Ai no Kusabi

Watch Ai no Kusabi

  • 2012
  • 1 Season
  • 7.2  (219)

Ai no Kusabi is a Japanese animated series that first aired in 1992. The show is based on a sci-fi novel by Rieko Yoshihara, which was published in 1986. The story takes place in a futuristic, dystopian world where society is divided into two classes based on hair color - blonds and dark haired people. Blondes, the ruling class, are wealthy and powerful, while the dark haired people, known as "mongrels," are poor and oppressed. The story centers around a young mongrel named Riki who is sold into slavery to a high-ranking blonde named Iason Mink.

Iason is a member of a powerful organization called "Tanagura" that has immense influence over society. He takes an interest in Riki and decides to keep him as a pet. At first, Riki resents his new role as a slave, but he begins to develop feelings for Iason, which complicates their relationship.

As the series progresses, Riki learns about the true nature of Tanagura and the world he lives in. He becomes involved in a rebellion against the ruling blonds, and he must choose whether to side with his fellow mongrels or stay loyal to Iason.

One of the most interesting aspects of Ai no Kusabi is the relationship between Riki and Iason. On the surface, it seems like a standard master/slave dynamic, but as the two characters grow closer, the power dynamic between them begins to shift. Riki starts to question the nature of their relationship and whether his feelings for Iason are genuine or a result of his captivity.

The show also explores themes of class, power, and freedom. The world of Ai no Kusabi is incredibly stratified, with the blonds maintaining a tight grip on power and wealth. The mongrels are treated as second-class citizens and are prevented from advancing in society. As Riki becomes more involved in the rebellion, he begins to see the inequality and oppression that exists in the world around him, and he questions why things have to be the way they are.

The animation and art style of Ai no Kusabi are also noteworthy. The character designs are striking, with the blonds having a sleek, almost futuristic look to them, while the mongrels are more rugged and rough around the edges. The backgrounds and settings are also beautifully rendered, with the city of Tanagura feeling both opulent and foreboding.

Overall, Ai no Kusabi is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant show that delves into complex themes of power, inequality, and personal identity. The relationship between Riki and Iason is a highlight of the series, as it evolves in unexpected ways and challenges the viewer's perceptions of what a master/slave relationship can be. If you're looking for a sci-fi anime that tackles weighty themes with nuance and sensitivity, Ai no Kusabi is definitely worth checking out.

Ai no Kusabi
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Episode 4
4. Episode 4
January 18, 2012
While drinking at a bar, a frustrated Riki thought back to the events that lead to his meeting with Iason three years ago to where he was now: While pick-pocketing in Midas, a fifteen-year-old Riki is caught by Iason, who allowed him to go free on a whim. Unable to feel indebted to him, Riki invited Iason to a hotel and offered his body to repay him.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
January 18, 2012
Half a year has passed since Riki's return to Ceres, who is easing back into his life in the slums. While Riki participated in airbike race one day, Kirie suggested that Bison goes to see a Pet Auction that would be held soon in Mistral Park. Although Riki was uninterested, Kirie goaded him into going as Guy noted Riki's strange behavior.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
January 18, 2012
Arriving to his home in Ceres, Riki goes to sleep on his first night of freedom. Meanwhile, Iason continued his duties as a Blondie and confirmed to Katze that Riki is no longer with him, although the latter assumed that Riki was killed. Traveling through Midas, Katze compared the greedy and lustful citizens to the slums mongrels, whom are looked down by others and must steal to survive.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
January 18, 2012
Riki has a forbidden affair with another "pet" (human sex slave) and undergoes punishment from his jealous owner Iason. Reprimanding Riki while sexually stimulating him, Iason temporarily asserts control over Riki. Two years later, still rebellious Riki goes to the front gates of Eos Tower and reflects on how living in the slums of nearby Ceres had been better than his current pampered prison.
  • Premiere Date
    January 18, 2012
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (219)