- "Dreams are passed on from person to person like that. That's why I can't let you crush Haruka's dream!"
- —Akiyama to Kanai in Yakuza 5
Shun Akiyama is a relative newcomer to the series, being introduced in Yakuza 4. A successful entrepreneur called the "Lifeline of Kamurocho", he runs Sky Finance, a loan agency that offers people loans based not on their credit rating, but on their commitment to get that loan. When the skeletons of the past come out of the closet, Akiyama becomes the first witness of an old grudge between the law and the families of the Tojo and Ueno Seiwa.
He is voiced by Kōichi Yamadera
"The bank I worked at set up and cut me loose. My woman I loved walked out on me."
Born in 1978, Akiyama was considered a golden boy when he was younger, one of the privileged youth who would aspire to do great things. He entered Touto University and graduated with top-honors and a business degree at the top of his class. His talents were sought after by Akihiro Yamori, the head of the Toto Bank's investment branch, who offered Akiyama a position which he accepted.
He quickly became the top bank employee in the investment department. He rose up in the ranks, and even started dating his fellow employee Eri, at the behest of Yamori, and was eventually engaged.
However, disaster struck in the Spring of 2005 when he was fired from his job with charges of "Internal Theft", after it was discovered that ¥1,000,000 was deposited into his savings account. Toto bank determined that he had stolen the money. The money was, in fact, part of a laundering scheme carried out by Kyohei Jingu before the events of Yakuza 1. Yamori was the one who sold out Akiyama, and in fact planned the whole thing from the start.
Although Akiyama was innocent, there was no way for him to win a political battle against a powerful bank corporation. Yamori was also very thorough in his plot to frame Akiyama, destroying all traces of his involvement. Akiyama spent all of his life savings trying prove himself innocent. As a result, he became homeless, and his fiancée left him and married the man who had fired him.
One day, during the Winter of 2006, as he was sleeping on streets of Theatre Square, the ¥10,000,000,000 that had been stolen from Akira Niskihiyama and Jingu and hidden away in a safe on the 60th floor of Millennium Tower rained down in front of him after the explosion at Millennium Tower.
Akiyama grabbed as much money as he could during this "second chance that God has given him". However, he nearly loses that second chance when thugs attacked him and stole the money. Hiroaki Arai, seeing the man's plight, gets him his money back from the muggers. Akiyama felt indebted to Arai for the act of kindness. Ironically enough, the money that he got was the exact amount he was accused of stealing.
Akiyama was a genius when it came to investment and finance, and he knew that the money he got would never be able to bring him the means to start a decent business. Thus, he started investing his money in order to build it up. Investing in Day Trading, he went for trades that provided supply to demand, rather than silver bullet deals, and slowly built back his fortune. When he amassed enough money, he began expanding on that ideal and became an investor and soon became the "Lifeline of Kamurocho". Despite that, he is still indebted to Arai as his benefactor, and hopes that Arai would one day become the head of the Tojo clan and bring it peace, so he often provides loans for Arai's personal investments.
" Just the other day, a Yakuza I have been backing up kills a man, then disappears. It got me thinking if I should bother anymore"
During one collection run at the behest of Hana, Akiyama runs into Kido, Arai's underling and loyal ally. When Ihara, a member of the Ueno Seiwa, causes trouble at one of the hostesses clubs that belongs to Arai at Elnard. He quickly provokes a fight with Akiyama and loses as Akiyama buys enough time for Arai to confront. In desperation, he pulls out a gun at them, wounding Arai. Returning to his office, he finds Arai had murdered Ihara and Akiyama was taken in for questioning and later cleared of his involvement in the attack. However, Sky Finance was put under surveillance by the police for that period which grates on Akiyama's nerves on why he made that decision.
During this time, he meets Lily, a woman who resembles his lost flame Eri. Her request was a 100 million yen loan, as a test she has to earn 3 million yen at Elise, a net loss for Akiyama as he know he is unlikely to recover the loan. During this time, he sees many clients of his being murdered one by one. All who them had connections to the Shibata Family and suspect it was the work of a woman. Around that time, Sky Finance was also attacked and he rescues Kido from the Hatsushiba Clan. During the second day of Lily's test, they were attacked by Shibata's thugs as Akiyama fends them off.
