziness was the feeling of traveling to the Metaverse. Then the host snaps at someone in the audience whose phone had just gone off, the lightbulb goes off, and Akechi rushes off to face the Thieves.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: For all his faults, Akechi did sincerely love his deceased mother and was distraught when she killed herself, unwilling to deal with having a bastard child. Part of the reason he wants revenge on Shido (who impregnated her and then disappeared) is to avenge her death.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Akechi sincerely loved his deceased mother and was saddened by her suicide. Part of the reason he wants to kill Shido is to avenge her for ruining her life.
    • In a twisted way, despite trying to shoot Joker in the head and kill him multiple times throughout the game, Akechi still genuinely cares for him and sees him as a Worthy Opponent. In Shido's Palace, Akechi ultimately sacrifices himself to save Joker and let him change Shido's heart, and in the Third Semester, Akechi becomes distraught if Joker dies while he's the navigator.
    • In the Third Semester, despite being deep in his Ax-Crazy persona with little care for the rest of the thieves by that point, Akechi does seem to sincerely care for Sumire. He is disgusted when Maruki briefly drives her insane, refuses to harm her when Maruki sics her on him and Joker, and holds her back to stop her from risking her life to save Maruki during the final battle.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • After rejoining the Phantom Thieves during the events of the Third Semester, Akechi can react to Shido's Beast of Human Sacrifices displayed in the Thieves' Den, which he openly expresses disgust for. Even he is appalled by how Shido sees everyone around him, including his own son, as nothing except stepping stones in his grab for power.
    • When Kasumi/Sumire is made to fight him and Joker under Maruki's influence, Akechi bows out of the fight since he knows he'd likely end up hurting/killing her and is disgusted that Maruki makes her keep fighting after her initial defeat.
    • While viewing Carmen in the Thieves' Den with Ann, Akechi starts to comment on her Persona only for Ann to angrily cut him off, expecting him to make a rude comment about how Carmen's appearance relates to her. Akechi is upset and appalled she would even think he'd say that.
    • Akechi becomes upset after learning Sae threatened to terminate Sojiro's custody of Futaba based solely on speculation that he had information related to the Phantom Thieves, and even starts trying to deter Sae by arguing her actions are against protocol. Though Akechi is perfectly willing to harm Futaba in other ways, he seems disgusted with using her custody situation as blackmail.
    • In Tactica's Repaint Your Heart campaign, Akechi is legitimately shocked to witness Guernica slaughtering several Mouscots, and even moreso when he sees her art exhibition, which consists of numerous dead Mouscots scattered across a street.
  • Evil Is Angular: Akechi's second thief outfit has him sporting claws, a helmet resembling a bird's skull with fangs and horns, pointed shoulders, a jagged cape, ripped-up cuffs, and pant legs. His first outfit also has a mask with a long, pronounced beak which was apparently designed to look 'condescending'. On that note, Akechi isn't exactly a pleasant person.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • He's highly shocked at the offering of a second chance by the thieves, to say the least.
    • In Royal, he initially assumes that Dr. Maruki's desire to use his apparent power to warp the fabric of reality was simply to play God. When he finds out that Maruki genuinely wants to grant everyone's wishes and make everyone happy rather than some delusional power trip, he finds it "incomprehensible" and vocally admits he can't wrap his head around such intentions.
    • Akechi is completely baffled as to why the Phantom Thieves didn't just kill their oppressors, stating that if he were in their shoes, he would have murdered them without a second thought.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Robin Hood grants Akechi a white, princely uniform. Loki, meanwhile, dresses Akechi in a hellish black uniform with a neck brace, clawed gloves and boots, a face-covering helmet, and a "cape" that emits ominous black smoke. He transforms into this outfit for the second phase of his boss fight.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Joker, who he holds a massive inferiority complex towards, more specifically. Besides both of them being Wild Cards, many of their design aspects mirror each other: Joker's Thief garb is black with red highlights - Akechi's initial thief costume is white with red highlights. Both of their masks have bird motifs to them. His toy swords and rayguns are childish versions of Joker's more realistic knives and pistols. In their All-Out Attack images, Akechi is posing in front of an ornate, intact star, while Joker does so in front of a simple, cracked one. During the second phase of his boss fight, even Akechi's idle pose, with the slouch backwards while holding his weapon down by his hip, mirrors Joker's; not to mention he is also left-handed.
  • Evil Gloating: Engages in a very subdued form of this when he encounters Sae outside of the interrogation room. He brags about being the true leader of the investigation before playing it off as a joke, and comments on how things could easily get violent in the room and no one would be the wiser. When Sae leaves, he drops all of his subtlety, mocks her, and smugly taunts Joker before shooting him in the face.
  • Evil Is Hammy: During the confrontation in Shido's Palace, he hollers at the top of his lungs about wanting to kill the Phantom Thieves during his boss fight. Justified as he's having a meltdown, and caused himself to go psychotic. In Royal, where he becomes the Token Evil Teammate, he's still extremely aggressive, and the few navigator lines he has are ruthlessly violent.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Just after going psychotic, he lets out a maddened laugh before threatening to kill the Phantom Thieves.
    • He has a triumphant cackle if he manages to kill Joker during his boss fight.
    • His dialogue as a member of the team in the final act of Royal is full of this.
  • Exact Words: The reason he gives the Phantom Thieves for becoming a detective: an extremely personal grudge against rotten adults, with one in particular.
  • Expy:
    • Of Death Note's Villain Protagonist Light Yagami, who he visually resembles. Both boys are prodigies who gain a supernatural power to kill whole swathes of people and come to relish it, become the mole in an organization opposing them, and wear a facade in public. Furthermore, they fall from grace because of their personal flaws and the betrayal of a force that once sponsored them. They also have their own in-universe fan clubs but react to them in different ways; Light is dismissive of other people's feelings even as his fans are willing to kill for him, while Akechi enjoys being famous yet bitterly notes that his fanbase would turn on him if they learned the truth.
      • Essentially, Akechi plays the same role as Light, but as a supporting character; what if we never saw inside the charming, intelligent, butter-wouldn't-melt Kid Detective's head? That said, the visual similarity between them both can mislead the audience. While Light has some complex motives, he's driven by power and what he believes to be good intentions, while Akechi's motives are consciously personal, aimed at destroying his father no matter what.
    • As Black Mask, Akechi bears a striking resemblance to Guts in his Berserker Armor, and acts just as deranged in combat.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: On the surface, Akechi has the appearance of an androgynous Pretty Boy with equally dorky and innocent mannerisms. Deep down, he's an obsessive criminal and a manipulative schemer who is willing to brain damage and outright murder people in order to take down his father.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Lampshaded when faced with Shido's cognitive version of him, where he was wondering if there was actually something in his palace to protect himself against him, and is only now learning what it is.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: More or less set up by himself. In the game, he's beaten by the Phantom Thieves and possibly killed by his Cognitive double, never succeeding in his goal to destroy Shido. If he were to actually beat the Phantom Thieves and proceed with his plans Shido might have him killed before Akechi could reveal anything. If Akechi somehow reveals everything and gets Shido's head instead, Yaldabaoth's plans would be enacted anyway and Akechi would suffer along with everyone else.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He was the true perpetrator behind all the mental shutdown cases he helped "solve"; causing havoc so he could swoop in and be seen as a great detective. His intelligence is no fluke, however, as Episode 13 of The Animation proves that he's legitimately capable as a detective as he stops a money-laundering scheme with Ren's assistance, he does take the place of Makoto as the party's brain within the two arcs where he's available, and he even acts as The Smart Guy for the Thieves during the events of Persona Q2 and earns the respect of his predecessor Naoto.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Mistrust. At best neglected and at worst abused by a series of childhood caretakers who "didn't want him around", Akechi creates what will become the "Detective Prince" facade in a futile effort to make others want and need him. In the Proof of Justice OVA, he hints that he had no friends even before his mother died, which suggests her status as a sex worker and his own as a fatherless child might already have isolated him. He is only secure with transactional relationships—he ties people down with "give and take" exchanges so that their own self-interest will secure them in place, as we see both with the Phantom Thieves and with Shido.
      • This inability to form relationships or believe in others is what makes him Joker's mirror image, and what leads directly to his downfall—as Futaba says, because he trusted no one, he could never use his Wild Card ability to its fullest extent. He really could have united with Joker and the Thieves to take down Shido, but because he's so fixated on doing everything himself without needing help from others (in Japanese, Futaba's line is "you lived life in single-player mode"), that's never an option for him. This is why the culmination of his story involves him entrusting the Thieves with his cherished revenge.
      • The flip side of the mistrust coin is the toxic connection Akechi has with Shido. Because Akechi believes others are only driven by self-interest, he thinks the working relationship he has with Shido is secure. He thinks he's indispensable, that Shido has to "want him around". He idolises Shido even as he hates him—Shido has clearly been a great influence on Akechi, as Akechi has been in his shadow all his life. Shido is able to progressively corrupt Akechi and lead him about like a dog on a leash not because Akechi believes he's too smart to be manipulated, but because, like many abused children, his lifetime of isolation and rejection has made him pitifully easy to control through even a semblance of attention.
  • Faux Affably Evil: More like Faux Affable in general. Akechi seems like a dorky, humble, and determined detective and even joins the Thieves. Turns out that he's seemingly in league with Shido, but actually not; he's willing to ruin Shido by any means possible from the get-go, even if it means killing Shido's enemies to catch him off guard, friend or foe alike. He also fights like a psychotic maniac no matter which side he's on when using his Black Mask identity, but otherwise is capable of normal conversation when in it.
  • Femme Fatalons: A male example. His Black Mask outfit comes with a pair of claw-tipped gloves which are emphasized in his All-Out Attack artwork, reflecting his brutality and sadism. Notably, the claws are unique to him, and give Akechi a more fearsome appearance as a villain.
  • First-Name Basis: When Akechi joins the Phantom Thieves for their infiltration of Sam's Palace, he goes from referring to Joker as Amamiya-kun (or whatever name the player has given him) to calling him Ren.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: In his confrontation with the Phantom Thieves in the engine room, he laments to Joker that had they met a few years earlier, they could have been rivals or even friends.
  • Force and Finesse: In the third semester, he acts as the Force to Joker's Finesse in their Showtime. Joker attacks the enemy with a precise dagger slash and a well-placed gunshot, while Akechi violently hacks the enemy into twitching giblets of meat with his sword.
  • Foreshadowing: While most of these apply to the original release of the game, the game seems to go out of its way to tip the player off that not everything with Akechi is what it seems.
    • For the original release; While he appears alongside the other thieves on the game's box art, the title screen, and the screen when the game is loaded, he doesn't appear in the opening movie. He is also absent from a fair bit of promotional material, didn't receive official artwork of his Crow outfit or his Persona Robin Hood until a few years after the game was released, and isn't present on the reverse artwork for the game's Steelbook Edition or the collector's box for the Premium Edition.
    • A giveaway that some players will likely miss on their first playthrough is that Akechi hears Morgana talking about pancakes during the visit to the TV Station, and ends up bringing up the topic of pancakes to the group before he leaves. It's established early on that only people who have visited the Metaverse can understand Morgana. Royal later turns his like of pancakes into disdain because it tipped them off.
    • Just after Kaneshiro's Palace, Akechi confronts the thieves and starts heavily implying that he knows - or at least strongly suspects - that they're the Phantom Thieves. During this scene, he notes that you're behaving suspiciously, and one of your dialogue options is to turn it around on him and say that he's the suspicious one. Cue a cut-in of Akechi looking legitimately surprised, before brushing it off as a joke. His reaction is likely him being shocked at the idea that the thieves could correctly suspect him of wrong-doing so early on.
    • His choice of the codename "Crow" does not in any way befit the design of his Phantom Thief attire which is entirely dressed in bright colours, bar the long nose on his mask. But it does suit the design of his real metaverse outfit as the "Black Mask", whose design vaguely resembles a crow.
