Physically speaking, Akabayashi is of an average build but has remarkable strength for someone his age. His most distinguishing feature is the scar on his right eye. He is usually seen wearing a black suit with a red undershirt and also wears colored sunglasses. He also carries an intricately carved, handcrafted cane which most people find gaudy.
In his younger days, Akabayashi was reckless, hotheaded, and completely ruthless. He was always eager to fight and would usually leave his opponents in a bloody mess. As the years went on he seems to have mellowed with age and is much more relaxed and laid back. Many of his older acquaintances find this as a big shock and wonder what could have changed him so quickly. He has a soft spot for kids and has strong convictions against drug dealing. He is also adept at keeping up with pop culture and adapting to new technologies unlike his partner Aozaki.
Akabayashi's sudden change in personality has also sparked some distrust amongst his colleagues, most notably Shiki . Shiki believes that Akabayashi is hiding something but he isn't sure what.
Before joining the Awakusu, Akabayashi was part of an unnamed yakuza group and acted as the bodyguard of it's leader. He recieves orders to extort "protection" money from an antique store and a grocery store owned by the Sonohara family. Akabayashi decides to hit the grocery store first and has a fateful encounter with Sayaka Sonohara, the mother of Anri Sonohara. Instead of caving into pressure like Akabayashi expected, Sayaka drew Saika and attacked him relentlessly. Akabayashi managed to defend himself for a short time before being quickly overwhelmed and losing his right eye in the process. He manages to overcome Saika's curse through sheer willpower. After the incident, Akabayashi leaves the Sonohara's in peace but soon finds that he couldn't stop thinking about Sayaka. He realizes he has fallen in love with her and goes to confess. Unfortunately he gets shot down after she tells him that she was already married and had a family. The two of them remained on relatively friendly terms until tragedy struck when Sayaka took the life of her husband along with her own.
Initially, Akabayashi assumed it was due to her husband's abusive nature but, upon further investigation, Akabayashi finds that the reports of domestic abuse happened very suddenly and very recently. Sayaka's husband had, up until that point, had shown no signs of abusing Sayaka or their daughter Anri at all. Several drug tests also showed that there was an unknown drug detected in Sayaka's husband's body which was known to cause fits of insanity and rage. Akabayashi also learned that the drugs had come from the very organization that he worked for, effectively making his boss indirectly responsible for Sayaka's death. With this new information in mind, when Akabayashi and his boss were confronted with an assassin, Akabayashi abandoned his duty as a bodyguard and let the assassin kill his boss. Many of the members from his old yakuza group believe Akabayashi was the one who killed him and still seek revenge from time to time. After leaving his old yakuza group, Akabayashi eventually joins the Awakusu.
Dollars and Blue Sqaures ArcEdit
Akabayashi is seen in a meeting between all of the high ranking executives of the Awakusu including Shiki, Aozaki, Kazamoto , and the young head Mikiya Awakusu . They discuss what to do about Shizuo who is under suspicion of randomly killing three awakusu members. Akabayashi describes Shizuo's abilities to a skeptical Mikiya. Soon after the meeting adjourns and Akabayashi is seen investigating on the Dollars website. He expresses some satisfaction over being able to join a gang like the Dollars despite his age. Akabayashi is also one of the people Shiki considers to be a possible traitor due to his mysterious and vague nature.
In the epilogue, Akabayashi, Aozaki, and their subordinates are charged with taking down Vorona and Slon who were hiding out in an abandoned construction site. Akabayashi takes down Vorona easily and warns her not underestimate the Awakusu again since they were responsible for kidnapping Akane Awakusu earlier in the volume. He leaves Vorona with Simon and the others from Russia sushi and heads back home.
Mika VS Namie/ Izaya's Hospitation ArcEdit
Akabayashi's past with Sayaka as well as some background info on the Awakusu is given in one of the shortstories contained in this volume.
