Akihiko Sanada is a senior along with Mitsuru Kirijo and Shinjiro Aragaki who attend Gekkoukan High School. He is also one of the charter members of the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES), a group of persona-users who dedicate their lives to fighting Shadows. Always appearing calm on the outside, he is full of passion on the inside. Akihiko is also the captain of the boxing team, as well as a great academic student who dedicates his daily life to physical training.
He uses hand-worn weapons like gloves and knuckles in battle. His initial persona is Polydeuces, and his ultimate persona is Caesar, both specializing in thunder magic and debuff spells.
Akihiko grew up with Shinjiro Aragaki when they met each other at an orphanage. But then, one night, Akihiko lost his sister, Miki in a fire. Since then, he dedicated his life to training so that he can be strong enough to protect others, since he believed he failed to save Miki. When the main character's persona awakens for the first time, Akihiko cannot participate in battle for the first weeks of the game due to fighting a giant shadow while injuring himself in the process. As soon as he gets back up and recovers from his injuries, he joins the party in the fight against the Shadows. Akihiko also is a long-time friend of Shinjiro Aragaki, who quit SEES a long time ago. However, Shinjiro rejoins SEES along with its new members after
Ken Amada decides to join as well.
Later in the game, it is revealed that two years ago, Mitsuru, Akihiko, and Shinjiro were fighting Shadows during the Dark Hour. On one fateful night, Shinjiro lost control of his persona, leading to the death of a woman bystander in the area. The woman happened to be Ken Amada's mother. Akihiko later figures out that Ken only joined SEES so that he can get his revenge on Shinjiro after what he did. Akihiko decided to prevent them from killing each other. The other SEES members cannot seem to find Ken and Shinjiro, but they could not take that as their priority mission because they had to defeat one of the twelve Arcana Shadows first. After defeating the Shadow, they immediately set out to look for them, with Akihiko absent during the fight, who went ahead. Ken invited Shinjiro to the same spot his persona lost control and killed Ken's mother. There, Akihiko and the others found them, with Shinjiro mortally wounded from Takaya's bullet. Takaya attempted to kill both Ken and Shinjiro, but Shinjiro used his own body as a shield to protect Ken.
Akihiko was devastated by the loss of his best friend. But he realized that Shinjiro's death wasn't a waste, and in turn gave Akihiko the courage and the strife to never give up the fight against the Shadows, and must face his fears head-on. He participated in the final battle against Nyx, and SEES was successful in saving the world from The Fall.
In "The Answer", the additional chapter available only in Persona 3 FES, Akihiko is forced to return to SEES as the mysterious
Abyss of Time shows up below their dorm, and the date ceases to advance from March 31st. The SEES wanted to figure out what happened to Minato during his battle with Nyx, and found out that he sealed Nyx so that people would be prevented from summoning her. Erebus is the manifestation that is made up of humanity's inner desires for death and salvation. The SEES realize that this is what the main character fought for and decide to live for his sake and remember the sacrifice he made for mankind. A scene in Akihiko's past is revealed in an accessible door within the Abyss of Time. It is revealed why the Evoker looks like a gun, and that is how Mitsuru convinced Akihiko to join SEES.
Persona 4 Arena
In Persona 4 Arena, it is revealed that after graduating high school, Akihiko eventually chooses to begin going on a journey to train his body to become a more effective weapon, and also becomes a member of Mitsuru's anti-Shadow organization. While on an expedition in South America, he's called back to Japan and told to meet Mitsuru in Inaba, where a mission awaits. Eager to see some action, he returns, ready and willing to jump into the TV world in search of Labrys.
- Double Uppercut (B + D): Does a couple of uppercuts sending the opponent upwards; has short range.
-  Kill Rush (236A or B) [SB]: Akihiko rushes forward, and delivers a flurry of rapid punches.
-  Assault Drive (214A or B) [SB / AIR]: Akihiko dive-bombs from the air in a flaming fashion, the EX Version following up into a Kill Rush.
-  Dodge Strike (214A or B): Akihiko negates a projectile attack by hitting it.
- Corkscrew (from : 6A or B): Akihiko delivers a single, powerful punch while dashing forward.
- Boomerang Hook (from : 4A or B): Akihiko delivers a body blow.
- Duck (236C or D / from : 6C or D): Akihiko moves forward while ducking and avoiding projectiles.
- Weave (214C or D / from : 4C or D): Akihiko stands still and dodges projectiles by weaving.
- Cyclone Uppercut (236236A or B): Akihiko charges his fist up, and the higher Lv. he's at, the stronger this uppercut becomes.
- Thunder Fists (236236C or D) [P]: Charges his moves with electricity.
Awakened SP Skill
- Maziodyne: (214214C or D) [P]: He shocks his opponent with this supercharged spell, which covers the entire screen with electricity.
- Earth Breaker (222C + D) [P]: Akihiko's opponent lands on the miniature globe that his Persona holds and Akihiko delivers a final blow after falling from the sky towards the opponent.
Akihiko also appears in Persona -trinity soul-, an anime show that takes place ten years after the events of Persona 3. Though he is part of the trinity soul universe, the anime itself is not tied to Persona 3's storyline whatsoever.