    • A subtle one is in his moveset. As mentioned above, Akechi has well-balanced stats and the most diverse skillset of Phantom Thieves besides Joker; Robin Hood has physical attacks as well as bless, curse and almighty spells. This is in contrast to how the rest of the Phantom Thieves have their own specialties while simultaneously complimenting one another's weaknesses. This makes sense since Akechi had to explore the metaverse on his own with no teammates to rely on to cover any weaknesses he might have.
    • Akechi's choice in weaponry is quite different than the rest of the Phantom Thieves. While everyone else's weapons are replicas, they work in the Metaverse because they look real and thus the cognitive reality of the Metaverse makes them real. Akechi's weapons are literal children's toys which become a functioning Laser Blade and Ray Gun due to the same rules, but even under the assumption that he got the weapons during his Awakening like all the other Phantoms, without someone like Morgana to explain those rules to him, Akechi would have no reason to believe that they would work at all. Meaning the only way he'd know they would is through Wakaba Isshiki's cognitive pscience research, which it's revealed he obtained after killing her.
    • During the infiltration of Niijima's Palace, Kawakami gives a lesson on crows, and comments that crows are cunning creatures who shouldn't be underestimated. This not only plays into how Akechi manages to stack points on the card Futaba told him to discard, and that the rest of the thieves didn't know he still had, as well as out-gambit Shadow Sae, but also how he deliberately chose the date of the heist to lure the Phantom Thieves into an ambush.
    • Another subtle one has Akechi at one point wording catching the Phantom Thieves as bringing them to "[his] justice". This alludes to Akechi's role in the game as "Destruction" and his character behind the mask.
    • In a more subtle example, there are no Personas in the game that can be itemized into equipment that is exclusive to Akechi. Royal does give him exclusive weapons but that is during the third term long after The Reveal and the Persona that does give him weapons are deliberately left blank before that point.
    • Before you fight him as the Black Mask in the Engine Room, he gloats that his power has been granted by "a God or a demon". It's implied that Yaldabaoth awakened his power to induce psychotic breakdowns as a part of his "game".
    • Perhaps the biggest giveaways are found in Akechi's DLC costumes, as almost all of the costumes he receives represent an antagonist from the respective game the outfit is based on. He gets General Munakata's outfit for his Raidou costume, Ideo Hazama's uniform for his if... costume, and Boss/Dumuzid's suit for his Catherine costume.
    • In rank 5 of his confidant in Royal, he takes Joker to an arcade, and they compete in a railgun shooter. If you ask him after the game if he's used to gunplay, he states that he'll need a lot of practice if he's going to off Joker. Considering the fact that that's what he did to Okumura and tried to do on Joker, it speaks volumes. He does pass it off as a joke, though.
      • In Rank 8, Akechi pulls a gun on Joker to provoke him into his Duel Boss fight. It isn't the Ray Gun he normally carries as his Phantom Thief sidearm, but a normal-looking silenced pistol - the same weapon the assassin kills Joker with in the Non-Standard Game Overs up until this point.
    • One of Royal's events sees Joker spending an afternoon with Akechi and Kasumi, during which Akechi acknowledges that much of his public face and habits are for PR purposes. While this partly sets up his obsessiveness with feeling acknowledged by others, it can just as easily foreshadow that the Akechi you're acquainted with is a mask. Especially after Joker says that he feels lied to and Akechi lets this slip:
      Akechi: Presenting oneself in a favorable light is nothing surprising. More surprising is just how innocent you seem to be.
    • Robin Hood's "RH" Chest Insignia has the R written backwards, perhaps alluding to how Akechi's face as the bringer of justice isn't all it seems to be. As Hereward, the "RH" is written correctly, alluding to his newfound sense of justice.
    • Unlike other team members who join the party, a book based on Akechi's persona, Robin Hood, isn't available to check out at the school library.
    • In Tactica, despite still upholding his Detective Prince persona, Akechi slips up a number of times and acts callously, with some of his combat lines coming across as downright vicious. It gets to the point that Luca takes note of his strange behavior and briefly regards him untrustworthy.
      Luca: Here I thought you were some heartless, hyper-rational bastard...
      Akechi: Well... I'll just pretend I didn't hear that.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Continuing from the base game, when he rejoins the Phantom Thieves during the new palace in Royal they make it explicitly clear they don't trust him. Though this time less for what they now know is his extremely fake self-righteousness persona, and more for the obvious reason they know he's a Jerkass who's already betrayed them once. Futaba and Haru will never forgive him for what he did to their parents, Makoto and Ryuji have Hate at First Sight with him: Makoto for calling her a pushover and Ryuji for badmouthing the Phantom Thieves, and Yusuke, Ann, and Morgana have no personal beef with him but still are extremely wary for his traitorous actions in the past and his true bloodthirsty nature. Sumire gets along with him a bit better, but finds him "ruthless." Ironically although he was a bit distrustful at first, Joker is probably the only party member who likes and respects him, to the point of having a Showtime with Akechi. The only reason the other Thieves tolerate Akechi is because they need his help against the new Godlike Maruki. Haru is also confident that if he betrayed them again, they could easily defeat him again. Despite this, after they restore reality, they take the news that Akechi might be truly be dead when Morgana informs them about it much harder than expected, since it also came on the heels of Joker turning himself and that both of them knew it. Even after everything he did, especially to Haru and Futaba, they did end up considering him one of them.
  • Freudian Slip: In a conversation with Yusuke about Madarame, Akechi is surprised Yusuke isn't consumed by loathing for how his former teacher used him. When Yusuke goes on about how he wonders if something happened to send Madarame down the path he took, Akechi replies he himself wouldn't care to learn. However, Akechi phrases it like Madarame had personally abused him, making it clear he's not really talking about the plagiarist.
    Akechi: Besides, I have no interest in wasting my time empathizing after all he put me through.
  • Fusion Dance: Hereward plays this straight and stands out as the only third-tier Persona who is formed from two standalone Personas instead of the first and second-tier forms of a single Persona.
  • Game-Over Man: In the first six Non-Standard Game Overs he is the mysterious man who blows your brains out. He's also responsible for arresting the protagonist during the bad ending obtained if Shido's Palace isn't completed in time.
    Akechi: Allow me to enlighten you. That trivial righteousness that you've paraded around...? This is how such idiocy ends. [gunshot] ...Farewell.

  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • In the original game, unlike the other Thieves, Akechi doesn't get the Confidant skill "Protect", which allows a party member to take a fatal blow for the protagonist. However, you do hit Rank 9 just before the battle with him, not long before Akechi sacrifices himself to allow the party to escape from an army of shadows led by Shido's cognitive version of him. Played straight in the Third Term events where he does this for real if his confidant was maxed out.
    • During his boss fight, he tends to aim for Joker a lot. Considering his case of Green-Eyed Monster against Joker, why wouldn't he target the source of his frustration?
    • In the Third Term, Akechi acts as the navigator while the other Phantom Thieves are taken in by Maruki's reality. Akechi is far more experienced than anyone else and has been operating without a team for years, explaining why he has that capability.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • His DLC outfits are shared between his white Crow appearance and when he joins during the third-term as Black Mask, resulting in his Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth DLC outfit changing him back into his Niijima's Palace outfit instead of keeping his Black Mask outfit. This is zig-zagged during a New Game Plus playthrough, as Akechi gets to freely switch between his Niijima's Palace outfit and his Black Mask outfit when he joins the Thieves.
    • In the first phase of his boss fight in Shido's Palace, Akechi summons Cerberus and Cu Chulainn and causes them both to go berserk. Both are supposed to be weak shadows that Akechi empowers to be far stronger than they could ever be normally. Cerberus is indeed one of the weakest shadows in Shido's Palace, but Cu Chulainn is an late game Persona, level 67 in vanilla and 76 in Royal (and becomes a normal enemy in Maruki's Palace), which is much higher than Akechi and Shido themselves, who are both fought in the late 50s to mid 60s. This is not the only time that a late game shadow is weakened to be fought as a Mini-Boss but it is one of the most notable due to the plot circumstances.
    • Should you miss the deadline for Shido’s Palace, Akechi will barge into Leblanc with some police officers to arrest Joker. This scene will remain the same even if you have defeated Akechi in the Palace, at which point Akechi would have been facing an Uncertain Doom.
    • Although the game often goes out of its way to show Haru and Futaba will justifiably never fully forgive him for what he's done by having them keep their distance, this isn't always the case. Not only will they play billiards if he's there, but both of them have several Mementos conversations with him.
    • On New Game Plus, him being able to switch to his Crow outfit in Maruki's Palace makes sense in the narrative since the player and all the Thieves sans Sumire know he has two suits (and as of Tactica, even the latter, though her memory of seeing his first outfit was wiped unless the story continues), but him wearing the Black Mask Suit in Sae's Palace does not, as even though they figured out his true intentions during his tenure, they didn't know what his other outfit actually looked like which the game makes clear during his boss fight.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: If Joker decides to accept Maruki's reality, Akechi's personality is overwritten entirely, making him into a Nice Guy who gets along great with everyone and lacks any trace of his real self. This is extremely disturbing given the sheer lack of consent on the detective's part, as Akechi violently rejected the new world from the beginning and his greatest fear was to be someone else's puppet for the rest of his life.
  • Glasgow Grin: While it may not be obvious at first, Loki's design evokes this if you look at him from certain angles.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes glow bright red after berserking himself during his Showtime attack with Joker. His eyes stay this way for the rest of the animation which is most noticeable if he wears a DLC costume that exposes his face.
  • Good is Not Nice: He's firmly on the thieves' side during the third semester in Royal and genuinely wants to save reality even if it means he won't exist any more, but he's even more of a jerk than he was during his stint as a Guest-Star Party Member since he's stopped putting on a Nice Guy facade and now bluntly speaks his mind.
  • Grayscale of Evil: The black and white stripes of Loki's Dazzle camouflage which dominate the antagonistic Persona's design help set it apart from all of the other Personas present.
  • Grudging "Thank You": In one of the Mementos skits during the third semester, Akechi expresses sincere gratitude for the team stopping Shido.
    Crow: I meant to tell you, regarding Shido... Thank you for keeping your promise.
  • Hate Plague: Unlike the Protagonist who has the ability to cause his victims to feel all their repressed guilt by stealing their hearts, Akechi has the ability to drive people completely berserk by attacking their hearts with Loki. The Train incident early in the game where the conductor goes crazy and crashes it is his doing, and it's implied that several of the crimes he "solved" were actually caused by him using his power to make other people commit them. He also uses this ability to power up his shadow flunkies and even seemingly uses it on himself during his boss fight, although this doesn't seem very different from when he fights as an ally in Royal. During his Showtime attack with Joker in Royal, he'll berserk himself for charging towards the enemy.
  • The Heavy: Even though Shido is giving the orders, Akechi's the one doing most of the legwork for the Antisocial Force, being behind the mental shutdowns that occur throughout the game that get blamed on the Phantom Thieves and cower the public into submission.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam:
    • He begins to come around after the party beats him a second time and the berserk effect wears off, but then Shido's cognitive image of Akechi shows up and threatens everyone. The real Akechi shoots a control panel that closes a bulkhead, sealing himself off with the fake one so the Phantom Thieves can escape. It becomes a plot point in Royal; since Akechi believes he doesn't deserve redemption and that he'll never be a good guy, he's able to notice that everyone is in a Lotus-Eater Machine.
    • This happens again in Persona Q2. Seeing the teams and cast accept the other as they are actually causes him to have surprising self-doubt and insecurity, especially as certain members of the team can see he carries a lot of baggage with him. According to the official artbook, the experience has made Akechi aware of how unfavorable his personality actually is and he does not wish to leave, as he fears reverting back to his old self.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In Royal, Akechi rejoins the Phantom Thieves for real and fights alongside them against Maruki's false reality, even if it means he may die in the process.
  • Heel Realization:
    • When he meets the thieves again in the bowels of Shido's ship, he confesses to Joker that he ultimately could have been put on a better path had they met before putting his revenge scheme into play.
    • Persona Q2 has him realize this during his time with the Thieves, Investigation Team and SEES, to where he hesitates returning to reality, knowing that he would return to his old monstrous self.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Twice, though he may have survived:
    • In the boiler room of Shido's Palace, he traps himself with his cognitive counterpart as to allow the other thieves to escape and change Shido's heart. Futaba fails to detect his presence after he gets shot and believes he's died, though it's also implied he may have survived and escaped somehow.
