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Akane Kurashiki is the deuteragonist of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, the tritagonist in Virtues Last Reward and one of the two deuteragonists (along with Junpei) in Zero Time Dilemma.

Appearance

In 999, Akane is a young woman with long brown hair. A bit of her hair is tied up on the left side of her face in the shape of a flower. She wears a black scarf or shawl, which some parts of her hair passes through, a black long-sleeved shirt with multi-colored (yellow/purple/blue) sleeves, a purple dress with dark geometric imprints around the edges, and brown knee-high boots. She wears multi-colored socks with the same colors as her sleeves, but not in the same order. Her bracelet on her left wrist has the number 6 on it.

During the First Nonary Game, Akane wore a pink shirt with a flower design over a white shirt and red tie, a black-blue hairband, a blue knee-length skirt, and knee-high black boots. Her bracelet number was 5.

During the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition, Akane appears as an older woman. Her hair is now gray, neatly tied up in a ponytail slung over her left shoulder. She wears an indigo turtleneck dress with asymmetrical sleeves. The dress is decorated with jewels asymmetrically placed on the left side. She wears white shoes. In Zero Time Dilemma, it is revealed that the ring she wears on her hand was an engagement ring given to her by Junpei during the Decision Game. However, Junpei mistakenly placed the ring on her right hand and Akane keeps it that way. In the Cyan Door routes, Akane appears as K.

In Virtue's Last Reward's End or Beginning? ending, 22-year-old Akane wears a Free the Soul robe.

In Zero Time Dilemma, her hair is now pulled to the right side and tied with a purple scrunchie hairband into a loose ponytail. She wears a form-fitting beige one-piece dress that has a cable-knit on the sleeves and skirt. She wears a light purple undershirt beneath this. Around her waist is a thick black cloth belt with a big bow and big gold buckle on the front. She has dark brown tights on and wears dark red oxford flats with black laces. Like the other participants, she has a black bracelet around her left wrist.

Personality

For the bulk of 999, Akane, as June, acts cheerful and upbeat. She is optimistic, kind, intuitive and helpful to the best of her abilities, though she can be somewhat quirky and naive. She also appears to trust and believe in everyone, and refuses to let anyone get left behind or die, even if it's absolutely the only choice to proceed. True to the "Peacemaker" Enneagram of Personality she was based on, she values peace, love, and tranquility. Akane also believes that everyone could be friends if they talked it out and tried to understand each other's perspective more. Kyle Klim also describes her as "playful and almost girlish" when she acted as a maternal figure toward him. She has also shown to have a sense of humor, once joking about cutting Junpei's arm off, and making puns.

Though she appears to be a proper young woman who is introduced as a "girl next door", her true personality is Machiavellian, while her character is defined by its ambiguous nature that varies by player interpretation. As such, Akane is a somewhat controversial character in the series' fandom. For example, some think of her as cruel for lying to Junpei, betraying everyone and canonically killing two people (9th Man and Nijisaki), while Akane's defenders interpret her as compassionate and are willing to give her a pass because creating the Nonary Game was to save her own life.

In truth, Akane is very ambitious, intelligent, and goal-oriented. She is the self-acclaimed "queen of random knowledge". An example of Akane's intelligence is when she devises a method to find the correct antidote in the infirmary. Akane is a deep thinker and a bit of a philosopher. Akane is characterized by her strong will, determination and actions, preventing her from being an ordinary "damsel in distress". For example, instead of being valued solely for her looks (or prioritizing her life on romance, beauty, fashion, raising children, etc, as the female stereotype), Akane becomes a scientist for the AB Project and focuses her life on more productive and ambitious fields; researching and studying genetic engineering, artificial intelligence programming, quantum mechanics, cosmology, biochemistry, consciousness, etc. She also sacrifices a romantic life with Junpei in order to achieve this in the Virtue's Last Reward timeline.

Akane does this in hopes of using this knowledge and new discoveries to try to prevent Free the Soul's apocalypse which threatens to kill all life on the planet. By extension, this means Akane's role is to end suffering. It could be thought that her strong desire to save life and end suffering was instilled into her when she was unable to save the rabbits, traumatizing her, yet also motivating her to prevent something like that from ever happening again - the ending and elimination of suffering, a great and important role yet also heavy and difficult. It is also likely Akane's desire to end suffering was exemplified when she had to live through the horrific hellish aftermath of the apocalypse, given her dedication to the AB Project's success. As such, Akane's role can be compared to that of a selfless protector or savior. Akane has also suffered greatly throughout her life, or rather, her various lives throughout various timelines.

