Akihito Sudo (須藤 暁人 Sudō Akihito) is another Class A karuta player. He was competition for the Mizusawa Karuta Club. But after his team loses to them, he gains respect for them and supports Chihaya. He was a student of Hokuo Academy at the beginning of the series but has graduated and is now studying at the University of Tokyo and is in Todai Karuta Society both are attended by Suo.
Sudo has beige color hair and brown eyes, although he keeps his eyes close most of the time. He is mostly seen in his red shirt and track pants.
According to Hiro Kinashi, he is known to be a sadist, once challenging Chihaya to shave her head once she loses first to him and not wanting to let go of the barter. Even others like Taichi and Nishida thinks the same way as well, despite of any known matches between them.
He tends to be strict to his team, putting a lot of pressure in them, according to his team mates, that even his voice and stares were giving them pressure. His strongest point is his pride, as stated by their coach, that he is willing to put all work into it.
He sees himself as having a future in karuta. He once told Chihaya of his plans to become a karuta reader, and even attended Kyoko Yamashiro's school for readers.
In Episode 21, Season 1 at the beginning Eastern Qualifier he made a bet with Chihaya that whoever loses first, must to shave their hair. Chihaya looses to Yumi but Harada tells him that the match should be betweeen them and defeats Sudo.
When Sudo was still in High School, he learned to be a Certified reader. He notices that the Meijin's strength relies on the way the reader reads the cards.
In Vol 35 Chapter 184 at the Eastern Qualifier semifinals Taichi made a bet with him on whoever loses, the loser has to quit playing karuta for life, shocking everyone. Sudo at first isn't keen on accepting the bet later agrees adding that the winner will keep on playing karuta till death. He is defeated by Taichi. When Hakuo members ask him about his banishment from Karuta he tells them that if one of them is ever paired against Taichi be sure to win and end his exile.
Sudo treats Chihaya no different than how he treats members of Hokuo. Though he has called Chihaya multiple times she has yet to add him in her contacts. He has taken Chihaya to Reader Training Hall. He is the one who taught Chihaya Modori-te (Back Hand) which they both use in Eastern Qualifier Final though while Sudo's is sharp while Chihaya stumbles but when she uses it against Shinobu in Queen match she has perfected it.
They seem to know each other very well. It's obvious that Sudo doesn't like her. Sudo thinks that he is being insulted by Shinobu because of her being Queen and he promises himself that one day he will defeat her and Chihaya.
They both are called by DOUB-S by Chihaya in Vol 23 Chapter 121. Before Suo took Taichi under his wing Sudo was his constant companion. He was board person for Suo's 5th and 6th Meijin matches.
An A-level player, it has been noted that Sudo has incredible potential that is stifled by his tendency towards sadism. He has a peculiar style of playing, in which he places his cards in a manner so as to disturb his opponent's psyche, in the case of Chihaya placing her favourite 'Chihayafuru' card right in the center of his field to draw her attention. His coach has said that if it were not for his sadistic streak, he would be a formidable contender for the Meijin title.
- (To Chihaya) - "My aim is to perfect the winning karuta. I wanna become the Meijin." (Vol 34 Chapter 177)
- (To Chihaya and Hokuo Academy Karuta Club members) - "Some day If I became the President of the Karuta Association, it'd be fun, don't you think? Ha Ha.It's not my dream or anything, but it's not impossible, right? I'm kinda cut out for it, too no? I'll find normal employment, but still continue playing karuta, always continue, even when I become an old geezer, I will still continue playing it. And I will do all kinds of administrative work for the association at the same time. So that my kouhais from karuta club could play karuta without having to worry about a thing. I'll do it while I work a normal job, of course. That's my version of being accomplished at both academics and sports. All the chairmen the association ever had are Ex-Meijins, y'know. Funny ain't it" (Vol 34 Chapter 177)
- (To Chihaya) - "What's wrong with falling flat on your face to take a card? It's cool!"
- (To Taichi) - 'How sickening. It was as if it was Suo-san who said that to me just now. And it made me sick. Except you . . . you're not Suo-san.' "Well sorry. For being such a killjoy. I repend, I repend. I'll go along with you. The looser has to quit Competitive Karuta, was it? But it's boring that way, so how about we add another condition? The winner has to play Competitive Karuta for the rest of his life." 'You always think you're ready to quit karuta at any moment. I can tell that. And I can tell that neither Suo-san nor you like karuta. So there, go strangle your own neck with the hand that you reached out to strangle mine.' (Vol 35 Chapter 184)