Akito Takenaka is the son of Kaguya-Hime, the moon-princess from the fairy tale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Currently, though he stays in touch with with her via phonecalls and Mirror-Net video chats, he's being raised by two elderly relatives of the late bamboo cutter and his wife, peoplehe considers some of his closest family.
Though Royal by birth and alignment, Akito prefers not to get too involved with the drama at school. While he views the concept of changing one's destiny to be a personal choice that he shouldn't try and mettle with, Akito fairly happy with living out his destiny. Granted the idea of forgetting who his own friends and host-family are is a terrifying thought, but the memory loss involved is his only true concern.
In the meantime, Akito is simply trying to get by and live his life to the fullest – whether or not he'll remember it in The End.
In English, Akito's voice actor would definitely be Greg Cipes, who's best known for voicing Beast Boy from Teen Titans. He also played Chiro from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go, and Akito's voice would be a blend of Chiro's tone and Beast Boy's enthusiasm.
As for live action, other than the fact that the portrayal in question is cis, actor and J-pop singer Shori Sato would be an exceptionally well-fit match for him. Appropriately matching Akito's age range, his charming and boyish appearance aligns quite well with him standing 5'5", not to mention his infectious and charismatic stage presence.
Charming though mercurial, Akito is an inquisitive student whose audacious leanings make him just as outgoing as he is spontaneous. While not too in-your-face about his royal birth – being raised under the care of an old bamboo cutter and his wife – he's nonetheless curious about where he came from. Between being destined to lose his earthly memories (and wariness of being forgotten in retrospect, given the long line of Kaguyas before him), the prince wants the time he has left in Ever After to mean something.
One thing of note, ironically, is that his short-term memory is a bit sporadic, often remembering seemingly random/unimportant details (hoarse laughter coming from the goblin he saw at Book End last week, that very specific shade of cream orange seen during the sunset he saw three days back, etc.) while blanking out on the obvious (others' names, Prof. Rumpelstiltskin's assignment on the properties of Oz's tin alloys, the like). Akito nonetheless does his best to support his friends, even if he's something of a literal space-case.
The young prince is very excitable, especially when trying to cure his boredom. While seeming to be collected and composed when left to his own devices, he rarely stays still for long, often fidgets in class when he isn't wandering about between periods. He'll gladly join up with friends and local troublemakers for fun and mischief (often under the guise of a pleasant smile and an air of coy nobility) to keep active in mind and body – a strength of affability and a weakness for compulsion. Sometimes it fuels his drive to be wanted and remembered, but more often than not it wears him out mentally and, in worst-case scenarios, it even lends him into trouble.
Conversely, his mutable demeanor sticks with him in the lowest of moods; even like-minded Royals like Akito become withdrawn and melancholic, no matter how hard he tries to stay positive. Along with being at times hypersensitivity, It's during these episodes when his anxiety for the future – every thought of "what if I'm a different person when I forget my time on earth" and "maybe I'm not good enough for friends/family to care about me when I'm gone" combined – eat up at the poor moon prince. Nevertheless, Akito is content to keep his head held high in spite of persistent insecurities, whether through keeping himself busy or staying in touch with those who stick with him and his moods.
Overall, whether letting loose with BFFAs or socializing with quirky acquaintances, wax, wane, and the energy that drives him are key terms that are essential to who he is – like the many phases of the moon itself.
Akito is of fairly short-average height for someone his age, being slender-built and youthfully handsome at 5'4".
Straight blue-black tresses – as deep as the night sky – tend to stick out in random, spiked strands no matter now much he smooths it out. His hair is roughly a few inches above shoulder length, and he often parts it in stylishly asymmetrical bangs. They help to frame his round face and half-moon eyes, the latter a deep dark brown.
His skin, however, is the first thing that most tend to notice; a light shade of peach, but with glowing, striking blue undertones. His bioluminescence is especially notable in areas that would normally be shrouded in darkness, emitting a bright, celestial golden glow only rivaled by Daring's teeth.
Fortunately for most students, his literally bright complexion has yet to blind anyone in his presence.
Abilities, Hobbies, and Interests
As one would figure, Akito has innate abilities pertaining to his lunar lineage. The most obvious, as mentioned above, is his skin tone's bioluminescence, having the power to light up even the darkest of abodes. There's also a tendency for bodies of water to lap and make waves when he nears then as a result of the moon's gravity pull. Akito can as well conduct moonlight onto other surfaces: mirrors, transparent windows, crystals, as long as there is a reflective or shiny surface, he can cause them to temporarily emit or refract light at will.
