| Sonozaki Akane|
|Alternate Name||Sonozaki Akane (園崎 蒐)|
|Nickname|| Mii Mama (魅ママ)
"Demon Princess of Shishibone"
Higurashi Daybreak Weapons
|Portrayed By|| |
Akane's history as depicted in all of the media reveals itself in small bits to only later come together. Akane fell in love with an outsider yakuza boss who was neither selected nor approved by the family. When Oryō rejected their union, Akane rebelled. Both enraged, they settled the matter in a spectacular kendo match. Akane was later forced to peel off her fingernail as restitution and lost the right of inheritance. She subsequently gave birth to twin girls, Sonozaki Mion and Sonozaki Shion, and inheritance fell to the eldest of her children, "Mion." As is eventually revealed in the Sound Novel, manga, and anime, Mion and her sister Shion changed places prior to the ceremony where Mion would receive the demon tatoo in recognition of her status. Thus, Shion received the tatoo but took over the identity of Mion while Mion became Shion. There is no indication that their parents or Oryō ever discover this.
Akane still appears at public functions and even acts as a spokeswoman, often with her husband, whose name is never revealed, and whose considerable intelligence contacts have proven very useful to Oryō. Akane's husband is not to be confused with Sonozaki Saburou, who actually works for the Prefectural Assembly and is not part of the yakuza.
Although publicly she cannot be forgiven, Akane told a very young Mion that she and her mother are still very close and friendly in private. As becomes clearer in the later arcs, Akane understands her mother's need for "face": while everyone seems to know that her mother forgave her and even accepts her husband to the point he accompanies her in important meetings, she cannot publicly do so. Thus, after Keiichi confronts her mother over Satoko's condition, she wisely advises him to back off to allow her mother the space to act without losing face.
While the parents may seem absent to the turmoil the children suffer, in Matsuribayashi-hen Akane becomes an important piece in the plan to defeat Miyo Takano.
In Yoigoshi-hen, Akane takes over the family after the Great Hinamizawa Disaster. Although technically not able to inherit, she takes power citing that the true successor, her daughter, is still too young to do so. She is later nearly assassinated by a competitor within the group and is badly wounded. She was hospitalized and later died in the hospital where she was treated.
Akane has the same hair color as her daughters, which is depicted in the the Sound Novels, color panels, and anime as green. They also have teal eyes. She wears her hair in a traditional fashion. Like her mother, she dresses traditionally, usually in a dark charcol-colored kimono.
Until she becomes an actual character in the media, Akane does not appear an actual character. In later arcs, her background becomes known and her interactions give a better picture of her personality. Of course, since each arc represents a different time fragment and, over the course of the series, characters change, the Akane seen in an early arc is not necessarily the same Akane seen in later arcs. Nevertheless to begin, despite her traditional dress and deferment to her mother, Akane retains independence. She had a known "wild" teenage life, and Ōishi refers to by her old nickname: "the Demon Princess of Shishibone." The anime and manga depict her watching her daughter Shion confront Oryō; both she and her husband sadly but silently grimace at their daughter's behavior. This may convey passive acceptance of her mother's decisions; in reality she and her husband realize their daughter does not understand what she is doing.
Later, she handles turning over Takano's notebooks to Ōishi and the police. This, along with her attending meetings with her mother, subtley indicates that Oryō respects and trusts her. Still later it is revealed that she yearly lays flowers and onigiri her mother made on the grave of the Construction Manager.Akane appears to have a wicked sense of humor and a very direct approach to matters. One of her most important roles occurs in Matsuribayashi-hen where she and her uncle hilariously ruin the plans of a police official under Takano's payrole. When Ōishi sees her appear he jokingly directs her to pay her speeding fines, to which Akane laughs that her car stalls if it goes over the legal speed limit. She then hilariously traps the police official. In the manga version of the earlier arc Minagoroshi-hen, after she convinces Keiichi to back off on his confrontation with her mother, she compliments his character then, laughing, declares he has her approval to marry either of her daughters, it does not matter to her which, he can pick the one he wants. She smiles as both of her embarrassed daughters scream in protest and Keiichi similarly freaks. She then slyly asks why everyone is blushing only to be comically beaten by her irrate blushing chibi daughters.
- She changed the kanji of her first name from "蒐" to "茜". Both kanji read "Akane".
- "蒐" means "gather" and "茜" refers to the red madder dye.
- Akane is a known practitioner and expert in kendo.