Akai attended Osaka University of Arts majoring in fine art . While studying there, Akai created the character designs for the Daicon III opening animation. The main staff for the Daicon III and Daicon IV opening animations went on to create the animation studio Gainax. Akai was in the same class as Hiroyuki Yamaga and Hideaki Anno.
He was a board member of Gainax. His wife is Kimiko Higuchi. He stepped down from Gainax board after an incident in which he and another employee made disparaging remarks about fan criticisms made on the Japanese Internet forum 2channel. He runs his own company titled NineLives.
- Aikoku Sentai Dai-Nippon
- Akai Takami Works
- Banner of the Stars (anime, character designs)
- Crest of the Stars (anime, character designs)
- Dennō Gakuen
- Magical Pop'n (package artwork)
- Kaettekita Ultraman (Daicon Film)
- Petite Princess Yucie (anime, original story, character design)
- Princess Maker (game, character design, director)
- Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Yamata no Orochi no Gyakushū
- "Co-Founder Takami Akai Steps Down From Gainax's Board". Anime News Network. 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
- "It Came From Japan! Magical Pop'n". destructoid. Retrieved 2018-08-08.