Akane Awakusu (粟楠茜, Awakusu Akane) is the daughter of Mikiya Awakusu and the granddaughter of Dougen Awakusu. Until recently, she had no idea that her family was involved in anything illegal, much less that it was a well known crime syndicate. However, after finding out the true nature of her family's business, she ran away from home and unknowingly thrust herself into Izaya's clutches.
Akane has black hair cut into a similar style as Anri's and is usually seen wearing a black school uniform with a white undershirt. She has no special abilities to speak of and possesses the maturity of your average 10 year old.
Personality-wise, Akane is very kind-hearted. She always sought out the best solution to any problem or situation that would satisfy both sides. She's lived a very privileged life although she was never spoiled and she dreamed of being a painter to support her family's "Art Gallery" but this dream was sadly dashed when her family's nature as a crime syndicate was revealed to her.
The novels describe Akane as having a very carefree and happy life through elementary school. Because of that carefree life, however, she also wasn't aware of what it was like to be "unfree". She believed that everyone in her class were just as happy as she was. The only incident that occurred was when one of her classmates was being bullied. She was quick to tell the others to stop picking on her despite the possibility that she would be bullied as well. To her surprise, she wasn't. The bullying stopped and everyone else resumed their normal lives. This inspired her to pursue a career that would allow her to make others happy. Before long she became the class representative and told her parents that she wanted to become a painter, much to their dismay.
One day she forgot her cell phone over at a friend's house and decided to pick it up herself. When she arrived, she managed to overhear them through the fence in their backyard. Her friend's mother was asking if she did everything Akane had told her much like how a parent would as their child if they did their homework. During the conversation, the mother exclaimed at how the Awakusu family are horrible people and how she hoped Akane wouldn't be in the same middle school as her friend next year. Confused by these statements, Akane ran back home without picking up her phone.
Not long after, the parents came by personally to return Akane's phone, bowing on their hands and knees and giving forced smiles. She called several of her friends the next day to ask why everyone always listened to her. Her friends said that their parents told them to always do what Akane tells them saying that the Awakusu would do something if they didn't.
This news hit Akane pretty hard. She always believed that she was on the same level with everyone else, that everyone was as happy as she was. She now realized that even though she had happiness it came with the cost of suppressing everyone else's. That night she also did a search on her cell phone about the Awakusu hoping to find out that the rumors were untrue. What she found were various articles about the kinds of dealings her family was involved with and that the gallery was nothing more than a legal cover up. Akane was devastated but never said a word to anyone. She still went to school and lived a normal life knowing full well that all the smiles thrown at her were lies. After six months, she couldn't take it anymore and decided to run away from home.
She looked online for information she would need on how to take care of herself when she finally ran and found a helping hand from someone named "Nakura". Akane listened to Nakura's explanations intently and agreed to meet with him in real life, her emotional state being too fragile for her to think clearly. When she finally met "Nakura" she was surprised to find a young woman with long black hair who reintroduced herself as Namie. Namie also introduced Akane to "Izaya" who she claimed was a colleague of hers. Namie and "Izaya" took care of Akane for several days, slowly earning her complete trust while Akane kept texting her mother that she was at a friend's house.
One day, "Izaya" asked if Akane liked her father and grandfather. Akane responded with a simple "I don't know." "Izaya" went on to tell her that her father and grandfather were in grave danger as several of their enemies had hired an assassin to kill them. Akane was crushed by this news but "Izaya" told her the "assassin's" name: Shizuo Heiwajima. "Izaya" gave Akane a modified stun gun and taught her how to use it. He also told her about the most likely location of this so-called assassin.
Akane is first seen staring through a window through the cafe at Shizuo and Tom. Shizuo goes out to ask Akane what she was doing but all Akane did was smile and say "Die!". She drew the stun gun and pierced it into Shizuo's stomach, sparks flying everywhere. After a few seconds of no results, Shizuo knocked the stun gun out of Akane's hands, pushing her on the ground by accident. Shizuo examines the stun gun while several onlookers decided to pay attention to what was going on. Tom was horrified at what was happening. He, along with several dozen others, saw a 10 year old on the ground and Shizuo standing somewhat-menacingly over her with a taser gun in his hand. Shizuo also makes this connection and runs before someone calls the police. Akane latches on to Shizuo's belt constantly shouting "Die!".
Akane soon finds herself at Shinra's apartment, Tom and Shizuo having literally no where else to turn to. Shinra tries to calm Akane down but soon finds that she has developed a small fever. After resting for a few hours, Shizuo, Shinra, and Tom question Akane about why she went after Shizuo with a stun gun. She tells them about how she ran away from home and about her involvement with "Iza-nii." The mere mention of Izaya's name nearly sends Shizuo into a rage but he manages to put on a smiling face for Akane saying that Izaya was a friend of his and that this was most likely a prank set up by him. Akane seems to buy it but is still cautious. She agrees to stay at Shinra's for the time being.
Dollars and Blue Squares ArcEdit
Akane exits the guest room in Shinra's apartment to find Anri, Celty and Shinra speaking with each other. After a quick introduction, Celty leaves the apartment and Anri invites Akane to go on a walk with her and her friends. Akane agrees and the two wait in the park for Mikado and Aoba. After roughly half an hour, Mikado and Celty hastily walk up to them explaining the situation with Toramaru and the Dollars. Several members of Toramaru catch up with them but are intercepted by several guards from the Awakusu. The Awakusu urge Celty to take Akane to safety while they deal with Toramaru. Celty transforms her motorcycle into a chariot for the first time in several years and Akane and the others leap on board. Akane soon learns that Celty was hired by the Awakusu to look for her and act as her body guard. Anri and Mikado separate from the group while Celty takes Akane back to Shinra's apartment.
