"There aren't any real heroes left. So... why not make our own? The world needs someone willing to fight for its people's justice. A hero to lead them. To unify them. A hero like me."
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Persona 5 Strikers: Major Character (Antagonist)
Description[edit | edit source]
Akira is a moderately muscular and tall man with a square jaw, a riffed haircut and a mustache. When appearing as a CEO, he also wears a baggy, deep blue cheapsuit with a white shirt underneath it. His slacks are the same color as his suit.
Konoe's Shadow Self initially does not appear any different from his real self, aside from golden eyes. When he prepares for battle, however, his attire transforms into an outfit resembling his childhood superhero Zephyrman, having a white silver Sentai Ranger outfit and a cape. He wields a lightsaber in combat and his face is obscured in a white helmet. This helmet acts as his crown; if it is removed, all of the desires inside the Jail are freed.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Having suffered from extreme household abuse because of his influential father, Konoe looked toward his childhood hero, Zephyrman, to seek the meaning of true justice. He started to believe that all crime in the world must be wiped out. When Konoe accidentally ended his father's life, it turned out to be the only way for justice to be served. Because of this incident, Konoe developed a delusionally misguided sense of justice. For him, the ends justify the means and it is perfectly fine to use the oppressor's methods against the oppressors; this includes cooperating with a corrupt politician, using EMMA to drive the population of Okinawa insane (it's also heavily implied that he drove its Monarch to suicide in order to test a calling card reaction), as well as depriving humanity of their free will by turning them into extensions of his "pay evil unto evil" mentality and EMMA. When Ichinose sold him EMMA, he decided that it should be used to stop crime and wrongdoing and thus modified it with the Jail function, kickstarting the events of the game. His beliefs are so firm to the point that his Shadow self, unlike other Monarchs, appears identical to his real self before combat, and his combat form is merely himself in a Zephyrman outfit.
He genuinely wants to do good, but he uses morally repugnant methods to enforce his own version of it and his actions deprive humanity of all their free thought, turning the Monarchs into his extensions and other people into frenzied worshipers of said Monarchs. Though, unlike the other Jail Monarchs, he did earn his popularity all over Japan instead of manufacturing it by changing hearts. His Jail is mainly used in his quest to enforce the law. He is also a charismatic speaker; unlike in the case with Masayoshi Shido before, the Phantom Thieves do not notice anything abnormal with him during his speech in Sendai.
Despite being a genuinely charismatic, altruistic and ambitious man, Konoe does display signs of ignorance that does result in his downfall. He over-relies on EMMA's assistance to wipe out all crime and letting her target and manipulate a person that he doesn't know beforehand to dispose of the Phantom Thieves, ignorant that said person was Akane Hasegawa, the innocent daughter of Zenkichi Hasegawa, the prosecutor who was victimized and blackmailed over an accidental murder and cover-up case instigated by the same corrupt politician he was going after. This eventually ignited Zenkichi's wrath, and he officially joins the Phantom Thieves in hopes of taking both him and Owada down. Combined with EMMA constantly keeping him in the dark of his failures with false positives, this act of ignorance was the fatal move that resulted in his downfall.
He is also very fond of an obscure spin-off of Phoenix Ranger Featherman R known as Zephyrman, who, unlike Featherman who enforces justice in a group, is a sole enforcer of justice, symbolizing that he prefers to enforce his own version of justice in solitude instead of the Persona user's true justice and values of friendship.
Profile[edit | edit source]
Persona 5 Strikers[edit | edit source]
When Konoe was young, he lived in an extremely abusive household where his father hated him to the point that he considered murdering him. On one occasion, his neighbors tried to call police in but failed because his father made him stay quiet. Twenty years before the events of the game, his father revealed that he had killed Akira's mother for money and thought about killing him too, but Konoe, after realizing no heroes like Zephyrman were coming to save him, fought back and stabbed his father to death before he could be killed himself. When the police questioned Akira, he claimed that his father's death had been the result of a robbery and that he had hidden himself in the closet as it happened. As several valuable objects were missing from the home, the police believed him, and Akira was able to get away with the murder.
