Hongō is a very tall man with a slim frame yet sports a well-defined and muscular build. He is light-skinned with long-straight black hair that frames both sides of his face with some bangs hanging over his face. He also sports a small and scruffy mustache. His most noticeable trait is his long and pointy ears. After his last battle against Sakaki in their teen years, he received a large scar running down the left side of his face near his eye. Hongō is regularly seen wearing wears tight black outfit with a flowing backside and gloves. He constantly wears sunglasses with triangular lenses. In his teen years, his hair was much shorter, down to his upper shoulders, and he did not have facial hair and sunglasses. He wore a sleeveless vest with some special straps on his arms and had dark pants with a belt around his waist. His facial features were also virtually the same. He was also considered very handsome by numerous female nurses who tended to him when he was injured.
Hongō is a rather serious man when it comes to many things, even as simple as meeting the other Fists. Even when taking simple kind gestures from others such as Lona thanking him, he did not talk and just stared sternly. He's also a very quiet person, as he rarely speaks unless he wishes to, especially in battle. He scorns the use of science and technology to measure one's level of Martial Arts, though he has shown he doesn't mind using it to train Sho. Despite his cold nature, he has a rather close bond to his disciple and cares for him deeply, as their relationship is like that of a father-son like relationship. He has faith in Sho that he is the 'Sole Successor' and wishes to disapprove everyone's opinion of Sho that he is not worthy of the title. He has also shown visible rage when he heard Sho died during the D of D Tournament and even mourned the loss over his beloved disciple. He harbors a great hatred for Ryozanpaku, as it is revealed that he received his scar from Shio Sakaki and is clearly upset when he learns Sho died saving Miu Fūrinji. In the battle for the Karate successor of Yami, he tells Kenichi to tell Sakaki that they will "end this soon".
During his past when he trained the young Sho, Hongō has also shown to be rather lenient, as he does not care that Sho saved the bird, simply saying with a smile, "Do what you like." This shows that he respects the wishes of others, a key mindset that placed him into conflict with Sakaki.
When he was still friends with Sakaki, Hongō was seemingly more soft-hearted and spoke more than he does now. He also seemed to have been down the path of the saving fist since he helped saved several people from getting killed on more than one occasion such as how he leaped in front of some bullets just so the hostages wouldn't get hurt.
Hongō's reason for embracing the Satsujinken is out of honor for Hajime Suzuki, who demanded a death match with him when Yami pitted Sakaki, Hajime, and him in a death match for the succession of Karate in Yami. Although he embraces the Satsujinken, he has made it a personal rule to only kill martial artists, and refuses to kill anyone that is not a martial artist. Despite this rule he is more than willing to fight anyone who challenges him, martial artist or not. The only actual exception that he makes to this rule is if someone willingly attacks him after being warned that he shows no mercy to whoever challenges him, as shown when Sakaki warned Miu after watching Kenichi get struck by him. His conflict with Sakaki stems from this reason: whereas Sakaki wanted to let Hajime live and do what was best for him, Hongō was more concerned with fulfilling Hajime's wishes, calling Sakaki "selfish" for refusing to understand that. However, Hongo does have some of his old Katsujinken beliefs inside, as he spared a young woman and her child from getting killed by Mihai and even gave an angry glare at the man.
Hongō is shown to have a honor code like Kenichi, as shown when he refused to fight Shigure because she is a woman and refused to fight anyone who is injured, however he did fight Griffith who was a woman since she targeted Kenichi and Miu.
While he shows to be ruthless and very serious most the time, he, compared to the other members of Yami, has proven to be very honorable. He stopped his fight with Sakaki and assisted him in trying to save Miu from Jenazad when Junazard interfered and even promised the Elder that he would return her to her home. Even Sakaki vouches that he is a man who keeps his word. He also has a high respect for the Kuremisago clan, stating that he couldn't bring himself to shed blood on their sacred land. He also wishes for no disciples to lose their lives in battle, such as stating to Sakaki that he wishes for Kenichi and Miu not to die in their fights with Junazard's men, showing a more compassionate side.
