|Japanese Name||榊貴 隆也|
|First Appearance||Persona 3|
|Arcana||Wheel of Fortune|
- "You claim to hunt the Shadows to prevent the disaster they bring, yet countless lives are lost every day without their intervention. The power we wield is not itself evil...you cannot deny that. So why don't you just admit it? You do not wish to eliminate the Dark Hour..."
- —Takaya Sakaki, Persona 3
- Persona 3 / FES / Portable: Antagonist
He wears a wire like headband, faded and torn light blue jeans with a red, ragged scarf tucked in the back pocket, a studded white belt, and brown boots. He has full tattoo sleeves on both arms, and a small tattoo on his lower back. He is never seen wearing a shirt, jacket, vest, or anything of the sorts. He also looks rather emaciated, commented on in-universe - one NPC thinks he lives on nothing but air, and Junpei calls him a 'freaking ghost'. His age, like the other Strega members, is never revealed, but he appears older than both Jin and Chidori and SEES, perhaps in his early twenties.
Takaya was designed around the concept of "charisma", according to Soejima, particularly in reference to cult leaders who he considers to be "obviously suspicious", yet with their high charisma able to garner support and adoration from others as easily as wealth and power. His first design began as a "cool and handsome" clean-shaven male with combed back hair, but his final design is achieved as Soejima attempted to make him more antagonistic. The revolver Takaya uses is a model of Smith & Wesson Model 500.
- "Don't let the past control you, and don't look to the future: simply live in the moment..."
- —Takaya to Jin
Takaya's personality is added during the course of the story. In his first appearance, where he was on a "mission" with his fellow members, he is shown to be cold and indifferent, mocking and pointing at his victim with his gun. When asked by his victim why he is doing this, Takaya says that it is not the victim's concern and even justifies his action by saying that "people hear what they wish to hear and believe what they want to believe".
During his first encounter with SEES, he tells the team that the world is crawling with sin and that there will always be disasters, caused by Shadows or human folly, further reinforcing his negative world view. This, along with his other comments during the game, shows that he is misanthropic. His later multiple assassination attempts (Shinjiro in the female protagonist route if his Social Link is maxed, Ken, Junpei etc.) shows that he has little or no appreciation for the life of others with the exception of Jin and Chidori, although in the end he puts his own life first. This is illustrated when he convinces Jin to stop SEES from advancing while knowing that he is not capable of doing so, also knowing that the Shadows from the lower floors can attack Jin as well.
When confronted by SEES for the final time, Takaya shows a great deal of himself. He simply answers to the questions of the team without any intimidation and also in a very melancholic manner, asking them what they hope to achieve since Nyx is unbeatable. During this conversation, he claims that the future is but an illusion and a soul can be satisfied if it only lives for the moment. He claims that any meaning in life was lost long ago and that humanity actually prays for Nyx's "salvation".
Takaya's actions and philosophy seems to stem from the fact that he has nothing to actually live for: the fact that he is dying seems to have some impact to his mental state, but his comments in the game imply that he is a bitter and weak-willed man who is simply trying to find some excitement in his short life, and that in fact he is jealous of SEES for their hope and will to live.
Takaya is the confident and charismatic young leader of Strega who was once experimented on by the Kirijo Group. He functions as the protagonist's foil, leading the rival group of Persona-users and setting himself up as a false messiah. In battle, Takaya uses a five-shot revolver to strike down his opponents. Aside from Aigis and Fuuka Yamagishi, he is the only Persona-user in the game who does not use an Evoker to manifest his Persona, instead summoning it "manually" by clutching his head and falling to his knees. Persona-users in previous games also did not use Evokers, but summoning their Personas never appeared to cause them any pain.
Since Takaya doesn't have long to live, he lives fully for the moment, heedless of the harm he causes others. His dearest wish is to see the world end along with his own life. Though he does have some care for Jin Shirato and Chidori Yoshino, he has no qualms about using either of them as tools. At first, he tries to prevent SEES from killing the twelve Arcana Shadows, since it'll end his Revenge Request website business and his 'powers', and as if he is trying to save the world in his own way. But he embraces death once he realizes their true purpose.
