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In Persona 5, there are a few main characters who outshine the Crow of the Phantom Thieves, Goro Akechi. This Goro Akechi guide is dedicated to the genius boy detective and one of the best characters in the entire Persona series. If you want to know everything about this phenomenal party member, you are in the right place.
If you could not already tell, Goro is my favorite character in Persona 5 and the entire series as a whole. Persona 5 not only nailed this new take on the genius detective archetype but Royal took it to a whole new level. For everything about why Goro is the best Persona character of all time, be sure to read on for the full Goro Akechi guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Out of anyone across all six of the mainline games, I think that Goro Akechi is the best Persona character of all time. In the original Persona 5, he is the final member to join the party. Though his time with the team is shorter than the others because of this, he leaves his mark on the team.
He is the most complex written character in the series, being a genius detective originally hunting down the very team that he joins in the end. This is only enhanced by the further time spent with him in Persona 5 Royal.
He goes by the Crow nickname while on missions with the Phantom Thieves and wields curse Persona skills as his specialty. Goro is both the antithesis to his leader and best buddy, Joker, while also seemingly being madly in love with him without ever saying it.
Who Is Goro Akechi?
Goro Akechi is one of the main characters in Persona 5. It should be noted at this point that there will be light spoilers for the story of this beloved JRPG. This is due to the late nature of his appearance in the game but I will refrain from revealing too many details about the ending of the game and other parts.
With that in mind, Goro is the final member of the Phantom Thieves, at least in Persona 5 that is. Prior to the introduction of Kasumi in Persona 5 Royal, Goro was the last party member to join the group. He rounded out the team in an interesting way and made waves due to his unique character arc.
Within the Phantom Thieves, his nickname is Crow. This is likely due to the fact of his costume while in the Metaverse. In this world full of shadows, Goro has a costume that has a crow beak mask on it that is signature to him alone.
His brilliantly bright costume contrasts with the darker curse skills that his Persona uses in battle. He is the one in the party who embodies this darker elemental type and it is seen in his rather dramatic character. Unlike most of the other party members, Goro does not attend the same high school.
Like Yusuke, Goro and he are the only ones to not go to the same high school as the main group. In the case of Goro, though, this is due to him being a worker in the real world and not a high schooler. Despite being roughly the same age as Joker, he is a boy detective.
Known as a genius in his field, Goro is investigating numerous cases and is known for his fantastic work in solving them. His fame and glory lead him to the doorstep of the Phantom Thieves and their fates are intertwined. Without a doubt, Goro stands out for being quite different from the other members of the cast and even those in previous Persona games.
The appearance of Goro Akechi is largely in the same vein as the other characters. He has a general look that he uses in everyday life in the game and then another one for his bouts in the Metaverse. You could even look at it as his magical transformation, something that the Phantom Thieves are known for.
Genius Boy Detective
For the most part in the story of Persona 5, players will see Goro Akechi appearing in his normal work attire. Since he does not seemingly go to high school, he is a detective most of the time. As such, he wears a full three-piece suit for his detective job.
This outfit is a simple one, featuring a tan brown suit that he wears, including the dress pants, suit blazer, and white undershirt. He has a tie that he wears with the set and an emblem can sometimes be seen on the suit that he wears for this detective work.
All in all, a rather simple outfit for the “second coming of the detective prince.” His hair is rather long, nearly going straight down to his shoulders. He has brown hair and dark eyes. The bangs of Goro’s hair strangely converge in between his eyes, giving him a rather unique but handsome look.
Phantom Thieves Outfit
Of course, being that he is able to enter the Metaverse and eventually joins the Phantom Thieves, he has another look for missions. As a Phantom Thieves member, he has his Crow outfit, which might be the best one out of everyone in the group.
It is certainly the flashiest Phantom Thieves outfit, featuring a white suit that almost looks like that of a marching band member. The intricately designed suit is detailed further with gold threads and patterns throughout it. The simple gold and white are sharpened by the accents of red as well.
He wears a red cape like a hero that matches his distinctly red mask. Like the other Phantom Thieves members, he has a mask but, again, he is the most glamorous member. It is a sharp bird’s beak that is painted red that does a decent job of hiding his face, unlike some of the other masks that the Thieves wear.
