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|“||My sole interest is uncovering the truth.||„|
|~ Goro Akechi's All-Out Attack quote|
Goro Akechi is the former secondary antagonist-turned-anti-heroic protagonist and one of the party members in the video game Persona 5. He is a third-year student who attends an unknown high school. He is also a celebrity detective who is investigating the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, eventually teaming up with them. However, he is actually a mole working for Masayoshi Shido, whom he plots to exact revenge on for ruining his life. His initial Persona is Robin Hood before it was revealed that he had a second Persona, Loki.
He is voiced by Soichiro Hoshi in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Robbie Daymond in the English version of the anime.
Akechi is a high school student who conducts a detective business. His abilities as a detective have been widely acclaimed, since he not only has solved numerous cases, but is also able to deal with people from the investigation agency smoothly. His handsome features draw him public attention, and people comment on him as “The Second Advent of the Detective Prince.”
Behind his popularity, he is quite lonely and yearns to be loved. He was abandoned by his father, subsequently lost his mother to suicide, and never had close friends. He was passed around the foster care system as an orphan and has developed a far more jaded worldview than he initially lets on, even calling himself an unwanted child. He has a desperate desire to be acknowledged, which he is forthright about being the primary drive for his actions as a detective. He also has a narcissistic element to his personality, wishing for others to see him as a hero and those who oppose him as the villains.
Akechi is the son of the corrupt politician Masayoshi Shido, the same man responsible for Ren Amamiya's probation period. His mother, publicly shamed for giving birth out of wedlock, ultimately committed suicide. As a result of this and going from orphanage to orphanage, Akechi grew up very resentful of his father, swearing revenge. At some point, Akechi learned about the Metaverse's existence and adquired the ability of the Wild Card, a trait he shares with Joker. Becoming knowledgeable of his power, Akechi approached Shido posing as an upcoming detective and used his abilities in the Metaverse to become a personal assassin for his father's opposers, quickly becoming one of Shido's most powerful allies. Despite being a very effective hitman and subordinate for Shido, however, Akechi was plotting to gain Shido's trust and then publicly disgrace him by revealing their relation to the world whenever he reached the apex of his power, and kill him afterwards.
In addition, Akechi learned that he could turn Shadows berserk, causing real world incidents which he would turn into cases for him to solve, and soon gained widespread fame with his charismatic personality and good looks, gaining him the title of "The Second Coming of the Detective Prince (Naoto Shirogane)" and gaining celebrity status as a result. Despite this fame, however, he is extremely lonely and seemingly does not have any close friends, claiming that he had carefully crafted his "Detective Prince" image in the hopes that people would approach and accept him. He also notices the fact that he only has the public's support if he upholds the pretense of being a charismatic idol detective, and his fans are quick to turn on him if he makes mistakes.
Akechi first meets Ren and his party during a Shujin Academy school trip to a TV station where he was scheduled to appear as a guest in a talk show. In there, he greets the protagonist when he overhears him talking with Ryuji Sakamoto, Ann Takamaki, and Morgana backstage about pancakes. During the interview, Akechi vocalized his dissaproval of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, however he expressed interest in Ren after the former defended the Phantom Thieves actions, approaching him after the show and expressing that he enjoyed their quick debate on the show and wishes to speak to him again sometime, thus forming the Justice Confidant. Throughout the rest of the game, Akechi does in fact reunite with Ren and the rest of the cast numerous times, being very formal and friendly towards them while still expressing his dislike over the Thieves' actions.
After changing Futaba Sakura's cognition and triumphing over the hacker group Medjed, the Phantom Thieves' popularity was at its peak, with the public very quickly turning into Akechi. Deciding to use the Thieves' success at his father's favor, Goro assassinated the president of Okumura Foods Kunikazu Okumura, the main target of the Thieves at the time due to the inhumane treatment of the Okumura Foods' workers and Kunikazu's own daughter, Haru Okumura. As a result, he suffers a mental breakdown on camera, leading to the people believing that his death was the Phantom Thieves's doing, causing many to throw suspicion on their motives and instantly support Akechi once again.
To the surprise of the Thieves, however, Akechi states on TV that he believes that Okumura's death was not their doing, thus making it easier for him to approach them, accepting the invitation to make an appearance in Shujin's cultiral festival. During his speech, he boldly announces that he knows of the Phantom Thieves' identities, but stops before revealing it in order to pull the Phantom Thieves aside to talk. While they reaffirm they did not murder Okumura, he believes in them and even states that he had discovered the Metaverse a month prior and had encountered the true culprit: A man in a Black Mask which was mentioned by the shadows of Madarame and Kaneshiro, which lead to his awakening. Akechi manages to strike a deal with them: they are to change the heart of prosecutor and partner Sae Niijima, requesting that he accompanied them on their heist to catch the real culprit and clear the Phantom Thieves' name while using the photos as blackmail if they refuse. He also requests that they disband after the heist in exchange for destroying the photo evidence.