Beyond his moon-powers, Akito is a fan of travel – not in vein of his nature-loving BFFA or an hextreme sports junkie like Briar, but he's into urban exploration and looking around natural caverns. While he knows he can't visit every locale before he leaves Ever After, he wants to look into all the unexplored sights he can find before it's time to live out his destiny. He likes to photograph these remote spots, making them his favorite
and often only subjects to capture on film.
He also has a thing for poetry – both reading, writing, and even reciting it. Although his rhyming is somewhat lacking in English (bilingual or not, he finds it much easier to do so in Japanese), he shines in the realm of rhyme-less poems with structure as well as free verse. He's an avid participant in Ever After's Nursery Slam (a terribad pun on Poetry Slam because Aki's creator is lame) and takes quite a bit of pride in this.
Something to note is that while the prince has exceptional reading comprehension skills for his age, he tends to fixate on poetry and short stories. It's not that he can't flip through a novel or become engrossed in a book series, he's just simply a slower reader and reading retention isn't quite his strong point. Concentration can be a challenge for him in terms of longer written prose (among other areas) and having been picked on for his reading struggles when younger, he's wary of people who think themselves superior to those who don't read/have trouble reading otherwise.
That said: sci-fi, astronomy, and really anything relating to space are reading subjects he takes a lot of interest in no matter the length (attention-fatigue aside and with breaks here and there). The tale of Orihime and Hikoboshi (the weaver girl and cowherd, or the stars Vega and Altair) is one of his favorite legends – then again, his affinity for deep space isn't limited to books by any stretch.
Fairy Tale - The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
How it goes
The tale starts with an old couple with no children, an aged Taketori no Hina ("the Old Man who Harvests Bamboo") and his wife. One night he found a glowing bamboo tree, and upon cutting it down, finds a pretty yet tiny baby girl inside the hollow bamboo shoot. He took the infant home to show his wife, and named her Kaguya-Hime. Raising her from then on, for every bamboo tree cut down, he would find a piece of gold and precious gems inside its stock. The riches he earned from the valuables made his family the wealthiest in the village. Their once small child, having grown into a gorgeous young woman who literally brightened up the household, was treated as royalty in their then richly furnished home.
Rumors spread of Kaguya's beauty. Men from across the land came see her, but she showed no interest in their offers of marriage. She was persuaded by Taketori, however, when 5 proposals were made by a group of princes/men of varying degrees of nobility (depending on the version). She gave each one an impossible task, all of them expected to retrieve a specific object for her. Long story short, they all failed. Three of the “returned” items were fakes, and the last two items were never found.
Meanwhile, the Emperor of the land showed interest in the mysterious Kaguya-Hime. She rejected his offer too, however, but they eventually became good friends, even sending poetry and letters to each other once they parted. As the months passed by, Kaguya grew ill at ease. she'd look towards the summer moon and sob whenever the moon was full. After a few failed attempts to ask what was wrong, Kaguya finally revealed that she was sent down to earth from her birthplace, Tsuki-no-Miyako (the moon-capital), and that as a citizen of the moon, she must return during August (after autumn starts, according to the Japanese calendar).
Depending on the version, Kaguya is sometimes sent away from home due to a celestial war; in others, she's living out the sentence for a crime. Often times though, the reason isn't explained. The gold and jewels were payment in exchange for taking care of her. While she wanted to stay, Kaguya knew she couldn't stop her departure.
The Emperor found out, and he sent his guards to prevent the moon-people from seizing her. But her celestial entourage arrived, and with their otherworldly powers the Emperor's men were forced to stand by. They gave Kaguya a potion filled with the elixir of life, and once she drank it, became immortal. Not finishing the whole bottle, she asked (and was granted) permission to give the rest to the Emperor's guards so they could send it to him. She wrote him a message for them to deliver to as well, and also letters to her parents and friends. The moon-people gave her a celestial feather robe, and once she wore it, her memories of earth were forgotten. She returned to her birth home with no concern for her loved ones at home, while her old and weary parents became sick from grief.
When the Emperor received the letter and elixir, his heart was broken; Kaguya had to leave despite wanting to take his hand in marriage. The Emperor didn't elixir, for he’d rather live a mortal life than live forever without the woman he loved. He wrote her a response letter, and ordered his men to burn the elixir and the letter on the highest mountain top in the land (mt. Fuji), hoping that the smoke would carry his message across the heavenly bodies and reach the moon-bound princess.
How Akito Ties Into It
After the events of the tale, Taketori and his wife passed away; a broken heart was cited as the reason. Meanwhile, the bamboo-cutter's nephew, Kenta, signed the Storybook Of Legends decades prior to the Evil Queen's book-theft. He inherited the role of Taketori no Hina, as well as the house and fortune owned by his late uncle and aunt.
