Higashiyama Sakusa is a powerful illusionist and a wanted murderer, sought for his crimes of murdering the entirety of the Mollusca Famiglia. He is eventually chosen as the Tenth generation Mist Guardian of the Cranio Famiglia while he was imprisoned in the Vendicare Prison, and was set free as a result. He is a hitman with multiple track records of assassinations and kills under his belt and is a powerful combatant with enough skill and ability to kill even the most experienced of hitmen.
Even before becoming the Mist Guardian, Higashiyama Sakusa was already a member of the Cranio Famiglia, joining at a mere 14 years old. He used to be a mere lower grunt who does menial tasks and office work for the higher ups. However his meeting with his girlfriend turned wife, Miyazaki Futaba, changed his world views for the better. "How can one appreciate life, if one keeps taking it?" — Sakusa took these words to heart and has continued to persist being in office work and doing menial tasks despite constantly being pestered by Arisa to join her in the higher ups as one of her Guardians. He also strived to be a better person in general: loving his wife and daughter; cheering up a child whose parent's forgot his birthday; adopting four more kids after one of the conflicts between the Cranio Famiglia and the Giovani Famiglia. Even stating that he would quit the Famiglia and find a more mundane job to support his family even joking about continuing to practice his sleight of hand tricks to become a professional magician. He became somewhat of an oddball in the mafia, known as "The Mafia Member who doesn't kill".
Sakusa is often seen drinking in the La Farfalla Bar with Coyotte Schnettin and Nikaido Arisa. The three of them always converse like old friends, which is an odd sight considering their respective positions in the famiglia. Arisa is the Head Boss of the Cranio Famiglia; Coyotte is an undercover member who infiltrated the Police Department as a Commissioner to avoid any arrests from the Law; and him, a low ranking member who is only assigned the most trivial of tasks and office works. During the time, the Cranio Famiglia was in a bit of a scuffle with the Mollusca Famiglia. With the way the said mafia organization kept targeting the armories and casinos of the Cranio Property. At some points, Sakusa temporarily helped Arisa in finding the perpetrators and eventually eliminating them which put him and his family in the Mollusca Famiglia's radar.
His complete descent into a merciless killer came after the Mollusca Famiglia managed to kidnap his wife and children and kill them all in an explosion right before his eyes. Pushed over to the brink of despair, Sakusa killed for the very first time, taking down the entirety of Mollusca Famiglia's forces by himself knowing full well that his actions will not be tolerated by the Vindice. After the fall of the Mollusca Famiglia, the Vindice arrested him in violating the Mafia Law and imprisoning him in the deepest parts of the Vendicare Prison. Although his imprisonment is short lived as Arisa eventually bailed him out and once again offered him a spot in her Guardians, which took no convincing as he accepted the offer with a sad and bittersweet smile, and no longer having the same light in his eyes as he did in the past.
Before the death of his first wife, Miyazaki Futaba, Sakusa is clearly seen with a bright smile on his face whenever with her. He has shown to be defensive when it comes to his occupation with the mafia, as he knows that the more people get involved the more dangerous it becomes for them. As such, he tried his best to keep his affiliation with the mafia a secret from Futaba. He was eager to work and displays joy and excitement whenever a strong opponent challenges him. Since Futaba found out about his affiliation with the mafia and told her about her views on life, Sakusa kept this to heart and became a pacifist who would try to negotiate before fighting. He was very tolerant, as seen when he kept ignoring the insults the other lower grunts give him and instead opted to just walk away. He had complete confidence no matter what type of situation he was dealing with, be it combat or simply bad situations he created in the first place. In most occasions, Sakusa is overly dramatic, he took most of his actions as a joke, and, although they were very thought out plans, he never once did credit himself for most of what he had done. Sakusa likes to tease anyone and everyone if it means that he can get a laugh out of it, however he liked to tease his wife the most knowing full well of the extra package she possesses.
