Ai no Kusabi (2012) Review

Hello there. This is review number twenty eight and I’ll be reviewing a yaoi anime. It’s an anime that is part of the unholy three. Yuri, yaoi and hentai represents my unholy three as these anime isn’t for everyone. It’s not really unholy, it’s just a buzzword I hope gets popular. Haha. I’ve been meaning to do a hentai review awhile back but after seeing the blogs in animenano, I decided to do it some other time. Perhaps when I get more reviews published.

This is part of the Winter 2012 line up so I had to review it. Ai no Kusabi 2012. It’s a four part yaoi OVA. Anyways, enough of the opening segment. Let’s read on.


A guy named Riki has broken a rule in the high society world of Amoi. He is a guy from the slums who have formed a secret relationship with someone else’s “pet”. A huge crime as such would not go unpunished according to the elite class of Amoi. So an elite named Iason Mink has decided the perfect punishment for Riki. He would be his “pet”.

Taking the Pants Off

This anime is a yaoi. So if you aren’t comfortable watching two dudes get it on then I doubt you’ll enjoy this anime. Actually, I enjoy it and I am immune to yaoi. People dismiss yaoi as a crappy genre full of handsome boys and sex and what not. In actuality, some of the best romances that I have read is in yaoi. The situations, the plot twists, the display of romance and the overall love story is nicely detailed in yaoi. There is no dilly dallying in yaoi. If someone wavers emotionally, the other guy would just pull him by the side and f*ck him. Yeah, super effective means of storytelling. Unless you like the slow pacing and self-monologues like the ones in Kimi ni Todoke.

Don’t be alarmed though, all of you closet perverts. The yaoi in this anime is minimum and almost nonexistent. First of all, the sex scenes are conveniently hidden. The grabbing of the genitals are done of screen and majority of the scenes are told through the orgasmic reactions of Riki, our main character. Actually, there is no penetration too. Iason is a sick f*ck and all he does is rub Riki to the point of multiple orgasms. I’m a guy who picked this up expecting some full on sex scene but thank god the anime is tame.

The anime is actually very plot driven. It’s about Riki’s life as being a pet, or I would assume, a sex slave of Iason. Being a pet is nothing more than being a caged bird so he wishes to be free. Iason, being the dominant seme that he is, grants Riki his freedom. This is a ploy though to get Riki to realize that the freedom he longs for doesn’t compare to the life Iason has provided for him. The anime focuses on Riki going back to the slums and meeting old friends of his. The life he has known is certainly gone but being free is enough reason to live on.

There was no detailed explanation in the anime so I was a little lost at first. Apparently, you are expected to watch the first OVA released back in 1994 to understand the status quo. I was able to connect some bits and pieces so this is my loosely based interpretation. The anime never expanded on it so it really dampens the enjoyment of the anime. The anime is set is a futuristic setting and they thriving because of the advancements a special computer has developed for them. Majority of the population is male so a lot of the pairings a male. The yaoi isn’t limited to Riki and Iason. Some yaoi is in the friend Riki have in the slums and apparently he has a “partner” before he became Iason’s pet. The women are rare and some are genetically made so they are sold to high elites in auctions. The pure blooded ones with no modification go for higher. The people sitting atop this futuristic society are the blondes. Rare breed as well, being blond is a symbol of high pedigree and they oversee this society. Iason is blond as well.

Riki’s feelings began to waiver a bit after three years of being a pet. The anime explores his desire for freedom and the life he is slowly trying to build again. All of that while Iason agreed his freedom would only last a year. The anime was short so it was kind of annoying that we never got to see this plot unravel. Yes, the anime ends like that. It’s all about Riki enjoying his freedom and Iason waiting for the one year to expire. We never get to see what Riki will do after that period. We will never know if the cunning seme won the uke over. The anime stopped right when the story got interesting. The last episode was a flashback detailing how Riki became Iason’s pet. Their encounter before he became a pet and the story leading to that faithful event.

The anime stopped mid-way through though. I was really enjoying this premise of a borrowed freedom and an ownership fueled by desire kind of set up. I guess I hoped too much for a four part OVA. The 1994 version was only two parts so that must’ve been more unsatisfying. I’ll have to see for myself though.

There is no interesting element in the anime. The characters are alright. They are endearing and they play the part of the seme (top) and uke (bottom) pretty well. Some of the minor ones had no introduction so you had to go along with the story to understand the minor characters. Some of them are brilliantly developed but others are just there to take up space.

I thought this anime would have little plot but a lot of action. Sex action but no, the yaoi scenes are tame and there is no penetration. I wasn’t looking for one *cough* but it would’ve made the anime more special. Let the smutty genre prevail for pete’s sake. I finished the anime though and the reason for that are the interesting main characters. That’s all the anime have. Nothing more.

Sight and Sound

The anime is predominantly CG. A lot of the scenes are CG and it mixes well with the futuristic feel of the anime. It elevated itself for the 1994 version, I bet. The characters are your basic yaoi characters. They are tall, dark and handsome male characters with broad shoulders and sculpted bodies. Ugh, I feel dirty describing that.

I honestly didn’t listen to the sound. The opening and ending songs were a bit dull but it was OK. It had no lyrics and it sounded like your generic RPG background music. It’s not worth noting.

The moans of Riki were nicely done though. That was praise worthy performance as it had the power to arouse people. It had no effect on me but it was nicely done.

Overall Score

4/10 “It’s a four part OVA so don’t get your hopes up. It had a nice story for what it’s worth.”

I still like the story as the premise and the overall pacing was intriguing. It didn’t have a conclusion but the anime was enjoyable nonetheless. I’m not a fan of yaoi but I do appreciate an anime that is nicely presented such as this one.

4 thoughts on “Ai no Kusabi (2012) Review

  1. Disappointing that the studio never finished it as it was supposed to be an eight part ova. In order to see the rest of the story I had to watch the 1994 version. The story itself wasn’t bad at all (true love and all that) For a yaoi ova, it was very mild, but the story itself made up for it I think.

    • oh damn. i can totally see the story improving if it was given four more episodes. it’s a shame they didn’t push for it. the story is really good despite the lack of actual guy on guy sex. XD i agree.

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