|Also known as||Crow (Code Name)|
Second Advent of the Detective Prince
The Charismatic Detective
|Japanese Name||明智 吾郎, クロウ, 探偵王子の再来|
|Romaji||Akechi Gorō, Kurō, Tantei ōji no sairai|
|First Appearance||Persona 5|
|Affiliation||Phantom Thieves of Hearts|
|Melee Weapon||Laser Sabers, Serrated Swords|
|Ranged Weapon||Ray Guns, Silenced Pistols|
|Persona||Robin Hood, Loki|
- "I am Goro Akechi. I might be an insignificant high school student, but I have sometimes been called a detective."
- —Goro Akechi, Persona 5
Goro Akechi is a playable character from Persona 5.
Goro has shaggy chin-length brown hair with bangs and reddish-brown eyes. He wears a gray coat, striped black and white tie, black buttons, black trousers, and black gloves.
As Crow, Goro 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 Goro 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, Goro swaps his princely garb for a body-covering, black and purple striped outfit. In this form, he has several black belts strapped around his legs and arms. He also wears a dark enclosed knight helmet, similar to European armor, with a deep crimson visor resembling a sharp beak. Much like with Loki's design, it is meant to give a chaotic feeling and invoke the question "what's the real you?"
Goro is a high school student who conducts a detective business. His abilities as a detective have been widely acclaimed, since he not only has solved numerous cases, but is also able to deal with people from the investigation agency smoothly. His handsome features draw him public attention, and people comment on him as “The Second Advent of Detective Prince.”
Behind this popularity, he is actually quite lonely and yearns to be loved. He was abandoned by his father, subsequently lost his mother to suicide, and never had any true friends. All of this combined with being passed around in the foster system as an orphan has resulted in a much more jaded worldview than Goro initially lets on. He has a desperate desire for fame, affection, and attention, which he is forthright about being the primary drive for his actions as a detective. However, the public only supports him as long as he upholds the pretense of being a charismatic idol detective, and his fans will quickly turn on him if he makes mistakes.
His loneliness eventually pushes him to do anything his father tells him in order to earn his acceptance. However, Goro secretly resents his father for abandoning his mother while she was still pregnant with Goro, as he believes having a bastard child was what eventually caused his mother to commit suicide. He's sworn revenge on his father, even going as far as soiling his own hands to reach his goal.
After meeting and joining the party, he for the first time experiences how it feels to be happy together with friends, particularly the protagonist. Goro both admires and envies him, since no matter his social standing and how others see him, the protagonist does not let anything stop him from making his own path. This made Goro see the protagonist as the epitome of the very thing he could never have.
Near the final act of the game, his obsession to get revenge on his father and desire to be the hero of his own story overshadows his true feelings for the protagonist and the party. Before fighting the phantom thieves, Goro reveals his plans for revenge and dismisses the concept of friends and true justice, claiming they are both meaningless and sickening. He also has a narcissistic element to his personality, seeing himself as the hero by default and anyone who opposes him as the villain.
The official Persona 5 Artbook reveals that Goro 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 Goro 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.
Goro is the illegitimate son of Masayoshi Shido, the same man responsible for the protagonist's probation period. He initially became a detective in order to receive praise from his father, due to the years of neglect Shido showed him. His mother, who was Shido's lover, was shamed by others after giving birth to Goro, to the point where she committed suicide. When Goro found out about this, he grew to hate his father and swore revenge. Before the start of the game, he found his chance to get revenge after discovering The Palace and was granted the Wild Card ability; an ability that enables Persona User to wield multiple personas. Yaldabaoth chose Goro and subsequently the Phantom Thieves to participate in a thought experiment, a game, which then sets the stage for all the events that play out. Using his newfound power, Goro assists in his father's goal to become prime minister of Japan, with the ulterior motive of gaining his trust and then manipulating his father once Shido accepts Goro as his secret right-hand man. Goro admits to the Thieves that he also wants personal fame as the man who brought down Shido.
As part of his plans for revenge and fame, Goro uses his powers to create cases to solve as a detective, which gives him a fraudulent reputation as Naoto Shirogane's inheritor. He is the one responsible for causing numerous mysterious incidents that have occurred in Shibuya, by causing havoc in the Palace in order to make certain individuals in the real world either go berserk or become an empty shell. The people he targets are also taken care of by him as lead investigator. His victims are those in Shido's way to be elected the prime minister or otherwise maneuvered to enable Shido's rise to power. Goro is tasked with investigating these matters together with prosecutor Sae Niijima, though his attention quickly turns to the Phantom Thieves of Hearts when their activities of correcting man's hearts quickly become known to the public after Madarame's confession in Live interview.