Marrying a non-legacy sweetheart after graduation, Kyouko, the two lived happily throughout the years as they waited for the next heir. One fateful night, though, Kenta discovered a tiny infant inside of a glowing bamboo reed. As the story goes, he and Kyouko raised the child as their own.
While most Kaguya heirs tend to be girls, Akito came out as trans at around the age of 8. Granted, while he didn't exactly know the term at the time, it all started when he ran inside the house, full of energy and and as much pride as a boy could have:
"Papa, I'm a prince!"
"P-prince? But Akiko-chan, Kaguya has always been..."
"Nope, it's prince. I'm the one and only moon-prince~!"
Though it took some time to adjust at first, Kenta and Kyouko have always made sure to treat him as he is since: their beloved and only son, a blessing sent by the moon-people.
Due to the rise of the MirrorNet, the current Kaguya-Hime is the first Princess in centuries who can directly communicate with the Takenakas and her child. The family of three have kept in touch with the moon-royal since Akito's early years, and Kaguya herself later confirmed that, yes, Akito really is the first prince in a long line of princesses.
Nayotake no Kaguya-Hime
Even before they came in-touch online, Akito has always known – or at least sensed – that he was never actually born on earth. The original Kaguya-Hime and her descendants seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to their origins, and the young prince is no exception.
Never once having met her in-person since the send-off, Akito nonetheless holds his utmost respect for his mother. The two frequently exchange letters and video calls, savoring the time they have given the limited contact with the denizens of the moon.
Kenta Takenaka (Taketori no Okina)
The Takenaka family, legacy aside, is best known for hosting one of the largest multinational architecture and construction firms in the land of Ever After. Between this and the supply of bamboo-foraged gold per each generation, it's safe to say that the household is loaded.
Out the couple, it took somewhat longer for him to get used Akito's princehood. Once Akito (and both his mothers) hammered it down that this was more than "just a tomboy phrase," though, Kenta has been striving to stay educated and keep an open mind for both his own and Akito's sake. As old-fashioned as he can be, the old man still cares deeply for his son.
Born to a family of botanistd, one would think that Kyouko wouldn't have fallen for a woodsman. That said, the woman's environmentalist tenancies have done wonders for the Takenaka firm. Her biggest accomplishment throughout the decades has been pioneering the replenishment of bamboo forests throughout her native Japan and other parts of East Asia.
She's considered the "quirky rich next-door neighbor" among the village the three reside, Akito sites Kyouko as his biggest influence in the family. Though he gets along with Kenta well enough, the temporary strain between them in childhood has made him closer to his earth-mother than the former.
He tends to be uncomfortable with others refer to Kaguya as his "real" mom, viewing the woman to be as much of a mom as any parent. Both the Princess and gardener are mothers, biological or otherwise.
Akito's BFFA, they're childhood friends who act like sibs from different cribs, and met sometime after he stopped using his dead-name. Ramesh, being down-to-earth, is the solid rock to Akito's clouded sky; while the former keeps him grounded, the latter helps Ram to lighten up.
On the summer before starting Ever After High, Akito took a late summer trip to Book End. He was wandering about within the more covert parts of town and entered a doctor's office in the area, known for providing provisions for trans-umbrella kids, where he met the fae.
She ended up vouching for him to go there every month for an injection-based glamour spell to help him feel more comfortable with his appearance. They've been friends and allies since then, and though they used to hang out in secret (she had a royal-disdaining reputation to keep in tact), the two of them are currently open about their friendship.
When his grades were waning in Crownculus, Akito was assigned to Mary was made his math tutor. A few improved test scores and sneak-outs to The Bedtime Bazaar later, the two became fast friends.
While Mary helps to keep him on a schedule (ADHD can be a hassle, especially given his sleep patterns), Akito likes to join in Mary's productivity during his high moods – and remind her that she doesn't always have to stay perfect and organized on others. A few have speculated that the two have potential to be a cute couple, but both prefer their friendship over starting up a romance.
On one hand, Akito has nothing against those who are interested in Japanese culture. On the other hand? There are some non-Japanese students at school who take it a little too far in his opinion. Assuming that it's flattering to insert "kawaii" and "otaku" in their speech without knowing the context (he can only imagine why someone would proudly call themselves the latter), being a "fan" of him for being the son of the most famous princess from Japan (the whole from-the-moon thing aside), mistaking him for a walking encyclopedia on every anime in existence (he knows the big names, but he's casual at most), treating him like thw spokesman for every Japanese student in school...
Basically it adds up to microagressions + obsession + fetishization = nope. It's annoying and awkward and he's a person with feelings, not an object of someone's fascination or a "token minority" who needs elevation at the expense of knocking other cultures down.
