Ai no Kusabi 4
March 16, 2013
Rieko Yoshihara – June – 2008 – 6 volumes
This is a series of BL novels.
For whatever reason, I wrote this two years ago and never posted it. With the ending of this series imminent, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit these volumes and write up the ones I didn’t get to. So expect 5-6 soon, too.
At this point, I was pretty well taken with the series. I read 4-6 in one day. Why? I’m not sure. Admittedly, the sci-fi elements are really well done, and I loved watching the characters slowly succumb to the forces bearing down on them from all sides. In that, it’s like watching a train wreck, because you can tell from a mile off that terrible things are going to happen, and you just have to sit back and watch.
But I still have a hard time stomaching the violence and abuse, or really sympathizing with the characters. Riki isn’t doing anybody any harm, and is doing the best for himself that he can, but his aggressive nature makes him a bit less likable, although it earns him points for fighting off the assaults as much as he can. Then there’s Kirie and Iason, who… well, are antagonists, and haven’t really shown a good side. The most sympathetic is Guy, Riki’s partner. He will stand by and do anything for Riki, even without an explanation about Riki’s recent habits. Plus, he’s in the middle of a scheme meant to trap Riki here. He’s nicer than Riki, though still aggressive. Perhaps he would be less likable if we saw more of him.
In this volume, we learn more about the Guardian facility and… what it’s really for? We also meet Manon and are introduced to a terrible scheme of Kirie’s that doesn’t look like it could possibly go anywhere good. Meanwhile, Iason comes to collect his pet. The collection process will last a good long while yet, but it begins here, and we learn that Riki is still… well, all to Iason, which is a shame. I was hoping he’d use the chance to somehow break away from the bonds.