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Ai no Kusabi Vol. 1: Stranger (Ai no Kusabi #1)

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4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  549 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
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, ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published November 20th 2007 by Digital Manga Publishing (first published October 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aredhel
No words could ever express my feelings towards this book.
I'm more than just biased here as Ai No Kusabi was my first yaoi anime and so after watching this anime I plunged into the world of BL manga and anime.
Iason and Riki are still my all time favorite characters. They are charismatic, strong, beautiful and just drop dead gorgeous (especially Iason *sighs*). The development of their relationship makes you sit on the edge of your chair and keep your fingers crossed for them, because you just ca
...more
Elizabeth Young
Nov 06, 2015 Elizabeth Young rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of yaoi and the animes
Recommended to Elizabeth by: No one. Discovered on my own while I was looking for the anime and decided to read it.
Ai no Kusabi Vol. 1: Stranger

"Do you know what ai no kusabi means? It's an ancient term; it means something that binds two things together. It's impossible to live without someone else. It might break your heart, but there's love that can only be expressed the way they lived it."

Normally I don't want to write reviews of books in a series until I've read all of them. But for this I had to at least get my initial thoughts down. I can always come back and change them later on. (I write a proper rev
...more
Emily G
Jan 13, 2008 Emily G rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: yaoi fans
I adore Ai no Kusabi and it will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first yaoi anime I ever saw. Set on a planet where, due to environmental conditions, the population is virtually all male, the two main characters are Iason Mink, a Blondy, and Riki, a boy from the slums. Theirs is a dark, twisted relationship in which neither will submit to the other and ultimately ends in tragedy.

I was very much looking forward to reading the novel version because it has been revised a
...more
Laura S.
Jun 13, 2014 Laura S. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yaoi
When I started reading the books, I could not help noticing how different, at least to some degree, the characters are from the OVAs. Iason seems harsher, Riki seems more withdrawn and even depressed, Katze ... well, in my opinion, he simply hates Iason ... that was unexpected.

I am still waiting for the last book. I am extremely curious about the moment when Guy will go psycho ... in the books, he does not seem so in love with Riki, as I got the impression from the OVAs.

Still, it is a great rea
...more
Maverynthia
Sep 16, 2014 Maverynthia rated it it was ok
Shelves: jp-books
This book seem to have a whole lot of words, yet not a whole lot of action. The only sexy bits you get are at the very beginning and that's it. The rest of the book is either textbook style history lesson of the world or a composition on how Riki used to be super awesome and how he's not and boring. No one really get's that much characterization, save for Kirie who is said to be like Riki was. However even he is only going "Let's go do something! You all wanna go do something?" and Riki going ...more
Blue
Aug 23, 2014 Blue rated it really liked it
Didn't expect a fucking dark futuristic setting with an emphasis on social injustice and dynamics from a BL novel. Well, it is from the 80s, stuff wasn't absolute shit back then I guess.
Liking it so far. Characters are realistic. So rare these days.
Taralen
Oct 07, 2015 Taralen rated it really liked it
Shelves: bl-yaoi
This is a weird book--weird in a good but frustrating way.
Ai no Kusabi is frequently heralded as one of the best yaoi novels (male x male erotica) ever written. Published in the 1990 as a hardbound novel in Japan, it took nearly two decades for this to be brought over to the West in English. For some odd reason, June (an imprint of Digital Manga Publishing that only publishes yaoi) divided up the novel into 8 novellas (6 in Japan). The author puts a note at the end that even she found this surpr
...more
Marsha
This is a novel of stark obsessions, decadence, deadly boredom, sexual depravity, genetic manipulation and human degradation. A perfect, glittering world exists side by side with a festering slum. Each complements the other and both were deliberately manufactured to keep their respective citizens in line.

Rieko Yoshihara has created a brilliant novel, one that explores the depths to which people can sink until there is no hope left and no life beyond endless fighting, brawling and the constant st
...more
Kevin
Apr 15, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I loved this series of books as it had all a lot of my buttons: Raw, Dystopian future, Romance, Gay Relationships, intrigue, artificial intelligence, and it makes you think.

I love it even though this book and series even though its horribly written. I blame the writing on the fact that its a translation into English.

I love this book and series even though it rambles. I don't care, I loved this book and the series.

