Goro Akechi is a playable character from Persona 5. He is touted by his fans and the media as the second coming of the detective prince (after the first appeared in Persona 4), and is investigating the mysterious Phantom Thieves of Hearts case sensationalizing Japan.
Akechi has shaggy, neck length brown hair with bangs and reddish-brown eyes. He wears a tan peacoat with black buttons, striped black and white tie, black pants, black gloves and black loafers. His casual winter outfit consists of a white long sleeve shirt with flaps under a blue diamond sweater vest, beige pants and brown shoes.
During the events of the third semester in Royal, Akechi wears a green vest and white collar shirt, both under a brown coat with black buttons, and blue pants while retaining his gloves and loafers.
As Crow, Akechi wears a princely pure white royal outfit with red accents and a red, long-nosed mask. The artbook states his mask motif resembles that of a medieval western plague doctor, but in keeping with Akechi being as proud as a tengu, it's also got a long nose. His image is a combination of a noble's attire and a uniform worn by cavalry or guards of honor. As with his Robin Hood Persona, it's meant to give the feeling of putting on the air of a champion of justice, with nothing to do with being a Phantom Thief, robber or burglar of any sort, invoking the image of being at the front of a stage to contrast the protagonist's image of being more of a backstage actor.
Once he reveals his true intentions, Akechi swaps his princely garb for a body-covering, black and dark blue striped outfit. In this form, he has several black belts strapped around his legs and arms. He also wears a dark enclosed knight helmet, with a deep crimson mask resembling a sharp beak. Much like with Loki's design, it alludes to a lack of agency, is meant to give a chaotic feeling and invoke the question "what's the real you?"
During most of the story, Akechi appears to be well-mannered, friendly and charismatic high-school detective. Coupled with his achievement as a detective and handsome feature, Akechi is highly popular among the public and is commented to be "The Second Coming of Detective Prince." His intelligence and smooth-talk earned him enough trust from the police to conduct his own investigation despite his young age, which includes Sae Niijima, who fully trusts him to assist her in her investigation.
He presents himself to have a strong sense of justice, disapproving of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts for their methods and is candid in expressing his disagreement, but never forces his view on others and still respect people who have different opinion from him.
In reality, this cheery disposition is merely a mask that hides his inner darkness. Due to his bleak childhood, Akechi grew up being a lonely child who yearns to be loved, a feeling which still preserved even as a teenager. As the result, he developed a far more jaded worldview than he initially lets on, even calling himself an unwanted child. The abandonment and abuse caused him to have 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 claims that he has carefully crafted his public image in the hopes that it would make people accept him. He has the public's support only if he upholds the pretense of being a charismatic idol detective, and his fans are quick to turn on him if he makes mistakes, such as when the Phantom Thieves triumphed over Kaneshiro and Medjed.
Shido's abandonment resulted with Akechi developing strong hatred for his father and swore to get revenge on him for ruining his life. His desire for revenge is so strong to the point he is willing to become effective hitman for Shido, committing murders under his father's order to fulfill his goal to ruin Shido when he is at the apex of his power.
After meeting the protagonist, for the first time Akechi is able to experience a simple normal life with a friend. Akechi both admires and envies the protagonist who does not let anything stop him from making his own path, considering him as his rival. Persona 5 Maniax states that despite being overwhelmed with jealousy and contempt for Joker who was surrounded by friends, Akechi says he would have wanted to meet Joker earlier, and doesn't deny what Mona said about him taking a liking to Joker. In the end, he seems to hold complicated feelings toward Joker.
Near the final act of the game, his obsession with getting revenge on his father and desire to be the hero of his own story overshadows his true feelings for the protagonist and the party. In that regard, he has become a traitor for both the Phantom Thieves and Shido. He became so desperate that he dismisses the concept of friends and true justice, claiming they are both meaningless and sickening, and also becomes irrationally psychotic as a result. However, after learning how special he is to the protagonist and the party and the truth of how Shido sees him from the cognitive version of himself, Akechi realized how foolish he has been for letting his hatred blind him from seeing the truth and he sacrifices himself to protect the protagonist.
