Personality & Character
At a young age, Akihiro became a human debris, constantly thrown into situations where one can die anytime anywhere. and this caused him to be cold, withdrawn, and cliquish as shown when he bluntly told Orga that he will obey any order from anyone if they are in authority. His only concern was survival. He has a somewhat friendly rivalry with Mikazuki and is frequently seen working out. He often takes the lead during dangerous operations.
As Tekkadan valued him as a person rather than a human debris, his relationship with the other members improved, eventually calling them his family and Tekkadan his home. The other members also look at him as a reliable big brother and a leader in the field. Having experienced hardships as a human debris and later found a place where he belonged, he extended his kindness and sympathy to the surviving human debris of the Brewers inducted into Tekkadan. He even proposed that those without a last name can take on his. This is also his way of thanking them for taking care of his brother, Masahiro, in the past.
Akihiro is also known for his single-mindedness and resilience. His persistence in improving his mobile suit piloting skill impressed Azee and Lafter enough that both agreed to personally instruct and train him.
The deaths of his family members and close friends weight heavily on Akihiro, causing him to question how many more time must he let go of his loved one. He resolved himself to be less "decent" as a person in order to protect those precious to him.
Like some of the others in Tekkadan, Akihiro's social skills were blunted, particularly when it came to girls and how to return their feelings. When he was asked out to drinks by Lafter, it took Eugene and Shino's orders for him to go with her alone instead of bringing the others along.
Skills & Abilities
His piloting skills are second only to Mikazuki’s, however early on his fighting style was extremely reckless and unrefined. He also received the Alaya-Vijnana System surgical treatment twice and survived. During the initial encounter with Teiwaz's subsidiary, the Turbines, he was able to hold back the highly skilled Amida and Azee in their Hyakurens, despite not having the Alaya-Vijnana System equipped on his Graze Custom. Realizing that he still had much to learn, he willingly went through grueling training regimens and eventually received training from Azee and Lafter. Due to this, his piloting skills vastly improved. After receiving the Gundam Gusion Rebake, his combat prowess improved even further and he even took on multiple opponents at once during the battles on Millennium Island and at Edmonton.
For reasons unclear, Akihiro is obsessed with maintaining and improving his physical fitness, and is frequently seen training when he has nothing better to do. This makes him easily the fittest, bulkiest, and strongest member of Tekkadan. His fighting skills as an individual are unknown, as he is never seen having to fight outside his suit, though he was capable of easily lifting and throwing Radice one-handed on Earth.
When he was a child, his parents' trade ship was attacked by pirates and he was trafficked for money as a Human Debris. He would be subjected to the Alaya-Vijnana surgery twice, giving him a higher information transfer rate than most other 'Space Rats'.
He would eventually come to be owned by Maruba Arkay and CGS, becoming the leader of the Human Debris in the Third Group. In the Mobile Workers' paintball mock-battle, he was one of the last to be eliminated, incredulous at Mikazuki's piloting ability. During lunch afterwards, he left his table early, with Orga apologizing for how rowdy they were being, which he brushed off, saying that they were always like this.
When Gjallarhorn attacked with the intention of capturing or killing Kudelia Aina Bernstein, he and the other mobile worker pilots in the Third Group were sent to repeal them, while the adults in the First Group tried to escape. He and Mikazuki helped their outnumbered and outgunned allies, saving Danji in the process. When Mikazuki rejoined the battle in the ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos, Akihiro would be among the surviving boys watching the battle resolve form the sidelines.
Later, the First Group's Haeda Gunnel tried to reassert his authority over the boys, Akihiro remained impassive unlike Shino, Eugene and Biscuit while Orga took a beating from the adults. During the conference between Orga, Eugene, Shino, and Biscuit, Akihiro's only input was that he and the other Human Debris would follow orders, regardless of who issued them. He and the other Human Debris would not be seen taking part in the coup, nor in the confrontation that resulted in the death of Haeda and Sasai Yankus.
After the mutiny, Akihiro and Mikazuki would be seen competing in yet another physical competition. Akihiro quit early, citing the need to get to work and was confused at Mikazuki's comment for the new day. To Akihiro, it was still work, same as always.
Though he and his group are technically freed by Orga after the mutiny, Akihiro and his fellow Human Debris members remain with the group, later named Tekkadan, out of gratitude and the fact that it would be almost impossible for them to get regular jobs.
Akihiro would lead Dante Mogro, Chad Chadan, and Dexter Culastor into space to oversee Tekkadan's acquisition of a former CGS vessel, renaming it the Isaribi. Dante and Chad would become the first copilots, while Akihiro would become a temporary captain, acting under Orga's instruction to rendezvous with the rest in orbit. Once Orga took command of the vessel, Akihiro would sortie in the EB-06/tc Graze Custom. Despite the mobile suit's lack of Alaya-Vijnana interface, Akihiro was able to distract and defeat some of the standard Graze's in the skirmish.
Akihiro would then continue his personal workout regimen, exercising in the ship's small gym. When the Turbines and Maruba contacted Tekkadan, he wasn't present on the bridge but was nonetheless prepared to sortie when Orga asked him to.
Launching in his Graze Custom before Mikazuki, Akihiro engaged the two Turbine members first sent against them, Amida Arca and Azee Gurumin. When Mikazuki left to deal with Lafter Frankland's attack on the Isaribi, Akihiro would be left on his own but still managed to fend off the two ladies' Hyakurens long enough for Orga to infiltrate and reach the bridge of the Hammerhead. His mobile suit piloting skills would be better shown during the fight, though when pressed Akihiro resorted to an aggressive and unrefined style.
