If you?ve ever watched the anime series Durarara!! then you would?ve noticed the on-going rivalry between Shizuo Heiwajima and Izaya Orihara. People have different perceptions of what their relationship to each other exactly is. Some argue that their relationship is very black and white in that they clearly hate each other. On the other hand, others have argued that their relationship provides room for grey areas.
Izaya Orihara and Shizuo Heiwajima
As stated multiple times throughout the show, these two characters ?hate? each other. The Wikia page dedicated to their relationship states:
Izaya hates Shizuo about as much as Shizuo hates him.
Let?s start by discussing why these two characters claim to hate each other in the first place. To start to the discussion, I?m going to be looking at the first time that these characters are shown on-screen together in the episode titled ?Rampant Evil?:
Shizuo Heiwajima vs Izaya Orihara & The ?Dollars?
Izaya gives Shizuo the nickname ?Shizu-Chan?, using the Japanese honorific/suffix of ?chan? to express that the speaker finds the person endearing. ?chan? is commonly used towards young children and Izaya may be using it in a patronising manner. In addition to this, according to Wikia:
Izaya?s nickname for Shizuo, ?Shizu-chan?, wasn?t actually made by Izaya himself. He heard about Shizuo from a girl who used to be in Shizuo?s elementary school who referred to him as ?Shizu-chan?. Izaya initially suspected Shizuo to be a girl until someone explained who he was.
Even after Shizuo reminds Izaya not to call him the patronising nickname, Izaya continues calling him it anyway:
?Oh come on, Shizu-Chan, so I pinned you for something you didn?t do, who knew you?d get so mad??
?Oh I?m not mad, I just wanna beat the shit out of you!?
The audience begins to have a rough idea as to why these two dislike each other: Izaya framed Shizuo for a crime that he didn?t do. However, this is certainly not the whole reason why they have a rocky relationship. For example, their first meeting is shown in the episode ?Bad-Ass Dude?, in which Shizuo takes an immediate dislike towards Izaya:
?From the moment I saw him, I disliked him?
?There was no real reason. I just didn?t like him.?
Shizuo and Izaya first meet in high school
Shizuo admits that there is actually no real reason as to why he took an immediate dislike towards Izaya, yet they have continued this rivalry for years. Izaya persuaded gangs to attack Shizuo throughout high school, but was this purely all to annoy him or was he attempting to prove something?
It?s no secret that Shizuo possesses a great amount of physical strength and Izaya is aware of this physical advancement. The former has to resort to violence in order to win against these gangs that Izaya has pitted against him. Contrastingly, Izaya prefers to stay away from direct conflict, even if he is responsible for causing it. He is a character that prefers to observe from a safe distance as shown in ?Rampant Evil?. When he realises that Shizuo is going to attack the Dollars, he decides to run away and avoid the fight. In this sense, they both handle conflict very differently. Izaya is a strategist who analyses other human beings for his own manipulative game. Whereas Shizuo is short-tempered and repeatedly says that he ?hates violence? despite using it in a conflict, suggesting that his body ?acts on its own?.
The more times Shizuo gets angry and uses his physical strength, the more inhuman he appears to Izaya. This could result in him appearing less human to other people in Ikebukuro as well. Perhaps this is part of Izaya?s plan to make Shizuo appear like less of a human being and more of a monster due to his barbaric nature. After all, Izaya constantly refers to Shizuo as a ?monster?.
Shizuo VS. Izaya (Final Battle)
?What he wants is to look down on Shizuo Heiwajima as being a mere monster?.
But why is Izaya so desperate to look down on Shizuo as a monster? He even says ?Just do it, you monster!? to tempt Shizuo to kill him. Izaya might think that if Shizuo were to kill him then it will confirm that he isn?t human.
Izaya loves humans
Izaya refuses to call Shizuo a human since he loves humans, but he doesn?t love Shizuo?or does he?
The plot of Durarara!! is said to revolve around ?a twisted love?:
This is a twisted story.
A twisted love story.
With the neigh of an urban legend,
with the tears of a boy,
with the return of the ordinary,
with the disappearance of the mastermind,
and with the hints of a new story beginning –
the story of twisted love now closes its curtains.
For their love is no longer twisted.