Akabayashi joins the chatroom under the screen name "Gaki" along with Eijirou Sharaku (Shoro), Aoba Kuronuma (pure water 100%) and Saki Mikajima (Saki). He also runs into Anri Sonohara and recognizes her as Sayaka's daughter. Out of respect of his love for Sayaka, he takes Anri in and acts as a foster parent for her and is willing to provide financial aid until she turns 18.
Dragon Zombie ArcEdit
Akabayashi meets Izaya in a park to ask for a job. He wants Izaya to do a background check on Mikado Ryuugamine . He knows Mikado is getting close with Anri and he simply wants to make sure he isn't involved with anything dangerous. Izaya accepts the job
Katoda's Coma ArcEdit
Akabayashi gets his information from Izaya, who pretends to be surprised that his junior (from Raira) is the founder of Dollars. In their conversation, Akabayashi comments that if he were younger he would beat a person like Izaya to death without reason, but he will leave all the fighting to the younger generation. He says the young man in the bartender suit can do it in his place. Izaya is naturally irritated.
Shiki introduces Akabayashi to Niekawa Shuji in search of his runaway daughter Haruna, who is in the Dollars. Akabayashi crashes one of the Dollars meetings, and says that for those the Awakusu cannot force out of the underworld, there are two choices: to merge, or to destroy. Mikado is desperate for a third choice where they can maintain the status quo, having fights that do not interfere with the underworld. Akabayashi warns Mikado that what he's doing is not as righteous as it might feel, and that the look in Mikado's eyes resembles those of spiralling gambling addicts - the easiest solution would be to not gamble at all, but they will claim their place is in the midst of risk and danger, and in the end everyone will fall together.
Akabayashi says he is only giving a warning to the Dollars as his duty is to guard the line between the underworld and the above-stage activities in Ikebukuro; he leaves after threatening Mikado with Sonohara Anri. Mikado is unaware that the two are acquaintances.
After suffering his first defeat at Sayaka's hands, Akabayashi soon found himself unable to think of anything else other than her. Although initially hostel, Akabayashi's obsession soon turned into admiration and then love. Even after Sayaka shot him down, the two remained on relatively friendly terms. Sayaka's suicide had a profound effect on Akabayashi to the point that he would eventually leave his boss for dead and allow his old yakuza group to fall apart when it was proven that they were indirectly responsible for the death's of her and her husband. She also had a profound effect on his overall personality, going from being reckless and violent to a more relaxed and laid back persona.
Main Article: Anri Sonohara Akabayashi treats Anri like his own daughter and is somewhat protective of her. He is frequently teased by his colleagues about how he took her in out of the blue and make jokes about him being a pedophile (which he denies). Akabayashi's actions regarding Anri simply stem from lingering feelings he had towards Sayaka. He feels that Sayaka would want someone to take care of her daughter at least until she is old enough to support herself.
Main Article: Shiki Although the two of them share no personal grudge, Shiki has voiced his distrust of Akabayashi on several occasions. This is mostly due to Akabayashi's generally cryptic method of speaking and overly relaxed tone. Whenever there is some kind of disturbance that occurs within the Awakusu (or even Ikebukuro in general) that has no definite cause, Akabayashi is usually one of the people Shiki puts on his list of suspects.
Main Article: Aozaki Akabayashi and Aozaki have shared a very fierce rivalry since before Akabayashi joined the Awakusu. Aozaki has frequently voiced his desire to kill Akabayashi but never acts on them due to his loyalty to the Awakusu and it's leader, Dougen. Aozaki's hatred seems to only stem from personal pride and not out of anything malicious as he is willing to warn Akabayashi about old enemies seeking revenge. Akabayashi seems to bear no real hatred towards Aozaki although he is rather annoyed at Aozaki's complete inability to keep up with current events. Their rivalry seems destined never to be resolved as they are frequently paired up on missions and the closest they can get to fighting each other is by seeing who performs the best on each assignment.