As a grown man, Konoe took over Madicce from his father. Kuon Ichinose sold the base code of the AI EMMA app in hopes of Konoe's company popularizing it. Because of his past trauma, he wanted to modify the app to make a world devoid of crimes and thus fashioning himself as a hero. Using it, his company, Madicce became a billion dollar mega enterprise. After Ichinose sold EMMA to him, he loaned it to a research lab in Okinawa in order to study cognitive psience, resulting in the creation of Jails and turning Okinawa's denizens into fervent believers of the return of God. Eventually, the Monarch of the Jail and the cheif researcher, Shuzo Ubukata was driven insane and committed suicide by jumping off a cliff (presumably) when Konoe told him to hand over his desires, which behaves like a Calling Card to him. Ubukata was simply a test Monarch whose jail Konoe planned to take under his control. During the events of the game, Konoe also offered his services to Jyun Owada, affecting multiple unscrupulous politicians and the Commissioner General of the National Police Agency who opposed Owada, although he already planned on taking him down from the beginning. All of his targets happened to set foot on Osaka when he changed their hearts, as Osaka was where his Jail took place and he is only able of affecting it by himself. The Phantom Thieves of Hearts later became one of his targets, using the excuse that they were hacking into EMMA and that they were responsible for the death of Shuzo Ubukata. Both crimes are fabricated and are merely used to justify him pinning his crimes on the Phantom Thieves. His final goal is to spread the Jail system worldwide so there will be no more crimes, known as "Operation Oraculi."
Konoe first appears during a lecture in Kuon Ichinose's university, where he talks about EMMA being capable of deciding everything for its user. He seems to be a confident and charismatic businessman, and doesn't talk about any abnormalities. After he leaves, Ichinose told the party that she invited him into there.
When the Thieves return to Kyoto, Owada, being accompanied by the brainwashed Commissioner General, strongarms Kaburagi into arresting the Thieves only for Zenkichi to halt her and take their place. He inquires Konoe the status of the Thieves' arrest and tells him to trust the Police. In reality, Konoe distrusts Owada and turns to EMMA for advice. She suggests that he should utilize a nearby Jail formed by a close one to capture them instead because the police were unable to do so. Konoe wanted to have them change the Phantom Thieves' hearts if possible, and kill them if they fail to change their hearts. Since Akane Hasegawa created a Jail right before then, this makes her the only available target. EMMA quickly spreads the Jail through Kyoto and turns Akane Hasegawa into its Monarch. It then replicates a distress SNS that results in the Phantom Thieves being captured and later, confronting a manipulated Shadow Akane. Konoe was not aware that he was manipulating Akane due to EMMA not bothering to tell him about her.
He is the owner of the Osaka Jail, which takes the form of a sci-fi utopia that makes him the sole hero of the world, for his EMMA app will wipe out all crimes. Unlike past targets, Akira actually did earn his popularity legitimately instead of using the EMMA application to artificially inflate it. In fact, when he shut down EMMA temporarily, many are so reliant on it that they request him to reopen its services. During the exploration of this Jail, the Phantom Thieves also found out that Konoe had good intentions despite his malicious methods, and he actually had a traumatic past that motivated him to instigate the EMMA related incidents. When he talked about his very own version of absolute justice, he meant every word he said, as after a seemingly friendly conversation with Owada, he vents frustration at having to be so pleasant with such a "disgusting" man, indicating that he wanted to remove Owada from the very beginning and is just using him for his connections.
Once the party defeats the Lock Keeper located in his former home, they send the Calling Card by hijacking a Madicce Zeppelin and drop them. While at first completely unfazed by the calling card (largely because of his prideful nature and the fact that Zenkichi Hasegawa wrote the calling card as if it was an arrest warrant), he realized that the plan to use the Kyoto Jail as a trap against the Phantom Thieves had failed because EMMA refused to answer his query and he throws his cellphone into the floor out of anger, sufficiently unsettling him and causing the Desires to materialize.
