Ai no Kusabi (間の楔 , Love Wedge) is a Japanese novel written by Rieko Yoshihara. Originally serialized in the yaoi magazine Shousetsu June between December 1986 and October 1987, the story was collected into a hardbound novel that was released in Japan in 1990. This futuristic tale is set in a world where the Elites are assigned various social classes based on their hair color in the city of Tanagura. Iason Mink, a high-class “Blondie”, runs into Riki, a black-haired “Mongrel”, and makes him his “Pet”, which Riki resents being. As Riki learns of the dangers Iason faces by keeping him, he finds himself developing feelings for his master. Focusing on the relationship between Iason and Riki, Ai no Kusabi also explores issues of caste systems and social exclusion.
The novel was partially adapted into a two-episode original video animation (OVA) by Anime International Company (AIC), with the first episode released in August 1992 and the second in May 1994. In November 1993, an audio drama entitled Erogenous Dark was released focusing on a time period left unexplored in the original novels. A new twelve-episode OVA adaptation, also from AIC, was scheduled to begin releasing in Japan in the spring of 2010, but was cancelled for financial reasons. The project was picked up again and was released on January 18, 2012.
On planet Amoi, a great society has developed, creating a computerized city called Tanagura, ruled by supercomputer Jupiter. The populace is almost entirely male and the Elites are ranked by hair color with Blondies as the highest. At the bottom of society, often known as “mongrels” are people of the slum, Ceres. The Elites keep “pets”, young teens kept for a few years, especially made for performing sexual actions for the Blondie’s voyeurism entertainment. Elites aren’t supposed to keep pets for long or interact sexually with pets, but one Blondie named Iason Mink has kept a pet named Riki, for years and is rumored to sleep with him. Iason refuses to let go of Riki, even with Jupiter’s disapproval. Riki fights with his emotions and society problems, unable to decide what to do about his old friend/lover Gai (Guy) and their gang. Iason is obsessed with keeping Riki, and Riki doesn’t know what to do; fight against him or surrender to him.
Last Modified: Feb 12, 2016
[Oct 10, 1992] Ai no Kusabi Original Sound Track
[Dec 10, 1993] Ai no Kusabi: Sense of Crisis
[Mar 25, 1994] Ai no Kusabi ~Ambivalence~
[Jul 10, 1994] Ai no Kusabi SYMPATHY
[Jan 25, 1995] Sound Selection of “AI-NO-KUSABI” Inori -Oración-
[Mar 01, 2001] Ai no Kusabi Music Best Iason
[xx.xx.xxxx] Ai no Kusabi – Instrumental