    • Akechi is aware that he has the most to lose if Maruki loses his Palace, as he may cease to exist. Even so, he is the first of the Phantom Thieves and most insistent of Joker to reject Maruki's reality.
  • Hero Killer: He shoots the protagonist in the head after the Phantom is taken into custody, to avoid anyone else finding out more about The Conspiracy. In the good endings, he kills a fake version of Joker in Sae's palace. In the failed scenarios and the bad ending, he kills the real Joker.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: For a very loose definition of hero, Akechi prefers wielding swords in combination with the Ancient Day gun.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: His claim to fame was investigating (and covering up) the mental shutdown and psychotic breakdown incidents that he himself was perpetuating, and his first appearance has him consulting with Sae Nijima regarding such cases. Later on, as part of his supposed deal with the Phantom Thieves, he asks them to disband and promises to personally bring the Metaverse killer to justice, even though he is the Metaverse killer and everyone he's made the deal with knows it very well.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: By the time the Phantom Thieves confront him he realizes that they are for his own good and genuinely recognizes them as friends; He just wants to save his reputation and not to make Shido ashamed of him, even though if the Thieves are killed he won't be around much longer. By the third semester, Akechi has developed an unhealthy coping mechanism of putting on the facade of a remorseless monster, as to push away the Phantom Thieves, his first group of real friends.
  • Hope Is Scary: Actually forming his first real relationships, even under difficult circumstances, pretty much begins unraveling his plans and convictions. Especially since now he has to face all the horrible things he didn't have to do, but did so anyway.
  • Horned Humanoid: His Persona Loki has horns above his eyes that are similar to another popular depiction of Loki. According to his designer, the horns are based on snail parasites.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Shido's Antisocial Force got as far as it did despite Shido's Stupid Evil for two reasons: One, Yaldabaoth was cheating in his favor, and two, he had Akechi on his side. Akechi's Metaverse powers allow Shido to dispose of any threat via mental shutdown, create crimes or scandals via psychotic breakdown, gain blackmail on anyone with a secret to keep, and all with no way whatsoever to link it back to him. Everyone else on his side is either a)there because of Akechi in some way (i.e. Okumura hired Akechi's services, Akechi found blackmail on the SIU Director), b)a Professional Butt-Kisser, or c) Only in It for the Money.
  • Hypocrite: Indulges in this quite a bit. Like the All for Nothing mentioned above, it goes along with his sin of "Emptiness":
    • He frequently criticizes Sae whenever he feels she goes far, and after hearing Shadow Sae's Motive Rant, makes a disappointed remark that he'd hoped that her reasons would be more noble. All this is coming from someone who'd actually caused the mental shutdown incidents and became famous by solving the cases, all for the purpose of taking revenge on/being acknowledged by his father.
    • In Royal, he gives two diatribes to the rest of the Thieves at different points in the third semester that upon retrospective examination, are absolutely hypocritical:
      • He first badmouths them for going against what they stood for and falling for Maruki's dream world. He's ignoring the blatant fact that he himself went against what "justice" stood for back as a kid to become the angsty bastard he is now while also having been played by Shido, used as a pawn by Yaldabaoth for his instability, and the Phantom Thieves themselves exploited his own arrogance against him. His cynicism was the only thing that kept him from accepting Maruki's dream world, and even then, had Maruki considered him Beyond Redemption just like Shido, he would've stayed in prison and been none the wiser.
      • He later blames the Thieves for being responsible for Maruki's plot by the fact that they entrusted him with their thoughts and their actions led to him becoming the master of Mementos... except that by that logic, Akechi is much more to blame for Maruki's plot in the first place. Shido only got as far as he did because Akechi introduced him to Mementos and led to him seeking information on cognitive psience in the first place. This led to Maruki's work being confiscated and his dreams dashed, which further led Maruki into desperation (and likely what led him into being a high school counselor in the first place.) Shido's rise and subsequent fall that led to Yalabaoth's rise and later Maruki's rise was due to Akechi's own machinations, even if by accident.
    • On a lighter note, he has the gall to be impatient with the Phantom Thieves' showy antics and giving Sumire her code name. This coming from the Large Ham Chuunibyou Blood Knight who is Chewing the Scenery in battle like a Saturday morning cartoon villain with the beliefs and melodrama of an Emo Teen. He also comments that the rest of the Thieves are like "absolute fools", but the political conspiracy he was mangled with was infested by absolute fools itself.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: However, for all the above hypocrisy during the third term, the Thieves manage to put together that Akechi is still right about what has happened to and/or because of them, with his Brutal Honesty implying that he isn't really denying his own part in it as well, and is actually attempting to fix it, even if it possibly means getting the short end of the stick.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: He conceals the existence of his other Persona and his ability to cause Shadows to go berserk until he fights the party. He taunts Ryuji for being stupid enough to assume that he knows all there is to know about his power, and Makoto points out that if Akechi is responsible for all the incidents, he's more dangerous than they assumed. That said, he makes his Evil Costume Switch and takes out Loki for the second half of his boss fight. Though humorously he literally is left-handed.
  • I Am What I Am: Downplayed. While he's not particularly at odds with his life as a ruthless assassin, in the Third Semester, Akechi finally drops his fake Nice Guy act, accepting his past and misdeeds as integral parts of him and refusing to let Maruki erase them.
  • I Die Free: In Royal's third semester, he opposes Maruki even though reasserting the original reality would restore his supposed death to the timeline. He states that he would rather die than live as a mindless puppet in Maruki's world.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: He subconsciously yearns for any kind of affection and acknowledgement, and Shido ends up exploiting this in order to keep Akechi under his control. It's also why Akechi becomes hesitant to in his quest of dismantling the Thieves, because he starts to feel genuine love and friendship with them even if it doesn't amount to much in the end, especially with Joker.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: His desperate need for others' approval results in him leaning towards this. It gets especially bad when Joker is clearly Akechi's superior in spite of everything he's done, which prompts Akechi to go into a Villainous Breakdown. The other Phantom Thieves point out that Akechi is special; after all, they needed to all come at him to win. Yet the lesson doesn't take until it's too late.
    Akechi: (to Joker) Why am I inferior to you?! I was extremely particular about my life, my grades, so someone would want me around! And you? You're just some criminal trash living in an attic! So how?! How does someone like you have things I don't?! How can such a worthless piece of trash be more special than me?!
  • I Just Want to Be You: He can't stand that Joker is more loved than him despite being in a similar situation and belittles Joker's achievements, coming to a head in his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Image Song: "No More What Ifs" which is sung by Lyn Inaizumi and actually performed in-universe at Jazz Jin.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: At the beginning of the third semester, Kasumi tries to whisper to Joker about how completely Ax-Crazy he is. Akechi overhears them and tells them off.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Akechi starts plotting against the Phantom Thieves early on, unaware that he shoots himself in the foot when they first meet. This particular Chekhov's Gun set up early into the game takes several months to fire, and blows Akechi's gambit wide open.
    • The setup: During the Phantom Thieves' social studies field trip to the TV studio, Morgana asks them about a "pancake-looking" place they passed on the way there which Ryuji identifies as Dome Town. Akechi walks into the scene less than a minute later, and caps off his brief conversation with them by vocally assuming they're going to go eat cake. When Ryuji asks what he's talking about, Akechi clarifies that he thought he heard them say something about "delicious pancakes". An observant player could instantly put two and two together: Morgana was the only one who said "pancake", and only those who hear him speak in the Metaverse can understand him in the real world. The only way Akechi would be able to understand him would be if he had visited the Metaverse himself.
    • The payoff: Akechi reveals his hand to the Phantom Thieves during their school festival in October, blackmailing them into a temporary truce to (in his words) 'find the true culprit.' He tries to elicit sympathy by claiming that he first visited the Metaverse by accident a month before, making up a sob story about almost being killed by the Black Mask. After the scene is over and everyone else leaves the room, Joker and Morgana stay behind to talk; they've caught on to Akechi's deception, specifically recalling their first meeting at the TV studio. In short, his plot against the Phantom Thieves is completely ruined by one silly brainfart.
    • Amusingly, Royal sees Akechi grumble about pancakes during a Mementos conversation during the Third Semester. He doesn't want to hear about them for a long time, clearly unhappy that his months-long scheme was foiled by such a mundane mistake.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: If Joker is inflicted with rage during his and Akechi's initial visits to Maruki's Palace, Akechi admits he likes seeing Joker angry before telling him to calm down:
    Akechi: Joker's enraged? I kind of like it... but it's not you. Calm down!
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Akechi had one towards Joker. Despite starting off as The Ace and the stronger Persona user of the two, Akechi deeply resents the fact that Joker is able to continually improve and catch up to Akechi.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: When he rejoins the Phantom Thieves during the events of Royal, he gains proper ultimate weapons like the rest of the thieves.
    • His best melee weapon is Hinokagutsuchi, gained by itemizing Futsunushi. It has a medium chance of inflicting burn after a regular attack.
    • His best ranged weapon is Doomsday, gained by itemizing Vohu Manah. It increases his stats by +5.
    • Itemizing Futsunushi during a fusion alarm allows Crow to wield the Hinokagutsuchi II, which has a high chance of inflicting the burn status effect after a regular attack.
    • Itemizing Vohu Manah during a fusion alarm grants Crow the Ancient Day, a stronger version of Doomsday with 350 ATK points and increase in stats by +6.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Akechi's entire plan to take down Shido after accruing his Personas is to become Shido's hit man, kill targets to facilitate Shido's political career until he becomes prime minister, at which point Akechi would reveal his heritage and all their crimes to the public before killing his father. Either by Shido becoming prime minister with no repercussions after murdering his son or Akechi killing Shido, the only thing this ever achieves is to propel Yaldabaoth into controlling the masses who would most certainly ignore any ruckus that follows. Only through the Phantom Thieves kicking down both Shido and Yaldabaoth are his crimes brought to justice.
  • Irony:
    • He's a villain who embodies SMT's Dark-Chaos alignment and his Ultimate, Loki is specifically treated as such in Strange Journey, yet his initial Persona is the archetypical Chaotic Good character.
    • Both Loki and Hereward have Curse spells in their arsenal and yet their Arcana is Justice.
    • To an extent, his "I'm surrounded by absolute fools" comment when the group was deciding on Sumire's nickname in the third term. He's notably the Only Sane Man in a political party almost wholly consisted of a ragtag bunch of idiots who can't even cover-up for an interrogation scene correctly.
    • He likes to show off his own intellect and always views himself as the smartest person in the room, but becomes The Berserker in combat and his fighting style involves little besides slashing and hacking at a target in a mad frenzy.
    • Akechi spends most of the vanilla game working to gain Joker's trust to betray the Phantom Thieves and kill him, in service of the man manipulating him. Come the Third Semester, and Joker's wish is likely the only reason Akechi is even alive and he spends the rest of the game actively fighting for his own death and autonomy.
  • It's All About Me: His Fatal Flaw. As pointed out by Morgana, Akechi's actions could be compared to "a little kid throwing a temper tantrum". He is so blinded by rage at his own poor childhood that he has become ignorant of the suffering that he has brought down upon others acting as Shido's assassin, all for a convoluted revenge plot against his father. While his suffering and rage are genuine, he attempts to resolve them in the most selfish way possible, not caring who's in the way of his goals. It goes much deeper when one realizes this is why Joker got what Akechi always desired. Despite having lost his future and thrown to the bottom, Joker never stopped reaching out and caring for people. He works to get involved with people's troubles and forms meaningful connections. His selflessness makes him a strong Foil to Akechi's selfishness, who instead put himself on a pedestal in an attempt to make himself appealing. The first time he began making a real bond was under the forced circumstances he arranged with the Thieves along with Joker's honesty. It was the first time he reached out, even if it was for selfish reasons and thus, the first time he began to actually get the companionship he so desperately craved. At the same time, it's also underlined with tragedy: being a bastard child of a prostitute, it would mark him with disdain in the rigid Japanese system he grew to despise. It would make it a lot more difficult for him to achieve what he wanted, adding another layer to his envy with Joker, especially combined with how Royal shows that despite how utterly damaging this would be, he confides it in Joker.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: His opinion of society (and to a lesser extent, humanity) as a whole. Whereas Joker and the Phantom Thieves want to fix what's broken, Akechi wants to let it all burn and let God sort it out to see what rises from the ashes. It's why Yaldabaoth chose him as the embodiment of "destruction". In the Thieves' Den, he converses with Morgana about how humanity gave up their freedom and responsibility to the Holy Grail, and refutes Morgana's claim that humanity even wants to improve themselves.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Double-subverted. As soon as the Phantom Thieves discover that Akechi is the black-masked Metaverse assassin, they realize that merely taking him down will not stop the mental shutdowns. Instead, they prioritize finding out who gives Akechi his orders. Akechi, on the other hand, holds a very personal grudge against the Thieves for their continual success in their endeavors; he hates Joker most of all for having actual friends. This is reflected in his boss fight as, more often than not, Akechi will prioritize attacking Joker.