Takaya is seen in-game spying on some of the party's first Full Moon Operations but it is not until the Arcana Chariot/Arcana Justice fight that he encounters them, revealing his hostile intent. His first major impact on the storyline is during the October Full Moon event; he comes across an indecisive Ken Amada about to kill Shinjiro Aragaki. Takaya motioned to execute Ken, but Shinjiro took the bullet for him; Takaya fled as the rest of SEES converged immediately after, and Shinjiro died, awakening new resolve in the hearts of Akihiko Sanada (Shinjiro's foster brother) and Ken.
Following this, he and Jin had their first official battle with SEES during the operation on November 3rd; the two leapt off the Moonlight Bridge, refusing to surrender, following their defeats.
A couple weeks later, they revealed themselves alive when Chidori led SEES to Tartarus; displeased with Chidori being emotionally attached to his enemy, Takaya shot Junpei, who only survived once Chidori sacrificed her life to save him. Takaya and Jin fled the scene.
Near the end of the game he creates a cult centered around the coming of Nyx as a salvation, with himself as the high priest and Jin spreading rumors around the network. Around the middle of January, Junpei Iori will invite the protagonist out to Hagakure, saying that it's Akihiko's treat due to a little bet they had at Yakushima. When they arrive, Aigis will pull out a newspaper with the flap opened to the section on the new cult, which also contains a picture of the cult's high priest, who is quickly identified as Strega leader Takaya Sakaki. In the interview, Takaya claims that the world is in a state of turmoil, and that there is little chance for hope. He then claims that a magnificent being is the only salvation for humanity, which is identified as Nyx. Takaya then states that he has received a blessing from Nyx, and has learned of her divine power. He further manipulates the public by stating that there are also 'those who have been blessed by Nyx' that use this 'blessing' for their own selfish goals. The group deduces that Takaya is attempting to make the public hate SEES by stating that they are, in fact, the ones responsible for everything.
On the 262nd floor of Tartarus, Takaya confronts SEES. He tells them his life was stolen from him and was given a power he never asked for, and talks about how humanity wishes for Nyx's salvation, not just him alone. His final defeat occurs when he tries to forcibly stop SEES from climbing Tartarus and facing Nyx. Takaya asks for SEES to kill him, but Misuru claims there's no honor in taking the life of someone who can't even move, and tells him he will live to see if what he wishes for comes true or not. He closes his eyes, and SEES moves on.
Afterwards he crawls to the top of the tower to witness the final battle. Lying on the floor, Takaya comments that death is imminent and trying to avoid it is futile. Before he passes out or dies, he says he would have wished to see the end with his own eyes, and wishes Jin could have witnessed it with him. It is unknown whether he survived after the Protagonist sealed Nyx away. If Takaya survived, his potential for future evil would've been heavily mitigated by the end of the Dark Hour.
Takaya close up
Concept art of Takaya
Concept artwork of Takaya (cinematics)
Takaya as he appears in game
|Persona 3 (manga)|
Takaya in the manga adaption
Takaya being healed by Yukari after being almost burned alive by Trismegistus
|Persona 3 The Movie|
Concept art from Persona 3 The Movie
Takaya's character info in Persona 3 The Movie
Takaya in Persona 3 The Movie #2: Midsummer Knight's Dream
Takaya summoning his Persona
|Persona 3: the Weird Masquerade|
Takaya as he appears in Persona 3: the Masquerade
Takaya as he appears in Persona 3: the Masquerade -Souen no Kesshou-
Akihiko and Caesar as Takaya and Hypnos in Persona 4 Arena
- His stereotypical Jesus-like appearance has been the basis of many fan-jokes and fan-comics. It has even garnered him the fan nickname of "Revolver Jesus." His headband may be a reference to Jesus' (supposed) crown of crown of thorns. Because of the apocalyptic themes of Persona 3 and the fact that Takaya begins a religious cult, it is possible that Takaya may symbolize the Antichrist as a false messiah.
- Takaya means "respectful one" while Sakaki means "sacred tree." Therefore, his name means "Respectful Sacred Tree." For example, he is greatly respected by Jin.
- His style in summoning his Persona is clutching his head in pain instead of using an Evoker. This trait is shared by Tohru Adachi from Persona 4.
- Despite the fact that he summons his Persona without an Evoker, Persona 3 Portable mentions him holding one to his head after the battle on the Moonlight Bridge. This may be an error, as in Persona 3 and FES it appears to be his regular gun.
- In Persona 3 The Movie, it is revealed his experiment number was Subject no. 01A056.
- ↑ Atlus (2006, 2014). Persona 3: Official Design Works. Kadokawa Enterbrain - UDON Entertainment. pg. 50.