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- "Once we rule the online world with AIDA, the real world will be as good as mine!! My rule will spread quickly across the real world, eventually allowing me to control people's very hearts! Then, I will be able to create a new world where no one fights, and where no one is ever oppressed by another."
- — Sakaki —
Sakaki (榊, Sakaki, lit. "Sacred Shinto Tree") is the Captain of Moon Tree's Second Division. Atoli is one of the members of Sakaki's division and follows his commands. He is one of the main antagonists of the .hack//G.U. series.
Sakaki is a young, green-haired man. He is dressed in formal, Japanese-style clothing in the style of a noble. When fighting he draws an oversized, two-handed sword as is typical of his class.
After his being infected with the AIDA<Victorian>, Sakaki transforms into Sakaki<Zenith>. Very little of his original charm and charisma still exists: he is now thoroughly demonic in appearance. His face is drawn and twisted inhumanly, his hair is wild, and many parts of his body have become red and black, a trait signalling a deeply-rooted AIDA infection. In addition, he now has a single wing-like appendage protruding from his left shoulder, a vestige of the AIDA that possesses him.
As a member of Moon Tree Sakaki is devoted to keeping The World R:2 free from unwanted elements such as PKs. He is often found preaching to PKs and even to PKKs like Haseo about the value of peace. His ambition is far greater than that of the current Guildmaster, Zelkova, who enjoys playing The World much more than wielding the might of the guild. Because of this and his skills as a leader, a faction of the guild is more loyal to Sakaki than to Zelkova.
After his infection, Sakaki becomes Sakaki<Zenith>, an abomination of his former self in both body and mind. Now completely ruthless, he has abandoned his beliefs and ideals in the pursuit of further power, having no qualms about endangering the lives of all players in The World, nor of endorsing PK and PKK activities, doing whatever he likes to get whatever he wants.
Sakaki's player is a 10-year-old boy named Toru Uike (鵜池トオル). He has an excellent record and lives and attends elementary school in Tokyo, in the class of Michiru Tajima. He joined The World as way to get away from the prejudices of age. He befriended Atoli after meeting on a suicide webpage and asked her to join The World.
Sakaki led a Suppression Squad to stop a certain PK's reign of terror with Adamas as one of his members but despite their efforts they were easily overwhelmed and quickly retreated before they were defeated
While walking in Mac Anu, Tabby overhears a passerby talking about Haseo's argument with Sakaki. She rushes to the scene but finds a large crowd blocking her path. This crowd prevents Sakaki from actually being seen, and his voice is never heard.
Sakaki is a somewhat delusional character, with dreams of remaking the real world in the idealistic image of Moon Tree. Through acts of kindness, Sakaki was able to win over the loyalty of many players, including Matsu, Hiiragi, Sophora, Atoli, and a large number of other Moon Tree members. Only a small group of players, such as Kaede, and Haseo, suspected the darker side of his nature.
In actuality, Sakaki was being used as a puppet by Ovan, who gave him AIDA to control the minds and emotions of people in the real world so he could bring Moon Tree's ideals into reality. To establish his own AIDA server, he infected Atoli with AIDA, and had her use her Avatar to PK the powerful Zelkova. With the Guildmaster out of the picture, the four divisions of Moon Tree loyal to Sakaki were easily able to overpower the two loyal to Zelkova, and the AIDA server was established. However, G.U. was able to infiltrate the server and Haseo used Skeith to battle Atoli's Innis. Following Atoli's loss and cleansing, Sakaki fled from the scene. He was pursued to the Keel Mountains of Briona Gideon. In a final stand of desperation, he infected himself with an AIDA, which caused him to go into a frenzied state. He was then defeated by Haseo, Atoli, and Pi, falling from the mountain's virtual cliffs.
However, Sakaki was far from beaten. Shortly after the beginning of Redemption, an email is sent to all the members of G.U. requiring them to meet at the Serpent of Lore. However, it is Sakaki in his new form, not Yata who greets them. He boasts of how he, having signed a contract with CC Corp, is now the leader of Project G.U. as well as head of the System Administration and the operation of The World itself. To add insult to injury, he brings in Yata's vacant PC and mercilessly abuses it. Demanding that the enraged Epitaph-Users submit to his will, he threatens that, as his rule within The World is now absolute, he can enact any means of discipline online or offline in the name of CC Corp to any who defy or attempt to work against him. Knowing that they are powerless, Haseo and the others leave, unwilling to aid him and unable to act against him directly.
