|"Looks like it's my turn!"|
|Appears in||Smash Bros. Lawl Arena|
Akihiko Sanada is the captain of the Gekkoukan High School boxing team and, along with Mitsuru Kirijo and Shinjiro Aragaki, one of the original member of S.E.E.S.. He and Shinjiro grew up in an orphanage together with Akihiko's little sister, Miki, who died in a fire that destroyed the orphanage. Devastated by her death and feeling powerless that he could not save her, Akihiko vowed to become stronger. He took up boxing so he could learn how to fight, becoming a champion student boxer in the process.
Shinjiro and Akihiko remained friends after Miki's death. However, an incident occurred during an early S.E.E.S. mission which put a strain on Akihiko and Shinjiro's relationship. Shinjiro's Persona went berserk while combating a shadow, killing an innocent bystander (Ken Amada's mother) in the process. Feeling guilty, Shinjiro immediately left S.E.E.S. Akihiko used the incident as a springboard to focus even more on his strength and fighting the shadows. He began to criticize his friend for retreating when others needed his help. Throughout the game, Akihiko repeatedly tries to talk Shinjiro into joining S.E.E.S. again. When Ken Amada joins the party, Akihiko, with the aid of the Protagonist, forces Shinjiro to join.
During the events of the Strength and Fortune full moon battles, Akihiko is unsettled and distracted by the absence of Ken and Shinjiro. He later realizes the date: October 4th, the day Shinjiro's persona killed Ken's mother. He leaves the others in search of Ken and Shinjiro, finding them both behind Port Island Station along with Strega member Takaya Sakaki, who has interrupted Shinjiro and Ken's conversation and intends to kill them both. He has already shot Shinjiro and was aiming to shoot Ken; but Shinjiro stops Takaya from killing Ken by taking another bullet despite knowing that Ken has made a vow to kill him to avenge his mother's death. Shinjiro's last words are a request that Akihiko take care of Ken, and he states that his death is how things should be. Mourning the loss of his friend, Akihiko nonetheless finds himself amazed that Shinjiro could face death so bravely and vows to face difficulty head on. This resolution causes his Persona to evolve into into Caesar. He is one of the first characters to express his determination to fight Nyx, despite knowing she cannot be defeated.
After graduating from Gekkoukan High, Akihiko went to college. He decided, however, to perfect his punch and travelled the world in his pursuit of becoming stronger. Around that time, he had also become associated with Mitsuru's Shadow Operatives and is called upon to help retrieve Labrys in the TV world in Inaba. During the "tournament", he comes across Chie Satonaka and becomes impressed by her resolve to protect Labrys, though he has never seen her before and reminds him of his reasons for fighting. After the incident, Akihiko decides that after everything is over and some time passes, he wishes to leave the Shadow Operatives to return to school and become a police officer.