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Characters / Persona 5: Goro Akechi

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Goro Akechi / Crow

Arcana: VIII. La Justice (Justice)

Persona: Robin Hood, Loki, Hereward (Royal only)

Weapons: Toy laser blades and ray guns

Arcana Bonus: Accelerated battle abilities, look through enemy resistances (Royal only)

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/29366941356_ee70755390_o.png
Click here to see Crow 
Click here to see Robin Hood 
The Charismatic 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, but eventually realizes they've been targeted by a larger conspiracy and strikes a deal to help them find the true culprit, citing his hatred for injustice.

He's very well-rounded stat-wise, and he 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 and mythical 14th Century thief of Sherwood Forest who steals from the rich to give to the poor. 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. This changes in the Updated Re-release, Persona 5 Royal, where multiple optional events with Akechi are added. His Confidant initiates in the same way in both games; involving 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 gives Joker praise, having been fascinated by him during a brief debate they had during a television interview.

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    Character Tropes 
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Allies himself with the Phantom Thieves for the penultimate Palace in the original game.
  • 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.
  • 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 supercede Futaba's role in assisting Ren and Sojiro to deal with Futaba's uncle. In the same Confidant, Akechi helps Ren to 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.
  • Adorkable: Tends to be obsessed with the Phantom Thieves to a fanboy-ish degree. He also has a tendency to ramble, before apologizing and getting back on topic. In a case of Story and Gameplay Intergration, a lot of his animations and mannerisms when he initially joins the Thieves make him come across as something of a showy tryhard, like he really wants to make a good impression on the other Phantom Thieves, and his choice of weapons is among the goofiest of the bunch.
  • 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 = 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 Someone Better: In his Confidant Link in Royal, Akechi confesses to Joker that he believed the latter to be this to him and vows not to lose to him in the future.
  • Ambiguously Gay: While more of an Ambiguous Single-Target Sexuality given Akechi's lack of interest towards anyone who isn't Joker, Akechi has a lot of dialogue towards the latter (especially during his confidant) that can easily be interpreted as flirting, with some of the protagonist's responses allowing him to play along. 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.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • In a gameplay sense. Much like Shinjiro, he is playable for the entirety of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth.
    • He's much more prominent in Royal, being a proper Confidant that Joker can hang out with throughout the game like the others.
  • Badass Boast: When summoning Robin Hood, he can sometimes say "My skills exceed yours!" to his enemy.
  • 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.
  • Bishōnen: Akechi has slender features and shoulder length hair, giving him an attractive, slightly androgynous appearance. He was meant to have the appearance and give off the vibe of "fresh youth", if that's any indication.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 around between several abusive foster homes for years. He's remarkably well-adjusted, all things considered.
  • Developers' Foresight: Despite being a Guest-Star Party Member who only accompanies you for a single palace, he can be brought into Mementos, and has unique dialog, reactions, and conversations there, just like the permanent party members.
  • Duel Boss: In Royal. In order to advance the Confidant to Rank 8, Joker battles Akechi by himself in Mementos.
  • Ditzy Genius: Downplayed. He's extremely smart and charismatic, but has trouble with his fangirls and other people and a tendency to space out.
  • 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 its 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.
  • 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 never manages to completely shed his outsider status within the group. In particular, Futaba almost never has anything but bad things to say to and about him, while Makoto barely suppresses her annoyance with his general attitude. 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 and Joker and Akechi have a genuine friendship towards each other.
  • Great Detective: He's a teenage detective who's initially after infamous Tokyo 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.
  • 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 cyncial than he lets on. He confesses to feeling used to feeling unwanted while also noting his detective work is more of a means of carthasis 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Ate WHAT?!: At the school festival, he decides to yoink one of the group's takoyaki. He pays for this dearly when it turns out to be a food version of Russian Roulette, and he just swallowed the "loaded chamber" whole.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Intelligence = 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.
    • 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, Light, Dark, 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 his health and magic pools are pretty small compared to the cost of his abilities. So while Akechi's moves are powerful, he'll be draining his reserves very fast.
  • 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 by his last name, highlighting his status as the group outsider and The Friend Nobody Likes. 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, presumably following the Phantom Thieves' lead.
  • Lawful Stupid: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, while he learns several Bless, Curse, and Almighty spells.
  • Man in White: In deliberate defiance of his codename, Akechi dresses in a white suit with gold detailing and a red cape when he initially joins the Phantom Thieves.
  • 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 of Choice 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.
  • 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.
  • Only Sane Man: By the time the game reaches the fifth 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 become Driven by Envy because they kept getting one-upped by the Thieves, making them look like incompetents. Their superiors are adding extra pressure to save face and restore societal order for their own means and advancements. Even Sae Nijima'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. He even admits to Joker that he's scared that Sae will make evidence up just to catch someone. When the Phantom Thieves are blamed for the murder of Okumara, Akechi admits on a talk show that he doesn't think the Thieves are responsible, since they've never done such a thing before.
    Goro Akechi: Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do alone to stop the flow of things...
  • Princely Young Man: He's known as "The Second Advent of the 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.
  • The Resenter: Akechi admits to Joker in his Confidant Link that he is jealous of how Joker was able to overcome his struggles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Is the last character to join the team in the original, and only does so briefly.
  • 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. She might have Shido as one of her customers that lead to his conception.
  • The Southpaw: Unlike the other Thieves, he wields his weapons with his left hand.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • In the anime adaption, 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.
    • 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.
  • Sweet Tooth: He enjoys eating sweet foods such as crepes, although 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.
  • 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.
  • Teen Idol:
    • In a sense. Unlike his Foil 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 foster homes 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.
  • Weapon of Choice: For such a straight-laced ace detective, he chooses toys modeled after rayguns and laser swords as his weapons.
  • 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.