While his tale doesn't end in marriage, the descendants of the Emperor and Kaguya's five noble suitors are primarily guys. Akito, being the bi nerd that he is, doesn't mind one bit.
That said, his destiny has always made dating a little bit awkward. A few students have even dumped him right after the first date, stating that he'd "forget who [they are] anyway" once he lived out his story. Despite these painful setbacks, he currently has steady high school sweetheart who is out of this world...
Akito first met the daughter/reincarnation of The Little Prince at a local Tanabata event run by his host-parents. Hala, whose destiny is tied to the night sky, visited Akito's village with the narrator of her story, and the starlit visitor caught his eye when he saw just how happy she was as she joined the festivities. He didn't get the chance to approach her at the time, and Hala disappeared within the celebrating populace.
The girl dropped one half of her newly bought pair of geta, which Akito came across by Cinderella-esque chance. Hala, meanwhile, turned out to be a classmate in his Astronomy class that year. It took a while for Akito to build the nerve, but he eventually returned it during a class field trip under the stars. Befriending the Little Princess, Akito was already smitten.
Between their passion for the cosmos, the two of them feeling like celestial fish out of water, and girl developing her own feelings, the two of them have currently become an item. Between Hala's calm curiosity and Akito's excitable wonder, the two space children balance each other perfectly.
As did the students in The Storybook of Legends, Akito also received an animal companion: a pudgy white rabbit, one that hopped right his way during the Animal Calling. Since the-bundle-of-fur's roundness reminded him of the shape of most rice cakes, Akito enthusiastically named him Mochi.
Over a long-sleeved v-neck shirt with an indigo-violet celestial print, he wears a blue-black zip-up hoodie with azure flame decals, all lining the bottom of the sweater and its sleeves. The zipper handle and the aiguillette of each drawstring are all stylized with the shape of hitodama (flame-like, will o' the wisp type entities that accompany Japanese spirits), yet appear in the shape of blue teardrops from a distance without close inspection. The jacket can be reversed to show a yellow base with orange flames. A dark haramaki wrap printed with the phases of the moon peeks from underneath his space-themed shirt, and overlaps his green, bamboo-print cargo shorts.
Poking from the wrap is a black and white chain clipped to hidden belt loops, which again highlights the lunar cycle. His shoes are a simple pair of violet high top sneakers, the tongue being yellow and the toe of each shoe patterned to appear like craters on the moon's surface. Over his head he wears a simple green bamboo-patterned circlet. The front displays a white gem in the shape of a full moon, each side lined with a semicircular stone with their flat sides facing the center.
Other than the moon/bamboo motifs, there's more story-related symbolism in his attire. First, he wears a cowrie shell bracelet on each wrist: the last of the five impossible tasks was to find a cowrie born by swallows. Another bracelet on his right forearm is woven together in gold and silver, with a white bejeweled flower and metallic leaf charm: the second task was to find the jeweled branch from the island of Horai, the Japanese equivalent of Mount Penglai of Chinese myth. As for his hoodie: the third task was to find the legendary robe of the fire-rat of China. While Kaguya's third suitor did find a robe, the garment burnt down in blue flames, thus it was a fake. Also, the tear-shaped hitodama-aiguillettes are in reference to the tears Kaguya cried while looking at the summer moon.
- His birthday is June 15th, making him a Gemini.
- "Akito" can translate to a number of things depending on the kanji. Kaguya means "radiant light" or "scattered light" depending on how it's written, so to relate his name to that, the correct spelling of his given name is "bright person" (朗人). With a different spelling "Aki" can also mean "autumn" ( 秋), being relevant to the fact that Kaguya leaves earth during the fall season (it starts on August on the Japanese calendar.
- The surname "Takenaka" means "(one who lives) in the middle of bamboo" (竹中).
- As pointed out, he's a transgender guy. He's not too out about it but not 100% secretive on it either, but he's started to be a bit more open about it since the events of Way Too Wonderland.
- Akito has ADHD combined-type. He's also diagnosed with cyclothymia, a somewhat milder yet nonetheless chronic mood disorder that is a part of the bipolar spectrum.
- Sometimes, when Akito is with his pet, he sits Mochi on his head and pulls over the hoodie he wears. Cue bundled up bunbun and Akito pretending he has rabbit ears. Don't try this at home, kids.
- Although Akito's creator didn't realize it at first, his blue-ish undertones may or may not be a(n accidental) play on the phrase "once in a blue moon" due to the fact that, while most Kaguya-Hime descendants are princesses, Akito is a prince.
- Both Rosalia Fee and Hala Amir are wonderful creations of by leavesofthree on devinantart, the two of them being mentioned with her explicit permission. In fact everything written about them here has been discussed/planned by the two of us~