Sakaki goes onto host his Tournament in the Sage Palace open exclusively to PKs and offering an exorbant sum of offline cash to the winner. His hidden purpose is to lure Haseo out into the open and gives Haseo a seeded entry. He demands Haseo participate and, furthermore, bet his undying loyalty on his own victory. Sakaki further threatens to flood The World with AIDA seeds should Haseo refuse. In order to tip the scales further in his own favor, Sakaki subsequently turns the Sage Palace into an AIDA Server and forces Haseo to participate in a variety of battles that are obviously to his disadvantage, including forcing him fight multiple battles against former Chaotic PKs in a single round, and, later, using the power of AIDA to tempt Haseo to unleash Skeith on IYOTEN and Asta. Despite all, Haseo continues to emerge victorious, whereupon Sakaki defames Haseo by exposing his status as an Epitaph-User by defining him as a hacked PC, and that his avatar was a hacked skill, to The World at large. It is only by Taihaku's direct intervention that Haseo's sentence of account banning is overturned by stating that though Haseo is a hacked PC, not even a low hacker can defeat him.
In the finals, Sakaki manipulates Hetero and his teammates, whose PCs he personally infected and illegally modified, forcing them to not only cause Sirius to become a lost one, but to fight Haseo and, in turn, force him to unleash Skeith in self-defense. Haseo is only saved by the fact that the users present cannot see Avatars.
After Haseo's fight with Taihaku, Sakaki, realizing Haseo is weak and defenseless, attempts to finish him off once and for all. Kuhn and Atoli, Haseo's teammates, attempt to help, but Sakaki uses his System Administration powers to forcefully teleport them away. However, before he can deal the final blow, Endrance, who had previously pledged his allegiance to Sakaki, stabs him in the back, at which point whatever little control Sakaki had over the AIDA possessing him fails. Growing completely power-mad, the AIDA<Victorian> emerges as Sakaki declares himself God of The World. Haseo, with the help of his friends, summons Skeith and, in a decisive battle, removes the AIDA from Sakaki.
Having lost all his power, Sakaki plummets into an Outer Dungeon.Ovan, however, is there waiting for him. Ignoring Sakaki's pleas for another AIDA Seed, he leaves Sakaki to die at the hands of Azure Kite, Azure Orca and Azure Balmung.
Ovan later admits that it was he who directed Sakaki's actions, giving him the numerous astounding abilities, both Online and Offline, the power to control AIDA and, later, the AIDA seeds he used. Sakaki's threat to flood The World with AIDA seeds was a bluff: he had none to do so, as Ovan revealed, the last one he had had already been used up, presumably on the Hetero Trio.
When Osamu Kawaguchi collapes from Doll Syndrome, he says only a single word: "Sakaki". Further research by Professor Taichiro Sugai reveals that Osamu's character in The World R:2 was a member of Moon Tree and served in Sakaki's Unit. Furthermore he discovers that all of the children with Doll Syndrome in Michiru Tajima's class were also members of Moon Tree. Before any more information can be found Michiru receives a text message from Osamu begging her to come to her school's computer lab. Upon arriving she is met by Tooru Uike, a student from her class and the player behind Sakaki.
After taunting her about the perfect world he plans to create, Tooru uses his control over AIDA and commands the other students to attack their teacher. Salvador Aihara breaks in shortly after and tries to stop him, but Tooru defeats him using several extraordinary abilities, like the power to control electricity and teleportation. When the police arrive Tooru and the students are nowhere to be found, having already teleported away.
Tooru makes a brief appearance in Online Jack shortly after the fall of Cubia and immediately prior to the release of Shino from the hospital. After the fall of Sakaki at the hands of Azure Kite, he and the other missing children are found, officially, in an abandoned home near their school (presumably his hideout). Neither he nor the others have any memory of his activities, and Tooru is shown laughing, carefree and innocent, in his hospital bed.
In GU+ Sakaki confronts Haseo alongside Atoli in a town square in Mac Anu. He tells Haseo that PKKs like him have contributed to the disorder currently plaguing The World R:2, and that in the end he is no different from a common PKer. Haseo ignores him, saying that he has his own reasons for being a PKK. Despite Sakaki's attempts to stop him, Haseo pushes past him and walks off.
In Trilogy, much of Sakaki's purpose in the storyline is entirely removed. He appears but twice in the entire movie: once when Haseo originally meets Atoli, to explain to him the situation of The World and PKers, much like in the game Rebirth, and then later, when Haseo has a flash of all of his friends within The World, Sakaki is there alongside Atoli.
- Sakaki is named after the tree "Cleyera japonica", a type of Japanese evergreen. In Shinto rituals, branches of the tree are used as conduits between humans and the gods. The tree's kanji combines the "god" radical with the "tree" radical, suggesting early on his megalomania.
- Sakaki's English voice actor also voiced Balmung.
- Sakaki is 6'0" (185 cm) in height.
- The Broadsword Sakaki wields is named "Heavenly Dawn", a level 87 broadsword equipped with Water Attack, Seal Attack, and Confusion Attack.
- Oddly enough, in .hack G.U. Volume 1, Sakaki's character is at level 115 or so. However, in Volume two, his character is dulled down to somewhere in the early to mid 80's.