>I consider Akio Ohtori, as presented in these stories to date, to be a
>joke as a villain. I can't think of anything that he's done or been
>responsible for that the "good guys" haven't been able to deal with,
>usually making him look foolish in the process. He goes to weddings to
>cause trouble, and to his frustration he gets ignored. He spies on the
>lives of the Trinity, and that one of them has made it so he can't spy
>any longer is mentioned almost as an afterthought. If he had a
>moustache, he'd likely be twirling it as he boasted of his plots and
>plans to his minions, even though they (the plans and the minions)
>haven't gotten him anywhere much. He's not done much of anything that
>I can recall that has had a lasting impact on anything. He's an
>irritant, yes, but he's not a Big Bad. At least not in my opinion.
I'll grant you one half-point: To those of us completely on the outside who can see all the different pieces that have been shown to us, and thus have some knowledge of the moves and counter-moves that are going on, he doesn't seem that big of a threat. But I'll also counter with this: Akio's greatest weapon, both now and in the past, has been royally fscking with peoples' heads. Not just to manipulate them, but to annoy them, to scare the bejeesus out of them, and even to break them. Yes, he's building an army, but his #1 focus is still PsyOps, trying to keep his enemies off-balance at best and really screw them up at worst.
Unfortunately for him, most of his chief underlings either aren't very good at what he really wants done, are just plain incompetent, or are more interested than their own agendas to get the job done right. Combine that with the fact that he is a bit overconfident in his own schemes and abilities, and he has Corwin's blood curse on him (which I think he still doesn't fully understand the power behind - it may have been initially given before he was invested as the Pillar of Cephiro, and Akio may have been reborn as a Demon of Muspelheim, but Akio was born of Cephiro, and Corwin is it's Pillar, and that's bound to have some sort of cosmic resonance when all is said any done...).
So yes, from certain angles Akio is a bit of a joke, but only when looked at through a very narrow lens. Plus, I'm sure there are things we haven't seen anywhere that will change the big picture even more when they're revealed.
[...] in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.
-- David Ben Gurion
EPU RCW #π