    Late-Game Events (SPOILERS
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_mask_royal.png The Black Mask
Click here to see Loki 
Click here to see Hereward 

I decide the truth.

In the wake of Sae's Palace, however, Goro Akechi is revealed to be the mysterious 'Black Mask,' who serves as an assassin for Masayoshi Shido, The Conspiracy's leader, and his illegitimate father.

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, Akechi dons his Black Mask attire and has Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, as his Persona. As a Persona, Loki appears 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.

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 Darker and Edgier version of Robin Hood clad in black armor, with a modern compound bow.


  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In Royal, Hereward is the last of the Phantom Thieves' third-tier Personas to become avaliable as Akechi will only fuse Robin Hood and Loki if the protagonist rejects Takuto's false reality, choosing to accept it instead leads to a bad ending.
  • 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 Ren and Arsène.
  • 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.
    • Were he successful in getting his revenge, Shido would have killed him off after the fact. 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.
    • Even if a scenario of him exposing Shido went down, Yaldabaoth's manipulations in tandem with the public's genuine love for him 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.
    • In Persona Q2, he genuinely 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.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Many of his personality traits such as his extreme black-and-white thinking, need for praise, and general Lack of Empathy could be chalked up to him having a Cluster B Personality Disorder, caused by Parental Abandonment AND abuse from his father.
  • 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 heard among the other Confidants during the final battle.
    • In Royal, Takuto mentions that Akechi died in Shido's Palace and the one encountered in the alternate reality is actually an illusion he created to undo Joker's regret for being unable to save him. Takuto 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 doppelganger in the Metaverse. Joker also never told Takuto 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 Takuto is capable of knowing any desire from anywhere. 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.
  • Animal Motifs: Crows. Not only is his codename Crow, his mask 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 Conspiracy's personal hitman.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: An Evil vs. Evil example to Shido. While Akechi is helping Shido, it's only so he can sabotage him later on.
  • A Sinister Clue: If the player is paying close attention to the man who murders the protagonist in the Bad Ending, they'll notice that he wields his gun with his left hand. Akechi is the only party member who is left-handed and ends up being the one who sold the protagonist out during the heist.
  • 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 Takuto trying to erase that part of him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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, 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.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Even under a rouse, he nevertheless still bonds with the thieves, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Beyond Redemption: Averted. 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 the Takuto's Lotus-Eater Machine. What he desires is impossible because he genuinely believes he doesn't deserve it for 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 in reality one of the masterminds of The Conspiracy, and was secretly infiltrating the Phantom Thieves in order to bring them down.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Despite The Conspiracy 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's later revealed that Shido knew who Akechi was all along, and made plans to have him killed after he wins the election.
  • 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.
  • Black Knight: As the mysterious Black Mask, the supernatural hitman for the Conspiracy who wears black armor with blue and black highlights.
  • 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 colossal breakdown of trust in authority and government.
  • Boom, Headshot!: He kills the protagonist via a silenced pistol shot to the head in the game over scenes. In the good ending, the protagonist survives by some machination, due to Akechi being Out-Gambitted.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: In the original game, he's last seen battling a doppelganger of himself. Futaba is unable to sense his presence afterwards.
  • 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 and a combination of his own pride and Sunk Cost Fallacy prevent him from making a Heel–Face Turn or realizing what Shido has in store for him until it's too late.
    • This is also reflected in his overall abilities. Despite setting up all of the cases he solved, he's both smart enough to execute an elaborate plan to frame the Thieves for his killings and powerful enough to take on the rest of the Phantom Thieves on his own, only losing due to being outnumbered. He also has the power of the Wild Card, but his sheer loneliness and spite for others squanders means he can never fully utilize it. As a result, he only has two Personas: Robin Hood and Loki.
  • 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.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Justified. He goes into this after he inflicts a psychotic breakdown on himself in Shido's Palace, and his voice actor sounds like he's having a pretty good time cackling like a comic book supervillain.
  • 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.
  • Climax Boss: In the original game, the fight with him signals the beginning of the endgame. The only major bosses following him are the Big-Bad Ensemble.
  • 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.
  • Complexity Addiction: His path of murder and mayhem was all part of a ridiculously elaborate plan to get revenge on his father Shido, when he could have simply killed him or induced a mental shutdown in him using the Metaverse. This ends up being lampshaded by the Phantom Thieves.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played with. 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 is 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.
