- "Jūnen hayaindayo! (roughly translates to "Try again in 10 years!" or "You're 10 years too early!")"
- —Akira's famous catchphrase
Due to a new partnership between Tecmo Koei and Sega for Dead or Alive 5, the hot-blooded bajiquan practitioner Akira made an appearance as a guest playable character alongside Sarah Bryant and Pai Chan (later accompanied by Jacky Bryant in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate).
In the original Virtua Fighter, Akira serves as the assistant instructor at Yuki Budokan. After completing his training under his grandfather's tutelage at the age of 23, he went on a quest to test his abilities. When he got word of the first World Fighting Tournament, he decided to enter and test his abilities.
Role in Dead or AliveEdit
Akira's only involvement in the Dead or Alive storyline is when he fights his fellow bajiquan practitioner Kokoro. Kokoro wins against Akira and it is unknown what happens to him after that, although it could be speculated that he sparred with her in order to prepare her for the upcoming tournament.
Akira is a muscular man with a tanned complexion, dark brown eyes, and black hair that has been spiked-up and tied back with a long piece of white fabric. He appears to be average height and has quite wide shoulders and an oval-shaped face with a strong jawline and a squared-off chin.
His trademark outfit is a form of sleeveless gi - a traditional uniform used for martial arts practice - which has frayed around the ends of the trouser legs and shirt holes. The gi is slightly open to reveal his bare chest underneath. The outfit is complete with a black belt, a white headband, and black wristbands and feet covers. Overall, he bears a striking resemblance to Ryu, the main character of Capcom's Street Fighter series.
Akira strives for perfection and will drive himself relentlessly to master his techniques. He seeks worthy opponents to fight in order to find flaws in his skills to further attain mastery. While hot-blooded and impulsive, he can also be naive and intemperate. Akira is also quite passionate when fighting, often telling his opponents give him their best and always expressing his enthusiasm for a bout. Despite his hot-headed personality, Akira does appear to have some good friendships with most fighters such as Aoi Umenokoji (his childhood friend and sparring partner), Wolf Hawkfield, Pai Chan, Bryant siblings, and more recently, Kokoro.
Akira is a unisex name with Japanese origin, which means "bright" or "clear." The name Yuki is also Japanese and can be used as a given name (usually for females) or a surname. As a surname, the kanji used mean "binding castle."
They are shown in a cut scene demonstrating their powers in bajiquan. It is unknown if Akira knew her prior to their meeting in the game's story, but it can be safely assumed that he happened upon her while travelling for the sake of training and recognized her form as a variation of his own. Always eager to test out another fighter's worth, he presented her with a series of kata and a challenge to fight.
He and Pai knew each other since the first Virtua Fighter tournament and sometimes fought together. Both were paired up in a crossover.
- See also: Akira's command lists
As in the Virtua Fighter series, Akira is powerful but very difficult to use effectively. Compared to the other Dead or Alive 5 characters, he has a very different feel, with only a few of his strings having more than two hits. He has a few highly damaging attacks, including his famed shoulder-strike, Tetsuzankou, which at close range can do 90 points of damage, making it one of the most powerful strikes in the game. However, most of Akira's other single strikes are quite weak.
Thus, Akira needs to be used very cleverly, with a good understanding of the effects each of his moves have and how to string them together for maximum effect. He has several good guard break techniques and moves that cause "sit-down stuns" or which cause the opponent to bounce off the ground. His guard breaks allow him to easily put pressure on defensive opponents, and he has a special guard break that follows up to the move Toryu Tenshin Hazankai which does 80 points of damage in total, although the input command for the whole move is very complex. His single strikes can be effective as counter blows and his Teishitsu Dantai can be used to juggle opponents for longer, although it is a very difficult move to pull off consistently and isn't essential to use in order to pull off some very damaging combos. Notably, a lot of Akira's combos can be performed next to walls without worrying about needing to make changes to account for the opponent slamming prematurely into the wall.
Compared to the other Virtua Fighter guest characters, Akira has good, powerful throws that can create lots of opportunities. Hougeki Unshin Soukoshou is especially damaging and unlike most throws can be used while an opponent is in critical status as it begins as a strike. Akira also has a lot of sidestep moves, allowing him to play a decent amount of mind games with his opponent. However, due to Dead or Alive 5's game engine, Akira is a bit more reliant on his sidestep mind games due to most of his attacks being unsafe on block. In addition he still suffers from a linear attack pattern. Another thing is that his commands require a heavy amount of execution, making Akira a fighter only for the dedicated.
It should be noted that as a result of Dead or Alive's faster gameplay, some of Akira's input commands have been changed slightly in order for him to keep up with the fast pace of other Dead or Alive contestants. In Dead or Alive 5 and its expansion updates, the three of his difficult moves like Teishitsu Dantai, Byakko Soshoda and Choda Chochu are made a bit easier to learn.
