ScenesAll of the following are scenes involving Akihiko and Mitsuru in Persona 3 Portable (other than one which is P3/FES only) that I felt were noteworthy. Each scene either depicts their relationship or their feelings for one another. The actual quotes are in red, while my observations and thoughts are in the default text color. The scenes are listed in chronological order.
"So, I heard Mitsuru asked you to join student council. Sorry if it felt like you were forced to join...But any help you could give her would be appreciated..."In this conversation, Akihiko thanks the protagonist for agreeing to join student council. Mitsuru must have informed Akihiko how she basically forced it on him/her, though, based on how he says it. Akihiko knows how incredibly busy Mitsuru is and seems truly appreciative the protagonist will be able to reduce some of Mitsuru's commitment. I think Akihiko is likely worried about her on some level. Who wouldn't be with the amount of tasks Mitsuru takes on, though?
"I don't suffer much damage from electricity. But, ice is a different story... Wait a minute...isn't Mitsuru's Persona strong with ice? If my Persona is another side of me...and ice is my weakness... Is it just me or does there seem to be a connection there?"I laughed when I read Akihiko explaining this to the protagonist. Whether or not the character designers did this on purpose, I have no idea, but it is pretty amusing how Akihiko is weak against Mitsuru's element. Further, because he comments on this weakness, I would have to assume it means something. Akihiko is certainly terrified of Mitsuru getting angry and her subsequent "executions." We never see Akihiko back down or try to sneak around anyone else! Therefore, it is highly likely he is referring to that aspect of their relationship. It could also symbolize Mitsuru being one of his weaknesses in a different sense as well. He definitely cares about her a lot. Given his obsession with preventing the past from repeating itself then, he doesn't want anything bad to happen to her. She is the one person besides for Shinjiro that he cherishes initially; he would do anything to protect her. Mitsuru could thus be considered a weakness of his in that sense, too.
"I wonder where Akihiko is... If he's going to be late, he should at least have the courtesy to call me."While I'm sure Mitsuru would be concerned about any of the SEES members missing, the way she phrases this statement just made me smile. It fits perfectly in context of her frequently scolding Akihiko for being rash in dangerous situations. In any case, she's clearly worried and is irritated he's probably making her worry over something silly. Much later in the game she doesn't seem to be all that concerned Ken hasn't returned to the dorm in 24 hours after a tragedy... Mitsuru doesn't think the group needs to go look for him because he's probably fine. Akihiko, on the other hand, worries her if he's a few hours late. She knows how impulsive he can be and is likely worried for his safety.
-Mitsuru is being held by a giant shadow-Akihiko, Junpei, the protagonist and Fuuka return to the bottom floor of Tartarus to find Mitsuru and Yukari struggling to fight two large Shadows. Both girls are injured but Akihiko immediately yells her name and rushes to her side when she is thrown to the ground. He holds her up and insists for her to stay where she is and not try to move. Further, he tells her to stay back when the Shadows are ready to attack again. Judging by the panic and concern in his voice, as well as his past history of losing people, I'm sure his heart stopped when he saw Mitsuru in trouble. His strong desire to protect those he cares about shines brightly when he tells her to stay back as well. Though Akihiko doesn't know Yukari very well at this point in the story, I thought it was a bit odd he showed no concern for her at all considering he was ready to risk his life over a chance of saving Fuuka--a girl he had never met--hours before. I honestly think seeing Mitsuru in danger gave him tunnel vision. Again, Akihiko's resolve was to not let the past repeat itself. He didn't want to lose another important person in his life. Ultimately, I think this just shows how much Akihiko cares about his friend. I was pretty upset they took this scene out in Persona 3 Portable!
-Mitsuru is thrown to the ground after Fuuka repels an attack. Akihiko runs to her side-
"...I'm alright. Be careful... Normal attacks won't work on these Shadows. And all of our instruments have been destroyed..."
"Just stay still! Besides..."
-Fuuka agrees to take Mitsuru's place and Akihiko stands up-
"Stay back, Mitsuru! We'll take care of this!"
"W-We're fine! Nothing happened!"While on a mission to defeat a Full Moon Shadow in a love hotel, the male protagonist finds himself in a room while Yukari is in the shower. The Shadow manipulated their minds and tried to force them to give into temptation. Luckily, everyone is able to snap out of it! When the protagonist and Yukari regroup with Mitsuru and Akihiko (if they are in your party), Akihiko asks how they are. When the protagonist asks about them, Mitsuru stammers how they are fine and insists nothing happened. Clearly something did happen! Mitsuru is always calm and composed and for her to be otherwise while stating nothing happened would imply they experienced the same type of situation as the protagonist. Akihiko seemed relatively normal, though! I guess Mitsuru was too embarrassed to "execute" him?
"Besides, some of us were never given a choice. I..."While at the Kirijo vacation home, Yukari decides to confront Mitsuru about her family's involvement in the "accident" ten years ago. Even after the truth comes out, Yukari keeps pushing. Mitsuru stays silent and doesn't deny anything Yukari says. It seems Yukari eventually hits a nerve, though, as Mitsuru begins to tell her how she wasn't born with the ability to use Persona rather sadly. Akihiko interrupts her by gently saying her name and not to explain anything. This indicates to me that Akihiko not only knows Mitsuru's past but also can tell it is painful for her and therefore comes to her aid. So much for not being able to read female emotions, huh?