Lily earns the required amount and Akiyama explains his intentions on why he loans the money to people as
he sees how money can buy happiness and dreams. Wanting to see Lily's dream fulfilled he gives her the money for the test's completion but not before asking if she was responsible for the deaths of several Shibata's men which Lily denies. Returning to his office, he checks up on Hana who was furious at how he gave at 100 million yen to someone who resembled his ex fiancee and chases her as she announces her resignation once he catches up with her.
After a fight with one of Majima's goons harassing his hostess club to find out about where Lily was, he learns the truth behind Lily who's real name is Yasuko Saejima.
Sometime after the incident between Majima and Akiyama, he receives the money back from Tanimura who had taken the 100 million yen loan from Lily as she was going to Okinawa to find her brother before his execution (however this rendered moot as Taiga had escaped) and tells him that the last surviving Shibata family member was located at a dockside hiding place to escape from the assassins who have been silencing Shibata members. Sometime after Tanimura finds out about the truth, they meet again at Homeland when Munakata and Katsuragi make their decisive plays against them, Sky Finance is held under direct investigation as he was thrown out of his office under suspicion of coercing people to take his loans.
With few options, they contact Yasuko to meet up with them to get to Purgatory where she can meet up with Taiga. However they get intercepted by Kiryu and gets beaten up by him and only to realize not even Purgatory is safe from Katsuragi as both were kidnapped.
After the events of the Ueno Seiwa was handled, Akiyama knew the reason why the mess started was over the money as all of their rivals had a stake in it. Using the massive fortune he accumulated over the years as bait, he uses the opportunity to defeat Arai. With Date's help, a news article that exposes Munakata's corruption was revealed to the people who was too busy collecting the money. In one final act of vengeance, Munakata shoots Akiyama only for his last bit of money to protect him. Arai goes to prison for his involvement in the murders as Akiyama reunites with Hana who have lost a great deal of weight.
Yakuza Dead Souls Edit
Binary Domain Edit
After exposing corruption of Touto Bank and Kamurocho Police Department of 26 years of money laundering to public with Kiryu, Tanimura, Saejima and Date, Akiyama quietly returned to his non-profit business of managing Sky Finance company.
Two year has passed and during this time, he has decided to expand his business into Kansai, Soutenburi as well due to increased client arriving from all over the Japan, in particular from Sotenburi. However, the genius of finance and business lacked what is called "organizational skill", because he always lets his assistant Hana do that work. Therefore, he was struggling to open the office to public for almost 1 year since he bought the office.
While he was taking usual afternoon nap in his messy Sotenburi office, his cell phone which he forgot to turn-off goes off. The call was from Horie, who was assistant of Mirei Park, the president of Dina-Chair Talent Agency, the client that he loaned 300 Million yen about 1 year ago. Horie informed Akiyama that his boss, Park, committed suicide and the 300 Million yen which was in the safe was also stolen.
Akiyama rushed to Dyna-Chair office immediately and to his surprise he re-unites with Sawamura Haruka, who was Pop-Idol-Star-Ready-To-Be that happens to be member by Dina-Chair Talent Agency. Haruka believed that her boss Mirei Park was murdered instead of suicide, and requests Akiyama to join him on his investigation.
As regretfully, he agrees that Haruka can join him on his investigation. In addition, after catching up with Haruka he realized it was his duty to fulfill Haruka and Park's dream of being on center stage of Tokyo-Dome Concert, because he knew that was 300 Million yen was for. It was not all about money, it was about fulfilling everyone's dream.
During his meeting with Haruka at her house, he was attacked by Ogita, Haruka's former dance instructor, and a mysterious man named Kamon Kanai. He managed to fend off both of them, forcing them to retreat. The next day, Akiyama sees Park's suicide letter and notices that it has been forged. He went to search and visit the man who forged the suicide letter, and reveals that it was requested by Kanai himself, who turns out to be an underling of Naoki Katsuya of Osaka Talent.
He visits Katsuya at his building to discuss about Park's death in which he claims he had nothing to do with it, although Akiyama still doubts him. Finding no lead or evidences, Akiyama leaves the Osaka Talent building.
Yakuza 6 Edit
It is revealed that during the three years that Kiryu spends in prison that Akiyama has shut down Sky Finance and seemingly disappeared after being targeted by the Chinese Mafia. Kiryu, searching for Haruka who has also seemingly gone missing, eventually finds Akiyama in hiding living in the sewers. Akiyama informs Kiryu that he doesn't know the whereabouts of Haruka and the two's conversation is cut short by the Chinese Mafia. Kiryu and Akiyama work together to take down mafia thugs and Akiyama is forced out of hiding.
