|Name (Japanese)||赤木しげる( アカギしげる)|
|Name (Romaji)||Akagi Shigeru|
|Age||13 (Akagi debut), 20 (Washizu arc), 41 (Ten debut), 53 (at time of death)|
|Voiced By||Hagiwara Masato|
Shigeru Akagi (赤木しげる) 'is introduced as a deceptively adult looking young boy, whose spark of genius transcends age and resides in gambling, especially in the game of mahjong. Throughout the story, Akagi utilizes techniques other gamblers don't dare to, in order to sway his opponents: brazen cheating, extremely risky maneuvers, far fetched bluffs, a blatant disregard for his own life.
Akagi has white hair and is usually recognizable by his sharp features, particularly that of his nose. The angle of his nose is approximately 32º. He is usually seen wearing a dress shirt and pants, as was typical of that period.
Akagi in all iterations is a cold, calculating individual who will risk anything and everything if he feels he will win. He cares deeply about his individuality and living life his own way, and will not cave in to others' demands or expectations at all if they go against his own will. He has astounding luck and intuition as well as a high level of intelligence, and his preferred method of victory is to play against what his opponents expect him to do to ensure they see him as unpredictable.
Akagi at different ages Edit
The series is set up with three major time skips, showing Akagi at different points in his life. He is introduced at 13, then again at 19-20, and finally appears in one of FKMT's earlier series, Ten, from ages 44-53.
At thirteen Edit
In his youth, Akagi is a cocky, cold-hearted brat who does not seem to value his life or the life of others, as long as he can get a genuine thrill from high-stake gambling. Even when he is first introduced, he agrees to play a vicious Mahjong match against a yakuza member right after he escaped the aftermath of life or death chicken race with a street gang. Hailed as a prodigy, Akagi is able to outsmart gamblers far older and experienced than he is and was not only able to cheat, but beat experienced yakuza members only mere hours after learning the basics of Mahjong. Akagi is also highly intelligent, being able to deduce when his opponents purposely bet situations in their favor and turning the situation around to his benefit. Despite being every bit as cunning and calculating as he is later in life, underneath it he is still a kid, albeit a seriously messed up one who enjoys psychologically pushing his opponents to the edge, despite them begging for mercy.
Akagi tends to wander around at night at late hours and even into the morning, indicating he has either lax, overworked, or even neglectful parents. It has also been speculated that Akagi is an orphan as he stated later in life that he has "no family".
In his young adulthood, Akagi is more relaxed than he was in his teens, however still retains his cold personality and lack of value for his life. He is somewhat resigned to life as he works on an assembly line in a toy factory. It is implied that he switches jobs often (probably because he's constantly cheating his senpai out of money and beating them up when they protest.). Though he passes off as a typical civilian, he still retains his sharp wits and is every bit of a genius as he was in his teens, if not smarter. However, he is more level-headed and less cocky as he was when he was younger. Akagi still has an aggressive side as he enjoys beating up street punks and yakuza in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.
Unlike when he was younger, Akagi has grown to show more genuine respect towards his elders like Nangou and has even shown empathy for his former co-worker Osamu, even getting his money back for him after he was cheated in a game of Mahjong.
It is implied that in his 6 year absence from the limelight, he has been building a reputation by continue to participate in high-stake gambles underground. Akagi has also picked up the habit of smoking.
By his 40s-50s, Akagi has become even more relaxed and takes life slow. He is now a top boss in the yakuza and has several subordinates and friends who care a great deal about him. He has even been seen playing golf with them in Hawaii. He is also very rich and makes people bring him a tray of fugu in the middle of the night because he's hungry, eats one piece and then tells them to eat the rest.
In his adulthood, Akagi has also become less stern and is seen showing an array of different emotions. He also laments how the younger generation does not seem to know much about the true thrill of gambling.
Later in his 50s, Akagi develops Alzheimers and he starts losing his vision. He ultimately decides life isn't worth living anymore (life is nothing but a game, and if he couldn't play it, there was no point in living,) and states his wish to die while he is still "Akagi Shigeru". Against his subordinates' wishes, he decides to euthanizes himself.
After his death, a grave was built in his honor where his many fans have brought him offerings. However, it has also become a tradition to chip pieces of his gravestone for good luck, therefore causing his gravestone to become misshapen. Although this angered his subordinates, they eventually felt happy that it felt like everyone was gambling with Akagi, keeping his legacy alive.
Differences between anime, manga, and live action versions Edit
Anime Akagi is super cool and unflappable.
Manga Akagi actually has the ability to change his expression, and sweats a lot like everyone else in FKMT's comics.
Live action Akagi has black hair.