  • Jerkass Has a Point: Akechi stops hiding his cynical personality during the events of the third term, yet retains his clever wit and intelligence. As such, he makes several points that are difficult to refute despite his condescending tone:
    • Akechi only respects Joker out of all the Phantom Thieves, and doubts that any of the other members would be willing to fight against Maruki's vision. Sure enough, Joker is the only Phantom Thief to resist Maruki's Lotus-Eater Machine and uphold the group's ideal of taking control of their lives from corrupt authority while everyone else gives in, forcing him to gamble on whether or not his friends could shake off the brainwashing when he failed to snap them out of it. The remaining Phantom Thieves are duly ashamed of their unwitting hypocrisy and are forced to do some heavy self-reflection during their third-tier awakenings and over the course of the final Palace.
    • In one of his Thieves' Den skits, he snidely remarks that Maruki would be easy prey for con artists. Maruki immediately recounts a day when he got duped out of train fare, leading Akechi to laugh at his naïveté.
    • Akechi reserves no sympathy for Maruki's misguided ambitions. Even Sumire, herself grateful to Maruki for saving her at her lowest point, chooses to reject Maruki's reality.
    • When talking to Morgana about the Holy Grail, Akechi ponders why the Phantom Thieves haven't been maddened into misanthropy by the collective's apathy. Morgana retorts that humans just need strength to stand up, but Akechi rebuts that humans can't just change that suddenly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite being one of the game's main antagonists, he grows to genuinely enjoy his time with the Phantom Thieves.
    • Near the end of Q2, he's hesitant to return to his time out of fear of reverting to his old self.
    • He also tries to convince Shido to leave the rest of the Phantom Thieves alone when he thinks he's killed Joker. The trope comes to its head during Shido's Palace, where, after seeing how Shido truly sees him, he gives his life to save the Phantom Thieves, giving them the chance to steal Shido's heart in his stead.
    • This is best shown during the new Third Term events in Royal. He now speaks his mind, which makes him more condescending and rude, but he's honest and genuinely wants to fix reality that has been tampered with by Maruki, and he also isn't against going out of his way to be kind to the other Thieves just for the sake of it (even if he's very rough about it).
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Lampshaded and double (probably triple) subverted. He's mysteriously let out of prison and forgiven by the public when his crimes are confessed nationally which really upsets and pisses him off, because he himself feels he isn't redeemable and he has no idea how it was possible to survive his Bolivian Army Ending. It's later revealed that the whole damn thing is part of Takuto's Lotus-Eater Machine, and thus just a part of Joker's own personal desires; according to Maruki in the real world, he's still presumably dead and despised, although he can still actualize him when he's alive by tampering with his memories, making it more like a trap to catch the protagonist off guard, if at anything.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: By the Third Semester, Akechi becomes an Anti-Hero who allies with Joker and the Phantom Thieves to stop Maruki from overwriting reality. Akechi knows he might die if Maruki's reality gets undone, but remains adamant to Joker about doing so, not wanting to be trapped under the control of someone else.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Akechi willingly takes on this role during the Third Semester. As Joker explores Maruki's world and sees how happy his friends are in the idealized reality, Akechi serves as a focal point to remind him (and the audience) that any satisfaction gained from Maruki's actualization would be hollow at best.
  • Knight Templar: Part of his motivation. He wants both to punish his father for being a terrible person and society at large for letting him get away with it, planning on revealing all of his misdeeds and horrible treatment at his hands as Shido is elected Prime Minister and causing a colossal breakdown in trust of authority and government.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Hereward's unique skill, Rebel's Blade, deals severe Almighty damage to a single target, but does even more damage when the target is knocked down.
  • Kinda Busy Here: During the Adam Kadmon phase of Maruki's boss fight, while everyone is encouraging Joker while blocking Maruki's attack, all he has to say is "I'm a bit occupied, so do your goddamn JOB!!!"
  • Lack of Empathy: Akechi does not care who he hurts in his vendetta against Shido or the fact he would be inflicting equal or worse damages to innocent people who truly don't deserve it. It's another factor that makes he has in common with Shido. It also keeps him from making meaningful relationships and thus trapping himself in the miserable isolation that he wants to escape. It isn't until his defeat and rejoining in Royal that he opens his eyes and realizes the weight of the damage he's caused people, even if he doesn't apologize with words because he knows it's too late.
  • The Lancer: Akechi contrasts Joker by outwardly appearing as an upstanding and moralistic individual, but is actually a pessimistic sadist who is deeply envious of his rival. As a genuine member of the Phantom Thieves in the Third Semester, he has a much harsher stance on Maruki than everyone, and often questions Joker and the rest of the team's decisions.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: He reveals he has a gap in his memory between the engine room and his reappearance on Christmas, which is part of what tips him off to the fact he may not supposed be alive.
  • Last Ditch Move: Once his health gets low during the second phase of his boss fight, he'll attempt to attack Joker with the Almighty skill Laevateinn. Luckily, this attack is telegraphed so the player can take him out before he's able to use it.
  • Last Request:
    • After trapping himself with Shido's cognition of him and a horde of Shadows behind a bulkhead door, he asks for one last "deal" with the Thieves: to take down Shido in his stead.
    • Again in Royal. He snaps at Joker when the thief displays hesitancy at rejecting Maruki's reality upon learning Akechi may die, as he sees it as a betrayal of his final wish to die on his own terms.
  • Last-Second Chance: The Phantom Thieves offer to let him rejoin them after the second phase of his boss fight, he expresses surprise that the Thieves would do something like that after all he's done. Even when he officially rejoins, he doesn't actually ask to return and merely presents it as an option.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The trailer for Royal only takes small steps to hide his status as a villain; he isn't shown on-screen when confronting Joker in the interrogation room, but his voice isn't disguised. The Akechi trailer flat-out shows him as Black Mask, allied with the Phantom Thieves once again.
    • Though he doesn't wear his Black Mask suit in Tactica, some of his dialogue and at times behavior is reflective enough of his villainous self to seem out of character to those who haven't seen that side of him yet.
  • Late Character Syndrome: While Akechi's status as a Bless/Curse user makes him very versatile, his Persona does not get Boost or Amp skills for either element. There's also the fact that he betrays you at the end of the Palace in which he joins, and never returns to your party in the original game. Royal fixes this by having him rejoin the party for the third semester, granting him more screentime and usage overall.
  • Laughing Mad: A very impressive one to boot, and it gets even moreso when he uses his berserking abilities on himself.
  • Large Ham: While he showed some elements of being one in his cover identity, he becomes one completely after rejoining the party, unleashing lurid threats and proclaiming his own evil with glee, regularly Chewing the Scenery during his time as your navigator and frequently going into Suddenly Shouting. Even Kasumi gets a little weirded out.
  • Life's Work Ruined:
    • Akechi's one and only goal his whole life has been to destroy his father, Shido. To accomplish this, Akechi has been enacting a plan in which he works as Shido's assassin to kill obstacles in the politician's way in order for him to become Prime Minister. After he reaches that point, Akechi planned to reveal all their crimes, ruining both their careers before revealing his bastard heritage to Shido and killing him. However, the Phantom Thieves eventually show up to take Shido's Heart, rendering Akechi's work completely meaningless, which he does not take well at all.
    • It also turns out that Shido knew about the plan all along and had been manipulating his son into helping him, while also plotting to kill Akechi once he became Prime Minister, which would ruin Akechi's life's work. It's only thanks to the Phantom Thieves that Shido doesn't get off scot-free after Akechi is possibly murdered in his Palace, and realizing he's just been a puppet, Akechi spends his last moments pleading with Joker to take Shido's Heart in his stead.
  • Light Is Not Good: He wears a white outfit during his time with the Phantom Thieves and uses Bless skills, but is secretly a murderous, nihilistic hitman. During the third-term events of Royal on a New Game Plus, Akechi can wear his white outfit and retains the feral personality of his Black Mask form during battle.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Akechi never seems to realize just how similar he is to the father he detests. Both of them are ambitious individuals who rely on treachery to get ahead with their personal goals above all else and not caring who they step on. They putting on the facade of pleasant and caring people, but are really caustic self-serving individuals with a dim view of the general public they claim to serve and topped off with a cynical attitude they have to justify such negative attitudes. Most of all is arguably their arrogance that comes with their capabilities and status, believing how superior they are to the others, and when it's threatened, they lash out vehemently. In Royal, even when Akechi allies with the Thieves, he still acts remarkably Shido-like, even though he does have a genuine if strained bond. These large similarities along with Akechi's resemblance to his mother is what tipped Shido that Akechi was his biological son. He noted that the sort of backstabbing behavior over the long game would be the sort of thing he would do.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: In spite of all the similarities Goro has with his old man, there's one key difference between them: Level of accountability for their crimes. Shido's always deluded himself into believing that everything he does is for the greater good and for the sake of steering Japan into a better country despite pulling many a Kick the Dog moment such as the case with Futaba's mother and Joker's probation. Akechi, for all his flaws, is at least aware of the crimes he's committed and how much blood, innocent or otherwise, he has on his hands. This is emphasized in the Third Semester where despite having the same goal, Akechi expects nothing from the Phantom Thieves beyond taking down Maruki. He doesn't delude himself to how many lives he's ruined nor does he try to paint himself in a noble light, not expecting the group he's betrayed to even give a damn about him, not even hiding his true colors from Sumire since he sees no point in pretending to be "a sincere, righteous Detective Prince".
  • Limp and Livid: During the second phase of his boss battle, his idle stance has him slouched backwards while he holds his weapon at his hip. He assumes a similar stance during the third-term events.
  • Loss of Identity: One of the Thieves Den conversations in Royal implies Akechi has been deceiving people for so long that he eventually stopped feeling altogether.
    Akechi: Come to think of it, you all must have had a grand scheme to pull one over on me before we even entered [Sae's] palace.
    Yusuke: This is true, but it did take an immense amount of effort to maintain the charade. Deceiving someone for an extended period of time is more exhausting than I expected.
    Akechi: Is that so? Well, you learn to stop feeling things once you get used to it.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: He plans to reveal he is Shido's son after he's done making him the top politician in Japan to ruin his father's career. Little does he know...
  • The Man Behind the Man: Zig-zagged: Akechi was the one who was able to successfully let Shido's conspiracy creep across the country by introducing him to his ability to invoke psychotic breakdowns and be the main one to get rid of anyone in Shido's way. On the other hand, Shido was the one who, in turn, showed Akechi how to evoke mental shutdowns, was the one who formed the conspiracy to begin with, and a discussion with the SIU Director implies that Shido came up with the major trappings of the plan to frame the Phantom Thieves, particularly the utilization of the fake Medjed that led to Futaba joining them.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Whether it's teaming up with the Phantom Thieves just to get them arrested or using the Antisocial Force to get Shido elected just so he can steal that victory as part of his revenge, nothing is ever what it appears to be with him. Unfortunately, he's not nearly as good at it as he thinks he is, and both factions have contingencies in place to deal with his inevitable betrayal.
  • Mask of Sanity: He's generally very good at keeping a polite, calm facade during everyday conversation, but the mask comes off during his boss fight, and boy does it come off. By Royal, he isn't even attempting to hide his Ax-Crazy Blood Knight self anymore.
