“Nobu, you really don’t realize how much of a lucky son of a gun you are.” –Akira lamenting on his best friend’s fortune compared to his own.

Akira Hayabusa is a close friend of Nobuyuki Honda, and as such is one of the main human protagonists of Soul Embrace. He makes his first appearance in Part I: The Fires Rise.

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A sketch of Akira by Justin Bedard

APPEARANCE

Akira stands at 174 cm, or 5’7. He has shaggy black hair that isn’t very cooperative with him. He also wears glasses, having a great amount of trouble seeing without them. In layman’s terms, he is by all means an average Japanese teenager.

PERSONALITY

The great deal of stress he deals with on a daily basis from school, his job, and looking after his little sister led Akira to develop a very cynical personality. He’s very reliable when it comes to the important things, but it doesn’t take much to get him questioning why he’s even bothering with anything, and he will often behave in a sarcastic and crass manner if things aren’t going well. He especially dislikes his part-time job as a projectionist, the long hours and minimal pay not doing nearly enough to support him and making him consider, as he puts it, “going all Tyler Durden” on the movie-goers.

Nevertheless, he makes a solid friend, and he will gladly put his life on the line if it means keeping his little sister Chiharu out of harm’s way.

HISTORY

Background

Akira was born in Rengoku on August 4th to Chiyo Kishimura and Hanzo Hayabusa. Due to his very shy nature at the time, he barely spoke to anyone in his school and as such didn’t make many friends. His hopes for such attention were rejuvenated when he discovered at age eight that he would soon have a baby sister, but simultaneously dashed against the rocks when he was informed that his mother had developed a serious illness (presumably cancer). When it came time to deliver the baby, the disease had become terminal, with the birth of Akira’s younger sister Chiharu sapping the last of Chiyo’s strength and killing her right in front of him.

For a time, Akira resented his new sibling, blaming her for the death of his mother as well as their father’s newfound depression that he attempted to hide by drowning himself in his work. After one fateful night that Akira would prefer not to talk about, however, he steadily grew to care for her and become a responsible older brother. Nevertheless, his mother’s death weighed on him and he often found himself crying for minutes on end every time he thought of her. Then came the moment of truth: an older boy approached Akira at school one day and asked to talk with him. They introduced themselves to each other, and to Akira’s everlasting shame, he broke down yet again. Luckily, the boy took pity on him and did everything he could to make Akira feel better.

That boy was Nobuyuki Honda, and the two have been best friends ever since.

The Fires Rise

By the events of the main story, Akira is now sixteen years old and a second-year student at Dai Tenshi High School. He works at a local movie theater to support his family, his father now spending huge amounts of time away from home for business purposes (though Akira believes it is to mask the still-lingering depression from the loss of his wife). As such, Akira is the man of the Hayabusa household, preparing meals for himself and Chiharu (who is now eight years old) and ensuring everything is paid for when it needs to be. As one would expect, this places a great deal of stress on Akira, not helped by the arrival of Shinkokira and the serial murders that follow.

After Nobuyuki informed him one morning that he’d been attacked by a succubus the previous night, Akira accompanied him to the local library where the two found the text Demonopedia. On the way home, they were set upon by the lamia Shiiva, whom they just barely defeated. Worrying the presence of the cult had something to do with the appearance of demons in Rengoku, Nobuyuki instructed Akira to run home and warn everyone he knew.

Continued history under construction…

RELATIONSHIPS

Nobuyuki Honda

After their meeting when he was eight, Akira looks up to Nobuyuki as a close friend and almost an older brother figure. They never have anything negative to say about each other, though Akira admittedly harbors light jealousy thanks to Nobuyuki having never really suffered a terrible loss in his life. This tiny speck of envy, unfortunately, is all it takes for the demons to attempt to exploit him.

Shiiva

Akira’s first interactions with Shiiva obviously didn’t go well, the lamia even attempting to devour him during one of their later encounters. However, she relented upon seeing how much stress he went through to keep his sister happy, as well as the knowledge she resembled his dead mother. Akira still does not completely trust her, and grows very irritated when she dares to suggest he has no place fighting alongside Nobuyuki.

Additional relationships under construction…

ABILITIES

Unlike Nobuyuki, Akira has no combat skills whatsoever, instead preferring to drown his time in his studies and work. Despite his distaste for his job and academic career and having no direction in life until (ironically enough) the arrival of Shinkokira, he is one of the brightest second-year students at Dai Tenshi High School. He is untrained, but perhaps has the potential to be something far greater than he lets on.

ASSOCIATED MUSIC

“Wish” – Nine Inch Nails

TRIVIA

  • Akira’s appearance and meek characteristics are loosely inspired by Kei Kusanagi, the main protagonist of the anime series Please Teacher!
  • Akira’s favourite movie is Fight Club.
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