He usually speaks in a calm and polite, yet unsettling fashion, but when he drops his guise and uses his powers to become berserk as a last ditch attempt to defeat the thieves, his dialogue becomes wildly aggressive and profane. This is apparent in the Japanese script in that the usual self-referring-pronoun that Akechi often uses is "boku;" when his guise is dropped and he drives himself berserk with his powers, it changes to "ore" instead. Likewise, his pronoun for the context of saying "you" turns from "kimi" to "omae" as well, including dropping his formal verbal tics.
In Royal, Akechi retains the same traits he shows when he fought the Phantom Thieves. This side of him is elaborated further during battle, referring small Shadows as scums and seems to take delight in defeating them. Akechi also completely drops his detective prince pretense. He behaves more coldly and seriously, speaking in straightforward manner without any sugar coating. Unlike before, Akechi no longer cares about how people would think of him and seems perfectly comfortable with the person he truly is. He won't bother making small talk, directing the conversation straight to the point. While Akechi seems to no longer hold any contempt against the Phantom Thieves, he is no kinder than before with them since they already knew his true nature. He also shows a morbid-kind dry sense of humor, joking by suggesting they finish off Takuto when handing him the calling card.
When it comes to his enemies, he is still highly merciless, seeing no problem in killing his enemies if he feels is necessary. In some conversations in Thieves Den, Akechi had outright stated that he would kill Madarame or Kamoshida if he were to be abused by them like Yusuke or Ann, in which they responded that letting them suffer for an eternity would be better than outright killing them. However, Akechi does shows certain restraints to this side of him depending on who his opponents are. He chooses to back out and leave Joker to fight Sumire alone because he worries he might kill her due to his combat instinct. He would try to kill Maruki only as the last resort when he saw no other choice.
While his behavior is colder than before, it's evident that he holds the protagonist in high regard. He willingly turns himself to the police so the protagonist won't be locked up to repay his debt to the protagonist.
Additionally, despite not being a real detective but actually a hitman and a criminal, Akechi does have excellent deduction and analysis skills as seen during the Niijima and Maruki's Palace heists and during Persona Q2, and his quick and in-depth thinking allows him to be an effective asset when he was an ally of the party. This proves that even without having to fabricate cases via inducing psychotic breakdowns on his targets, he actually does have what it takes to become a true detective.
The official Persona 5 Artbook reveals that Akechi lives alone in a city apartment. His main skill is reasoning, and he has a habit of getting lost in thought during conversations. His hobbies include cycling (specifically, with a hybrid bicycle for easy turning in Tokyo), bouldering and playing fashionable games like darts. His guidebook profile also states that Akechi always makes sure to try out the latest popular dishes in order to use food as a conversation piece. Waiting in long lines for this doesn't bother him. He uses his cycling hobby to ride around town, gathering stories to utilize in conversation with adults. Since he spends a lot of time with adults, he has a reputation among Tokyo's famous hidden stores and high class restaurants, although in truth he has little interest in the food's flavor.
Spread In 3 2 1 Gooo!!Edit
Akechi's anime counterpart in his Crow appearance, was seen helping Joker escape from the Casino momentarily. Throughout the series, Akechi is seen in interviews on various media devices. Akechi makes his physical appearance during the tenth episode and like before, voices his disapproval of The Phantom Thieves' methods. His dark appearance appears during the battle with Kaneshiro, observing the fight through the security monitors.
Unlike in the game, Ren's interactions with Akechi are shown in detail, such as having him help investigate Futaba's uncle in his blackmail against Sojiro Sakura.
Later on, he fulfills the same role as in the game trying to assassinate Ren during Sae's interrogation during the final episode of the anime. He assassinates Ren after Sae shows him his phone. Judging from the purple flash and the blue butterfly that appears before he enters the interrogation room to assassinate Ren, he had just assassinated Ren's cognitive copy.
In the Dark Sun special, Akechi's role in it is similar to the events of the game, meeting up with Shido and reminiscing on how they met, to him lamenting during the talk show and eventual fight against the Phantom Thieves in the boiler room. Though in this, he is implied to have assassinated the SWAT team responsible for capturing Joker as well, most likely to clean up loose ends.