  • Master of None: Loki's skills, which cannot be modified without the Jazz Club, consists of a mess of Physical, Gun, Curse and Almighty attacks, plus Debilitate and several passives with questionable utility. Because of this, and his lack of skills like Curse Amp or Charge means his damage tends to lag behind the rest of the Thieves for most of the 3rd Semester. Hereward does lean into an Almighty specialty more with the powerful Rebellion Blade and a Trait to half the SP costs of it and Megidolaon... but by then, all you have left to fight is the True Final Boss.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • He shares a surname with Akechi Mitsuhide, the Sengoku Period general who betrayed his norm-breaking lord Oda Nobunaga. The comparison becomes more appropriate once Akechi reveals his intent to take down his father; Shido has an ambitious streak on Nobunaga's level.
    • His last name means 'wisdom' and his first name means 'son', which is pretty fitting for a Teen Genius with severe issues stemming from his father.
  • Metaphorically True:
    • Akechi is completely honest when he admits to seeing the Phantom Thieves as kindred spirits, because they share a hatred of corrupt adults. He just doesn't tell them any details about the one he really wants to destroy.
    • Akechi promises that the Phantom Thieves will not face arrest for their alleged murder of President Okumura if they work with him, and he means it. His true plan is to pop their leader and let the other members scatter to the winds.
  • Mini-Boss: While a relevant and dangerous threat to the Thieves or otherwise in-canon, Akechi can be considered one from a gameplay perspective. The in-game location where he is fought is placed awkwardly in the middle of Shido's Palace immediately after the last of the Five Nobles. He is only slightly more durable than end game mid-bosses because he has two phases, and his in-game behavior is more akin to Guard Captain Shadows instead of a Palace end boss, namely having simplistic attack patterns and no obvious unique gimmicks save for an attack that specifically targets Joker. If not for his plot significance and his dramatic presentation before fighting you, he can be easily mistaken for something like Michael during the day of reckoning, who also plays "Blooming Villain" when you fight him and actually qualifies as a Mid-Boss.
  • Mirror Boss: In the first phase of his boss battle in Shido's Palace, he'll fight you directly once you defeat his initial summoned minions, and will use the same skills and weapons he did when he was a playable party member. After you defeat this phase, however, he morphs into his true form as the Black Mask, and reveals that his true Persona was a completely different one all along.
  • Mission Control: Akechi temporarily assumes navigator duties on January 2 and January 9 due to you having no access to your other party members.
  • Mood-Swinger: During the third semester, he definitely comes across as this. Most of the time, he's low key, rather blunt, and pretty cold towards everyone around him. In combat though...
  • More than Mind Control: From what's been stated, Shido's tactics to manipulate Akechi are eerily similar to real-life methods abusers use on their victims. Shido admits he used the praise his son desired to keep him in line, while simultaneously threatening and putting him down. Akechi convinced himself his actions were done out of hatred for his father, only for Shido's duplicate of him to reveal he was only a puppet that wanted approval. Akechi is so horrified by this revelation that he prefers death over letting someone control his life.
  • Motive Rant: Delivers one after the first stage of his boss fight:
    Akechi: Teammates!? Friends!? To hell with that! Why am I inferior to you...!? I was extremely particular about my life, my grades, my public image, so someone would want me around! I am an Ace Detective... a celebrity! But you... you're just some criminal trash living in an attic! So how...!? How does someone like you have things I don't!? How can such a worthless piece of trash be more special than me!?
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: In The Animation, he manages to kill his cognitive self, only to meet his apparent end at the hands of multiple Shadows wielding rifles.
  • Mutual Kill: He (possibly) sacrifices his life to give the Phantom Thieves to escape, but not without taking out Shido's cognition of himself.
  • Moral Myopia: Zigzagged. While it's clear he's just simply jealous of Joker's talents, part of it is because he looks down on him as "some criminal trash living in an attic", when like himself, he too was wronged by Shido to be put in that position to begin with. Another part of it is probably because he put a lot of work into getting revenge, and doesn't want anyone else like the Phantom Thieves to, appropriately enough, steal that chance away from him.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Played With. It's made clear that Akechi has no qualms about murdering anyone who stands in his way or threatens him. His entire motivation is to destroy Shido's political career, and he kills countless other people (including Wakaba Isshiki, Kunikazu Okumura and in one of the bad endings, Joker himself) in order to get the chance to do so. In the Thieves' Den, he admits he would have killed Kamoshida and Madarame if he was in Ann and Yusuke's positions. However, he's capable of showing restraint depending on who his opponent is: he refuses to harm Sumire when Maruki drives her to attack Joker, and he only attacks Maruki himself with the intent to kill when it becomes clear the latter won't back down with his plans.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It's implied that his Villainous Breakdown was at least partially caused by the realization that he could have gotten his revenge and solved his problems without becoming a murderer. The Phantom Thieves even point this out to Akechi in an attempt to talk him down, but he refuses to listen.

  • Narcissist: His flair for the dramatic during his stint as a Phantom Thief, plus his desire to be seen as the hero who stops the Phantom Thieves, shows that he has some narcissistic traits. Certainly something he shares with dear ol' dad.
  • Never Found the Body: After his apparent death, his body doesn't reappear in the real world, leaving it ambiguous whether his body disappeared along with Shido's Palace or if he actually survived. Sae also comments that he's missing and thus can't be called to testify against Shido.
  • Nightmare Face: His cognitive self's sprite features unnaturally enlarged eyes and a disturbing Slasher Smile.
  • Noble Demon: In Royal; he's still bloodthirsty, but he recognizes that Maruki's world isn't an improvement no matter how happy he would be with it in theory. It's one where he got away with his crimes. The Thieves aren't entirely willing to let bygones be bygones, but they still do respect and care for Akechi to a degree enough to not only accept his offer to team up with him, but actually mourn the times he dies during Shido's and Maruki's Palaces.
  • Nominal Hero: In Q2. He's still in the phase where he's plotting to betray the Phantom Thieves as part of his agenda against Shido, but the Phantom Thieves getting dragged into the cinema world has nothing to do with his villainous agenda and he's just as committed to escaping as they are.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Subverted in the case of his "Crow" code name. He claims that he chose the name because it's the opposite of his thief outfit, which is mostly white but also has bright colors, but his true thief outfit resembles a black Featherman costume.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Akechi rejects Maruki's world and acknowledges full well that he is likely to die if the false reality fades, however, he still proceeds to defy the new reality as it's better to die free than living as another's puppet.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: He admits that he isn't entirely different from the Phantom Thieves—his real motivation for working as a Great Detective is to get revenge against the corrupt aspects of society that screwed him over as a kid. His father abandoned him and his mother and after his mother committed suicide, Akechi was bounced between child institutions and he may have some Bastard Angst. The rest of the Thieves even comment on it as most also had absent parental figures and screwed over one way or another.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's trying to ruin Shido, a completely and utterly despicable politician. On the other hand, it's clear that Akechi's not doing it out of a sense of justice but for revenge. And he's willing to throw many innocent lives under the bus (or train as seen with the subway incident he orchestrated) as Shido's hitman all so he could make his revenge on Shido all the sweeter.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: His fate remains ambiguous in The Animation, but no matter what happened to him, Joker hears his voice encouraging him alongside everyone else in the final battle.
    Akechi: What's the matter? Get up. It's too early for checkmate.
  • Obvious Judas: In-Universe. His behavior raises so many red flags that the Phantom Thieves see his Evil All Along nature coming from a mile and a half away. Shido also already knew that Akechi was going to betray him from the start and is planning to ruin his career if he is inaugurated as prime minister.
  • Offended by an Inferior's Success: he hates the fact that Joker, an outcast with a criminal record, has genuine friends, while he, a popular celebrity detective, has nothing but superficial fans.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Akechi was accessing the Metaverse two years before any of the protagonists, which enabled him to perform his hits. This means since he was at least fifteen, Akechi has been breaking into Palaces or Mementos and killing Shadows numerous times, without access to the Velvet Room, any kind of guide, team, or even a Persona capable of self-healing. In particular in order to successfully assassinate Okumura's Shadow, he needs to; go through the entire Palace himself, wait for the day the Phantom Thieves start the heist, then wait until they leave after grabbing the treasure and finally escape the Palace before it collapses with even less time, while lacking a vehicle unlike the Phantom Thieves, who barely escaped with Morgana transformed into a bus. On top of that he also has to make sure he is not noticed by anyone including Oracle during all of this.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • One Mementos skit has him resenting the infamous "pancake" talk that resulted in him being outed as Black Mask, with the responses from the others mocking him for it.
      Akechi: Pancakes... I don't want to hear that word again for a long, long time.
    • As a darker example, Futaba and Haru distance themselves from interacting with Akechi directly to show they never forgave him for Wakaba's and Kunikazu's murders respectively.
  • One-Man Army: He's able to fight the entirety of the Phantom Thieves by himself, and in order to succeed in his capacity as the Conspiracy's hatchet man he would have had to have broken into multiple Palaces and/or infiltrated Mementos multiple times, fought off hostile Shadows, and killed his targets without any support in the field.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Out of all of his father's cronies, he's the only one who could be considered anything other than a blithering moron, "delicious pancakes" aside. He's the only one to realize that Joker may have survived while there's still a chance to stop the Phantom Thieves, and it's implied that all of the actually sensible and workable schemes—i.e. the ones that had a chance to not bite the Antisocial Force in the ass—were his idea.
    • He considers himself to be this in comparison to the Phantom Thieves, despite the glaring evidence to the contrary, groaning over their entire affair of naming Violet in the middle of a crucial mission. In the Thieves Den, he almost says this word for word in regards to the others not sharing his discomfort over the idea of blatantly displaying his Persona.
    • In Maruki's world, while everyone else is just enjoying their perfect lives, not questioning the impossibilities of their wishes coming true, Akechi is one of the few people to realize anything is amiss and vigorously pushes Joker to reject the fake reality, despite the others taking time to come around to the idea.
  • Out-Gambitted: Akechi gets outwitted by a lot of characters due to his Smug Snake tendencies:
    • The Phantom Thieves never trusted him, and were setting him up to help them bust Shido's conspiracy for months. Not only that, they planned two steps ahead of him for every move he was going to make, up to and including trying to kill Joker. Akechi does not take the news well. Their biggest and most important play was when Futaba snatches his cell phone from him, seemingly to admire its model, but actually installs a bug program on it without him noticing, and the rest of the Thieves play it off as her having No Social Skills. This is how the Thieves discover he’s working for Shido and that he's going to try to kill Joker and make it look like a suicide.
    • Sae Niijima is able to trick him into looking at the phone that sent him into the Metaverse without making him suspicious until much later, and without knowing all the details of the plan herself.
    • Shido suspected that Akechi was his illegitimate son from the beginning and planned to have him killed once the election results came in. Akechi is blindsided by this once Shido's cognitive Akechi reveals this to him.
    • Even if he had won, Yaldabaoth had been using all of them for his own plan involving a predetermined outcome, and Akechi would have likely suffered the same fate as the Phantom Thieves once Mementos had merged with the real world.
  • Overlord Jr.: A key part of his motivation. He does Shido's bidding out of a desire to be acknowledged by him.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: As Shido's hatchet man, Akechi had also been involved in offing many of Shido's cronies who have served their purpose. Said cronies such as Kobayakawa and the SIU Director were no saints themselves, being willingly complicit in many of Shido's misdeeds. This is even lampshaded by Akechi in the engine room, arguing that many of his targets were doing the same thing as him and that he simply removed their evil from society.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being the Token Evil Teammate, he does have a few moments that keep him from being an irredeemable monster. Royal expands on these to the point that he full on becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • He comforts Makoto just before the battle with her sister's Shadow and tells her that they're going to save Sae. It was likely a ploy to garner sympathy, but it was still a nice thing for him to do, nonetheless.
    • Akechi also tags along with the Phantom Thieves in Mementos, something he could've easily avoided. Additionally, you can use his assistance as a party member while performing changes of heart, including any Confidant quests you may have pending at the time. None of this serves any purpose when it comes to his ultimate plans, which indicates that even as a traitor who planned to backstab the Phantom Thieves later on, he had the heart to at least help out with their goals in some small way.