    • With the exception of Yu, the Investigation Team do not show any sympathy for Adachi's Freudian Excuse, seeing how flimsy his motivations were and don'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.
  • 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.
  • "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 can 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.
  • 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 Not Evil: During the third semester, Akechi opts for his Black Mask attire instead of his Crow outfit, his Personas all know Curse spells, and his third-tier Persona Hereward is more or less a black Robin Hood.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Akechi is an attractive brown-haired young man whose childhood involved being raised by his single mother in very harsh conditions. Underneath his princely demeanor lies a broken man who never truly moved past his trauma. He is Shido's top enforcer although he only works for him to further his own goals. He is an Evil Counterpart to Joker, demonstrating how he could have turned out if their circumstances were much more similar. His costume while in the Metaverse has a black color scheme and comes with a cape and helmet. When not using his Persona, he fights with a red sword; incidentally, as Crow, he wields a blue Laser Blade. In his fight against the Phantom Thieves, he acknowledges how his life could have been better had he just let go of his hatred. Lastly, he (seemingly) dies protecting the Phantom Thieves from a cognitive double of himself.
  • Deuteragonist: He's this to Joker as confirmed by Word of God, serving as the latter's rival for most of the game as well as his powers serving as a catalyst for the game's story.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Easily Forgiven: Zig-zagged. The Thieves express a desire to work together with him to take down Shido despite him murdering several of their parents 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 whys 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.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • By Akechi's own admittance, he agrees with the Phantom Thieves' philosophy, but not their methods. He forms a temporary alliance with the group to put a stop to the individual causing the Mental Shutdowns.
    • In actuality, his goal is to steal Shido's victory away from him once he is elected in order to create chaos among the public. The only reason Akechi works with Shido to capture the Phantom Thieves is that they would prevent Shido from being elected as Prime Minister. However, he ends up bonding with them.
  • 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 Evil Has Standards: He was shocked when Shido ordered him to dispose of his remaining associates, and Shido had to strong-arm him when Akechi showed hesitance in doing so. It's also implied that aside from what he did to him and his mother, working with Shido has given him an idea just how needlessly cruel he really is, and part of him is disgusted to have such a man as his father. Admitting he probably should have expected himself to be seen as expendable by him as well, even if he knew he was his son.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He's highly shocked at the offering of a second chance by the thieves, to say the least.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Exact Words: The reason he gives the Phantom Thieves for becoming a detective: an extremely personal grudge against rotten adults, with one in particular.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: On the surface, Akechi has the appearance of an androgynous Pretty Boy with equally Adorkable and innocent mannerisms. Deep down, he's a psychotic murderer and a manipulative schemer who is willing to murder people in order to take down his father.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Conflicting Loyalty and desire for acknowledgement. Akechi's biggest failing is that his internal conflict and desire to be loved impedes his decision-making. As lampshaded by the Phantom Thieves, rather than simply use his powers to kill Shido, he decided to go the roundabout way which involed the deaths of countless unrelated people. This is because despite his hatred for his father, deep down Akechi desires to be acknowledged by him, and this tragically allows him to be manipulated by Shido until he's no longer useful. Though he plans to infiltrate the Phantom Thieves and use them as a means to an end, Akechi becomes genuinely attached to them. The result is that he becomes uncharacteristically sloppy in the fallout of Joker's supposed assassination, discouraging Shido from going after the rest of the Thieves nor try and monitor their movements.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Akechi seems like an Adorkable, humble, and determined detective and even joins the Thieves Turns out he's in league with Shido and willing to shoot a cop and the teenaged protagonist in cold blood. Zigzagged, however, in that his feelings of friendship are genuine, and he is ultimately convinced to turn on his father. He ultimately subverts this during his rejoining of the Thieves; he becomes genuinely more heroic, but also openly rude and impatient.
  • 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.
    • 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. But it does suit the design of his real metaverse outfit as the "Black Mask", whose design vaguely resembles a crow.
    • 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 "rebirth" 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 Nonstandard Game Over, he is the mysterious man who blows your brains out.
    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:
    • Akechi doesn't get the usual confidant Rank 9 ability, which allows a party member to take a fatal blow for the protagonist. However, you do hit Rank 9 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.
    • During his boss fight, he tends to aim for Joker a lot. Considering his case of Green-Eyed Monster and the fact that he just made himself psychotic, why wouldn't he target the source of his frustration?
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: When he rejoins the party in his Black Mask outfit during the third term events of Royal, his DLC outfits are the same ones that he wears when he initially joins the Phantom Thieves. This leads to him wearing his white Crow outfit again when he equips his Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth DLC costume due to not having a unique variant for his Black Mask outfit.