And to top it all off, his weapon of choice appears to have a cutlass hilt that is connected to a blue lightsaber-like weapon. Once more, this is the flashiest melee weapon of choice out of anyone in the Phantom Thieves, immediately catching attention.
The personality of Goro Akechi is the most troubled out of anyone in the Persona series. This plays a huge role in why he is even the best character in the first place. He is not the traditional hero like the others, having a harsh and sometimes very wild personality.
Akechi is no doubt an antihero and he borderlines on some serious mental issues that should have been checked. He is passionate to the point of absolute obsession with his mission targets and the people that he cares about. There is no gray area with Goro as he is absolutely extreme in everything that he does.
In the same vein, though, there is an undeniable level of charm that Akechi has. He is beloved by his fans and famous in all the sickest and most realistic ways possible while seriously needing help. It is even possible that he is suffering from dissociative identity disorder but this is not yet confirmed.
Though Akechi is a member of the Phantom Thieves, he has a lot of work due to the trauma and backstory of his life that he never truly got help for. Even still, it is clear that Joker cares about him and the same goes for Akechi. The bulk of the humanity and heroic aspects of Akechi’s personality comes from his appreciation of Joker.
Despite being part of the Phantom Thieves, Goro Akechi has few actual relationships in the game. This is partly due to joining the team late and also his personality to boot. Even if Goro was an earlier party member, there is a strong chance that he would still not connect with the other members of the group.
As such, his key relationships in the game come down to really only two people, one of which is not even in the base Persona 5. The first is Joker who is possibly the most important person in the world to Akechi. There is an underlying obsession that he has with the Persona 5 protagonist to very unhealthy levels.
There is no doubt in my personal mind that he has an obsessive and toxic love for Joker romantically, even if this is not fully confirmed and only hinted at in the game. That said, it does seem like Joker deeply cares about Goro, too, and this is even confirmed near the end of Persona 5 Royal. As for if it is a canonical romance or just a simple friendship, that remains to be seen.
The only other person that Akechi has a major relationship with is Kasumi. Since Goro is largely hostile or unfriendly most of the time towards the other members, Kasumi is one of the few that whom he connects. During the events of the third semester in Persona 5 Royal, he gets to know her and possibly would even consider her a friend. They both have traumatic pasts that haunt them to this day and he fights alongside her quite a bit in this final story section.
The voice actor in the Japanese version of Persona 5 for Goro Akechi is Soichiro Hoshi. The English voice actor for him is Robbie Daymond. I have mentioned this before on our site but the English dub for Persona 5 is one of the best around and I am usually an English subtitle with a Japanese voiceover fan. Robbie Daymond, in particular, gives the best performance in the entire game as Goro Akechi.
When it comes to the abilities of Goro Akechi, while he may not be on the level of someone like Joker, he does benefit from quite a few skills. Be it due to his powers as a Persona user or his general intellect and abilities as a detective, Goro Akechi is not someone to be messed with.
Goro Akechi is a high school-aged teenager who does not go to high school. This is due to the fact that he does not need to as a literal genius. He has an intelligence that rivals that of experienced adults in his field, allowing him to triumph over the competition.
He is smarter than the average person and many steps ahead of everyone else. This intelligence does wonders for him in the world of Persona 5 as he is able to use it to avoid having a normal high school life. This intelligence, of course, also helps him to get the day job that he holds at the start of the game.
Goro Akechi is seen by many as the second coming of Naoto Shirogane, one of the party members from Persona 4. Both are high school detectives and Akechi has possibly even surpassed her as the most famous one of them all.
The detective skills that Akechi has are immense, allowing him to find out the culprit and get the job done long before the police are even able to. As mentioned before, his intellect comes into play here as he is able to master the chess game of life and be many steps ahead of the competition.
This success as a detective has skyrocketed his fame and he has no small group of fans because of this. His investigative skills are immense, which is why he is easily able to figure out the identities of the Phantom Thieves before anyone else in the rest of the world is able to.
But Goro Akechi is not just there for the show to antagonize the Phantom Thieves as someone investigating them; he is also a Persona user. It is revealed that he is able to enter the Metaverse at will like the other members and harnesses not one but two Personas of his own.
