Akira Konoe is a character from Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers.
- Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers: Major Character (Antagonist)
Being suffered from extreme household abuse because of an influential father that would potentially kill him, with justice only served once he put him down by accident, Konoe grown to become a firm believer of Justice, and believes that all crime in the world must be wiped out. While possessing a noble goal, he is highly misanthropic about it and has no qualms using a child to capture threats and cooperating with a corrupt politician with the intent of taking him down or even test running EMMA to drive an entire population insane, effectively making him no different from a criminal. 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 as many who felt downtrodden or oppressed abuse it to give themselves artificial popularity and self-ego. In some sense, his personality isn't very far from those of Goro Akechi's, and his beliefs are so firm that his Shadow self, unlike other Kings, appears identical to his real self before combat just like Shadow Shido before him. It's also heavily implied that he believes that justice can only be served when criminals get a very taste of their own medicine, resulting in many of the people who became Kings via EMMA matching their behavior to those who traumatized or discredited them.
Despite this, he still seems to care about his employees and is in no means, a corrupt corporate executive. His cooperation with Jun Owada is also a deliberate ruse to take him down, as he already had the power to do so much unlike the similarly aligned Akechi. True to his word, he is an actual defender of justice and this is not an act; he just uses morally repugnant methods to enforce his own version of it. Furthermore, unlike the other Jail Kings, he did earn his popularity all over Japan instead of manufacturing it by changing hearts, and his Jail is mainly used for him to enforce the law. He is also a charismatic speaker, as not even the Phantom Thieves can see anything abnormal within him during his speech in Sendai.
He is also very fond of an obscure copy of Phoenix Ranger Featherman R known as Zephyrman, which 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 on solitude instead of the Persona user's true justice and values of friendship.
Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom StrikersEdit
When he was young, he lived in an extremely abusive household where his father killed his mother for money and hated him to the point that he just wanted to murder him. His neighbours tried to call police in but failed because he was the CEO of Madicce. 20 years ago, his father came into kill him. He thought that it was a burglary and he was watching Zephyrman during that time, and he wished for Zephyrman to kill whoever tried to kill him. Mistaking that this was a burglar, he killed him before he could.
When he grew up, he took over Madicce from his father. Kuon Ichinose sold the base code of the AI EMMA app in hopes of Konoe improving 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, turning its denizens into fervent believers of the return of god. Eventually, the King of the Jail, the state head, was driven insane and committed suicide. It's heavily implied that once this gets through he used the application on himself, making him the King of Osaka. During the events of the game, he also offered heart changing services to Jun Owada, although he already planned on taking Owada down from the beginning. The Phantom Thieves of Hearts later became one of his targets of his blind pursuit of justice, using the excuse that they were hacking into EMMA and killing the King of Okinawa. Both crimes are fabricated and are merely used to justify his deluded crusade of justice. His final goal is to spread the Jail system worldwide so there will be no more crimes, known as "Operation Oracle."
He first appears during a talk show 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 inquires Konoe the status of the Thieves' arrest and tells him to use the Police. However, EMMA suggests that he should utilize a nearby Jail formed by a close one to capture them instead. Since Akane Hasegawa created a Jail right before then, this allows him to use EMMA to replicate a distress message that would result in the Phantom Thieves being captured and later, confronting a manipulated Shadow Akane.
He is the owner of the Osaka's 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. The Phantom Thieves also found out for the first time 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 wasn't parroting it and he meant every word he said, as after a seemingly friendly conversation with Owada, he calls him a "disgusting vermin that would be removed first after this," indicating that he wanted to remove Owada from the very beginning and is just trying to catch him off guard.
Once the party defeats the Lock Keeper located in his household, they send the calling card by hijacking a Madicce Zeppelin and drop them. While at first completely unfazed by the calling card, he realized that the plan to use Kyoto's Jail as a trap against the Phantom Thieves had failed and he throws his cellphone into the floor out of anger.
The party chides him for not being very different from his father and he becomes enraged, transforming into Zephyrman and controls a massive armored robot named "Armor Zephyrus." After it collapses, he emerges out of the robot's debris and transforms into Hero Akira and fights them on foot, but was defeated nonetheless. He then confesses for all of his crimes 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 personally.
His first name, Akira (明) means "Bright" and his last name, Konoe (近衛) means "Guard." This indicates that he is a firm defender of justice; while this is in fact, true as EMMA helped the wronged to regain their fame, it is also distorted and radical as he forcefully removes all crimes in the world by means of mass mind control, all while allowing the users of EMMA to commit wrongs on an unprecedented scale.
- Akira Konoe is the first human target to be completely unfazed by any calling card; it was the EMMA app's failure from capturing the Thieves that alerted him.
- Konoe's savior complex, as well as his status as a secondary accomplice is similar to that of Taro Namatame.
- Hero Akira's design and ability to drive mecha is a reference to sentai genre superheroes.
- His status as a tech guru and his shadow taking the form of a superhero bears some resemblance to that of Tony Stark of Marvel Comics.