Fateful EncounterJust finished with a heated boxing practice, a middle school student walks casually down the hallway with his jacket over his shoulder. Various fangirls squeal, "Akihiko-kun!" after him. Other members of the boxing team try to keep the crowd away from Akihiko, but a scout from another school pushes his way through while demanding to see the captain. The scout compliments Akihiko's skill as a boxer and offers him a position on his boxing team. He is with the team they were up against in the finals, after all. Further, Akihiko would get a large scholarship and would only have to pay half the tuition. Another student yells at the scout saying it's against the rules for him to be offering Akihiko a position. Akihiko, however, casually turns around and says he has no reason to join a school that comes in second place! The girls standing nearby coo over how "cool" Akihiko is for shutting the scout down. After the other student boxer yells at everyone to leave again, the crowd disperses. Akihiko sighs.
A female voice suddenly comes from the distance. Chuckling, she approaches him while asking if he couldn't have handled that situation more politely. She heard it tends to get crowded after practice and thus waited in the hall instead. Akihiko leans against the wall and questions what she wants with him. Smiling, she wonders if he is going to ask who she is. He responds by saying there's no need because he's not interested in whatever she wants. All he wants to do is train and become stronger. The beautiful girl insists she only has a simple request that isn't anything troublesome. She has enemies that need defeating and since they aren't people, he wouldn't be bound by the rules of boxing. Akihiko is clearly confused. The enemies she refers to are related to what he has been experiencing each midnight. He appears surprised that she knows about his experiences so she continues by saying she is in the same boat. If he comes with her, she will share everything she knows. Stunned, Akihiko finally asks who she is. The girl introduces herself as Mitsuru, a third-year student like himself. Mitsuru holds out what appears to be a gun, saying what he really needs to build his strength is a riskier challenge.
When SEES overlooks this event in The Answer, Mitsuru smiles while fondly remembering that day. Akihiko laughs and says he truthfully thought she was crazy until he finally summoned his Persona. She did hand him what looked like a gun only a few minutes after meeting him! She tells him it was all part of the plan, as it was the best way she could think of to grab his attention. Mitsuru knew he wouldn't be interested in "fighting for justice," or anything along those lines. Akihiko chuckles and agrees.
Why explain Akihiko and Mitsuru's meeting in great detail? For one, it is when their relationship began. Mainly, though, I wanted to include it because of how fondly they seem to remember the time. Of course most people get nostalgic over the past. But, this meeting changed both of their lives forever. Mitsuru was no longer alone in the battle against the Shadows and Akihiko started a new chapter of his life. Therefore, I would argue it is an important memory for both of them. It was important enough to be shown as a memory from Akihiko's past, anyway! Their reactions also showcase their present bond. Akihiko and Mitsuru are both people who keep others at an arm's length, but they laughed and smiled with each other like the others weren't there. To me, their words and tones expressed how they've been friends for a long time and felt comfortable joking with each other. I also just think it's amusing how Mitsuru has had Akihiko pegged from the very beginning!