When it is later revealed that Haruka has been left in a coma after being involved in a hit-and-run incident Akiyama accompanies Kiryu to the hospital. It is also revealed that Haruka has a young son named Haruto. When child-services appear to take the child away Kiryu decides to kidnap Haruto stating that he doesn't want him to grow up in a institution just like he and Haruka had to. Akiyama disagrees with Kiryu and the two fight inside the children's ward. Kiryu eventually overpowers Akiyama and he reluctantly agrees to let Kiryu take Haruto.
Shun Akiyama has seven outfits with his appearance throughout the series.
His default outfit consists in a pair of black loafers, black business pants with a black leather belt with golden buckle, black long-sleeved shirt and a maroon tweed jacket along with a gold wristwatch. He keeps a grown stubble and his hair slightly long and a golden necklace on his neck. In Yakuza 5, he wears different wristwatch.
As a homeless he wears a grey hood, brown cap, blue shirt into the hood. His shoes are trainer and also his outfit appears to be dirty, marking his life as a homeless on the street.
During the end of Yakuza 4, he wears a black suit and a white-colored shirt. This outfit is similar to his moneylender suit in fashion.
He has extra outfits: the Disco Outfit (first appears on Yakuza 4 and so on), the Detective outfit (firstly appears on Yakuza: Dead Souls and so on), the White-tight with a helmet outfit (appears on 5 only), and Shinada outfit (also appears on 5 only).
Akiyama is a carefree and kind character. Like Kiryu, Akiyama is always ready to help people in need. This makes it easier for him to gain friends in Kamurocho. Although he is a loan shark, he does not charge his clients with interest and collateral. Instead, he gives unique tests to his clients before he loans them money. He even sometimes helps them accomplish their tasks. He wishes to test them, based on his past experience as a banker-turned-homeless man, to see if they are willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to get the money they need. However, he will not hesitate to turn down his clients, no matter how miserable their situation is, if they failed his test, though he does sometimes give them second chances.
Akiyama also known for his laziness. He often sleeps on his couch while customers are not around, and leaves his office is in a total mess, usually just letting it get cleaned up by his secretary, Hana. Akiyama is also somewhat forgetful. In Yakuza 4, he forgets to lock his office door, which allowed Kido to comes in and discover his safe containing his ¥100,000,000,000 behind his bookshelves, which results in the latter stealing the money.
Being an owner of a hostess club, Akiyama is very knowledgeable on matters such as fashion and women. He is always giving advice to his hostesses on how to provide an excellent services for the customers, as well as directions on their appearances in order to match what the customers wants. He has also helped several men win hearts of women by giving them useful insights and fashion advice to make them more attractive to women.
Akiyama also cares deeply for Hana. Since Hana has followed him since his days as a banker, they share a close friendship. When Hana finds herself in danger, Akiyama doesn't hesitate to help her, and vice versa. He was also quite worried when he found her wounded in Yakuza 4, and was visibly sad when Hana decided to quit from Sky Finance. He was grateful when Hana returned.
He also feels grateful to Kiryu for changing his life after the the events of Yakuza. He became Kiryu's trustworthy ally in 4, 5, and 6, helping him whenever he can. In Yakuza 5, he helps Haruka Sawamura to realizes her dream as a sign of gratitude to Kiryu, and in return, Kiryu helps him against the Chinese mafia in Yakuza 6.
Fighting Style Edit
Throughout his appearances, Akiyama consistently fights using Taekwondo, a primarily kick-based style.
Yakuza 4 Edit
Akiyama's fighting style consists mainly on kick attacks, allowing him to unleash multiples hits at once. He relies on high speed and quick dodges to get ahead of his opponents and avoid being swarmed. While his grabbing game is still rather poor, his multiple-hit combo gives him an edge to finish enemies quickly. He has the ability to dodge while performing his standard combo, a feature that prevents him to be attacked while hitting another opponent. Akiyama doesn't have much interaction with his Heat actions, but his fast swift combos make up for it. Akiyama could possible make infinite combos.
Yakuza 5 Edit
Akiyama still retains his moves Yakuza 4 and gains some newer moves. He has a backflip that sends enemies up into the air that could follow up with a heat action, or follow up with an aerial combo. He gains some new heat actions as well.
Loan Tests Edit
Throughout the events of Yakuza 4 and 5, Akiyama offers loans to certain people to test their commitment to find. Tasks range from community service to working for him to pay back a portion of the money if there is no tasks .