While he is not a wildcard like Joker, he is much more powerful than the other party members in the group. It is not surprising then that he is able to join the Phantom Thieves as one of the final members. His immense Persona powers allow him to wield some insanely powerful offensive abilities in battle.
When it comes to the playstyle for Goro Akechi, players will find that he works much like the other members of the party. You are able to control him in battle, deciding what moves he makes if you want to. In the case of how Goro plays, though, he is insanely offensively focused.
Unlike other party members, he is not really too keen on buffing or helping out his companions, except for revives. He is strictly used for attacking purposes and he is a valuable ally on this occasion. Initially, he is able to use curse, bless, and almighty skills, in addition to the usual melee and gun abilities.
He gets stronger as you level him up and especially in Royal’s new story section. He is able to decimate enemies with massive attacks on single targets or even all foes in the battle. Goro has some of the strongest attacks out of everyone in the group but is notably weak to either bless or curse, depending on which Persona he is using. Akechi can die easily against certain endgame enemies but he can also destroy them with ease at the same time.
Much of the history surrounding Goro Akechi comes later on in the main story of the game. While he is introduced decently early in the plot, he does not play a major role until partway in. And then it is even still a bit longer until he joins the group as a member of the Phantom Thieves.
As such, it is worth mentioning that it is difficult to avoid some overarching plot spoilers when talking about the history of Akechi. I will do my best to avoid some unnecessary details but this warning is still worth mentioning. If you do not want to know anything at all about Akechi or the main plot, be sure to skip this section.
Investigating the Phantom Thieves of Hearts
At the beginning of the game, the Phantom Thieves are formed and begin investigating evil people who are using the Metaverse for wrong deeds. They start to gain fame over time for taking down foes in spectacular ways and making them show the error of their ways.
This catches the eye of social media and the entire world, not to mention the politicians and police organizations in Japan. In the midst of this, Goro Akechi is tasked with investigating the Phantom Thieves. As the genius boy detective, it is believed that he is able to find out the identities of the Phantom Thieves and bring these supposed evildoers to justice.
Akechi meets with Joker, Morgana, and some of the others early in the story. They have their own disagreement about what justice means and it sets up a battle between Akechi and the Phantom Thieves. It is also likely that it is at this point he realizes who they are. Before long, Goro makes himself known to the Phantom Thieves.
Joining the Phantom Thieves
When it comes time for Makoto Niijima’s Palace in the main story, Akechi reveals that he knows who the Phantom Thieves are. The two parties make a deal to work together for the time being. As such, Goro becomes the final party member in the main story of Persona 5.
Together, they are able to defeat the palace as a team. Unfortunately, the arrest of Joker leads to the temporary break up of the team and, later, the seemingly untimely demise of Akechi. As such, he is unable to help the group during the final section of the storyline.
However, it is revealed in the true ending of Persona 5 that it appears that Goro Akechi was able to survive his death. For the original game, though, it is unclear what his fate is.
Taking Center Stage in Persona 5 Royal
That is, of course, until Persona 5 Royal. In this game, we see the true storyline and bigger fate for Goro Akechi. In it, he has a full-on Confidant like everyone else and you get to learn more about him through the eyes of Joker.
When Joker is going to be arrested like in the original game, Goro Akechi shows up and takes his place, instead. This sacrifice allows Joker to be available during the third-semester storyline. Akechi is able to get free of prison using his tactics and rejoins Joker.
This time around, Akechi is able to be a full party member with Joker and along with Kasumi. Together, they investigate Maruki’s Palace, which is the final one in Persona 5 Royal. Akechi has a major role in the final part of the storyline, even allowing him to show his true personality and character for the first time.
Goro Akechi in Other Games and Media
Goro Akechi has appeared in other games and media since his time in Persona 5. The spin-off games like rhythm-based game Dancing in Starlight and even Persona Q2 on the Nintendo 3DS both feature him as a character there. He also appears in the anime adaptation of the Persona 5 story.
Of course, Akechi is also one of the most popular characters in Persona 5, so there is plenty of fan art, fan fiction, and even cosplay surrounding him. With the most extravagant outfit in the entire cast, this has led to many wishing to dress up as him in cosplay at events.
Oddly enough, though, the one spin-off game that you will not see Akechi in is Persona 5 Strikers. Despite the hint that he may have lived at the end of Persona 5, he does not show up in this direct sequel to the original game. We will have to wait and see if a future spin-off game, like perhaps a Persona 5 Arena or even Persona 6, could give further details about his fate.