He is willing to let his opponent fight on their own turf. Letting him use all of his best moves, and then "put his heart off guard" that he doesn't have an ounce of mercy, to the old or children. He isn't one to let anger ruin his form, he becomes more calm and more cold-hearted. However, on rare occasions, when he gets mad, he fights in a mad like frenzy that Kenichi noted he lost his cool when Jenazad spoke ill of Sho.
Hongō's most defining trait of his personality is that he's be repeatedly known for being remarkably stubborn. In fact his stubborn nature is evident in and out of fights as even in his youth he left the hospital despite the grievous wounds he had on his body just to fight in a karate tournament and eventually won it. Sakaki states that when Hongō says he's gonna do something, he sticks with it till the end and finishes it, refusing to back down. Even when his life was in danger he refused help from Sakaki and refused anesthesia from the doctor and stated he won't move a muscle as they operate on him, showing he has a problem trusting strangers. Even his disciples Seta and Hayami have stated he's always this stubborn and has yet to shown otherwise.
Despite his good look that attract many women in the past and present, Hongo showed no interest in women or interest in fighting them. However, it was shown that in his past with Sakaki and Suzuki, that he was speechless and his eyes were wide opened after seeing Sakaki's sister. This wasn't seen before or after, but it shows that Hongo has a little bit of interest in women.
Akira once had a past with Shio Sakaki and Suzuki Hajime, in a case where he and Sakaki had a disputed victory and Sakaki sought him out at a local karate match to settle matters. Thus starts a series of long days in which he would challenge Sakaki, with their matches supervised by Hajime. Their battles would alternate, with Hongō occasionally gaining victory and Sakaki matching Hongō's victory record. When Hajime accompanies the two in their underground ventures, Hongō would adopt Sakaki's attacking stance to correct his overly careful fighting style. On one mission together, Hongō would take some bullets to save the hostages and Sakaki and Hajime would save them and take out the shooters. Hongō was hospitalized and was going to have to miss the karate tournament so Sakaki decided to win it for him. However, Hongō woke up and left the hospital despite protests and fought in the tournament and won. When Hongō is called to challenge Sakaki and Hajime in a death match by Yami from a trap, he is at first reluctant to fight Hajime, but later comes to terms with his friend's wishes and easily dispatches him with a knife hand. He later fights Sakaki, cementing his 126th win and enabling him to join Yami. Years after joining Yami, he begins personally training three disciples, Seta, Hayami, and Sho Kano, with the later becoming his main disciple. A couple of years after this, Sho gets chosen as the sole successor of all ten members of the One Shadow Nine Fists, forcing Hongo to allow Sho to be trained by the other masters.
Hongō is first seen calling Sho to his boat to meet Ogata inside a ship. He is later seen in a meeting with the other fists. Akira is then seen looking quietly at the female spy, with Sho toying around with her and letting her escape. He then berates Sho, telling him to stop playing around, and Sho reveals the disc he took from the spy. He is later seen overlooking at Sho's training. After Sho's death, he is seen angrily walking into the place where the other One Shadow Nine Fists meet, breaking the wall, casually shrugging off the people who are trying to stop him, and questioning the other Fists about Sho's death. Ogata's apology does little to appease Hongō, as the latter angrily attacks the ground, sending a fissure towards Diego Carlo and questioning if he did it, as Diego was in charge of the DofD. He later comments that One Shadow Nine Fists seem complete and asks Ogata for the location of Sho's body and receives the answer that the allied force have taken it. He then asks for details about Sho's death and is shocked when he heard Sho died protecting Miu. Cyril Rahman, Mikumo Kushinada, and Ro Jisei voice their confirmation of disapproving Sho as the suitable heir of their techniques, prompting an angry response from the Karate master.