"...It seems I was the first. If that had never happened, perhaps none of you would have to bear this terrible burden."This conversation takes place when the group is talking about how long Akihiko and Mitsuru have had the ability to use Persona. Mitsuru laments over how if she never were given the power, the others would have never been dragged into such dangerous situations. Clearly Mitsuru is placing all the burden on herself...again. Akihiko speaks up and insists it would have happened to someone eventually and even if it didn't, they couldn't just let the Shadows run around and do whatever they wanted. He directly challenges her false belief knowing how she always puts the blame on herself even when it's not her fault. Mitsuru ends up smiling and acknowledges that he is right!
"It would've happened to someone eventually... Besides, the enemy can't just be ignored."
"...I suppose that's true."
Mitsuru slumped to the floor, crying like a child... Akihiko picked up the stunned Mitsuru...This short explanation of what occurred after Mitsuru's father's death was added in Persona 3 Portable while the screen is black. Therefore, I'm not sure if Akihiko actually picked her up and carried her or simply lifted her to her feet and guided her back to the dorm. Either way, though, shows his desire to try and support her to the best of his ability. No one spoke any words because what could be said after what they witnessed? Akihiko felt comfortable enough to go over to her and offer physical support, though. He is also the first one to walk towards her when she is on the ground holding her father. Mitsuru is important to him and he doesn't want to see her in despair. While Akihiko may try to verbally console someone who has lost an important person, I really couldn't see him physically supporting one of the other characters like this.
"She's an only child, so there's a lot of matters to be settled including the funeral and the family business. I'm sure she'll be busy for at least a week."Despite Mitsuru practically disappearing the day after her father's death, Akihiko sure seemed to be well-informed about what was going on for her. In the drama CD, Yukari gets mad because Mitsuru leaves the dorm without a word to her or the others. The same seems to be true in the game, but she must have spoken with Akihiko, even if only briefly. He could have been making assumptions, I suppose. But, throughout the period of her absence, Akihiko still seems to know what is happening in regards to her returning to the dorm. He also comments on how she isn't doing well throughout the week. Therefore, I assume they must have talked periodically while she was gone. Regardless of whether it was initiated by Mitsuru or Akihiko, Mitsuru talking only to him is another display of their bond.
"Mitsuru is a very strong person inside. But, it's as if she just got her insides ripped out. I hope she's alright..."Akihiko is basically down during Mitsuru's entire absence. Based on all of the comments he makes when the protagonist speaks to him in the dorm, he is very worried about her. Mitsuru is all he talks about for the whole time. One day he even directly says he is concerned about her. He also desperately wishes he could do something to help her. He doesn't sound satisfied with simply leaving her alone and giving her more time, either. Akihiko clearly doesn't like to see her in despair. Lastly, Akihiko comments on her overcoming her pain and is relieved she seems to be feeling better, even if he has no idea what happened. Akihiko appears to go back to his normal self after this as well. If this period doesn't display how much he cares about her, I'm not sure what else would!
"Looks like Mitsuru won't be back for a while. I'd like to think that she'll be okay, but... I'm not so sure this time."
"Mitsuru will be gone for a little while longer. Leaving her be is the best thing right now, huh... I wish there was something more I could do..."
"Mitsuru has finally returned, but... *sigh* She's still bummed... I guess she needs more time."
"So, we're going to Tartarus, huh? She may not be worried...but that doesn't mean I'm not worried."
"Mitsuru is still not herself and I don't know what we should do... Dammit! How long is this gonna continue!?" Mo< "Mitsuru finally decided to go on the trip with us. I was really worried she wouldn't."
"It seems like Mitsuru's overcome her pain. I don't know what happened, but as long as she's feeling better, I'm relieved."
"I have to work to protect what's precious to me. And that means everything precious... Ken, Mitsuru and you too..."Well, if you couldn't tell that Mitsuru is important to Akihiko based on the moments depicted above, he comes right out and tells the protagonist during his social link that the protagonist, Ken and Mitsuru are precious to him. Obviously this is not in a romantic sense because he confesses his feelings for the protagonist during the same scene, but it gives a solid indication of how much he cares about Mitsuru as his friend. She is precious to him and he needs to work to protect her so he doesn't lose her like he lost Miki.
"With all we've been through, it can be difficult to get over our pasts. ...However, Akihiko is trying to learn from his experiences. I'm very impressed by him."It's rare to hear what Mitsuru thinks of anyone other than the protagonist. However, during the second rank of her social link, Mitsuru talks about Akihiko a little bit. She is honestly impressed at his ability to take a terrible situation, learn something from it and move forward as a stronger person. Mitsuru knows she is not able to do the same. Depending on the protagonist's answer choices, Mitsuru wonders if she is feeling strangely because it seems like he is the only one growing out of the two of them and she is being left behind. She admires his strength and will to move forward in times of adversity and wishes she could grow in the same way.
"When I look at Akihiko, I'm reminded of so many things about myself. I can't explain why, though..."The female protagonist has the opportunity to suggest Mitsuru is in love when she wonders why Akihiko reminds her of so many things about herself. Though she straight forwardly denies their relationship being intimate, she is unable to put their relationship into words. Generally speaking, it seems she hasn't thought too much about what their relationship is. She doesn't know what to call it, wonders what she feels and doesn't understand what comes to mind when she looks at him. This isn't very surprising though, since she distances herself from her true feelings and forming bonds with others. While I do think Mitsuru cares about Akihiko, I don't think she has ever thought about them in any sense.
"In love...? No, it's not that. Does it appear that way to you...? He’s just a friend... or should I say, teammate... I can't seem to find the correct word to describe him. Regardless, that is the extent of our relationship."