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 illegal activities, much less that they run a well-known crime syndicate. After discovering the true nature of her family's business, she runs away from home and into Izaya's clutches.
Akane has bobbed dark black hair with long bangs that always seem to be covering one of her eyes. She is usually seen wearing a black school uniform with a white undershirt.
Akane is, for the most part, kind-hearted, thoughtful, and helpful, and possesses the maturity of an average 10-year-old. She always seeks the solution to a problem or situation that will satisfy both sides, although sometimes she goes to brutal measures to do so. She has lived a privileged life, although she has never been spoiled, and she dreamed of being a painter to support her family's "art gallery," but this dream was shattered when her family's nature as a crime syndicate was revealed to her.
The novels describe Akane as having a carefree and happy life through elementary school. Because of that carefree life, however, she was unaware of what it was like to be "unfree." She believed that everyone in her class was just as happy as she was. Once, one of her classmates was bullied, and 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 resumed their normal lives. This inspired her to pursue a career that would allow her to make others happy, and before long she became the class representative and told her parents that she wanted to become a painter.
One day, she forgot her cell phone at a friend's house and decided to pick it up herself. When she returned, she overheard her friend's mother making sure the friend had obeyed Akane during their playdate and proclaimed how she hoped her daughter and Akane would attend different middle schools the following year. Confused and upset by these statements, Akane ran back home without picking up her phone, and the parents came by personally that evening to return Akane's phone.
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. This news hit Akane hard. She had always believed that she was on the same level as everyone else, that everyone was as happy as she was. She then realized that even though she had happiness, it came with the cost of suppressing everyone else's. That night she used her cellphone to search online for information 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 stayed silent, continuing her daily routine 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 to say that she was staying 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 until Izaya told her that the assassin was named Shizuo Heiwajima. Izaya gave Akane a modified stun gun and taught her how to use it, telling her the most likely location of this so-called assassin.
Unbeknownst to Akane, the Awakusu have hired Celty Sturluson to locate her and act as her bodyguard until she is safely returned home.
Akane is first seen staring through the window of the Shunshine 60 Street Lotteria at Shizuo and Tom. Confirming his identity, she eagerly prompts Shizuo to come out to meet her. When he does, she approaches him and pulls out a stun gun on him but to little effect. Shizuo knocks the weapon out of her hands and accidentally knocks her over. This causes a scene and the police make their way to them. As Shizuo and Tom make a run for it, Akane latches on to Shizuo's waist and gets dragged along with them.
Akane finds herself at Shinra's apartment, Tom and Shizuo having no where else to turn to. Shinra checks on Akane but soon finds that she has developed a small fever, and she collapses. Once she wakes up the following day, 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 "big brother Izaya" (Iza-onii-chan). 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, and agrees to stay at Shinra's for the time being.
Dollars and Blue Squares ArcEdit
Akane is briefly introduced to Anri and Celty, and Anri invites Akane to go on a walk with her and her friends. The two wait for Mikado Ryuugamine and Aoba Kuronuma inside Ikebukuro#Ikebukuro Station. After roughly half an hour, Mikado and Celty rush over to them, having been chased there by the Toramaru motorcycle gang. The Toramaru catch up with them but are intercepted by several guards from the Awakusu-kai, who urge Celty to take Akane to safety while they deal with the bikers. Celty transforms her motorcycle into a chariot in broad daylight and fastens the others in. Akane soon learns that Celty was hired by the Awakusu-kai to look for her and act as her bodyguard. Outside Celty's apartment, Anri and Mikado separate from the group while Celty takes Akane inside.
Once they arrive, they find Shiki waiting for them. Shiki welcomes Akane warmly and is relieved to see her safe, but Akane is worried about having to face her parents. When Akane reunites with her father, Slon drives by on a motorcycle, setting off a flash-bang that stuns the yakuza members and kidnapping Akane. Alerting by the noise, Celty leaps from her balcony and pursues them. Slon ties Akane up in the back of his and Vorona's truck, where Shizuo, pursuing Vorona, spots and rescues her. Akane is glad to see him, and they agree that she can try to kill him again another time.
Daily Life ArcEdit
Akane spends a great deal of time thinking about her relationship with Shizuo. She feels gratitude towards him for saving her life but at the same time feels that she must stop him from hunting her family. She still has little to no idea that Izaya just set up this ploy to get her to try to kill Shizuo. 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). Afterward, 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.
As of the time of Durarara!! SH, Akane has developed a great admiration for him and wishes to get strong enough to at least be able to walk alongside him, and see the same things from the same point of view as him. She starts training at the same dojo as Mairu and Kururi. She investigates the kidnappings after two of her school mates go missing. When she hears Yahiro and Kuon talk about Celty potentially being a kidnapper, she denies it.
- The name Akane means "deep red" (茜), and the surname Awakusu means "millet" (粟, awa) and "camphor tree" (楠, kusu).