    • In The Animation, he helps out Joker and Futaba in dealing with the latter's Evil Uncle. He also genuinely empathizes with her over the abuse she suffered at the hands of her foster home, considering that he too had suffered from a similar situation in the past. Joker also hears his voice during the final battle against Yaldabaoth, telling him not to give up.
    • In Royal, when Kasumi/Sumire is made to fight them under Maruki's influence, Akechi initially bows out of the fight and makes it clear it's because he's worried he might end up killing her. He also shows disgust that Maruki makes her keep fighting after it seems like she's been defeated.
    • When he rejoins the Third Semester acting as the navigator for a little bit, he genuinely praises Joker and Kasumi's skills when taking down shadows, and is concerned whenever they're low on health or afflicted with a condition.
    • After Sumire awakens her Persona for real in Maruki's Palace, Akechi sincerely compliments her for learning how to fight as herself in a safe room conversation.
      Akechi: Violet seems to have finally gotten the hang of fighting.
    • He always refers to Sumire as "Yoshizawa-san" as the navigator.
    • Although you cannot hang out with him directly in the Third Term, he'll still participate in some recreational activities such as darts and billiards, going to Jazz Jin, and playing Tycoon with the rest of the group if chosen, when he could have easily said no.
    • After defeating the Final Boss in Royal, he holds Sumire back to prevent her from saving Maruki. It may come off as callous, but Akechi went out of his way to stop her from risking her life when he could have just let her go.
    • If his confidant is completed by the third semester in Royal, Akechi will have the Protect skill when he rejoins the party. This confirms that, despite everything that's happened between them up to that point, Akechi still cares for Joker to the point where he'll even take a potentially fatal blow for him.
  • Playing with Fire: Although Akechi doesn't learn any Agi skills as a Phantom Thief, he knows the skill Maragion during the second phase of his boss fight, and the sword Loki holds is Laevateinn, which is usually associated with Surt. Akechi's best melee weapon is named Hinokagutsuchi, after the Japanese god of fire.
  • Power Born of Madness: Akechi's unique superpower to cause psychotic breakdowns is represented in battle as "Desperation", boosting offense while lowering defense. Akechi demonstrates this power on two Shadows at the beginning of his boss fight before siccing them on the Phantom Thieves, then uses it on himself for a powerup upon revealing his own true form.
    Akechi: Even the feeblest existence can gain tremendous power once the chains on its heart are broken.
  • The Power of Friendship: Defied. During his boss fight, he rants and raves about how these things are nothing and utterly ridiculous. As his boss fight goes on it becomes clear that he's actually trying desperately not to admit to himself that the Phantom Thieves' friendship is why they're beating him.
  • The Power of Hate: Akechi is driven by his hatred against everything in the society he grew up in for how miserable his life really is. From his upbringing, his father Shido for abandoning his mother, people like the Protagonist where he doesn't understand how they're able to live better lives than him, and possibly even himself for having to put up with all of it, including the horrible things he's done to get where he is. This is particularly invoked with his boss battle when he uses his own Hate Plague on himself to become strong enough to kill the Phantom Thieves even if it kills him as well.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Downplayed, but his 3rd Tier Persona Hereward has elements of this. Akechi awakening to him in the 2nd to last day before the Final Boss isn't a dealbreaker on its own since he retains access to his normal skillset, but contrasting Sumire's Ella gaining a resistance to Nuclear (an element the Final Boss has access to) and a powerful physical skill to out-damage Sword Dance (notable since its high crit is negated by said boss), Hereward's new Psy resistance and Rebellion Blade skill cannot be taken advantage of against the Final Boss, who has no Psy skills and cannot be knocked down for Rebellion Blade's secondary effect. Also, because Mementos is not accessible that late in the game, Hereward isn't usable for the NG+ Superboss. The only real way for Hereward's unique skills to get used is in Velvet Room challenges, many of which are DLC only.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • After supposedly killing Joker, Akechi is told by Shido to kill the rest of the Phantom Thieves. Akechi refuses, but only because now is a bad time, since the disappearance of so many students who had been associated with the Phantom Thieves all at once would be suspicious, and might get linked back to Shido. The implication of later dialogue with the Thieves themselves suggests Akechi just said that in order to keep them around because he'd grown somewhat attached to them.
    • He voices objections to Shido's plan to enact a purge of the Antisocial Force's inner circle shortly before the election because of how suspicious it would seem. Shido does not take it well.
    • In Royal, despite still hating the Phantom Thieves (Joker in particular), Akechi aligns himself with them in order to stop Maruki from warping reality. Akechi more-or-less acknowledges that it would be impossible for him to take down Maruki alone, and works with the Thieves willingly to stop him.
  • Promoted to Playable: In Royal, he himself is a downplayed example, going from a Guest-Star Party Member to a full party member during the third semester. His version of Loki plays this fully straight, as it was unusable in the original game but serves as his main Persona throughout the Maruki arc.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Despite his crimes and motives, the Phantom Thieves, choose to view him as a victim and pin Shido as the true cause for all of his crimes. They are also appalled to see that Shido views him as a puppet and has no qualms about killing him, despite Akechi having admitted a few minutes earlier to being an unstable sociopath who murdered countless people in his scheme to get revenge on Shido. Justified in that they aren't actually overlooking his crimes, but Shido is equally as guilty for ordering them, and establishes himself as a bigger sociopath who is still willing to get rid of him anyway to save his own skin (even if he was right about how Akechi might be his son who was planning to double-cross him). To them, they fully understand just how Akechi became the way he is, even if it wasn't the right thing to do. Royal further rectified this issue by having Akechi become The Friend Nobody Likes to a greater extent than before upon rejoining in 3rd Semester.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: A rather tragic, yet heavily Downplayed example. Akechi acts perfectly like what you would expect for someone around his age and class, albeit quite snarky unless when he's fighting someone as the Black Mask. However, his abusive upbringing and complete lack of meaningful relationships until he met the protagonist resulted in him never quite "growing up"; his "true" costume is a corrupted, all-black version of those from the in-universe Sentai series "Phoenix Ranger Featherman", and his weapons are described as being "based on popular children's toys." The Proof of Justice OVA reveals that he used to play as an ally of justice when he was younger, and one of his favourite toys was a ray gun.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Once he shows his true colors, he's prone to giving these. The most prominent one is when he prepares to execute Joker in the interrogation room.
  • Pull the Thread: Realizing his personal wishes are logically impossible and irresponsible broke him out of the calm placidity of the Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a subtle one to the Phantom Thieves (bar Joker), for becoming trapped within Maruki's Lotus-Eater Machine, unknowingly running away from their problems and turning their backs on their group's creed, and asking them if they seriously intend to fight Maruki despite his well intentioned distortion of wanting to make them all happy. He later lampshades how they created this mess by subconsciously allowing Maruki to manipulate Mementos, simply by attending his counseling and unknowingly giving him reins as the new God of Control. While hypocritical in nature, the group admits how they gave in so easily and created this mess, even if they didn't realize it.
    Akechi: Looks like you all walked right into the spider's parlor.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: As the vicious, murderous hitman Black Mask, Akechi wears a black suit with red lenses on his mask. Downplayed when he rejoins the Thieves in the third semester, in that he retains the outfit but is genuinely heroic - however, he's still extremely vicious in combat and a complete Jerkass otherwise.
  • Redemption Demotion: When he joins you for real in the final dungeon of Royal, he's powerful but he isn't the one-man army he was when you fought him in Shido's palace. Potentially justified however, given that he had just cast his berserker spell on himself for that fight to intentionally give himself an edge.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Maybe. After losing to the Thieves in Shido's palace, Akechi forces them to escape and buys them time by fighting his cognitive double and his army by himself: the only thing the party hears afterwards are gunshots, at which point Futaba notes that she can't sense his presence any more. However, it's unclear if he actually died: Sae notes that he merely disappeared and no one else mentions him again. Akechi returns during the Third Semester of Royal, but it's as a result of Maruki changing reality. When the original reality is restored, so is Akechi's presumed death.
  • Redemption Earns Life: On the other hand, if you complete his Confidant in Royal (thus giving him probably the first genuine relationship he had in his life), you get an extra cutscene at the end showing someone in his uniform, so if he does redeem himself as fully as the game allows, then he might be rewarded by coming back for real.
  • Redemption Failure: In Persona Q2. The artbook reveals he genuinely does come to value the friendships he makes in the labyrinths, but it's all for nothing since his memories are wiped along with the rest of the Persona users.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes are a reddish-brown, and behind his "detective prince" facade he is shown to be incredibly unstable and works as a hitman to boot. Even before The Reveal he is shown to be cynical and condescending in private, and some of his battle lines towards his enemies come off as arrogant. This gets emphasized during the third term events when he rejoins the party, where he becomes almost feral during battle. His eyes even glow red just before he tears the enemy to shreds during his Showtime attack with Joker. Hereward, his third-tier Persona, also has red eyes.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: During the events of the Third Semester, Akechi is truly on the side of the Phantom Thieves this time. However, he eschews his "detective prince" facade, acting blunter and even rude at times. He also remains somewhat unhinged, especially in combat, best seen in his All-Out-Attack Portrait where he breaks into a combination of Laughing Mad and a Slasher Smile.
  • Regretful Traitor: Deep down, he does have an attachment to the Phantom Thieves especially Joker, despite betraying them. He never formally apologizes during the Third Term and accepts their scorn without fighting back, but it's made clear between the new Endings that he cares for them greatly.
  • The Reveal:
    • Akechi isn't just a member of the Antisocial Force conspiracy: he's their main hitman and the one responsible for the psychotic breakdown/mental shutdown cases that have been plaguing Tokyo for two years. He doesn't believe in the justice that he speaks of in public, finding it fruitless, and is only interested in getting revenge on his father.
      Akechi: Justice? Righteous!? Keep that shit to yourselves! You and your teammates piss me off!
    • As shown in the second phase of the boss fight with him, he's also has the Wild Card power to control multiple Personas, though due to the misanthropy he had throughout life, he only has two.
  • Revenge: Against both Shido (for abandoning him and his mother) and society as a whole (for treating him as an outcast for being an illegitimate child for his entire life). His ultimate plan is to put Shido on the top of the political landscape, then reveal himself to be Shido's illegitimate child and confess to the murders he carried out on Shido's orders, destroying Shido's career at the point where it would hurt the most. This would also have the side effect of plunging Japanese society into chaos from the massive breakdown in trust the people have for the government.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Even though he and the rest of the Phantom Thieves have a mutual goal in stopping Shido, he still tries to kill them so he could ruin Shido himself and drag down all of society with him from the resulting colossal breakdown in trust in the government. This bites him big time when Shido’s cognition of Akechi reveals Shido was aware of his plans all along and planned to dispose of Akechi anyways.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: He would've been cast aside and disposed of had Shido's plan to become Prime Minister succeeded. Ironically, Akechi himself was planning to betray Shido as well, but was completely blindsided by the revelation that he was slated to be taken out once Shido had no further use for him.
  • The Runt at the End: While the Phantom Thieves hold off Maruki's attack so Joker can defeat him, they all shout words of defiance and encouragement, saying Maruki needs to work harder to beat them, that the doctor has no right deciding their lives and reaffirming their loyalty to each other. Akechi is the last to speak, but rather than give his support, he angrily yells that he's busy and Joker needs to just get it over with... which, for Akechi, is probably his way of saying that he trusts Joker to get the job done.

  • Sad Clown: Akechi is beloved by the public for his bright and cheery façade, and makes many jokes when speaking in public, as seen in his talk show appearances and when talking with the Thieves. However, beneath said facade is a tortured soul. His mother was a prostitute who may or may not have been raped by Shido, who obviously left her while she was pregnant, and she committed suicide out of grief sometime after giving birth, which led to Akechi being passed around from one child institution to the next.
  • Sadist: After dropping his princely mask entirely in the final act of Royal, Akechi gleefully indulges in his most violent and psychopathic tendencies when fighting Shadows.
