In the future, on a distant star lives a new society. Ruled by a computer system, named Jupiter, men are divided into classes based on their hair color. The Blondies, genetically altered by Jupiter, are the highest class and occupy the capital city of Tanagura. Those with black hair, Mongrels, are forced to live in the slums, Ceres. Iason, the leader of the Blondies, encounters Riki, a mongrel, in the streets of Ceres one night and sets out to own him.
Subtitles for the individual volumes are as follows:
1: Stranger (帰って来た男)
2: Destiny (命動)
3: Nightmare (刻印)
4: Suggestion (昏迷)
5: Darkness (長い夜)
6: Metamorphose (衝動の引き金)
Ai no Kusabi was collected in a single hardbound novel in 1990. It was then revised and expanded by Seibidou Shuppan under the Crystal imprint. Crystal's release was incomplete, discontinuing at the sixth volume as opposed to the planned eight volumes. Tokuma Shoten acquired the series and released it under the Chara imprint; their release was composed of six volumes with the first four volumes corresponding to Crystal's volumes 1-6. Chara's last two volumes are the remaining unpublished material.
The series was published in English by Digital Manga Publishing from November 19, 2003 to November 28, 2013 with 8 volumes. Volumes 1-6 correspond to Crystal edition's, and the last two volumes to Chara edition's volumes 5 and 6.
Ai No Kusabi is one book I never thought I would be reading, for this is the first yaoi I have ever read. I’m glad I did, for it is a page tuner. This book series is great to read before watching the OVA, which has a lot information missing about the plot. The plot is complex, dark, and pretty twisted. The books jump from the past to the present pretty often, But I never found the plot too confusing where I didn’t know what was going on. The characters are just as complex as the story, all with different motivations, hopes, and dreams.
Riki is not your typical weak male lead, which is very refreshing. Iason is not typical either, with his dark obsession for Riki and how it affects their relationship. Katze is the man with the mysterious past. Guy is Riki's lover and Kirie the slum kid that is backstabbing everyone to get out of poverty. You will get very attached to the characters and care about what happens to each of them. The sex is very graphic, but don’t expect the whole book to be about only that, the story takes center stage in this series. The only complaint I have is the translation is not the greatest in the first couple of books. So if your looking for a good yaoi to read that has a intricate plot and interesting characters, this is your book.