When confronted by the Phantom Thieves, Shadow Konoe explains EMMA and the Jails to the Phantom Thieves, then tries to justify his actions, telling the party that just like them, he's tired of the world's corruption and injustices, and thus he used EMMA and the Jails to create a system that ensures crime and wrongdoing can no longer exist and he is merely "systematizing" whatever the Phantom Thieves are doing. However, the Phantom Thieves rebuke him, stating that his "Operation Oraculi" disregards free will unlike them, and that none of the people he "saved," Monarchs or the public alike, are truly happy. Shadow Konoe then tries to further justify himself using the example of his father, that the Phantom Thieves are unable to save people like him, but with this Jail system, he will be able to prevent anyone from ever experiencing what his father tried to do to him. This was to no avail, as even Sophia starts chiding him for locking people in their own traumas and preventing them from moving forward.
Realizing that he can no longer get his message across with words, Konoe attacks the party. He reveals his Shadow outfit, a Sentai Ranger suit modeled after Zephyrman and controls a massive armored robot named "Zephyrus Mech." After it collapses, he emerges out of the robot's debris and fights them on foot, but was defeated nonetheless. The real Konoe confesses for all of his crimes on the next day and promises to shut down the EMMA app because he used it to brainwash the public. During the next Madicce meeting, Konoe personally confesses to his staff and promises to turn himself to the police, before Zenkichi Hasegawa and Miyako Kaburagi arrive to arrest him in-person. Only now did he know that EMMA was using the daughter of the officer who was responsible for his arrest to achieve his "salvation."
During the game's final act, it was revealed that Ichinose sold the application to Konoe in hopes of his company's tech will let the application become popular so it can determine the desires of the general public, and the Phantom Thieves changing Konoe's heart merely enabled this behavior to trigger, because the public wished for EMMA to give them advice. In the game's epilogue, he gives the police valuable testimony, enabling them to arrest Owada for good.
Stats[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Etymology[edit | edit source]
- The name Akira means "bright" (明).
- Akira's surname Konoe means "near" (近) (kon) and "guard" (衛) (oe).
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Konoe is the only target of the Phantom Thieves to be completely unfazed by a calling card, partially because the calling card was written by Zenkichi instead of one of the more experienced Phantom Thieves, and thus failed to intimidate Konoe because Zenkichi didn't know how to write one that was convincing. It was the EMMA app's failure to capture the Thieves that actually rattled Konoe.
- Akira the Hero's design and ability to drive mecha is a reference to tokusatsu genre superheroes.
- According to the description of a request during the Osaka Jail, Konoe has a special Churrasco recipe. After the request has been cleared, Akira's secretary will give this recipe as a reward.
- Konoe is mentioned in the news shortly before Alice Hiiragi's Calling Card.
- Konoe is the only Persona 5 antagonist for who the theme "Blood of Villain" never plays.
- Out of every major target, Konoe is the only one who none of the Phantom Thieves interact with his real self in-person before their Change of Heart.
References[edit | edit source]
|Storyline||Mad Rabbit Alice - Nightmare Dragon Ango - Snow Empress Mariko - Akane's Joker - Akira the Hero - Kuon Ichinose (Sophia - Hecantoncheires) - False God Demiurge (EMMA)|
|Sub||Bicorn - Pixie - Archangel - Silky - Mokoi - Succubus - Jack O' Lantern - High Pixie - Lamia - Orthrus - Eligor - Pisaca - Jack Frost - Lilim - Mothman - Setanta - Mithras - Kaiwan - Principality - Shiisaa - Hecantoncheires - Okuninushi - Neko Shogun - Kurama Tengu - Ganesha - Naga - Sarasvati - Valkyrie - Fortuna - Raja Naga - Norn - Thor - Bugs - Mot - Abaddon - Kali & Dominion - Metatron|
|Dire Shadows||Bugs - Raja Naga - Lilith - Nebiros - Yatagarasu - Eligor - Mithras - Archangel|
|Lock Keeper||School Bully - Natsume's Editor - Callous City Employee/Councilman - Warden - Konoe's Father|
|Requests||Seth - Cerberus - King Frost - Black Frost - Siegfried - Mara - Metatron - Reaper|