-Durarara Volume 13, Epilogue
The ?twisted love? could be referring to Shizuo and Izaya?s twisted relationship with each other. The Epilogue takes place after Izaya leaves Ikebukuro, following his final battle with Shizuo. The story of their twisted love has closed its curtains because Shizuo didn?t want to kill Izaya, therefore ending their game of cat and mouse. In conclusion, Izaya leaves Ikebukuro in defeat. His attempt to prove that Shizuo is a monster hasn?t worked because Shizuo is a human being. He has to accept that Shizuo is a human being and if he loves all humans, then he would have to love Shizuo. Their once twisted love can no longer be twisted and complex because Izaya is no longer in denial about Shizuo?s humanity.
When Izaya says that he hates Shizuo, perhaps he means that he hates the way that Shizuo makes him feel. For instance, when Shinra talks about Izaya in Volume 13, he says:
?He might seem cold-blooded, but he?s more human and his heart more brittle than anyone else. So much so that if you filled it with human love or betrayal, it?d break easily. Which is why, I think, he chose from the start to avoid it all, to love humanity. You understand? Not to accept, not to face it. To avoid it. It?s something like how a windsock flies. On first sight mouth wide open, like he?s smiling and accepting everything, with a huge capacity? But in reality it?s a cylinder with no bottom. That?s why any amount can go through the mouth. And he can love anything.?
– Kishitani Shinra, Durarara Volume 13
Shinra suggests that even though Izaya might seem like a cold-blooded mastermind that he has a very fragile heart. A heart which could break easily in regards to romantic relationships and friendships. This may be why Izaya actively chooses to avoid getting close to other people. He decides to give his love to humanity because it isn?t a love that is specifically attached to one individual. If Izaya?s love was specific to one person then getting his heart broken would be entirely possible. He decides to avoid everything that has the ability to break his heart and this might include his supposed love for Shizuo.
Simon suggests that Izaya has a ?Shizuo complex? after hitting Izaya into a sign that says ?LOVE? on it:
Simon suggests that Izaya has a Shizuo complex
One of the reasons why Izaya may have a ?Shizuo complex? could be due to jealousy. Izaya loves humans, yet humans don?t seem to be attracted to him. Whereas Shizuo easily attracts humans to him. Shizuo may be aggressive at times, but he still has friends and people that care about him. For example, in volume 12, he starts to tease Shizuo about the people that he cares about:
?I?ve probably said this before, but do you really thinking helping humans is going to make them love you? Aah, or do you have some special feelings towards that Vorona girl? Originally, I thought you were a lolicon who?d become infatuated with the little lady of the Awakusu-kai.?
?Ah, right. You don?t care what?s going to happen to Celty anymore? That Kujiraki woman that you just spared? want me to tell you what an evil person she is??
He mentions all of the females that Shizuo is close with. The intention for this is primarily to make Shizuo angry so that he?ll chase after him, but he could also be jealous of the attention that these women are getting from Shizuo. However, Izaya does get attention from Shizuo, but it is for all the wrong reasons. Whereas the females mentioned have either neutral or even positive relationships with Shizuo.
Speaking of females in Durarara!! I couldn?t possibly write about Shizaya without mentioning Erika Karisawa. She has referenced the two of them being a couple several times throughout the series (Starting from 1:00 in the video).
Erika shipping Shizaya
Erika?s fantasies are not limited to the anime and she fantasised about the two of them in the Durarara!!! Relay Game! conjuring up this scene:
Erika?s Shizaya fantasy
The English translation of this scene reads:
Izaya: Ahh? I?ve forgotten everything else, but I feel like I?ve seen your face before? To feel so at ease just from you holding me? Surely you were really close to me.Shizuo: You don?t need to remember the past. Forget everything, including today. If you remember? I, won?t be able to love you anymore.
Despite Erika fantasising about the two of them, Ryohgo Narita, the original creator of Durarara!! has said that he ?still needed to reflect upon? the idea that some fans see them as a romantic pairing. However, some official art of the two of them seems to depict the two of them as a pair:
Regardless of what your own perception of what their relationship might be, there is no doubt that these two have a very interesting dynamic and that Durarara!! would not be the same without them. In fact, Narita said that Shizuo wasn?t going to be in the original story. He was only created afterwards when he didn?t want Izaya to be an ?unbeatable overpowered antagonist?. He needed someone that was going to be on an equal footing to Izaya, yet he also wanted to create a very human character. Thus, creating Shizuo Heiwajima.