Later, after defeating a group of martial artists, Hongō along with Seta and Hayami visit a village where Sho often went, to mourn his disciples' death. Upon noticing that Kenichi and Miu were also in the village, Hongō goes with Seta and Hayami to their location, allowing his disciples to attack them. After his disciples were defeated, he deduces the cause of Sho's death, easily evading Shigure and Apachi and eventually left, telling Kenichi to relay a message to Sakaki that they will settle things soon.He is later seen training his disciples and then meeting up with Sakaki and commencing their final battle. Afterwards, he confronts Sakaki and the two begin their fight. During their fight, both would begin to remember when they first met and drove them to fight against each other. Several of the city buildings would be damaged in their fight and when both began to collapse from their injuries. When Kenichi tried to check on Sakaki, Junazard let out killing intent and made Hongō accidentally strike Kenichi and almost killed him, causing Miu to lose control of herself and strike Hongō out of anger. As he's about to strike Miu he sees Sho protecting her and stops himself. Miu was later taken by Junazad and Hongō and Sakaki agreed to fight Junazard to save Miu for interrupted their fight. As Junazard left, Hongō promised the Elder he would bring her back home and agreed to Sakaki's statement about their fight ending in a draw.
As the elder and the presumed dead Radin Tidat Jihan arrive, Hongō tells Jihan he's free to avenge his master when he's ready but only when he grows up more. As Seta and Hayami arrive by helicopter, Sakaki tries to help him knowing he's lost consciousness with his body but Hongō tells him to let go saying he still has to settle things with him and when Sakaki offers to do it now, Hongō merely chuckles and says to do it later. He then finally loses consciousness and passes out from his injuries. He is treated at the palace, but he refuses anesthesia and says he won't move at all as they treat his wounds. He leaves by helicopter but briefly looks back at Lona and leaves Tidat.
After returning back to Yami, Hongō would cause a meeting with the remaining Yami members about his death match with Junazard and the One Shadow and everyone else decided to agree that the incident is unquestionable and Hongō remained silent in the meeting.
Hongo is later seen along side all of the remaining Yami members standing greeting Seitarō Raigō and the rest of the Hachiou Executioner Blade members. He later rides in a helicopter with the others and, upon ariving at their location, are surrounded by the Ryozanpaku masters (minus Shigure and the Elder). When the masters fight together against the Yami masters, Hongo announces he will break there gap but is interrupted by Sougetsu stating they will rip them apart one by one. He is then seen together with the rest of Yami preparing to fight, but are stopped when Akisame notes they have no killing intent and, when Honmaki arives to inform them of the Hachiou Executioner Blade members being at the dock and Ryozanpaku realizes it was a diversion. He later leaves with the others after Saiga gives them the message of the beginning of the Eternal Setting Sun.
He later invades another country with Mihai Știrbey. While Mihai takes care of the soldiers, Hongo invades the control room and states that those who relies on weapons dull their own fighting skills and kills the soldiers. He then informs Saiga of him having taken control of the command room and sends in more troops. Later, as Știrbey attempts to kill a woman and her child, Hongo intervenes and saves them both. As Știrbey chides him for letting them go since they were ordered to kill everyone, Hongo remains silent while giving an angry glare as the weapon's user walks away.
Later Hongo, along side Mikumo, Sougetsu, Mildred, Edeltraft, Marmaduke, Știrbey, Raki, Agaard, Cyril, Rin, and Ogata all faced off later against the masters and allies of Ryozanpaku. When the Ryozanpaku masters begin to go on the offense, Hongo engages battle with them. After Edeltraft splits up the masters, Hongo approaches Sakaki and Apachai with Agaard and questions Sakaki whether they give up, to which Sakaki says they won't and will fight till the end and that his disciple has influenced him. However, Hongo stands down and allows Sakaki to fight Cyril on his own. This causes Știrbey to mock Hongo's sense of chivalry and intrudes on the fight between Sakaki and Cyril Rahman. After seeing Sakaki fight differently, Hongo realizes them fighting them is just a diversion and he runs to leave the battlefield to which Știrbey joins him.
He and Știrbey arrive at the base, but Știrbey shuts the doors behind him to prevent him from interfering. Before Știrbey's blade kills Kenichi, Akira breaks though the wall using Superhuman Fist, Twisting Penetrating Hand and stop Micheal from killing Kenichi, and started fight Akira saying that he always want to take his head which has Hongo mention that's the first thing they can agree on. However Akira was able to get the up hand in the fight killing Micheal by using Superhuman Fist-Mist Prison sending Micheal flying down, killing him. Hongo reaches into his pocket and takes out an earring belonging to Sho Kano, looking at it wordlessly. Hongo then watches Kenichi and Kajima's fight wistfully, reminiscing on his duels against Sakaki and saying that this battle is how a duel should be.