After the death of his wife and children, Arisa described that "the warmth he once had is completely enshrouded in a cold and uncaring killer air". Although he still jokes around and tends to tease his fellow guardians, his eyes continued to lack any life in them, as if he was just "going through the motions of his old self". His smiles were flat, his emotions run dry, and he is unable to properly express himself. He adopts a cruel and ruthless personality, showing no mercy to the misfortunate people who he targeted. However, he has shown to still have a bit of humanity left in him. Example are the times when he genuinely enjoys doing magic tricks in front of his fellow guardians, and times when he genuinely cared about them enough for them to call him a treasured friend. He has also shown to imprint some of his deceased family onto others, as seen when he subconsciously saw Latifa as a daughter like figure and tends to treat her as such, and again when he saw his adoptive son Tsukasa in Ooguro Ryuya, which shows just how much the death of his wife and children affected him. Eventually he does regain a bit of his drive and will to live, especially after finding closure in his wife and children's death. Moving on and slowly adjusting back, even finding new love in the two sisters Nikaido Arisa and Nikaido Amami after being made aware of their feelings as well as how much they have done to keep him from ending his own life.
Sakusa is a slightly tall man in his early twenties with short black hair that has a bit of spike to it. When he was introduced, he was always seen with the dull eyes of happiness, immediately relaying to those who meet him that he has gave up on life and is just "going through the motions". Before his 1st wife and children died, his eyes were described by Amami as having more life in them. When Ryuya went to Ten Years into the Future by accident and saw Sakusa with his two wives, he described him as "a completely different person" and further states that "he lacked the killer aura that he had ten years prior".
Sakusa's most common outfit is a typical suit and tie, however the dress shirt he wears tends to varie depending on whether he's on a mission or is representing the Cranio Famiglia. When on missions, he tends to either wear a black or white long-sleeved dress shirt. When representing the Cranio Famiglia, he tends to wear an indigo colored dress shirt to signify his role as a Mist Guardian at first glance. However in both cases, he tends to fold the sleeves of the dress shirt even when he puts on the blazer. He wears his Cranio Ring on his right middle finger. Ten years in the future, Ryuya saw that Sakusa still likes to wear a simple black suit and tie with indigo dress shirt, however he has a little scruff on his face.
Weapons and Abilities
To those who fought Sakusa post-descent has stated that he is a frightening individual, he is the strongest of the Tenth Generation Cranio Guardians and has hardly ever lost a fight. There are only a handful of people who could match him in combat, some of which include: Nikaido Arisa, his boss and second wife; Ooguro Ryuya, the boss of the Giovani Famiglia; and Claude Thompson, the Tenth Generation Cranio Cloud Guardian, even then he remains the strongest in battle. One of his most terrifying traits is his immeasurable physical capabilities and adaptive combat prowess. Displaying the ability to fight against seemingly, overwhelming odds with ease and decimate his enemies single-handedly and with a finesse befitting that of an experienced warrior that pars with the skill of more experienced fighters. This trait was shown when he was able to fight with the entirety of the Giovani Famiglia by himself and still emerge victorious, despite Ryuya's ability to see across time and space. Sakusa is constantly advancing his strength, becoming stronger with each person he defeats every day
Sakusa has also displayed to be a prodigy as an illusionist, powerful enough to deceive the Arcobaleno's five senses and the Vongola's Hyper Intuition. Evident by the Skull Ring provided to him by the Cranio Famiglia emitting an ostentatiously powerful Mist Flame that is easily 20 times that of a common Dying Will Flame Capacity. His illusions are realistic to the point where he can make his target misinterpret an entities form, shape, mass, feel, and smell, and it has shown to be near-impossible to break free unless he wills it. His illusions are highly useful in combat, as he can create simple or complex illusions to deceive his opponents. He has shown most of the time to create decoys of himself to distract his opponents and hide his own movements, allowing him to attack with impunity. His opponent will remain focused on the illusion until it is too late to react. Aside from his perceptive mind to not be caught in an illusion, he has also shown the ability to dispel them with ease. As he possesses both the Mist Flame and Desert Flame, his illusions are significantly more powerful than someone who only uses the Mist Flame as both Flames specialize in illusions.
Definitely what Sakusa is recognized for as an illusionist is his ability to create illusions that imitate his opponents' fighting style and techniques, with the same power and effectiveness as the original. Additionally, with the Construction Attribute of the Mist Flame, Sakusa is able to copy the abilities and weapons of his opponents and allies. The power of the illusions being comparable in both appearance and power to the actual object. He has shown incredible creativity when it comes to using the Illusory Dying Will Flames: Cloud Flames to multiply his physical parameters times fold;Sun Flames to improve the efficiency of his bodily functions; Lightning Flames to render himself virtually indestructable; Storm Flames and the electrical properties of the Lightning Flames for an incredibly destructive attack; Rain Flames to slow down his heartbeat to appear dead; are only some of the techniques that he is able to achieve. Making him one of the most versatile combant on the battlefield.
