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Shinichi Akiyama, The famous swindler, is one of the main protagonists of Liar Game, and is seen as one of the key players by all involved.
Shinichi is counted as a genius by all those around him, and has proven at many points in the series to be able to come up with smart and complex plans in a matter of seconds. Due to his knowledge of human psychology, he has been shown to predict people's responses to specific actions and stimuli, as shown be his plan against Nao's teacher in the first round. Though at times he may appear cold and deceitful, he has proven at many points to be honest and caring, giving his winnings from the first round to his opponent (albeit, after Nao had done the same), and taking on a detramental debt at the end of the Contraband Game so that other players could go free of debt.
The Birth of a Swindler
Akiyama's father died at an early age, and, growing up, Akiyama was raised single-handedly by his mother. Though his family was not well off, his mother worked night and day so that he could live a happy life. She was able to send him to school, and Akiyama began studying hard for his mother. He soon began to show his vast intellegence amd was accepted into Teito University, a world-renowned college, and took on a psychology major. However, around this time, Akiyama's mother finally pushed herself to far and grew increasingly ill. Though he offered to quit school and take care of her, she refused, telling him that she had worked hard to get enough money to get him throuhg college, and that he should not waste it. This, however, was a lie, as she still did not have enough money to get Akiyama through college.
One day, while still in the hospital, Akiyama's mother received a visit from one of her friends, and, after hearing her problems, her friend showed her a brochure for the Shuuei Group, and told her how all that she had to do was sell some of the brochures and she could earn a huge amount of money and would be able to pay off her debts and get Shinichi through school. His mother gladly accepted the offer, and signed a contract for the company. However, the contract was a scam, and she soon had a debt of over 10,000,000 yen. Knowing that she would never be able to pay it off, and that she couldn't get Shinichi through college, she did the only thing she could do, killing herself and leaving all her life insurance to Shinichi.
Shinichi, distraught over his mother's death, dropped out of his college, and, using the skills he had acquired, set out against the company. Soon, he had driven the company into the ground, and, after being found guilty on the charge of swindling, he was sent to jail for three years.