While Hongo is watching Kenichi and Kajimas fight, Nijimma decides to send a virus to Yamis missiles. While he is running to the control room, Saiga Furinji apears and asks Nijimma to hand the virus over. As soon as Nijimma freezes due to fear, Saiga tries to kill Nijimma with a strike which at that moment Akira Hongo intercepts the strike and Saiga remarks that he was expecting Akira to rebel against Yami.
Hongo stands off against the leader of One Shadow Nine Fists and the two masters exchange a series of blows. Saiga mocks Hongo's actions to protect Niijima as futile and Hongo lands a thrust on Saiga though he catches the attack between his fingers. Hongo remarks that even though it's their first time exchanging blows he can feel the darkness within Saiga. Hongo takes a stance and prepares his technique as Saiga is surprised when is suddenly surrounded by Hongo on all sides and observes that Hongo intends to use both truth and lies to block Saiga's escape, choosing Saiga to determine where the real attack will come from based only on luck. Saiga responds by using a similar technique and the two masters clash. Saiga dodges past Hongo and comments that he was able to protect all of his vital points but Saiga was able to win the battle of luck, as a rain of attacks lands on Hongo.
Hongo survives the attack but is unable to move, as Saiga also hit the karate master's pressure point. Saiga does not kill Hongo as he believes they will eventually come to an understanding and he makes his way to kill Niijima. However, James Shiba shows up and saves him as Hongo is left immobile.
It turns out that Hongo was fighting Senzui disguised as Saiga which means that the leader of OSNF is infact Senzui all along and that both Hongo and Shiba were defeated by Senzui as oppose to Saiga.
As the missle is launched, the elder shows up. Hongo tells him to stop the missile to which the elder sees the sincerity in his eyes and trusts him. Hongo leaves after the whole ordeal is over.
In the Epilogue, Hongo returns to his home and has left Yami, now choosing to travel the world.
Throughout his rivalry with Sakaki, he was able to defeat Sakaki, who was considered by many the greatest master-level martial artist in karate, 126 times compared to Sakaki's 125, earning him one victory over Sakaki's record. This would make him at least on par with, if not slightly better than Sakaki. However, before their 251st fight, Sakaki had chosen the path of Katsujinken while Akira had chosen Satsujinken, so Akira was able to fight with all of his strength whereas Sakaki held back to prevent himself from killing him. It was also mentioned that even though Sakaki says it was his loss, Akira considers it his loss because he didn't manage to finish Sakaki. Rachel Stanley mentioned as well that Akira was a man whom her master, Diego Carlo, acknowledged as superior to him.
- Master Karateka: Akira is considered to be one of the greatest karate masters in the world, rivaled only by Sakaki himself. During his death match against Suzuki and Sakaki, Akira was able to turn the tables on Suzuki upon resolving to kill the latter despite Suzuki previously overwhelming both him and Sakaki with the two noting that Suzuki was stronger than either of them. Early on Akira was originally defensive oriented in his karate style though since the complete defensive nature of his style prevented him from contributing much during group battles, Suzuki suggested that he change it into an offensive one. While a Sei-Type and true master of it, he is more than willing to allow his emotional build up, specifically anger, fuel his attacks. Despite the seeming recklessness of it, he is is able to remain focused enough to not lose his edge in battle, rather enhance his already formidable prowess. Even against Silkwat Junazard, a senior member of Yami and the only character to have ever given Hayato Furinji, the Invincible Superman a hard time, he was able to defeat and ultimately kill the warrior despite the grievous wounds he received from him, which is a testament to his skills. Most recently, during the Eternal Sunset, He was able to defeat Mihai Știrbey, a Grand Master and member of the Hachiō Executioner Blade with seemingly little effort. Though during his fight with Știrbey he merely aimed to throw the scythe master out of the building which prevented the latter from unleashing his full potential then.
- Master Teacher: Sakaki mentions that as a master, Akira makes his disciple completely understand all his moves and even states that Akira is considered the best of the One Shadow, Nine Fists at raising disciples. Even Kenichi noted the impressive growth Seta and Hayami had displayed since their last encounter on Despair Island and had realized that Akira was able to teach three different karate styles to Sho, Seta, and Hayami. Later on Akira began training the latter two using specialized equipment through what they are lacking and need improvement on.