To unlock Akira in Dead or Alive 5, the player must defeat him in Kokoro's chapter in Story Mode.
Dead or Alive seriesEdit
- Dead or Alive 5 (unlockable, 2012)
- Dead or Alive 5+ (playable, 2013)
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (playable, 2013)
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade (playable, 2013)
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (playable, 2015)
Non-Dead or Alive appearancesEdit
Akira first appeared in the 1993 arcade title Virtua Fighter and was part of the series' original fighter line-up, which at the time only included eight characters. Since then, Akira has appeared in every installment of Virtua Fighter and became the series mascot.
He also appeared in the Virtua Fighter anime series but his personality was changed greatly from how he acts in the video games. Although Akira can be hot-blooded and serious when need be, his anime counterpart enjoys eating lots of food and slacking off. Akira fights only when he sees people getting into trouble but often gets into minor problems, which usually involve accidentally touching female fighters inappropriately and results in beatings.
Akira appears with the entire Virtua Fighter 2 cast in the Sega Saturn game, Fighters Megamix. A younger version of him, from Virtua Fighter Kids, is also an unlockable playable character.
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars RacingEdit
Along with fellow Virtua Fighter combatant Jacky Bryant, Akira appeared as an unlockable character in the 2010 racing game, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Akira and Jacky race together as a team in the OutRun-inspired "Red Lightning", representing the Virtua Fighter series. He serves as a powerful boost to the car, quietly sitting beside Jacky until he is needed.
Project X ZoneEdit
Akira appears alongside Pai in the crossover game, Project X Zone, a Nintendo 3DS RPG featuring characters from Capcom, Namco Bandai, and SEGA. He will also appear in the sequel Project X Zone 2 with Kage-Maru.
Dengeki Bunko Fighting ClimaxEdit
In arcade version of the 2D crossover fighting game, Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, Akira appears as a boss along with Pai Chan as his assist character. Apparently, the boss version of Akira in arcade turns out to be a malevolent entity from Zetsumu, who takes a forms of other Dengeki Bunko fighters then Akira's, with the real Akira is playable in console version of the game along with the real Pai, as well as followed by Selvaria Bles and her assist, Alicia Melchiotte from other Sega game's Valkyria Chronicles. In console version, he can be unlocked when player finish the stage without Climax Art to fight him in Arcade Mode, though he cannot be selected in both Arcade and Dream Duel, until in Ignition, where the original Arcade Mode and Dream Duel becomes one arcade mode.
Akira is one of the few Shoto type characters in the game, although Akira's is more similar to Capcom's original Shoto character from Street Fighter, Ryu. His moves are references from his series and Dead or Alive 5, except some of their properties are different due to the transition from 3D to 2D fighting. Akira is an unique character to play, and unlike his 3D fighting game versions, he's a beginner-friendly character.
Akira is one of two characters (the other being Rentaro) to have a command move and be able to perform solo air combos without an assist or EX moves (like Kirino and Rentaro etc.). Being a character who doesn't have a projectile, he focuses on short-ranged ground attack punishes, akin to his playstyle in 3D fighting games. Most of his moves' properties are strikes and knockdowns. He is also the only character in Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax to have a step dash.
Before the Version 1.21 console release, he was incomplete, with "Mouko Kouhazan" and "Jouhou Senshou" as his only special moves. His Air C was Renkantai before it downgraded to "Tankyaku/Utankyaku." The "Shura Haoh Koukazan's" first hit was Mouko Kouhazan's and "Teishitsu Dantai" was the only Impact Skill move. Finally, "Hougeki Unshin Soukoshou" didn't have invuln. start-up and was his only Climax Art.
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- Akira has been lauded as one of the most difficult fighters to learn from the Virtua Fighter.
- Akira was an inspiration for Kokoro. Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki commented that bajiquan was first used in Virtua Fighter by Akira, which he called the "origin of 3D fighting games." Itagaki hoped to reproduce the martial art more realistically with Kokoro in Dead or Alive 4. In the E3 2012 trailer for Dead or Alive 5, Akira challenges Kokoro to a duel, which Kokoro accepts.
- Akira is the fifth character from an outside series to appear in a Dead or Alive title, following on from SPARTAN-458 in Dead or Alive 4, Rio in Dead or Alive Paradise, and Samus Aran and Ridley in Dead or Alive: Dimensions.
- In his reveal trailer, his Virtua Fighter 5 theme can be heard when he enters the battle, his theme however is not available in game.
- In Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax where both Akira and Pai are guest bosses, Akira's voice is new since Project X Zone due to him set as playable fighter, as for Pai's only has one for an alternate damaged during hit while remained the same as the previous game she appeared (excluding in Project X Zone is new) due to her set as assist character.
- All of Akira, Sarah, Pai and Jacky's quotes are recycled from Virtua Fighter 5 for Dead or Alive 5. This explains the slightly different quality of the audio for when they speak.