Why I Love Persona 4 Arena’s Akihiko Sanada

Why I Love Persona 4 Arena’s Akihiko Sanada
Date Published: 23 December, 2019

Soft spoken, yet determined. The world traveling boxer—Akihiko Sanada is one of the few characters in the Persona 4 Arena franchise that actually lets his fists do the talking, and needless to say, his choice of words certainly hurt.

As a more mature version of himself compared to the one who was a member of S.E.E.S. in years prior, Akihiko is much of the same when it comes to being a tough, yet reserved badass, except this time, with more emphasis on fighting and the importance of protein.

Why I Love Persona 4 Arena's Akihiko Sanada WP 03
Akihiko Sanada facing off vs Aigis in Persona 3 FES.

Considering his past and overall nature is well documented from his time of being an integral part of the Persona 3 JRPG franchise, we know what Akihiko stands for, and where his true intentions lie. He is a reliable team member who puts his friends above all, and always strives for justice.

While he is not known for being too animated considering his composed and laid back personality, Akihiko has never been seen as a pushover, rather the opposite, he manages to demonstrate extreme confidence without the necessity of trash talking or being overly emotional.

Despite looking a bit intimidating from an outsider’s point of view, the hooded wanderer has shown at times his sense of humor, and even naivety at times when it comes to casual matters that don’t involve exterminating shadows or gaining strength through extreme training and the consumption of protein.

Why I Love Persona 4 Arena's Akihiko Sanada WP 02
Akihiko defending vs Chie Satonaka’s Persona—Tomoe.

Outside of Chile Satonaka, who is more is reliant on her legs with her Kungfu inspired fighting style, Akihiko is truly a pure boxer who relies on no weapon, but his two fists, and considering his devastating power, his fists are more than enough to get the job done.

In typical boxing fashion, Akihiko’s gameplan is to get on the inside and land on his opponent in close quarters, however, with the addition of some slick movement, and help from his persona Caesar, Akihiko can fight a bit from the outside, although it is not preferred.

Where Akihiko really shines is when he has his opponent cornered, or to put it in boxing terms “on the ropes”. The combination of his intense application of pressure with successive quick punches, and the always looming threat of a devastating counter, is a recipe for disaster for anyone who stands in front of him with no way out.

Why I Love Persona 4 Arena's Akihiko Sanada WP 01
Akihiko using his LV. 5 Cyclone Uppercut vs Teddie.

The unique portion of Akihiko’s game is that while he is a persona user, and the utility of Caesar’s gravitational pull and paralysis through electric shock is useful, he is perhaps the only characters in the Persona 4 Arena franchise with a persona that is legitimately self-reliant.

Akihiko’s deceptive quickness, ability to suffocate his opponents, and even ambiguously change directions, to go along with his heavy hitting punches, which become all more so devastating, thanks to his Cyclone system, which strengthens him the more he chains together attacks through weaving and continued offense.

In a franchise that is filled with combat creativity and contrasting personalities, Akihiko Sanada isn’t one to stand out too much. He is the quiet guy who minds his own, until it’s go time, however, when that bell sounds, he’s as formidable of an opponent as any, and while he’s not as flashy as some, he is most certainly the pound-for-pound hardest hitting character the Persona franchise has to offer.

MacSplicer Stats – Akihiko Sanada

Favorite Akihiko move – Corkscrew
Favorite Akihiko player – Musui
Favorite game w/Akihiko Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Favorite match-up w/Akihiko – vs Chie Satonaka

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