- Mixed Martial Arts: Sakusa is a genius fighter who has the ability to learn and master a fighting style perfectly in a short amount of time, something that Arisa saw when he first joined the Famiglia at age 14. This eventually turned out to be true, as he has later mastered multiple forms of unarmed combat, including but not limited to: Karate, Boxing, Taekwondo, Jujutsu, Muay Thai, Street-Fighting and Chinese Kenpo. He later on expands his arsenal and moves to armed combat, showcasing skill with firearms and melee weapons alike. Since meeting Futaba at Age 15, he has been fighting using just his bare hands and has not once used a single firearm or melee weapon due to the specific reason of not wanting to kill.
- Biofeedback: In a manner similar to Katrina, Sakusa has displayed the ability to use the mind-body technique to gain control over involuntary bodily functions such as: heart rate, muscle tension, blood flow, pain perception, and blood pressure. However unlike Katrina, Sakusa has enough control over his involuntary movements so as to keep himself at the peak of human conditioning. Additionally, he is skilled enough with biofeedback techniques to the state that he has enough conscious control over his adrenal and endorphin secretions, augmenting his already peak human condition into superhuman levels. Finally, he has also displayed the ability to exert 100% of his muscular strength and brain capacity.
- True Illusions: Unlike other illusionists, Sakusa's hard mist flames allows him the ability to create illusions so powerful they outweigh reality. Essentially, he is able to shift the phenomenon of his illusions from illusion to reality and back at any moment. It is through this technique, that Sakusa was able to replicate the weapons of his opponents and allies alike; as well as recreate the other Dying Will Flames of the Sky as well as the Dying Will Flames of the Earth, going as far being able to recreate the Flame of Night and the Flame of Wrath, and use their attributes and abilities affiliated with them as if they were his own. Additionally, he displayed immunity against the Cranio's Miracle by forming the Crowned Skull Ring.
- Mind Control: Using his eyes as a medium, Sakusa has the ability to put unders into an hypnotic spell and essentially control their minds. To the recipient who is being mind controlled, they are put under an extremely powerful illusion. Sakusa is able to choose what the victim sees in their illusions: in some cases he shows them nightmares and completely hellish illusions; in other cases he will show them their ideal lives and the lives that they have always wanted to live out but couldn't. This application of mind control was seen when Sakusa showed his co-worker an alternate life where, she lived through seventy years of an illusionary life in a span of a second in real time. The death she experienced within the illusion tricking her body into expiring as well.
- Possession: Sakusa has the ability to freely possess and take over the body of any living being, whether sentient or not, by stealing their motor functions and senses. When using possession, he likes to only use this skill when he is in a near-death state and then leaves his own body to enter another. When he does this, he either can merely use the body as a container to house his soul, or he can fuse his soul with the body to add their attributes into his own and in turn increase his physical capabilities and attributes. Unlike most mafia hitmen, he does not need to use a Posession Bullet to possess another person and can do this freely by himself. Stated to be his esper power.
- Spiritual Tripping: Probably his most used technique, Sakusa us able to link his illusions to his target's body. Using his gestures to indicate weapons and equipment, he is able to forcibly drive images into the target's mind along with the power associated with them, allowing him to manifest illusionary weapons which cause the same effects to the target as real ones. A certain degree of skill is necessary in order to convey the image through the gesture, Sakusa is able to instill an image with details which would be normally be impossible to tell from a simple gesture, even if the image is that of something that the target has never seen before. Aside from weapons, Sakusa is able to form other forms of machinery and equipment.
- Ossa Impressione Hell Ring: Obtaining this Hell Ring from the Mollusca Famiglia, it is rumored to house the spirits of those who fell into hell due to their intense attachment to the living world. The number of spirits that reside into the Hell Ring amounts to thousands or even tens of thousands, and on the occasion that the Sakusa receives an attack, they turn into scapegoats for him transferring his damage into the sinners trapped in Hell. The Ossa Impressione Hell Ring is rarely worn and is only used when Sakusa promised a friend to return unharmed, using this to keep himself completely unharmed. As Sakusa is able to continue being immune to attacks as they all go to sinners.
