Akira was born on February 28 to a wealthy family. His mother gave birth to him when she was twenty years old. He had two younger twin sisters named Emu and Memu. As he grew older, Akira found himself taking care of his youthful, immature mother. He became attracted to "older, more settled women" because of his home environment.
After graduating from middle school, Akira moved on to Eitoku Senior High with his childhood friends, now known as the F4. The group eventually took over the school and defied several school policies, including wearing street clothes. They also handed out red slips to those who opposed them.
Akira: "Going after a guy's okay...but bullying a girl isn't my speed."
Sojiro: "Besides, what's it have to do with us? You got kicked, Tsukasa, and now you're all mad."
Akira and the F4 first encountered Tsukushi Makino, when her friend accidentally hit Tsukasa. Tsukushi protected her and insulted the F4 in the process. Tsukasa's anger was then transferred to Tsukushi. She earned herself a red card. However, instead of quietly leaving school, Tsukushi stood up to them by giving them her own "declaration of war". Akira and Sojiro were impressed by her "spunky" actions, though they did not think she would last long. Later, Akira commented that Tsukushi was "kinda cute" up close, while Sojiro compared her to Tsukasa's sister Tsubaki. A couple days later, Akira learned that Tsukasa had hired some guys to assault Tsukushi. He called it "sick" and thought that Tsukasa was responding to his sister's abuse from years earlier.
Several days later, Akira and Sojiro decided to leave Tsukushi alone. Akira specifically stated that "bullying a girl is [not his] speed." Tsukasa was irritated by this as he had developed a crush on her and could only express himself through bullying her. The next day, he and Sojiro were eating lunch together at lunch, while discussing Shizuka's upcoming arrival. Tsukushi happened to walk by, so they invited her to join them. She asked them about Shizuka's relationship to Rui and they revealed that she was his first love. They then told her a bit about Rui's tough childhood.
Shizuka arrived the following day and promptly came to Eitoku to see the F4. She greeted Akira, Sojiro, Tsukasa, and Rui each with a kiss. They then left to go eat and dance. A day later, Tsukushi's friend Kazuya Aoike transferred to Eitoku, which irritated Tsukasa. He gave Kazuya a red slip "without consulting" the others. The F4 and Shizuka were having lunch at the university, when Tsukushi and Kazuya were chased into the room by bullies. Rui protected Tsukushi, angering Tsukasa, who responded by ending his friendship with Rui. Akira and Sojiro were shocked, but went along with it. A couple of days later, Tsukasa told them that they were going to Atami instead of Hawaii for the summer.
Akira and the others went to Atami on Tsukasa's yacht. He was surprised to meet Tsukushi on the beach. After Shizuka gave Tsukushi a makeover for the party, Akira praised Shizuka's skills.
Personality and traits
Akira was considered the glue that held his friends together and was generally regarded as the mature one. He mediated fights between Tsukasa and Sojiro.
Koichi Hashizume plays Akira in the 1995 Hana Yori Dango film. As a member of the F4, he aides Tsukasa in the bullying of Tsukushi, along with Sojiro. He also teases Tsukasa about Tsukushi's similarities to Tsukasa's sister, Tsubaki. Akira attends Eitoku Gakuen University and smokes cigarettes in this version.
In Meteor Garden (2001), a version of Akira, named Mei Zuo, is portrayed by Vanness Wu. Mei Zuo is a loyal friend and supports Dao Ming Si's (Tsukasa) relationship with Shan Cai (Tsukushi). Unlike in the manga, Mei Zuo is sporty, playful, and does not have a preference for older women. An episode of Meteor Rain (2001) focuses on Mei Zuo's budding romance with a Japanese girl, named Aisa.
Tsuyoshi Abe portrays Akira in Hana Yori Dango (2005), Hana Yori Dango Returns, and Hana Yori Dango Final (2008). Like in the manga, Akira helps keep his friends together, leading them to sometimes call him "nosy." He also dates older women and never allows his relationships to get serious. Unlike in the manga, Akira's father is a member of the Japanese yakuza. After graduating high school, Akira is integrated into the family business and appears to be the head of it by Final.