    Akechi: Working together means EXTRA PAIN for them!
  • Sanity Slippage: During his Villainous Breakdown, he starts getting more and more unhinged. Subverted, since this is literally how he fights as the Black Mask.
  • Scary Teeth: While this is averted for Akechi, his Persona Loki has a red, sharp-toothed grin. It's difficult to see this detail in-game as Loki is placed far away from the camera during its appearance.
  • Screaming Warrior: After abandoning all pretense of being a "good guy", especially in the third semester, Akechi will often be screaming hysterically with his attacks, showing his inner instability.
  • Secret Art: Loki is the only Persona to learn the skill Laevateinn. Hereward likewise is the only Persona who gets access to Rebellion Blade.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: During his boss fight, he gets several skills he didn't have access to during his time as a playable character. Justified, since Akechi is deliberately concealing his true capabilities from the Phantom Thieves.
    • In his first phase, he gains Charge and drops his old Curse weakness.
    • His second phase consists almost entirely of new abilities; he gains resistance to Curse attacks and a whole bunch of new skills, and you only get access to Eigaon and Megidolaon when he's on your side.
    • It's also inverted in that Robin Hood loses his Bless resistance as an enemy, and Akechi also loses access to his Hama and Mudo skills, Attack Master, Samarecarm, and Debilitate.
    • In a case of a literal version of this trope, his second phase has the skill Ice Boost in his skill set. Not only does Akechi never learn any Ice skills, let alone Ice Boost, when he's playable, he can never take advantage of Ice Boost as a boss since his second phase doesn't have any Ice skills in his move set.
    • Even after he rejoins using Loki, his moveset is greatly reduced, although he can regain some of his older moves like Tetrakarn or Brave Blade through the Jazz Club or accessories. The only moves he can't use as a party member under any circumstances whatsoever is Desperation and Call of Chaos note , his berserking abilities, although that's probably not something the party would want to have done to them anyway. In-game, it's actually classified as a status effect rather than a buff.
  • Secretly Dying: During the third semester in Royal, Akechi knows full-well that he's likely dead in the real world and that Maruki's reality is the only reason he's still alive, meaning he'll essentially die again if it gets undone. In spite of this, Akechi remains extremely vocal about having Joker reject the altered reality, and it's only on the last day before the Final Boss that Joker learns what will happen to him from either Maruki or, if his social link is maxed out, Akechi himself.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: He briefly becomes this in Maruki's Palace. Thanks to having met both Yoshizawa sisters, Akechi is the only one in the party to realize Sumire believes she is her dead sister, but withholds this information until Maruki forcibly reveals it soon after, suspecting her to be the Palace Ruler.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: During the second phase of his boss fight, he uses a red serrated sword. He also uses the very same blade when he rejoins during the third term events in Royal. Gameplay-wise, it is classed as a Laser Blade.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • As Joker's Evil Counterpart, Akechi is what Joker could have become had Joker let his problems caused by society and the power granted by Yaldabaoth get the better of him. Both of them were victims of Shido, and were helpless to do anything about it prior to gaining their powers. While Joker pushes through by forging genuine bonds and genuinely tries to help society, Akechi's rage prevents him from forming meaningful bonds with others and he abuses the power of the Metaverse to hurt others.
    • He's also another one to Persona 3's Ken Amada. Ken spent most of his arc in Persona 3 boiling with hate for the man who killed his mother, without any other purpose before meeting SEES. And his plan was basically the same as Akechi's, hastily thought out revenge plan. Unlike Ken, who never actually went through with it, Akechi did kill a lot of people and let his hate twist him into something repulsive.
  • Shoot the Hostage: A weird variant. In a last-ditch attempt to make Joker back down, Maruki tells him that Akechi is only alive thanks to his new reality, and will therefore die should it be returned to normal. In response, Akechi demands Joker ignore the threat and continue with the plan, even becoming upset when the Thief takes a moment to consider the gravity of his decision.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Like with Adachi, Akechi gets a fair number of these lines when he's confronted in response to the Thieves' attempts to call him out on what he's doing and/or appeal to him.
    Morgana: You talk big, but you're really nothing more than a little kid throwing a temper tantrum!
    Akechi: Don't lecture me, you piece of shit...
  • Signature Move:
    • Laevateinn, a single-target move that deals colossal damage. Akechi uses an Almighty version of this skill in his boss fight as a Last Ditch Move to try and kill Joker when his health drops low enough, and knows a physical version when he rejoins during the third-term events.
    • Rebellion Blade, Hereward's unique skill that deals colossal Almighty damage to one target and deals more damage if they're downed. Loki also has this skill in Persona 3 Reload.
  • A Sinister Clue: If the player pays attention to the man who murders Shadow Okumura, they'll notice he shoots using his left hand. During the first meeting with Akechi in his confidant, Joker notices that Akechi is left-handed. Indeed, Akechi is the killer.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: He starts cursing up a storm once his polite facade drops and especially after making himself go psychotic, both in his boss fight and in the third semester.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: He joins the team in order to betray them to further his own goals. However, the team is wise to this from the beginning, using it as an opportunity to set him up to be Out-Gambitted.
  • Slasher Smile: Sports one in his All Out Attack after finishing off an enemy. His Cognitive double also displays an extremely disturbing grin bordering on a Nightmare Face.
  • Smug Smiler: One of his portraits during the third term displays him with a rather cocky smirk.
  • Smug Snake: This is especially so once his status as the traitor is revealed. He's cocky and fully assured that his plans would go off without a hitch, yet all the while he's being played by the very people he's trying to manipulate. Carrying over briefly into the third semester, he claims he would have already killed all the Phantom Thieves if he weren't serious about his proposal to stop Takuto. This is despite losing his prior fight. The team throws it back in his face later, stating several times they'll kick his ass if he tries anything funny again.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: During the third semester, while out of combat, Akechi speaks in a generally calm and serious manner that would hide his true personality if not for his dismissive and blunt speech. In combat however...
  • Stealth Expert: He secretly tails the Thieves on some of their heists, even evading Futaba's notice. This proves to be extremely unfortunate for the team as they are unable to sense his presence in Haru's father's Palace, enabling Akechi to murder him not long after the group leaves.
  • Stealth Pun: Akechi first appears to the Thieves in his Crow Mask and with the Robin Hood Persona, and when he turns up against them, he brings out his Black Mask and the Loki Persona. He is quite literally and figuratively two-faced.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: According to Shido, Akechi looks like his mother, which is why Shido suspected that Akechi was his illegitimate child.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Due to his more...unhinged behavior in the third semester, in combat he'll go from talking normally to screaming at the top of his lungs in any given moment.
  • Support Party Member: In the first Palace run of the third semester, with Morgana and Futaba still under the effects of the Lotus-Eater Machine, he assumes the role of navigator.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He has less patience for the Phantom Thieves' showy antics, as demonstrated when he says this while the others are choosing Sumire's codename. He even lampshades it during the scene.
    Akechi: I'm surrounded by absolute fools...
  • Sword Beam: His attack for finishing off a group of downed enemies is to charge dark energy into his sword before unleashing it as a wave.
  • Sword of Damocles: His presence in Shido's ranks is the sole thing that keeps everyone in Tokyo silent against him because of the fear of a Mental Shutdown or Psychotic Breakdown. This ties to the "panopticon" consept of Mementos, since it means the people of Tokyo were essentially put in total compliance and apathy by a mentally unstable boy.
  • Take That, Audience!: His sudden reappearance in Royal after his Bolivian Army Ending to take the heat for Joker turning himself in, only to then suddenly be released without needing to pay for anything is essentially an in-universe Fix Fic that Akechi himself is disgusted with. He makes it clear in his 2nd Ultimate Awakening that he will live his way and pay for his sins.
    Akechi: Do you think I'm happy with this? Being shown mercy now, of all time? I don't want to be pitied-this isn't something I'm debating with you! [...] I will never accept this form of reality.
  • Taking the Heat: In Royal, following Yaldabaoth's downfall, Sae requests that the protagonist turn himself in to testify against Shido. Akechi, alive and well, turns up and offers to take the protagonist's place instead, accepting responsibility for his own actions throughout the events of the game. Because this was in Maruki's dream world, this trope is undone after beating Maruki.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • He uses his power to make people's hearts go psychotic on himself to enter a greatly empowered Unstoppable Rage, knowing full well it could kill him, because he reaches his Rage Breaking Point with The Phantom Thieves and just wants them dead, even if he has to kill himself to do it.
      Akechi: GO DOWN WITH ME!
    • Akechi's plan for destroying Shido's career hinges on exposing that he is Shido's bastard son, which would result in both of their careers being destroyed.
  • Tarot Motifs:
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In general, none of the thieves are particularly excited to work with him when he rejoins them during the Third Semester in Royal, and the feeling is mutual. It's especially prominent with Futaba and Haru (who almost never interact with him during then and won't play Tycoon with him in the Thieves Den), but most of the thieves make their displeasure clear at one point or another. The only thieves he gets along remotely well with are Joker and Sumire, and even then the latter finds him "ruthless". However, the others gradually truly accept him over time, to the point that they take the news that he died after all pretty hard.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In Royal, during the Third Semester, he rejoins the Thieves - as Black Mask, not at all hiding his Blood Knight or impatient side. He's since come to sincerely regret the fact he put his own ego before the Thieves, though, and has since become something of a Noble Demon who owns his darkness. The other thieves, while they haven't even begun to like him (justified particularly for Futaba and Haru, as he killed their mother and father, respectively), at least acknowledge that he didn't become a merciless Blood Knight unprovoked.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: When speaking with Joker and Maruki at Leblanc, after the latter has spoken of how he "created a world where the two of you could live together", Akechi admits that he quickly figured out he wasn't supposed to be alive, even before he talked to Joker about what's going on in the Third Semester. With the gap in his memory between Shido's Palace and his reappearance on Christmas Eve, the outright disregard for his crimes leading to his release, and the cases of Wakaba and Okumura being inexplicably alive, there was plenty of evidence that - though he can't be 100% certain - he was likely the same as them: someone who's supposed to be dead, yet is alive due to the mercy of another.
  • Too Clever by Half: To Akechi's credit, he's clever in his own right. He was savvy in utilizing the power to enter the Metaverse to create cases and solve them, making himself appear as a detective celebrity in the eyes of the public. He then plays both sides of the conflict, by acting as Shido's enforcer while at the same time blackmailing the Phantom Thieves from a position of strength. Not only does he get Joker arrested and hailed as a hero, but plans on betraying Shido by stealing his electoral victory away from him. However, his fatal mistake was underestimating both the Phantom Thieves and Shido. He carelessly gave himself away to the Phantom Thieves at the studio, and wasn't aware that Shido intended to double-cross Akechi preemptively until the latter met his cognitive self in Shido's palace. Though in Shido's case, it's possible that he never thought that his father would be stupid or paranoid enough to try and dispose of him.
  • Too Many Belts: His second outfit has several belts strapped around his waist, arms and thighs.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Downplayed. In the third semester, Akechi completely drops his "Detective Prince" facade entirely and acts more coldly and harsh. That said, he still maintains a good relationship with the Phantom Thieves and works with them to take down Maruki's Palace. This is visually displayed via getting a new set of dialogue portraits that display a noticeable shift in attitude, with Akechi finally taking off his "mask" around those who know the truth about him.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Zig-Zagged. When Akechi rejoins the party during the third semester, he's much colder and harsher to the Thieves than he was during his stint as a Guest-Star Party Member in Sae's Palace. However, unlike there where he was actually a traitor who was intending to betray the group from the start, here he's genuinely heroic (if still a jerk) and wants to save reality even if it means his own death, refuses to hurt innocent people and eventually redevelops his rapport with Joker again.
  • Tragic Villain: A psychotic villain indeed, yet he's arguably one of Shido's - and society at large's - biggest victims. This part of him is played up in Royal, where he is one of the first to break out of Takuto's Lotus-Eater Machine, and can never truly be fooled by it because in Takuto's world, he has everything he wants.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pancakes due to him mentioning "Delicious Pancakes" once at the studio with Atlus themselves even calling him "Everyone's favorite pancake-loving detective" in his trailer for Dancing in Starlight. Hilariously subverted in Royal where Akechi, perfectly aware of how his offhanded mention of pancakes caused his downfall, remarks that he never wants to hear about them again for a long, long time.