Prior to meeting the party, Goro has been mentioned by Shadow Madarame as the guy with the black mask, which alerts the Phantom Thieves. He first met the protagonist when he is in the process of transferring to Shujin Academy, greeting the protagonist when he overheard him talking with Ryuji Sakamoto, Ann Takamaki, and Morgana during their school trip at a TV station. He then attends a live TV show where he reveals his disdain towards the Phantom Thieves' actions as no different from brainwashing. He takes a quick interest in the protagonist after being impressed by his debate regarding the Phantom Thieves and since then the two are closely acquainted with each other. Goro initially didn't pay so much attention to the Phantom Thieves' activities until they changed the heart of a yakuza, Junya Kaneshiro, whose Shadow reveals the existence of the black masked Persona User controlling The Palace and does not care what may happen in the real world. Since then, he joins the special team formed by the police that is dedicated to capture the Phantom Thieves.
During the Thieves' heist to steal Haru Okumura's father, Kunikazu Okumura's heart, Goro kills Shadow Kunikazu before he can reveal anything about him, causing the real Kunikazu to die as well in the real world. At this heist as well, he photographs the Phantom Thieves when they returned from the Palace back to the real world. Having already possessed the proof of the identities of the Phantom Thieves, Goro decides to get close to them by purposely stating in TV news there's a possibility that Kunikazu's death is not their fault, leading Makoto to suggest contacting and making Goro their ally since he has connections with the police and may give them necessary information. Furthermore, Makoto can no longer get any information from her sister because Sae has became more careful than before after discovering someone has hacked into her computer.
After receiving contact from Makoto, he attends their school festival and announces to the whole school that he knows the Thieves' identities, alerting the party. However, he doesn't reveal their identities and instead tells Makoto and the others that he wants to talk with them before continuing the show. Talking privately, he shows the party the photos he has taken and reveals he had discovered the other world a month ago and then feigned ignorance of how the party makes people confess their crimes. He continues to claim that he believes they are not the ones who killed Kunikazu because he has met the real culprit and was attacked by him which led to his awakening as a Persona User. He then asks to be allowed to join them so that he can catch the real culprit and clear the Phantom Thieves' name, using the earlier photos and conversation as a blackmail should they refuse.
When the party agrees to his request, Goro reveals that Sae has a Palace and suggests they take Sae's heart to remove her from the investigation of the Phantom Thieves. During the climax of their heist at the Casino, Goro leaks their plans to the police, thus leading to the protagonist's eventual arrest. Shortly after Sae's interrogation with the protagonist, he visits the protagonist in the interrogation room, shooting the guard tasked with protecting him and subsequently the protagonist. His plan is either successful or foiled depending on the player's responses to Sae's interrogation after his long reminiscence.
In the good ending route, the protagonist and Morgana find out that he is the traitor after noticing Goro mention a cafe with delicious pancakes that Morgana talked about on his first meeting with the protagonist. Since only Persona Users can understand Morgana's words, this means that Goro has already awakened his Persona power before he met the party and was lying about him awakenening his power after Kunikazu was killed. Goro receives orders from Shido to take care of their next obstacles earlier than they should be, which initially confused Goro but he immediately realizes that the protagonist is still alive. He confronts the party in the engine room of Shidou Palace, where he reveals that he plans to snatch Shido's victory away at the last minute by revealing the fact that he is Shido's illegitimate son and his father's crimes, which would destroy Shido's credibility and cause people to lose faith in society, clamoring for a new and better system of government.
Before fighting, Goro also reveals that he not only has the same ability to summon multiple Personas like the protagonist, he also has the ability to make Shadows go berserk, an ability he also used on several of his previous victims. At his first defeat, the party tries to convince him to stop his revenge, but Goro is insistent as he lashes out his jealousy to the Protagonist and his friends who have everything that he doesn't have. Deciding to get serious, he unleashes his full power, revealing his true form as the black masked Persona User mentioned by Madarame and Kaneshiro.
After his defeat, Goro laments for being unable to become someone special, but to his shock, the protagonist and the others point out how he is already special in their eyes and even offer him to rejoin them. Before Goro can reply, "Cognitive Goro" appears, the manifestation of how Shido views him: an obedient puppet. As his cognitive self taunts his wish for wanting to be accepted and loved, Goro realizes that he has been used by Shido the whole time. His cognitive self gives Goro one last chance to kill the Phantom Thieves. But instead of shooting them, Goro shoots his cognitive self and then shoots the switch on the wall, closing the barrier between himself and the party so that the party can proceed. He and his cognitive self then point their guns towards each other. From the other side of the wall, the party hears the true Goro's wish to right his father's heart and two gunshots. Afterwards, Goro's fate is unknown, with Futaba failing to sense his presence after the shooting and Sae reporting him missing. This may heavily imply that Goro died along with his cognitive self.
