Aki Hayakawa is blunt, reclusive, and SEEMINGLY stoic. He can be rough around the edges and ruthless in multiple ways, and bereft of context and knowledge of who he is, one could be forgiven for mistakenly assuming that he’s hardened himself in response to his experiences and learned to be uncaring.
Yet, it isn’t actually true at all, and just a little bit of time spent with him would reveal the thin layers, shatter the fragile veneer, and make the truth blatantly obvious. He IS neither aloof or chilly. Aki really does care a lot. He is offered a plethora of excuses as to why he shouldn’t care, yet he still does. and continues. He feels so much that his heart feels like it might break.
And that’s what makes him unique in a situation where it’s continually demonstrated why it would be so much simpler to just shut oneself off and give up on all of that. After the Gun Devil wrecked his home and killed his family, Aki’s life was horribly upended from when he was a generally normal, albeit slightly solitary, boy.
His ultimate objective was to exact retribution and kill the Gun Devil, therefore he was eventually enrolled into Public Safety as a Devil Hunter. In this reckless hunt, he acquired a partner, trained, and prepared himself for a one-way trip to hell before encountering increasing amounts of blood, terror, and death. So it makes sense that Aki would become frigid like so many of his coworkers considering what he’s been through and what he had to go through to get here. He really hasn’t, though.
He hasn’t changed at all, if anything he’s become even more loving than before, perhaps realizing the worth of cherishing fleeting things. Yet Aki’s innocence—his ability to withstand such agonizing agony without becoming hardened by his trials—is a genuine miracle. According to Himeno’s theory, people learn to shut themselves off and make their tears stop because this world is so full of death and heartbreak.
They must, or the torment risks destroying them from the inside out. Despite the horrors he has witnessed, Aki won’t do that. That’s why he is so powerful. He feels harder than anyone because he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Even when both occur, he is completely eager and able to form new bonds since he cannot stand loss and he does not want to watch others suffer.
Aki is atypical in this story by his normality despite the horrific circumstances, unlike someone like Denji who has effectively been forced to cut himself off from intense emotions to survive despite plainly seeking intimate ties deep down. On the outside, he almost seems to live the life one would expect someone to lead in a society that encourages vulnerability, rewards it, and doesn’t hand out pain nearly frequently enough for it to become a primal dread for so many people.
How on earth does he manage it, and where does he get the courage to carry on? Denji is baffled, others are bewildered, and Himeno, who has never figured it out, has instead watched in admiration. Although I doubt Aki is even aware of it, he is unquestionably exceptional. He isn’t becoming numb. And he simply follows his instincts. He lives by feeling; he is hell-bent on exacting revenge for his family on the gun devil, but he subverts that aim by caring deeply for other people.
Himeno not only looks out for Aki but also appreciates the beauty of that miracle. She can’t bring herself to be vulnerable with emotion as he can, so she avoids it by engaging in vices like drinking, smoking, flirting, and perversions. because she lacks the courage to allow herself to be exposed in a hostile environment.
But, she is struck by how much she admires Aki’s particular strength—the strength to be weak. Being able to let oneself feel when those feelings are so awful and tragic so frequently is a genuine human beauty that very few people are able to achieve. But among them is Aki. Can Cry Aki. Himeno needs him to live on in order to show that the world can still accommodate that kind of sensitivity, vulnerability, and emotion – even though most people can’t find it within themselves to do so. He definitely cares for him and wants the best for him. And in such a chilly world, to be sobbed for herself?
What a pleasure and honor that would be. Aki must survive. Despite the fact that many elements about him might suggest otherwise, he is a beacon of optimism and idealism, and Himeno needs to know that the world isn’t as bad as she thinks. To carry the flame and demonstrate that people shouldn’t be afraid to feel, Aki must survive.
Although it is a difficult route that is frightening and unpleasant and appears to be exceedingly lonely, if one persists like Aki does, it need not always be that way. It just so happens that the one person in the world who truly knew and understood him developed faith in his perseverance as a result of her experiences.
He suitably proves her correct after Himeno decides to die for him to continue acting in this way. by embodying all she adored in him and by granting her dream for him to sob uncontrollably. Aki carries a lot on his shoulders, including the burden of losing his parents and brother, the obligation he put on himself, Himeno’s passing, and the welfare of the people he now lives with.
And with all of this, the overwhelming majority would feel compelled to numb their emotions and harden their hearts. But Aki can’t because he won’t. He lacks the ability. He is not constructed to isolate himself and cut off his ties, even if he wanted to or tried. And the fact that he behaves in this way—that he still connects, cares, and weeps—offers such a sad but potent glimmer of hope for the narrative.
For as long as he lives, those who look up to him and those who are incapable of feeling can find some measure of consolation and hope through him. Even after the passing of his longtime spouse, Aki still has a lot to take care of, so this doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. With Denji and Power, he has accidentally discovered this kind of dysfunctional family, and he wants to preserve it.
Because he will never stop being who he is, and because when the world attempts to persuade him that his ambitions and ideals are impractical, he spits in contempt at it. Living with hope and remaining sincere till the end is always worthwhile for the value it can provide, even if you are burned.
Even though he carries death on his shoulder and has only been given two years to live, he refuses to let it define who he is. He won’t let the fear force him to give in and accept a life he detests. Aki won’t hold back from crying, feeling, or struggling all the way to the end to live the way he wants to in the face of pessimism. And that’s what makes his persona so beautiful. Thank you for reading.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.