Akane has experienced various alternate histories (both past and future) many, many times and has been compared to someone who's lived for 1,000,000 years — as such, her ideas about morality are a lot different to those held by others. As a result of her ability to see into and exist simultaneously in countless timelines, Akane has experienced an incomprehensible amount of life — perhaps hundreds or thousands of years of life, or even more. Sigma elaborates on her ability to view all individual timelines from the perspective of a higher-order intelligence, comparing it to a human consciousness looking at termites constructing a mound. Tenmyouji suggests that she is not the Akane he once knew, saying that her abilities and experiences may have turned her into something non-human.

Because of her ability to transmit and receive information across an infinite number of timelines, Akane is able to deduce what is necessary to produce a given outcome, and change her behavior accordingly — Be this acting as the leader of Crash Keys, Zero to manipulate the players, "June" to manipulate Junpei, be a kind mother to Kyle Klim, being a mysterious amnesiac known as K, working as a scientific collaborator with Sigma Klim, or whatever other role is required of her. It could be thought that the true Akane is a combination of all of these roles.

As the "world's worst heroine", her methods are often unorthodox, questionable, severely flawed, cruel and violent. She and her goals are ethically and morally ambiguous, as a result of her willingness to allow destruction, but her desire to save the world. She is willing to do whatever is necessary to set her plans in motion, which she personally orchestrates, and can be homicidal, vengeful and manipulative. Akane has set up two life-or-death games. Despite her wisdom, Akane has shown that she can abandon all rational and logical thought when in the face of tragedy, not listening to reason of another party simply based on her emotional state. She has also shown to be capable of being violent, especially in Zero Time Dilemma, with some of her interactions including beating Carlos to death with a fire extinguisher if he kills Junpei in the AB Game. It is notable that Akane is never seen using her plans, even violent plans, with any sense of sadism.

In the Power Room of Zero Time Dilemma, Junpei goes further into Akane's personality. He says that if she thinks the tiniest thing is off, she starts debating with "ifs" and "buts" like someone older than she is. In school, Akane was strange and even came across as scary to some. Not many people wanted to be friends with Akane. Junpei always saw her alone, sitting in a corner, curled up and hugging her knees. Despite this, Akane is very outspoken and "always said what shouldn't be said", showing her boldness and tenacity to dive into the taboo, even if it means possible alienation and rejection. While Akane could be considered to be delicate, especially due to her fevers and sensitive emotions, Akane is certainly not demure; she is determined, strong-willed, stubborn, resilient, outspoken, and driven by ideals instead of reality.

Akane has a very close bond with Junpei, which comes from when they befriended each other during their childhood. Their connection is especially shown in the Submarine Ending.[3] Because of this bond, Akane and Junpei were subconsciously linked via morphogenetic resonance during the events of 999 and the First Nonary Game. If Junpei examines Clover's headshot in the cargo room, he calls her "kinda cute" and Akane shows some frustration. Despite that, she tells her brother in the same room, "We're not a couple! Not at all! Not in any way!" It is learned in later games that Akane's love for Junpei is very real, as her motives and goals are all for the sake of making a happier future for the two together, even if it means she must sacrifice her time with him. Akane's love for Junpei can reach extremes during the Decision Game as anytime that Junpei dies, Akane enters a frenzied, vengeful state of mind, even going as far as to murder Carlos since she suspects he murdered him.

Akane seems to believe in conspiracy theories and is a bit of a conspiracy theorist, whether it be curses, the RMS Titanic being cursed by a mummy being stored on it, Morgan Robertson supernaturally predicting the sinking of the Titanic, William Thomas Stead supernaturally predicting his future demise on the Titanic, Santa Claus being real, Elvis Presley still being alive, the other side of the Moon being used as a dispatch base for UFOs, glycerin having the ability to crystallize and communicate, , etc. Akane also believes in the morphogenetic field theory, which is the idea that human thought and human consciousness doesn't just take place in the human brain, but that it exists elsewhere in a dimension humans are unable to comprehend and that human thoughts and consciousness are actually linked and connected. Akane uses Minkowski spacetime as a model for this fourth dimension theory.

In the English localization of 999, Akane also frequently makes remarks interpreted as dirty and perverted by Junpei, but it's possible she didn't mean them in that way due to her naivety. Akane and Junpei tend to make a lot of sexual innuendo during the Nonary Game. The infamous "elevator scene" is an example of this. It's unknown if she makes as much sexual innuendo in the Japanese version of 999. As seen in several instances, Junpei sometimes acts like a pervert, so it's possible that Akane is simply trying to cater to Junpei's desires, perhaps to build the morphic bond between them. Her absence of sexual innuendo in ZTD suggests this is the case.

External links

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