Shido is very insecure of the exposure of his disgraceful relationship with Goro. In one case he condemns Goro for calling out his name in the phone. When the party confronts Shadow Shido after Goro's apparent death, he confesses that he would eliminate Goro should he be elected prime minister because Goro knows too much about him and Goro's birth is a taint of his political power.
Goro's Confidant is automatically established immediately after their first meeting. This Confidant levels up progressively through the course of the story. Goro's Confidant can only be maxed if the player can properly answer Sae's questions during the interrogation. After maxing Goro's Confidant, the protagonist can create Metatron.
Persona 5 The Animation The Day Breakers
- "Well, if there really are thieves like them out there, I believe they should be brought to justice in a court of law. Twisting other people's hearts by force... That's the worst thing any human could do."
- —Goro Akechi, Persona 5 The Animation The Day Breakers
Goro makes an appearance on TV, where he is asked his opinion on the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. His response is that whether or not they truly exist, they are criminals who should be brought to justice; he goes on to denounce their actions, and believes that forcing people to change what's in their hearts is wrong.
He is later present at the arrest of Kazuya Makigami and his gang, noticing the protagonist when Kazuya saw him.
Goro's Close Up
Illustration of the main members of Phantom Thieves of Hearts
The Protagonist and Goro for Persona 5 Premium Event
Illustration of Goro and the Protagonist by Rokuro Saito
Illustration of Goro and the others by Shigenori Soejima
All-Out Attack finishing touch
"MY SOLE INTEREST IS UNCOVERING THE TRUTH."
Goro and Sae
Goro looking down at the protagonist
Goro kills the protagonist
|Persona 5 Portraits|
Goro Akechi's portrait
Goro's summer school uniform
Goro's casual attire
Goro's Crow outfit
Goro's Crow outfit without mask
Goro's traitor outfit
Illustration of the Protagonist and Goro by Teita (Norn9 illustrator)
|PERSONA 20th Anniversary Festival|
"Go" (吾) of Gorō is the archaic form of the first person pronoun "I" in Chinese which carries no meaning in formal Japanese language and is merely borrowed for Chinese translation or naming. Akechi (明智) literally means "wisdom" in Chinese, the same meaning in Japanese would be "kenmei" (賢明).
- Goro Akechi is referenced to the name (明智 小五郎), a fictional private detective created by Japanese mystery writer (a pseudonym for Tarō Hirai) from the story "The Case of the Murder on D. Hill" in January 1925 and continued to appear in stories for a quarter of a century. Edogawa Rampo is considered the father of the Japanese detective story and was a great admirer of Sir . Akechi is the first recurring detective character in Japanese fiction and is clearly inspired by Doyle’s .
- His name may also be a reference to , a retainer of the notorious daimyo and conqueror Oda Nobunaga who rebelled against him for reasons that are often interpreted as either disgust for Nobunaga's flaunting of bushido, the code of honor and ethics samurai were expected to follow, and/or jealousy of Nobunaga's success and fame. Both motives figure into Goro's infiltration and later betrayal of the Thieves.
- Goro's Close Up style when he is in the player's party is similar to those from Persona 3 and Persona 4, rather than the Persona 5 style which is only used in his second boss battle.
- After Goro's defeat by the player, the way he atones by sacrificing himself alludes to Takahisa Kandori upon his defeat in the Undersea Ruins in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.
- Goro shares some similarities to Tohru Adachi from Persona 4: Both of them are detectives, they both awaken to their personas before the protagonist does, both are being manipulated by the ones who orchestrated the events of the story. However, they differ in motivation-while Adachi was motivated by boredom, spite, and jealousy of people he regarded as luckier and more talented than him, Goro is motivated by the conflicting desires to be loved and to ensure that his father is punished for his crimes, and he is shown to feel remorse for his betrayal of the Thieves after the end of his boss fight.
- While Goro is a Wild Card just like the protagonist, unlike him, he can only use two. The datamining of the Persona status reveals that his other Persona, Loki, belongs to the Justice Arcana like Robin Hood, Goro's signature Arcana. That means there is no indication of him being able to possess Personas of other Arcana, another defining trait of the Wild Card Persona User.
- Despite being a short term party member, Goro won first place in Sega Festival 2016 fans polling for favorite party member question.