Fun Facts About Akechi
Given how Goro Akechi is one of the most important characters in all of Persona 5’s plot, there are a number of interesting tidbits about him. Here are some of the fun facts that you should know about my favorite Persona character of all time:
- First off, there are a lot of similarities and foils between Joker and Akechi. One such notable place is in their Showtime together in Persona 5 Royal. Though Joker is friends with everyone in the Phantom Thieves, it is only Akechi and Kasumi that he has a Showtime special attack with.
- The Akechi and Joker Showtime cutscene reveals some interesting details. For one, you can see words like “Prodigal Sons” and two sides of the same coin. These are referencing the similarities between the two lead characters and how they match up with one another.
- While it is not confirmed that Akechi is a wildcard in the games, there are hints that he could possibly be one. If true, he is the only wildcard in the series to not be a playable protagonist. However, he is stated to be the deuteragonist in the official guide to Royal.
- Akechi is one of the most popular characters in the game (and not just because I said so), winning or placing high in several fan polls.
- There are files in the backend of Persona 5 that seem to hint toward Akechi having a Palace of his own originally in the game.
- When Akechi joins the group in Persona 5, he already has the Robin Hood Persona so he is the only one in the group that we do not get to see his awakening to this moment. However, in the Identity V mobile game crossover, there is a cutscene that shows Akechi awakening to Robin Hood and is the only instance of this happening officially.
Question: Is Akechi in love with Joker?
Answer: There is no simple answer to this question. Of course, keep in mind that there will be some spoilers in this FAQ section. For this question, I have to say that, yes, I do believe that Akechi is in love with Joker and the game seems to make that clear without actually coming out and saying it.
This is partially hinted at in Persona 5 but it really goes full force in Royal. With the expanded Confidant levels for Akechi, we get to know more of him. Through this, he basically has a confession moment to Joker but there is no way to pursue a romantic relationship with him. That is where it gets tricky but it certainly appears that he is in love with Joker and to a crazy extent.
I would even argue that Joker possibly loves Akechi as well, though it remains to be seen if it is romantic or not. This is clear in the fact that we learn at the end of the Royal storyline — some major spoilers here — that Joker has made a wish and that Akechi was at the center of it. Joker did not make a wish for Morgana, Ryuji, Futaba, Sojiro, Kasumi, or anyone else in the cast but he did it for Goro. Interesting indeed.
Question: Why does Goro Akechi have two Persona?
Answer: This is where we really start to get into major spoiler territory so walk away now. Unlike the other party members, Akechi is the only person to have two Persona at once, not including upgraded Personas over the course of the storyline.
The reason that Akechi has two Personas at once is due to his wild personality and nature. There are many lies that are built up within him and this fake persona (literally) that he gives off in the real world has manifested itself in the Metaverse.
And then there is the “real” Persona that he has that represents the hatred that he has for pretty much everyone. This is not seemingly due to him being a wildcard like Joker. There are also some possible psychological reasons for this as Goro having two Personas is hinted to also be because he is suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. However, this is pure speculation for now.
Question: Is Goro Akechi a villain?
Answer: Again, even the existence of this question is a massive spoiler. If you do not want to know the answer here or why it is even being asked, turn away now. The answer to this question is complicated but let me get the easy part out of the way: yes, Goro Akechi is a villain at one point in the story.
There is no denying or doubting that at all. He is one of the main villains in Persona 5. However, it is argued that Persona 5 Royal literally does justice to the main character, showing the true side of him in all of his pain and toxic traits. To this end, I do not believe that he remains a villain but finds his place as the antihero of Persona 5. In the end, I think he is like the Vegeta to Goku in Dragon Ball in a way.
This Goro Akechi guide is essential for finding out about the best character in the entire series. Goro is one of the greatest video game characters of all time, having such a strong arc in Persona 5 Royal that is leaps and bounds above what Atlus has done in the past.
It remains to be seen if Atlus will be able to follow up on this intricately written and complex antihero in the future. That said, we imagine that Persona 6 is possibly just around the corner. It represents the first game to release in the series since the mainstream hit in Persona 5 so expectations are quite high for what it will be able to do.