- Immense Tenacity: His greatest attribute was not his power nor his technique, but his tenacity, something even his rival Sakaki is fully respectful of, as shown when Sakaki did not interfere with his death match against Junazard to the end, believing that Hongō will defeat Junazard. Even up against Junazard, one of the strongest in the nine fist, he still maintained his cool and fought putting his life on the line numerous times just to land a decisive hit on his opponent. He allowed himself to be knocked down once in order to use his ultimate move for the first time and allowed himself to be mortally wounded by Junazard (though it was revealed that he used Naizouage to survive). All this was to prepare for the final exchange with Junazard which gave him the largest opening to strike the decisive hit. Even Junazard admitted that he's someone with extraordinary tenacity when he was hit. After the battle, despite the injuries he sustained, he refused to take anesthesia for his treatment, insisting that he can stay still of his own free will.
- Immense Strength: Several martial artists tried to stop him by trying to hold him all at once but he kept striding forward normally. He also sent the group flying when he released his ki. He is capable of just stepping in stone to keep himself from falling from the angle with ease. With just a kick he can shatter the ground in a shockwave and even use a large golden training ring and spin it like nothing. His downward strike aimed for Jenazad caused the stone tower they battled on top of to collapse. Despite having enormous physical strength, Akira also possesses powerful control over his strength where he was able to easily save Hayami from a fall on top of a rooftop using only his pinkie to prevent himself from breaking Hayami's neck during the catch. His strength can also build up powerfully even from instinct where Jenzad observed had Hongo didn't have such fine control over his strength, then he would have punctured a hole through Kenichi's torso even when the disciple was wearing an iron chain vest when the Demon God Fist sent a powerful wave of killing intent towards him.
- Immense Endurance: Hongō has shown to have an inhuman amount of endurance, as he took several of Sakaki's best moves and was able to keep fighting as if it hardly affected him. Even by slamming himself to the ground to escape Junazard's grip he took little damage. He's also shown to have a high tolerance for pain, as he dislocated his right arm and his left leg simultaneously and only barely grunted in response. Even when Junazard struck inside his body and caused a great amount of pain and blood to come out, Hongō only grunted at the pain and was able to keep fighting. Even after taking several critical blows from Junazard that broke his bones in his arms and legs and lost a considerable amount of blood, Hongō was able to rise back up and strike back with a counterattack and eventually, Hongō was able to strike at that moment for one last attack and despite Junazard rushing his hands inside his body, Hongō was able to deliver the killing blow and defeat Junazard.
- Immense Sei Ki: Even Kenichi, who has already encountered Ki from master level opponents several times, finds Akira's Ki unbelievable and intimidating. Shigure, who rarely fears any enemies, find him extraordinary within a few seconds of exchanging blows. On top of that, it is hinted that he was suppressing his ki all these time. When he mention Sakaki to Kenichi, he released vast amount of ki that completely surprised Kenichi. After which, Elder appears and stops Miu from pursuing Akira, stating that "he is dangerous". This is the second time Elder stated something like this, second to Silkwat Junazard whom Elder commented that he had a tough fight with. His Ki is extremely immense to the point where when it clashes with Sakaki who's ki he is incompatible with does nothing but create a destructive force. Both Kenichi and Miu note that his ki is nothing like they have seen before. And when fully released along with Sakaki even more so, to the point where even those with a relatively strong heart cannot stay in the area.
- Acute Senses: He is able to hear the chime of his disciple's broken caged bird earring from within the village while staring down at it from a hilltop. He is able to completely avoid Shigure's sword strikes and Apachai's attacks even though he was carrying one of his disciples.
- Keen Intellect: Despite his rugged appearance, Hongō as repeatedly shown to be a very perceptive and tactical individual, as he immediately knew Kenichi was lying about how Sho died from protecting Miu and not Kenichi like he said. He could also instantly tell that Apachai was wounded when he and Shigure attempted to intervene against him and his disciples at the abandoned village which he made retreat rather than fight. Even against someone who's known for being a very crafty manipulator like Junazard, Hongō was able to outsmart him near the end of their fight and even fool him by using his injured arm a second time from using the same move on him again and defeat him with it.