  • Traitor Shot: After Sae lets him past into the interrogation room, he smirks and calls her a "foolish woman" once she's out of earshot.
  • Tranquil Fury: During the third semester in Royal, he only properly shows his anger in battle. Outside of it, he frequently speaks in a cold, condescending tone with a slight growl that belies just how angry he is about being forced into Maruki's reality against his will, and his distaste about having to work with the thieves again.
  • Troll:
    • It's subtle, but some interactions indicate he enjoys messing with people. In the Thieves' Den, he smiles while scaring Ryuji with the fact that the real Captain Kidd was hanged, and almost tricks Morgana into admitting he's a cat, which Akechi admits he found it funny and did it on purpose.
    • In Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, just as he's about to explain what the most common ingredient for manufactured meat in sci-fi films is, Naoto tells him to stop talking with a look of dismay, implying whatever it is is disgusting, all while Akechi wears a smug grin.
  • True Companions: He ironically becomes this with his rival, Joker, in Royal. Akechi's Confidant link is needed to unlock Hereward, and it becomes clear when Joker and Akechi join forces to stop Maruki how much the two have come to respect and trust each other. To drive the point home, Akechi is one of the only party members to get a Showdown attack with Joker note  and on top of that said showtime was improvised instead of planned out like the others, which is more or less a testament to how well they are able to coordinate with each other.
  • Tsurime Eyes: His eyes go noticeably sharper to showcase he is not putting up a cheerful innocent facade, which is especially noticeable in the final semester in Royal where he does not bother to hide his true self anymore.

  • Übermensch: His attitude towards Maruki's plans during the final semester in Royal would make Nietzsche himself weep with pride. Akechi refuses to let himself be pulled into Maruki's dream world despite how much easier it would make his life, as not only would it mean putting his destiny in the hands of another person, but he nihilistically believes the idea of a world with no suffering and pain is boring and worthless.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • His fate is left nebulous behind a bulkhead. There are gunshots, and Futaba says she can no longer detect his vital signs. Plus, if Akechi was still in the Palace when it collapsed, he'd be dead for sure. But the player is never actually shown Akechi's death onscreen, so what actually happened to him is up in the air. His absence becomes a plot point, since Sae points out that Joker wouldn't have to turn himself in if Akechi were around to testify against Shido.
    • Royal only makes this more confusing as it's revealed that Akechi is only present in the 3rd semester because of Maruki's power and both he and Akechi himself believe he died on the ship. After reality is restored Akechi is nowhere to be found, seemingly confirming his death. However, a month later as Joker is returning home we catch a glimpse of someone wearing Akechi's uniform passing by while escorted by men in suits implying he may have survived after all.
  • Undignified Death: Assuming that the destruction of Maruki's dream world really did kill him off for real, his last moments are spent crammed in a tiny helicopter with the boots of all of his companions in his face.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: While he was capable of showing gratitude towards his teammates if healed or cured of a status effect during his initial run with the team in Sae's Palace, his response to being healed or having a status effect cured upon rejoining the team in Royal is a dismissive "No time for thanks", if even that, as he sometimes just grunts.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: During Royal's third semester. He's still openly violent and contemptuous, but he genuinely wants to atone for his sins and stop Maruki from creating a stagnant "utopia", and he actively removes himself from a situation where he fears he might accidentally kill an innocent.
  • The Unsmile: In Tactica, he tends to sport a particularly insincere smile whenever someone gets on his nerves, as he struggles to uphold his Detective Prince persona while containing the urge to vent his anger.
    Sumire: Akechi-san, you may be laughing, but your eyes sure aren't!
  • Unstoppable Rage: Naturally, in his Black Mask form, he acts like this. He snaps out quickly after the fight, however.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: During the third term, it's not made clear just how much he learned about what happened after his apparent sacrifice, particularly how everything he had done was really part of Yaldabaoth's plans, but when the party meets up with Lavenza, he doesn't question who or what she is and simply listens to what she has to say to them.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Both he and the Protagonist as part of Yaldabaoth's game, representing the destruction of the world and its recreation. He's this to his father as well, with the Shadow born from his father's Palace telling him he would be disposed of the moment he serves his purpose.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Discussed in an unused Mementos line in Royal, where he talks about how his use of laser guns as Crow was inspired by his innocent dream of being a hero when he was a child.
    Akechi: There was a long time ago where I wanted to be a hero. This laser gun is a memento from that period.
    Ryuji: YOU used to be an innocent lil kid!? Dude, I can NOT picture that.
  • Useless Superpowers: Akechi has the Wild Card, but he cannot use it properly due to never forging any true bonds, leaving him with only Robin Hood and Loki (and once fused, Hereward). He also never has access to the Velvet Room nor is he able to negotiate with Demons, and in the closely related Persona Q2 he's never recognized as a guest by The Twins. Similarly in Royal, when Lavenza talks to the entire party about Maruki's new reality, he doesn't know her at all and spends the first few minutes of the conversation just looking at her (and doesn't seem to ask about her either). It's justified given how this was all done by the machinations of Yaldabaoth for his grand plan. Akechi has the Wild Card because he was bestowed it by Yaldabaoth, likely so Akechi could be granted Loki as the ideal tool to serve as his role. Because Yaldabaoth had intended for Joker to be the victor in his game from the get-go, it would make sense to give Joker more advantages over Akechi who was pre-determined to be the loser. Not having access to the Velvet Room or lacking the ability to negotiate with Shadows was further done by Yaldabaoth to isolate Akechi and him not being recognized by the Twins also cements this.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Hereward's Rebellion Blade, despite being a very powerful skill, can't make use of its Kick Them While They Are Down ability in the one fight you can even really use it in in most cases. However, its sheer power even without this effect (being as strong as two Megidolaons without the bonus) thankfully keeps this a Downplayed Trope here.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After he's beaten in his first phase, he goes into a vicious tirade against the Phantom Thieves and particularly against Joker, who Akechi resents for being Always Someone Better. It gets to the point that he willingly uses his own berserker powers on himself. The breakdown comes full circle as he's on his last legs, left an incredulous wreck as he struggles to process the fact that he's losing to The Power of Friendship.
  • Villain Decay: Akechi is not a villain anymore in the Third Semester but instead the Token Evil Teammate. Despite this he still tries to intimidate the other Thieves sometimes. Unlike in Shido's Palace, where they were somewhat afraid of him since he was behind the mental shutdowns, the Thieves are now completely unfazed by him and are confident they can beat him again, and treat him as The Friend Nobody Likes. Their reaction makes sense given how even if Akechi was still trying to antagonize them, he would be nothing compared to Maruki and Azathoth.
  • Villain Respect: When he confronts the Phantom Thieves on the Cruise Ship, he says that he's impressed that they manage to trick him, and even compliments how their strength has led them as far as it has.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Deuteragonist of the game who's playable in a Palace (2 in Royal) and he's also The Heavy.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Due to his public persona, he's quite popular among the public and even in law enforcement, despite being a cold assassin. Nobody in the public actually knows that he's an assassin, however. And after his defeat, he also bitterly acknowledges he'll become just as hated as Shido once his crimes come to light.
  • Violence is the Only Option: In the Third Semester, Akechi never attempts to negotiate with Maruki, correctly identifying that he's beyond logic, and strongly pushes for him to be taken down. During the final battle, while the other Thieves are dumbstruck by the appearance of Adam Kadmon, the assassin wastes no time trying to shoot Maruki and put an end to his plans.
  • Vocal Evolution: After having dropped all pretenses of having to be the charming, charismatic Detective Prince, he speaks to everyone in a much colder, dismissive tone which can be a lot raspier during battle in addition to Akechi's fierce growling.
  • Walking Spoiler: There's a reason Akechi's character page is split into two folders; he is involved in many a plot twist that cast his initial characterization in a more sinister light. Not only has he been The Heavy the whole time, he has his own schemes that involve betraying the Big Bad. Royal expands Akechi's characterization even further by tying him directly into the plot of the Third Semester, on top of having him rejoin the Phantom Thieves for one final heist.
  • Wasted Beauty: Discussed. Akechi is very attractive and has tons of fans in love with his charming, 'Detective Prince' persona, though his real self is violent and deeply disturbed. Ryuji remarks that if his fans were to see Akechi for who he really is, they'd be terrified.
  • We Can Rule Together: In his rank 7 Confidant, Akechi will make a rather cryptic offer to Joker that he should leave the Phantom Thieves and become his partner. At the time, it makes it appear like Akechi just wants Joker to become his partner detective but given the reveal, it could also mean he secretly wanted Joker to join him in getting revenge against Shido.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: The Phantom Thieves are perfectly willing to let him tag along and settle accounts with Shido (or they would have, if not for Cognitive Akechi showing up). Royal allows the Phantom Thieves to follow up on this for real though they aren't afraid to beat him up again should he try anything funny.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The greater bulk of his motive is built around both gaining his father's acknowledgment and forcing him to take responsibility for abandoning him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Maruki effectively evokes a hostage situation by explaining he brought Akechi back for Joker and that he'll likely vanish should his reality be rejected, though Akechi pushes Joker to keep fighting. After Maruki is beaten and everyone escapes, Akechi suddenly goes missing again, though he possibly shows up in the ending if you have met the right conditions.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Akechi scolds you if you decide to accept Maruki's deal on January 9 or February 2 (if you maxed his Confidant). However, he isn't exactly mad, but shocked and disappointed.
      Akechi (on 2/2): Well...I have your answer. There's nothing left I can say. Our deal's off... (walks out of Leblanc unhappily)
    • Navigator Akechi also scolds you if you keep getting spotted by enemies:
      Akechi: (happily) The Shadows are on alert now... (normal) this is starting to piss me off!
  • Why Can't I Hate You?: He doesn't truly hate Joker as much as he likes to pretend he does. Morgana even surmises as much when the Thieves fight him. Most of his frustration is more directed at Shido and Japan's conformist society, he just grew deeply envious of Joker as a result before coming to terms with his true feelings after the ship fight.
  • Willfully Weak: During his stint with the Thieves in Sae's Palace, Akechi only uses Robin Hood to avoid tipping them off about his true nature. When he reveals his true colors in Shido's Palace, Akechi brings out Loki and displays a much wider array of skills at his disposal, to the point where he almost fights the Thieves to a standstill and is only defeated by all of them working together.
  • Wolverine Claws: His Black Mask outfit has him sporting a pair of metal gloves tipped with sharp claws. It stands out as the other Phantom Thieves only wear fabric gloves, demonstrating Akechi is (or was) a dangerous assassin rather than a vigilante.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He's batshit insane, he's out to kill you in cold blood for the sole reason of catching his father off guard and has probably killed or ruined thousands of lives beforehand, but his life is also one long Trauma Conga Line. The fact that he's conceived through impulsive sex with a prostitute should tell you that even his birth is a mistake.
  • Worthy Opponent: Naturally, Joker differs from Akechi's opinion that the Phantom Thieves are unjust. Despite that, Akechi still praises Joker's conviction, even while suspecting that Joker is one of the Phantom Thieves. It becomes especially prominent if they player chooses favorable responses to Akechi, which makes him almost unfailingly polite.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Rare villainous version. The heroes praise his abilities after defeating him and concede that he really is special; they only triumphed because they had numbers on their side. It's almost enough to make him consider a genuine Heel–Face Turn, but his cognitive double won't have that.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: If the protagonist accepts Maruki's deal on January 9, Akechi reacts with, "Please tell me you're not serious", and you get a chance to change your mind to avoid the bad ending. The same thing happens on February 2, in which he appears if you kept your promise to him.

"I'm a bit occupied, so do your goddamn JOB!"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Persona 5 Black Mask


I Hate You

Following their one-on-one duel in Mementos, Akechi confesses to Joker that he hates him, because everything he's able to accomplish, Joker does better than him, and Akechi refuses to lose to the person he considers his rival. He then proceeds to throw his glove at Joker, ensuring the two are firmly locked in a duel.

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