On the trip to Saisei, he and Mikazuki would train onboard the Hammerhead, using the simulators built into the Hyakuren. To his frustration, he was beaten several times by Lafter Frankland, though she would come to both respect his drive and be a little weary of his persistence.
Akihiro was one of the older boys invited to the Sakazuki blood-oath held between Orga and Naze. Mikazuki was surprised that he came, to which Akihiro replied that it was an important day for the family.
Akihiro was present to overhear Biscuit and Takaki talking about their respective siblings, reminding him of his own brother, Masahiro Altland. Later, Akihiro had a simulator battle with Lafter, who afterward questions if something had happened to him as his fighting style is less reckless than before. Akihiro subsequently left for patrol duty and agreed to let Takaki tag along in a space-type Mobile Worker while he launched in his Graze Custom.
During the patrol, he told Takaki about his brother and the tragic events that separated them and made him a Human Debris. They were then ambushed by a group of UGY-R41 Man Rodis, and Akihiro ordered Takaki to lock onto the back of his machine as they retreated. Struggling to defend both himself and his comrade, Akihiro was nearly defeated were it not for Mikazuki's arrival in the newly restored Gundam Barbatos. Upon urging from Mikazuki, Akihiro falls back, but he soon came under attack by another group of Man Rodis led by the ASW-G-11 Gundam Gusion. During the battle, Takaki's mobile worker was knocked off and caught by a Man Rodi piloted by Masahiro. Akihiro charges towards Masahiro's Man Rodi to get back Takaki and his voice startled Masahiro. Masahiro then contacted the Graze Custom, and the brothers are shocked to see each other. Masahiro let go of Takaki's crushed Mobile Worker, with Akihiro grabbing it with the Graze Custom's manipulator and rushing back to the Isaribi.
Akihiro would be among those crowded around an unconscious Takaki, and watched as Merribit Stapleton worked to stabilize him. Afterwards, Akihiro would visit Takaki in the ship's medical bay. When Orga and Mikazuki tried to console him, he expressed his own regret and responsibility for Takaki's condition, blaming himself for enjoying Tekkadan's formation, something that a Human Debris shouldn't be allowed. Orga did not accept this, taking responsibility as Tekkadan's boss and cutting off any rebuttal Akihiro tried to make. Unknown to Akihiro, Ride, Yamagi, Shino, and Yukinojo gathered behind him, surprising him with their full agreement with Orga's words. The noise they made managed to wake up Takaki, who complained about the noise only for those gathered to shout their excitement at his awakening.
Before Mikazuki left with Lafter as forward scouts against the Brewers, Akihiro asked him to spare Masahiro. Mikazuki simply replied that he would go easy on him, but if pressed he wouldn't hold back. This managed to calm Akihiro slightly, though he remained on edge, choosing to calibrate and wait in his Graze Custom in preparation of his own deployment rather than rest properly.
Due to Akihiro's cold nature, their initial relationship can be compared to typical colleagues. Lafter helped with Akihiro's training to improve his piloting skills on board the Hammerhead. During the battle in Millennium Island, Akihiro was scolded by Lafter for missing the Gjallarhorn's ship while firing the smoothbore guns using the Gundam Gusion Rebake. Lafter was affected when she saw Akihiro mourning Aston's death, and eventually with the help of Azee, she realized that she has feelings for Akihiro though she decides to keep it a secret from him for the time being. Before Lafter leaves with the rest of the Turbines who stayed with Tekkadan, Akihiro admits to her that the only ones he could trust to have his back were her and Mikazuki. He is devastated by Lafter's murder, and her death, along with those of Masahiro and Aston, result in him becoming brutal in battle. He asks for their forgiveness if they ever reunite. After Tekkadan's killing of Jasley, he is uneasy about the vengeance, unsure that Lafter and the other Turbines members would have wanted Tekkadan to do such a thing. In the end, Akihiro gets his revenge on Iok Kujan and avenged Lafter and the others that died due to Iok's actions. He spends his final moments thinking about how he now has something to tell his deceased comrades and friends in the afterlife.
Azee helped Lafter train Akihiro after he was insistent on becoming a much more skilled pilot. Thanks to her instruction Akihiro greatly matured as both a pilot and a person while Azee on the other hand has grown very fond of her pupil. Azee seems to approve of Lafter and Akihiro becoming lovers as she agreed not to inform Naze and instead encouraged Lafter.
Akihiro is shown to see Aston as a younger brother, being greatly angered upon his death. He went as far as to personally avenge him by killing Galan Mossa, the man responsible for putting Aston in danger. After taking his vengeance, he lamented that he didn't spend more time with Aston before his death.
Akihiro is shown to see Derma as a younger brother. Despite not being under his direct command, Akihiro is seen comforting and encouraging Derma after he lost his left arm in the failed assault on Rustal's fleet. Akihiro is relieved that Derma survived the battle, and glad that he could still talk to him. Later, Akihiro would deny Derma's request to participate in the final battle, ordering him to follow Orga's order and keep living.
Notes & Trivia
- Akihiro greatly resembles Guts from the dark fantasy series Berserk. Both possess similar hairstyles and powerful physiques as well as a tragic past. Both also served as mercenaries and as a result many fans jokingly call him "Space Guts" because of this.
- Akihiro's English VA: Doug Erholtz, also voices Captain Gundam in Superior Defender Gundam Force, and Ortega in the animated adaption of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin.