Late to the party, but I gots to get in on this:
Akio is only a joke of a villain so far because he hasn't actually begun his main villain arc yet.
No, really. He hasn't. Everything up to now? Has been warm-up. It doesn't seem like it is, because in real time he's been around for nearly a decade and a half, but he hasn't actually pulled the trigger on his big thing yet.
It is true that so far everything he has tried has gotten him his ass handed to him. That is the case with every major villain in UF going right back to Largo. You guys remember Largo, right? The guy who kept getting everything overt he tried exploded by the WDF, until suddenly he snuck up on them sideways, shanked them, and walked away whistling to basically de facto rule the galaxy from the shadows for like a hundred years?
Big Fire/the Magnificent Ten are the same way. Every single time they show up, they end up getting their clocks cleaned. Oh, sure, you have things like Shockwave Alberto saying "no, really, we're okay with our kaiju assault on New Avalon getting stuffed, honest, it was just a field test" and maybe he's bullshitting and maybe he ain't, but they're also sort of joke villains... until, presumably, the time comes when they score a big win. They've been being built up for a long time now and have something up their sleeves.
The Earth Alliance are jokes as well, but they're very clearly meant to be deliberate jokes, so they get a pass; whoever was running Clark et al. clearly was setting them up to fail and so turned them into cartoonish supervillains.
My point is kind of that "the bad guys constantly lose and lose hard, and even when they win it is rarely significant" is kind of a theme of UF. It is somewhat annoying (Jeanne mentioned the wedding sequence, and she was right to; Akio is supposed to be an enormously smooth operator and instead everyone there saw right through him) that Akio has been tripping over his own feet for awhile, but I really think that his big wins are on the horizon; he'll only become a joke if he keeps consistently being beaten.
And I for one look forward to those wins on Akio's part! The best narrative decision the production team ever made was Sonset. Yes, a lot of the writing that came out of the Exile was crap. But the Exile was necessary. The WDF couldn't just constantly go from victory to victory in their giant floating space fortress, making the galaxy safe for freedom. They had to be ripped apart and kicked into the gutter, because that was what allowed them to rise back up like a phoenix and give their ultimate victory meaning. The losses they suffered had to be real ones to give the rebuilding depth. Sure, these days Gryphon lives in his wonderful dyson sphere in his awesome IPO office with his family and big house in the suburbs and everything is awesome.
But he'll never be able to sit on the bridge of the Wayward Son and order it to make the jump to lightspeed again. If he wants to see a lot of the guys he spent a couple hundred years serving alongside, he'll have to go to Valhalla, which is NOT the same. There's a whole planet out there that's poisoned that he can't make better, and I bet he blames himself for that. His best and oldest friend changed in weird and freaky ways because of Sonset and the Exile, and is no longer the same person he had a cabin down the hall from for so many years.
And that's just Gryphon. There are others.
Those losses are what made the victory matter.
At some point, Akio is going to stop being a joke. He's going to come at the Trinity from an angle they don't expect and do something truly, nastily, monstrously awful to them that they won't just be able to brush off or walk away from or easily heal from. He's going to inflict loss on them.
And their lives are gonna suck for awhile.
And then they're going to defeat him so utterly he might as well have never existed, and it is precisely because of the scars they bear that that victory will be amazing.
Or at least, so I hope. If he just ends up their punching bag from not until whenever, he will indeed be a joke villain.