- Segno Hell Ring: The Segno Hell Ring is capable of temporarily taking away and erasing the presence and "killing intent" of an individual, and even drifting a presence into a space where there is nothing. As this is forbidden black magic that controls the existence of life, Sakusa will always be side by side with ruin. Which is why Sakusa is a perfect wielder for the Segno Hell Ring as he is always in ruins. It is activated by inscribing signs of Mist Flame with hand motions. This implies a certain degree of correlation with the ring's power and symbolism. Sakusa mainly uses the Segno Hell Ring to mask his presence, allowing himself to look and feel like a hologrm.
- Mist Skull Ring: Given to him by Arisa after joining the Six Guardians, Sakusa usually wears the ring on the middle finger of his right hand. Immediately after obtaining this Ring, he has shown to utilize and release the Construction characterization of the flame. The flames he is able to emit is immeasurable in comparison to the rest of the Guardians, described to be 20 times stronger than even that of the full power of an ordinary Dying Will Flame capacity. Sakusa is also able to open all Mist-Attributed Box Weapons using the Mist Flames produced by the Ring. As with the other guardians, it has been shown that the Mist Ring has accepted Sakusa as the true Mist Guardian of Cranio.
- Glasses of the Mist vers. Cranio: The Glasses of the Mist is the Cranio Gear that the Mist Skull Ring can switch into due to it accepting Sakusa as a true wielder of the Skull Ring, manifesting his personality that was ingrained into the Skull Ring into the Cranio Gear. It takes the shape of a pair of eyeglasses with an integrated HUD, containing information about the world around them and allowing him to perceive data without requiring to look away from his usual viewpoints. The Glasses symbolize the clouded vision he has on reality and himself, his former self enshrouded in a fog of loss and trauma. It symbolizes the misty road he goes through in life, unaware of what's to come.
- Serpente de Nebbia vers. Cranio: Sakusa's Box Weapon is nicknamed Orochi. It is a big King Snake about 40' in length. It's skin is described as harder than diamond, heavier than and more durable than tungsten. Atop it's head is a small Mist Flame to indicate it's attribute. Orochi is capable of producing a Mist Flames with which Sakusa can create a mirage that completely renderes any observers unable to accurately locate the position of itself or Sakusa. Additionally, it has been modified by Cranio Scientists so that it can be opened with any other Dying Will Flames that Sakusa uses it on. As such it can become a Sky Box Weapon, Storm Box Weapon, Rain Box Weapon, Cloud Box Weapon and Lightning Box Weapon.
- Asura Mode: Asura Mode transforms Sakusa into a snake/human hybrid. Sakusa gains very pale skin, golden eyes with slitted pupils, purple markings around his eyes and fang-like teeth. A long, white snake is also fused with his abdomen, which he uses like a tail. He can also transform into a giant white snake made up of many smaller snakes, with longer, spikier hair, a scaled face with snake-like teeth and a long tongue, black eye markings, and a pointed chin. He has also shown to partially merge with Orochi causing his skin to turn white and scaly his left arm. In this form, in addition to his snake-oriented abilities, Sakusa's already powerful illusions are further enhanced to immeasurable levels.
- Mammon's Esper Cloak: Mammon's Cloak is the Mist Attribute Cambio Forma of Orochi and Sakusa. It takes the form of a Black Cloak that increases Sakusa's illusion abilities and forcefully brings out his talent as an esper, allowing him myriad of psionic abilities such as: Telekinesis, Teleporation, Telepathy, Extrasensory Perception, among others. However forcefully drawing out his dormant talent as an esper puts a massive strain on his body, the likes of which can't even be affected by damage transferring properties of the Ossa Impressione Hell Ring. Mammon's Esper Cloak is named after one of the first generation's members, Escargo Marmon.
- Cambio Forma vers. Cranio Gear: When Orochi merges with Sakusa's Cranio Gear, the Glasses transforms into a helmet resembling that of a biker helmet. The helmet also contains a Heads Up Display, however the information it processes is far superior the glasses and the power of his illusions have been increased even more so than that of the original Mist Skull Ring and the Cranio Gear. Just like the original Cambio Forma, the Helmet is able to draw out the latent esper power of Sakusa. However the helmet does a systematic self-hypnotic process in which it somewhat forces Sakusa's subconsious to draw in more power and accept that power, which in turn is more deadly.