With Akechi (codenamed Crow) playing a huge part in the heist, the Phantom Thieves were victorious. However, the victory is cut short when a large police force appears outside of Sae's Palace, beginning an ambush. When Joker decides to act as a decoy so the rest of the Phantom Thieves can escape, Akechi follows the others while Ren catches the police's attention and is ultimately caught. While intially being focused on betraying the Phantom Thieves, Akechi experiences how it feels to be happy together with actual friends for the first time in his life, particularly feeling relaxed and close to Joker, but ultimately represses these feelings, with his obsession with getting revenge on his father and desire to be the hero of his own story getting the upper hand. Akechi then carries on wth the Conspiracy's initial plan, and seemingly murders Ren in the Interrogation Room.
However, he does not realize that the Phantom Thieves were aware of his betrayal after a slip up during their initial meeting, thus making the Thieves form a plan in which Goro would wind up killing a cognitive copy of Ren, which succeeded. Upon the realization that the leader of the Phantom Thieves was, in fact, alive and well, he decided to ambush them in Shido's Palace, managing to surprise them in the Engine Room of the Cruiser. Before fighting the Phantom Thieves, Akechi reveals his plans for revenge and dismisses the concept of friends and true justice, claiming they are both meaningless and sickening. After his first defeat, Akechi unveils his true nature and reveals himself as the so called "Black Mask" referenced by Madarame and Kaneshiro. Upon once again being defeated, the heavily wounded Akechi surrenders and expresses his envy of Ren for being surrounded by such loyal friends and that once they expose Shido, they will be hailed as heroes, while all his achievements will be exposed as fraud which will cost him his recognition. Having lost the will to go on, Akechi laments being unable to become someone special; but to his absolute shock, the protagonist and the others point out how he is already special to them and still allow him rejoin them if he desires it, much to his utter disbelief in their sympathy and acceptance.
However, Shido's evil cognitive version of Akechi appears and reveals that Shido knew Akechi's true identity from the start and has planned to kill him after the election. The Cognitive Akechi demands that the real Akechi shoot the protagonist to spare his own life. Akechi redeems himself by sacrificing his life to save his friend - he shoots his Cognitive double, then seals himself and the double behind a steel barricade. Smiling sadly, Akechi asks Ren to take down Shido in his stead. With this, Akechi and the protagonist's "desires become one".
Persona 5 Royal
|“||Let's meet here again next week. Through... if you wish to live here in this reality with your friends, that's another story.||„|
|~ Goro Akechi to Ren Amamiya|
|“||I DECIDE THE TRUTH.||„|
|~ Goro Akechi's All-Out Attack (As Black Mask)|
Akechi has an even bigger role in the updated rerelease of Persona 5, titled Persona 5 Royal. In his character trailer, Akechi is shown fighting alongside the other Thieves in the new Palace (notably seeming to take place in the third semester) as a playable character once more, this time fully dressed in his Black Mask attire and wielded Loki as his Persona, also branding new character icons, a new Cut-In and a new All-Out Attack splash screen.
In addition, Akechi's Confidant is also shown to be optional instead of automatic, which gives Ren new abilities in battle, such as being able to deduce a certain enemy's weakness before a battle.
Unlike in the original Persona 5, Akechi's Confidant is shown to be optional instead of automatic.
The Confidant delves deeper into his relationship with Joker. After their first meeting on the TV station and trading phone numbers as well as shaking hands, Akechi begins to invite Ren to hang out with him. Akechi shows even more interest in the protag: When they played billiards in which Akechi won, the protagonist noticed that Akechi is not using his dominant hand. Impressed by how sharp the protagonist is, Akechi challenges the protagonist to defeat him in billiards when he's using his right hand, and if he does then Akechi will fight him for real. Goro seems to also show enthusiasm in having someone he can talk to and consider a friend despite his true intentions, as seen in his Rank 4 hangout, where he continuously rambles about Jazz music to Ren even after the hangout, where he apologizes for going overboard.
As they hang out more, Akechi truly begins to open up to the protagonist. This is shown when they go together to the bathhouse: when he is questioned by Ren about being familiarized with it, he says it reminded of the times where his mother. during her "services", sent him to the bathhouse until it was over, then suddenly rambling about his father before reverting back into his cheerful "Detective Prince" persona. His Rank 7-10 ranks remain locked until he joins the party for the first time, during Sae's Palace. In Rank 7, during a game of billiards, he even reveals his dark past and subtly tries to convince Ren to join his side. At Rank 8, after another game of billiards, Akechi calls the protagonist to Mementos where he challenges him to a duel. The battle ends with no clear winner as both reached their limit and must rest before facing Shadow Sae. Akechi admits that he hates the protagonist for being able to stay on his path despite his circumstance and how he continues trying to best Akechi, which disturbs the latter. This makes Akechi not want to lose to the protagonist. Akechi then gives his hand glove to the protagonist as a promise that they'll have a rematch in the future.