  • 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.
  • Go Out with a Smile: After Joker promises to stop Shido for him, Akechi gives a small smile before he draws his gun on the cognitive version of himself.
  • 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 uses it on himself during his boss fight. During his Showtime attack with Joker in Royal, he'll berserk himself for charging towards the enemy.
  • The Heavy: He's the one doing most of the legwork for the Conspiracy, including being behind most of the mental shutdowns that occur throughout the game that get blamed on the Phantom Thieves.
  • 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.
  • Heel Realization: When he meets the thieves again, 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.
  • Heroism Addict: One of the reasons Goro teamed up with Shido was Goro's desperate need for approval.
  • 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 mission bad ending, he kills the real Joker.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: His claim to fame was investigating 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.
  • 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.
  • Hope Is Scary: The reason he attacks the team a second time.
  • Hypocrite: He frequently criticizes Sae whenever he feels she goes far, and after hearing 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: His desperate need for others' approval results in him leaning towards this at times.
  • 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.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Morgana's commenting on the pancake-shape of an amusement park attraction and Akechi speaking of it is the root of his undoing. Since only Persona users can hear Morgana, the thieves suspect him immediately once he joins, and he lies in saying that he awoke to his Persona during September. Since he clearly heard Morgana back when you met him at the TV station in May, they realize that he was lying. Due to the In Medias Res nature of the story - with everything prior to November 20th being a flashback forming the main part of the Protagonist's interrogation at the hands of Sae Niijima - this is the only inkling of Akechi's motives that the player is initially made privy to. Because the Protagonist was doped up on truth serum and other such drugs, his flashback memories of him discussing the plans to entrap Akechi become noticeably hazy, with all of the dialogue absent until the actual revelation that the Phantom Thieves plotted to fake his death.
  • Irony:
    • He's a villain who embodies SMT's Law alignment, 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.
  • It's All About Me: As pointed out by Morgana, Akechi's actions could be compared to "a little kid throwing a temper tantrum". So blinded by rage at his own poor childhood that he became ignorant of the suffering that he brought down upon others acting as Shido's assassin, all for a convoluted revenge plot against his father.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: His opinion of society in general. 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 "reform".
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Despite their grievances with him, the Phantom Thieves are invested in Goro's fate. On his end, Goro has a massive chip on his shoulder with the Protagonist specifically, and during his boss battle he will even prioritise Joker as his main target of attack, and has a special voice clip if he manages to knock him out.
  • 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.
  • 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 his own personal desires; according to Takuto in the real world, he's still presumably dead and hated, although how true Takuto's statements are is unknown since his claims are half-assed at best and seemed more like a trap to catch the protagonist off guard, if at anything.
  • 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're 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.
  • Lack of Empathy: He questions why no one loves him, as he tries to kill the only people who could have been his friends if it weren't for his spiteful actions against them. Society's ostracism of him is one reason, but his monstrous true self probably didn't help either.
  • 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 Laevatein. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Laughing Mad: A very impressive one to boot, and it gets even moreso when he uses his berserking abilities on himself.
  • Like Father, Like Son: He never realizes that a lot of his actions to get revenge on his father makes him more similar to the man than he would like to admit. Part of the reason Shido suspects Akechi of joining him with the intent of backstabbing once he is prime minister is implied to be because it's something Shido would also do.
  • 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.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Plans to do this after he's done making Shido 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. 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 Conspiracy to get Shido elected just so he can steal that victory as part of 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 to deal with his inevitable betrayal.
  • 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.* Metaphorically True: The motivation he gave the rest of the Thieves for joining them turned out to be completely true, he just left out a lot of important details.
  • 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 signifigance 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.
  • More Than Mind Control: An extremely downplayed example. There's no proof that Yaldabaoth utilized any supernatural influence on Akechi, but Akechi's poor living conditions and history made it easy for him to be manipulated into taking on the "destroyer" role of his game: access to the Metaverse, a psychosis-inducing Persona, and the lack of help from other forces (such as access to the Velvet Room that Joker was immediately given).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Takuto'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.
  • Not So Different: 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 foster homes and he may have some Bastard Angst. The rest of the Thieves even comment on it as most also had absent parentla figures and screwed over one way or another.