Once they arrive, they find Shiki waiting for them. Shiki welcomes Akane warmly but Akane is more than a little uncomfortable, asking if she has to go home now and if her parents are mad. Shiki says that Akane's parents are simply glad she is safe but she should be prepared to have her cheek slapped. As Akane reunites with her father, Slon sets off a flash-bang which stuns almost everyone except Shiki (who saw the grenade just before it exploded and covered his eyes) and Akane (who was shielded by her father). Akane is kidnapped by Slon who picks her up and drives off on his motorbike. Celty leaps from the balcony and drives after him. Slon manages to lose Celty somehow and ties up Akane and stuffs her in the back of his and Vorona's truck. Akane is unconscious through most of the final portions of the novel but wakes up in time to see Shizuo shield her from several combat knives that fell from a large stack of crates in the truck. Shizuo picks up Akane and they jump out of the destroyed storage compartment of the truck. Akane smiles warmly at Shizuo after the whole ordeal.
Daily Life Arc Edit
Akane spends a great deal of time thinking about her relationship with Shizuo. Feeling gratitude for saving her life but at the same time feeling that she must stop him from hunting her family, Akane resolves to become stronger than Shizuo is so she can stop him from hurting anyone. She speaks to Akabayashi on the subject and he signs her up for self defense classes at Rakuei Gym with permission from her father. There, she makes friends with the Orihara twins. As the three of them are hanging out after practice, they run into Shizuo, Tom and Vorona who were taking a break after a recent job. When Shizuo and Tom leave to go complete another job, the girls are soon surrounded by a group of thugs who want to kidnap them to use as hostages against Shizuo. All the girls make short work of their would-be kidnappers with Akane incapacitating one of them with the stun-gun she received from Izaya (Shinra had modified it to reduce the electronics to non-lethal levels). Afterwards, Shizuo and Tom return, asking about what happened. Akane later converses with Vorona regarding Shizuo. When she learns of Vorona's intent to defeat Shizuo, Akane claims that it was her responsibility to do so. Tom overhears part of their conversation and mistakes them for fighting over Shizuo's affection. After things settle down, the group parts as they each head home.
Durarara!! SH Edit
As of the time of Durarara! SH, Akane has realized that she is in love with Shizuo. She is not wishing that they would be lovers, but she at least wants to be able to walk alongside him, and see the same things from the same point of view as him.
- Main article: Mikiya Awakusu
Akane's relationship with her father seems to be a relatively normal one, all things considered. Although her trust in him was shaken when she found out about her family's nature as a yakuza group, she still cared enough about him enough to try and stop Shizuo from "assassinating" him. It has been theorized by Shiki that Mikiya's affection for his family may simply be a ruse to drum up support for his eventual succession as the head of the Awakusu, but this issue has yet to be elaborated upon.
Mizuki Akabayashi Edit
Main Article: Akabayashi and Akane
- Main article: Shizuo Heiwajima
Akane's feelings towards Shizuo were mixed. Initially, Akane was frightened of Shizuo due to Izaya convincing her that he was an assassin that was hired to kill her father and grandfather. After Shizuo saves her from Vorona and Slon, her opinion of him becomes much more positive and she warms up to him very quickly. Akane no longer believes that Shizuo is out to kill her family but she is still under the impression that he is an assassin. Because of that, Akane vows to become stronger than Shizuo is and starts taking martial arts classes. Despite this claim, she is occasionally seen hanging out with Shizuo, Tom, and Vorona when they aren't working. As of the events of Durarara! SH, she has realized that she is in love with him.
Notably, some people who know about Shizuo and know of his reputation believe him to be a close relative of Akane (whenever she is seen with him), while some actually believe Akane to be his daughter (and Vorona's as well).
- Main article: Celty Sturluson
Although initially frightened, Akane quickly befriended Celty when she found out that she was hired to protect her by her father. Although the two of them aren't seen together that often, Celty does express genuine concern for Akane due to her being one of the few people to still accept her despite knowing her true nature.
- Main article: Shinra Kishitani
Akane warms up to Shinra almost immediately after they are officially introduced and starts calling him "Onii-Chan" as a result. Shinra, likewise, enjoys Akane's company and takes very good care of her when she stays at their apartment during the incident with Vorona and Slon.
- Main article: Izaya Orihara
Akane's feelings towards "Izaya" seem to be mostly positive as he was willing to offer her shelter when she first ran away from home. Since she hasn't spoken to him since the incident where she was kidnapped, she wonders what he is doing at the moment and hopes that he and Namie are doing well. It is unknown if she knew about being tricked by them when she attacked Shizuo.
It is revealed that, after Shiki drops off Izaya to pick Akane up, that the "Izaya" that Akane met was a different person; upon seeing Izaya, she does not seem to recognize him. Izaya understands this and, after a moment of surprise, introduces himself. Later, he looks back on that event and assured himself that it was a good idea to not meet up with Akane in person; he sent someone else to speak to Akane in his place, so Akane really does not know him.