- Lily (Yasuko Saejima) - Lily came to Sky Finance to loan 100.000.000 yen so that she can release her brother from prison. Her test was to gain 3.000.000 yen by working at Elise in 3 days. Lily passed the test and get the 100 million, but not before Akiyama asks about her murder of Kanemura and the manager of Drama Queen. Lily did not tell Akiyama about who she really is and promised to repay the 100 million to Akiyama someday. This test also resulted in Hana quitting Sky Finance out of frustration of Akiyama's behavior.
- Shiobara - The first client the player meets in Akiyama's substory, Shiobara was an aimless entrepreneur who struggled to establish his own successful business. In his initial test, he unsuccessful tried to complete three seperate tasks which Akiyama knew he would fail. Tackling Shiobara's refusal to lay off people and taking the blame for the company's failure he makes him go work for Paradise Advertising which was in need of layoffs. While he passed the first test, he again approach Akiyama for another loan after he loses his passion and his second test was to take a single mundane item and make money out it. Here he teaches his secret to success was not by seeking the golden opportunity but to satisfy the needs of others.
- Unnamed Woman - A middle aged woman who asks Akiyama for a loan to sustain her family expenses, given three hours to find a job. She fails to commit fully and seeks out the obvious jobs and refused to make the sacrifices needed to secure a loan and fails to get a loan.
- Shoko Muto - A single woman who was in need of money to pay off her outstanding debts for her extravagant lifestyle. Akiyama hands her a million yen as a "gift" and secretly surveillance her spending habits with the money she has acquired. Unwilling to spend extravagantly with Akiyama's money, she passes the test as she was willing let go of her reckless spending habits.
- Setsuko Arima - the wife of President Arima, a loan agency owner similar to Akima, using Shiobara to lure away clients from Akiyama. Akiyama gets a request for a loan from his wife and puts her through the same process as the Unnamed woman, she was so desperate for the loan that she goes to Elise to seek any kind of work. After learning about Arima's situation Akiyama reasons with the husband who decides to start anew from his corporate raiding past.
- Hanaoka - A client of Akiyama during the events of Dead Souls. Saddled with debt due to having to care for so many cats. He succeeds by giving the cats away to other people who wanted a pet cat of their own.
- Mirei Park - Akiyama's client during the events of Yakuza 5. Her test involved in working at Elise and a construction site for 300 Million so that she can pay a fee for Haruka's concert at the Tokyo Dome.
- Juri - A hostess working at Elise, while officially she was trying to earn money to sustain her finances, the loan in question was to help her boyfriend's gambling debts.
- Kazami - An estranged father, he sought out a loan so his daughter can go to university. He succeeded on the condition that he personally gave the tuition money to his daughter.
- Tsukimura - A man literally down on his luck, he comes to Akiyama for a loan on the condition he turns the money given into a profit only to be saddled with a worse losing streak. His lucky streak saved him from failing to meet the conditions of the loan when he bet on a low odds horse and won.
- Yamori - Akiyama's former employer, after Akiyama was fired, Eri married Yamori and both had a happy life until the scandal got Munakata involved and destroyed Yamori's reputation at Toto bank enough to get him to resign from his post as he fails to establish a new business. At first he intended to let a couple of loan sharks murder him so he can give his insurance to his family but Akiyama intervene in time. While Akiyama intended to have his revenge by making Yamori divorce Eri but decides that for him to give Yamori a start up loan he would have to put behind his previous grudges with Akiyama.
- Akiyama appears at the beginning of the install screen on two games, in Yakuza 4 and Yakuza: Dead Souls.
- This signifies that he is the first playable character on both games.
- In Yakuza 5, he appears as the fourth protagonist after Haruka. Both characters are representing the Osaka Story on Yakuza 5 and also share the same part on the story mode.
- In Yakuza: Dead Souls, Akiyama is the only newcomer to be playable alongside characters that had appeared before Yakuza 4.
- In Yakuza 5, Akiyama is the only male protagonist who doesn't fight Baba.
- Aside from Kiryu, Akiyama has made the most appearances as a playable character in the Yakuza series, being playable on Yakuza 4, 5 and Dead Souls.
- In Yakuza 4, protagonists representing the 4 Eastern Gods. Shun Akiyama is the Vermillion Bird, as he has the most elegance (speed and flow) out of the character and is the most idealistic. He also has a red coat, the color of the Vermillion Bird.