Third Semester Events
In a major change from the original game, Goro reveals himself at Christmas Eve in Royal after Yaldabaoth's defeat, having seemingly survived the confrontation against his cognitive self and offering himself to take the protagonist's place for Sae to testify about his and Shido's crimes. He turns himself into the police and confesses to the murders he committed on Shido's behalf, thus allowing Ren to celebrate Christmas alongside Sojiro and the rest of the party, as well as with Kasumi Yoshizawa, a gymnast whom he befriended.
However, he was released on January 1 for seemingly no reason and sensed that the world was strange. Seeking for possible answers, he went to Café Leblanc on the next day to meet with Ren, where he was surprised upon seeing Wakaba Isshiki, a victim of the Conspiracy, alive and well. Taking Ren with him to the nearby laundry, he asked Joker for help with his investigation. During their conversation, Ren is called by Kasumi, who also senses something strange and asks him to go to Odaiba, where the same palace she awakened in was located. The three gather next to the palace and notice that the Metaverse Navigator has returned with a different icon, this time in white and black.
Goro drops the Detective Prince persona completely during these events: fully taking on his Black Mask form, he behaves much more coldly and seriously, speaking in a straightforward manner without any sugar coating. During battle, he drops any semblance of politeness and uses extremely vulgar language, constantly provoking the Shadows (as evidenced when he says "As if you could" upon dodging an attack) and refers to them as "trash" or "scum", seeming eager to kill his enemies to the point he almost look like a homicidal maniac. Unlike before, Goro no longer cares about how people would think of him and seems perfectly comfortable with the person he is, as shown when he explains to Kasumi, who whispered to Ren about how different his behavior was, that he's no longer a Detective Prince, but "himself".
While infiltrating the palace, Goro grows suspicious that Kasumi is the owner of the palace after seeing images of her past, as well upon seeing a cognitive version of Kasumi, with brown hair and a beauty mark, refer to the redhead as "Sumire", the name of her sister. This is proven false, however, as the master of the palace and the mastermind behind the 'ideal' reality was revealed to be the counselor Takuto Maruki. When Goro and the protagonist reject Takuto's reality, the former counselor confiscates a shocked "Kasumi", now revealed to be her sister Sumire Yoshizawa, gives them a week for the protagonist to snap out all of his other comrades from his manipulations before confronting him. After that time passes, Ren and Goro return to confront Takuto and reject his reality again: the counselor offers Ren another opportunity to accept his reality. Doing so will result in a bad ending. If Ren continues to oppose his reality, he will awaken Sumire and use her natural denial of the truth to provoke her into attacking the party; Goro leaves Ren alone to deal with her in fears that he'd kill her because of his combat instincts. After Ren defeats Sumire, Takuto will then summon a series of electric cables to force her Persona, Cendrillon, to go berserk and attack the protagonist and Goro. The duo is no match for Cendrillon's berserk state and was left helpless until Ryuji Sakamoto blocks the final shot and the rest of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, now free from the illusions of the Dream World, joins them. They gather to defeat the berserk Cendrillon and Takuto restores Sumire into Kasumi just to give them a fighting chance. He then tells them to meet him after 30 days so they can change his heart. Goro offers his help to the rest of the party as they share the same goal, which they accept. Despite being back to the Phantom Thieves, he nonetheless acts extremely coldly torwards them, and the rest of the team, bar Ryuji, barely speak to him directly out of disgust from his previous actions and/or genuine fear.
The day before the heist, Takuto visits Leblanc and reveals that Goro is only present because Takuto creates the reality so that he and Ren could start over and be actual friends, based on the protagonist's regret. If his Confidant is maxed, Goro will come to Leblanc as well. Goro reveals that he was fully aware of this from the start because he had no clear memories between the fight against the cognitive Akechi and meeting the protagonist again at Christmas Eve, and after seeing Wakaba and Okumura alive, he realized Takuto's trick. Despite knowing this, Goro still refuses the reality Takuto created because that would be no different from being controlled. He then speaks alone with Ren and makes it clear that he decides his own path, convincing the protagonist to fight Takuto even if it means losing him. Ren is then given the option to accept Takuto's reality a second time on his own. If he doesn't, Akechi is shown to be glad, and his Persona, Loki, will transmogrify into his third-tier Persona, Hereward.
After Takuto is defeated and the original reality restored, Akechi remains missing in the real world and Ren accepts Sae's offer to turn himself in on Christmas Eve and testify against Shido. However, if the protagonist maxed his confidant with Akechi, in the epilogue, a glimpse of Akechi is briefly seen passing by outside of the train the protagonist is boarding. Whether this means Akechi was alive all along is not made clear.
In the new My Palace mode, Akechi does not behave like the "Detective Prince" and is still vulgar to the rest of the Thieves, ocasionally calling them "idiots", such as when Kasumi questioned how could Yusuke waste all of his money in fishing props, he says "It's best to just tell an idiot that they're an idiot". In other conversations, he outright states that he would kill Madarame or Kamoshida if he were to be abused by them like Yusuke or Ryuji were, in which they responded that letting them suffer for an eternity would be better than outright killing him, indicating that he is highly merciless when disposing of enemies.
Persona 4 Arena