  • 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.
  • Out-Gambitted:
    • The Phantom Thieves never trusted him, and were setting him up to help them bust the 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.
    • By Shido as well, who suspected that Akechi was his illegitimate son from the beginning and planned to have him killed once the election results came in.
  • Overlord Jr.: A key part of his motivation. He does Shido's bidding out of a desire to be acknowledged by him.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He comforts Makoto just before the battle with her sister's Shadow and tells her that they're going to save Sae, a gesture that is likely genuine given his growing attachment to the Thieves. Furthermore, in a number of his prior interactions with the Phantom Thieves, he's implied to genuinely respect and admire them.
    • If you read between the lines, he goes out of his way to at least try to save the lives of everyone he likes. He tries to convince Shido to leave eliminating the rest of the Thieves until after his election, citing that it would be suspicious if too many teenagers died mysteriously in the same area. But if his plan to ruin Shido worked, he'd never have to go through with it. He also lies and says that Morgana's just a regular cat to get Shido off his trail. He also goes above and beyond the call of duty to help clear Sae's Palace to change her heart, even though that's not critical to the plan (he just has to have the cops ambush Joker there at some point). But when he's ordered to clean up the the SIU via Mental shutdowns, Sae is spared since as far as they know her Shadow has returned to her and can no longer be killed, something that he pushed to get done.
    • 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 Futuba in dealing with the latter's Evil Uncle. He also genuinely empathises with her over the abuse she suffered at the hands of her foster homes, 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.
  • 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 of 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.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: After supposedly killing Joker, Akechi is told by Shido to kill the rest of the Phantom Thieves. Akechi refuses, but says that it's 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.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Despite his crimes and motives, the Phantom Thieves, who typically believe in Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse, 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 a 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 is still willing to get rid of him anyway to save his own skin. To them, they fully understand just how Akechi became the way he is, even if it wasn't the right thing to do.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: A rather tragic example. 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.
  • 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 more blunt 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 an attachment to the Phantom Thieves especially Joker, despite betraying them.
  • The Reveal:
    • Akechi isn't just a member of the 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • Sanity Slippage: During his Villainous Breakdown, he starts getting more and more unhinged.
  • 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.
  • Secret Art: Loki is the only Persona to learn Laevatein, fitting as the artbook reveals that this is also the name of the sword that Loki wields. Hereward likewise is the only Persona who gets access to Rebel's 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 totally 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • The Starscream: He manages to be utterly loyal and this trope at the same time, as he wants his father to be punished and his political career destroyed so that he is forced to care for his son.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • He uses his power to make peoples 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:
  • Token Evil Teammate: In Royal, during the Winter Trimester, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 prememptively until the latter met his cognitive self in Shido's palace.
  • Too Many Belts: His second outfit has several belts strapped around his waist, arms and thighs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Royal only makes this more confusing as it's revealed that Akechi is only present in the 3rd semester because of Takuto'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 escorted by men in suits implying he may have survived after all.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After his first loss in Shido's Palace, Akechi uses his own Hate Plague powers on himself, utilizing it for the second phase of the fight.
  • 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.
  • Useless Superpowers: Akechi has the Wild Card, but he cannot actually use it due to never forging any bonds to be able to properly use it. He 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. While he has two Personas, it's implied that Robin Hood was merely a facade made by Loki to cover himself up.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After he's beaten for the first time, he completely loses control, saying he doesn't care about Shido's plan anymore, he just wants to murder every last one of the Phantom Thieves. He even intentionally makes himself go psychotic just to make absolutely sure he doesn't hold back.
  • 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 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.
  • Walking Spoiler: Talking at all about Akechi's role in the game reveals that he's the Black Mask responsible for the psychotic breakdown incidents and several murders, as well as the one who sells Joker out during the Niijima's Palace heist.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Downplayed, but he definitely experiences some Sanity Slippage after going berserk for the second phase of his boss fight.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He often criticizes Sae for her more aggressive investigation methods.
  • 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.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He's batshit insane and out to kill you in cold blood, but his life is also one long Trauma Conga Line.
  • 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.

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