- Immense Speed: Upon hearing the chime, he almost instantaneously arrives at the home that Kenichi and Miu were investigating. He is fast enough to exchange a battle of offense and defense of the highest level with Sakaki in an instant and the only way to keep up with the speed was to not watch with the normal eye but the inner eye. Despite this, his level of speed is so high that even Miu who was used to the battles of a master lost the ability to see the battle against Sakaki due to the overwhelming speed in which they were battling. Hongo is also fast enough to create many afterimages of himself in the use of his strongest techniques when he fought against Jenazad and Sensui.
- Immense Reflexes: Akira Hongo's reflexes are also incredibly high and is perhaps fueled by his tremendous instincts. Right when Jenazad blasted the immense surge of killing intent towards Hongo in order for him to attack Kenichi, who was running towards him, Hongo managed to reflexively hold back enough of his strength to stop himself from puncturing through Kenichi within an instant. Later on during his death match against Jenazad, Hongo managed to save himself from being killed by the Demon Fist God's True Breathing Throw by instinctively throwing his own body towards the ground within a hair's breath. Even Sakaki noted that if Hongo was just a second too late in his instinctive dodging then he would have been killed about 9 times already.
- vs Shio Sakaki (won 126 times, lose 125 times)
- vs Suzuki Hajime (win, killed him)
- vs Sword master (won, killed him)
- vs 5 Sojutsu masters (won, killed them)
- vs Apachai Hopachai & Shigure Kosaka (Undecided)
- vs Shio Sakaki (draw, interrupted by Junazard)
- vs Silkwat Junazard (Won, killed him)
- vs Mihai Știrbey (Won)
- vs Senzui (Lost)
- With Shio Sakaki vs Yami's Chivalrous Order (won)
- With Shio Sakaki vs Silkwat Junazard (undecided, Junazard ran away)
- With Shio Sakaki vs Several Pencak Silat Masters (Won, killed one Master)
- Hongō is the first master shown to have turned to Yami out of some act of goodwill. While Alexander Gaidar's and Diego Carlo's reasons have not been revealed, and Agaard was implied to follow the Satsujinken on personal instinct, Hongō followed the Satsujinken to fulfill the wish of his friend.
- He is the first Yami member to actually side with a member of Ryōzanpaku to fight another fellow Yami member, and even fight that same Yami member alone (The second being Saiga Fujinji (while disguise as "John")).
- He is the second person shown to dislike fighting women (the first being Kenichi).
- He has fought two Yami masters who were a follower of Gedō fist in Jenazad and Mihai Știrbey whom he was able to kill Jenazad while Mihai survived.
- Ironically, despite being member of Yami, most of Hongo's present battles have been against other members of Yami.
- He was the only member among the One Shadow, Nine Fist's to have been without a disciple in Yomi for an extended period of time besides his two disciples Hayami and Seta since neither of them took Shō's space in Yomi. However, this may have been out of respect for Shō as Hongō greatly cared for him and probably did not wish for his space to be taken.
- Hongō has various similitudes with the DC Comics character Batman/Bruce Wayne. Both are serious characters, wears dark vestiment (cape included) , are millionaires (having helicopters, a mansion, a butler). treats his disciples like as own children, specially, both lost a disciple (Batman lost Robin/Jason Todd because the Joker ´´killed him´´), meanwhile Hongō lost Shō because a soldier shot him.
- The guidebook claims that his reserved nature may be an act of shyness. His quietness also caused quite a few misunderstandings, but that trait makes him rather attractive for women.
- It also claims that If he hadn't had these convictions (not fighting women, children or injured people) the fight between him and Shigure and the then injured Apachai would have been a horrible fight to the death.
- His master may, in fact, be a woman as Iori is usually a female given name, and the theory that Shun Matsuena based it on the voice actress of Li Raichi, Iori Nomizu.
- His favorite food is Siberia - a castella sponge cake filled with sweet read bean paste or yokan.
- ↑ HSDK Official Guidebook, page 153.