During the boiler room fight, he fights solo against Joker and is pushed back due to hits from the leader's gunfire. Enraged, he transforms into his true form as the "Black Mask" and summons Loki to attack, a move that leads to Joker's initial persona, Arsene, to clash with his own. He clashes with Ren in a melee battle, being wrathful and baffled as to how despite Ren having a criminal record, he has what he doesn't: friends.
In the end, Arsene bests Loki and Akechi is defeated. Like in the game, cognitive Akechi appears and summons Shadows to deal with the Phantom Thieves and Akechi himself. However, in the animation's version of events, Akechi is able to kill the cognitive version of himself and returns the black king piece that Joker gave to him before (signifying how Ren finally outplayed Akechi) before closing the boiler's shutters. With this version of events, the last we see of Akechi is him staring down a horde of Shadows before the point of view switches to the side of the Phantom Thieves. They hear rounds of gunfire go off on the other end, while Futaba confirms that his signal is gone. With the implication of Akechi's fate, the Thieves are saddened by their loss, with Ren, in particular, slamming his fist against the door, but are forced to press on in order to get to change Shido's heart in his stead.
In Stars and Ours special, near the end of the battle against Yaldabaoth when the Phantom Thieves are immobilized by the god, Ren heard Akechi's voice encouraging him while he's holding the chess piece Akechi returned to him.
In the Proof of Justice special, which takes place after Shido's change of heart, Ren and Morgana finds a scribble written "Proof of Justice" with Akechi's hand-writing in a zigzag puzzle magazine that Akechi played before. Morgana dismisses it as a mere scribble, but Ren is curious of its meaning.
The next day, Ren visits the places where he used to hang out with Akechi while reminiscing those times they spent together. Ren spends the whole day asking around about the words and finds nothing until he overhears a child whining his father about "Proof of Justice." When Ren asks, it turns out the words came from a toy gun commercial. Ren recognizes the toy gun as similar with the one Akechi used in the Palace. This makes Ren realizes that the words represents Akechi's desire to be a hero. Back at home, Ren laments his inability to save Akechi, but determines to move forward for the sake of his own proof of justice.
Persona Q2: New Cinema LabyrinthEditEdit
As the game takes place during the Sixth Heist, Akechi is included as a party member as Crow. He is in the party's default team and is one of the brains of the cast, helping in solving the puzzles and riddles throughout the labyrinths. While he can be seen as distant, he is much easier to interact with by other Persona users in this game and does not display obvious signs of his darker personalities at all, although the Phantom Thieves generally still do not hold him in a high regard.
When meeting P4 cast, he is interested in Naoto Shirogane who is the first Detective Prince before him. Their sharp wit and positions as detectives made Akechi get along fairly well with Naoto. There is a side-quest in which both of them must work together to find the culprit who attacks every person holding Theodore's handmade popcorn (later revealed to be Caroline and Justine disguised as Teddie). This experience grants Akechi and Naoto a unison attack which they can use together against an enemy.
Akechi also finds his insecurity growing while adventuring the labyrinths from watching the rest of the cast who are able to accept each other for who they truly are. Joker noticed the change in Akechi's behavior, though Akechi denies this. Koromaru, who also sensed this, is being unusually close to Akechi. Ken starts to think that Akechi is different from the rest of Phantom Thieves after seeing Koromaru's behavior towards Akechi, stating that Koromaru only acts that way for people who have deep problems. Akechi once again assures Ken that there's nothing wrong with him, but later quietly reveals his astonishment at Koromaru's sharp instinct. Shinjiro also noticed Akechi's isolation with his team and correctly surmised of Akechi's dark past. He comforts him to look ahead and stop letting his past binds him. Akechi turn down the suggestion, however, as he cannot understand the notion of getting over his actions.
At the end of the game, he stutters for a bit before returning to reality alongside the Phantom Thieves, and unlike the other members of the group, he is also non-existent in the post-credits events, indicating that he is still the traitor. However, according to the official artbook, it is actually because that the experience has made him aware of how unfavorable his personality is, and he does not wish to leave as he fears of reverting to his old self.