I love this book because its interesting. The characters are compelling. The settin
...more
Blak Rayne
Jan 25, 2011 Blak Rayne rated it liked it
I'm undecided about the written work (this particular edition). Many years ago I'd actually found the original novel and purchased it. But it never arrived. The book was lost somewhere between Australia and Canada. Having said that, I don't want anyone to think that I don't like Ai no Kusabi because believe me, I do. This yaoi is my all time favourite! The original OVA is absolutely gorgeous and the reason I became addicted to yaoi in the first place. The story is awesome and it has all the ...more
Amber
Apr 28, 2016 Amber rated it really liked it
Well then....

Okay so, Ai No Kusabi is one of those popular yaois that we all knew about. In my case, I'd just watched the OVA years ago but I only remember the final scene (with the cigarettes). I knew there was a larger plot line involving power dynamics and... hair color, but man, that was something.

Volume one graciously opens the series with a super hot chapter, then spends the rest of the novel giving backstory and developing the world as-is. I don't generally care for gangfight type storyl
...more
Lelyana
Mar 01, 2014 Lelyana rated it really liked it

I can't believe I found this and can't put it down until I finished, staring to Riki and Iason strange love hate relationship.
It's a futuristic, dark, and not my usual read...but surprisingly, liked it. A lot.
But this one is a freaking cliffhanger!
So, I'm heading to #2.
I wonder what would happen to Iason and Riki!
Ryes
May 01, 2008 Ryes rated it liked it
What fan of yaoi doesn't know of Rieko Yoshihara's Ai no Kusabi? The tragic love story of Riki and Iason, set in a futuristic world where relationships involving love never last, captured the interest of many fans. Ai no Kusabi presents a futuristic society with a complicated caste system and takes an in-depth look at look at the issue of class distinctions. Having learned all this by watching the anime adaptation, I was eager and excited to read this novel. When I received this first volume, I ...more
Crystal Harper
Oct 07, 2016 Crystal Harper rated it really liked it
This Dystopian world pulled me in from the first chapter and kept me there. I have now read and own all of the books, and often re-read them. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it but he premise intrigued me and as hard as some of the passages were to read, the relationship between Iason and Riki was unique and fascinating. I wish there could have been more books as I feel I could go on reading about these two forever!
Cornerofmadness
Jul 24, 2013 Cornerofmadness rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jana Denardo
Jul 27, 2013 Jana Denardo rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction, lgbt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosemary O'Malley
These books should be read all at once, or they make very little sense. In fact, I would say that if you don't read them together, as a whole, then you will NOT like them.

This volume is the set-up and reads as such. You get only vague impressions of what has happened between the MCs but lots of exposition on the world. Following immediately with volume 2 is best, as it jumps in with the violent, destructive behavior of Iason and Riki almost immediately!

This volume only gets 2 stars.
Nyie Rombeng
the idealism of this story is a good with across the universe,it's brilliant!!!
but,in my opinion the weakness factor is sadomasochism issue(it's too hard),example:slavery sex,more abusement&harrasement.it's always happen in male romance&homoerotic.
i'm not wonder,b'cause maybe it just challenge or just for fun or bla...bla...bla...that's hillarious! pah!:|
Regsly
Mar 19, 2016 Regsly rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, on-going
(view spoiler)
Sandraj60
Mar 27, 2014 Sandraj60 rated it really liked it
I was hesitant to read a manga. I thought they were just comic books for the older adult. I pleasantly surprise how well written it was and it held its own against many of my favorite science fiction books.
Hana Eka
Aug 14, 2016 Hana Eka rated it really liked it
Shelves: love, manga, best-mangaka
The first a guilty (yaoi-anime) pleasure that unintentionally look.

Now, reading the first novel of the legendary series of Ai no Kusabi. Still a long way before the finish, huh?

It sensitive content, vulgar, s&m, gay romance/yaoi, dark, system issues, humanitarian and others.
Ifrah
Dec 30, 2011 Ifrah rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m
Way too much background info. Iason and Riki don't even talk to eachother. Still, I saw the OVA so something good better happen in the next book. I'm trying to read at least the first two books before the remake comes out.
Tara
Mar 04, 2008 Tara rated it it was amazing
It was very well written, and I enjoyed reading each page. I was only sad that it wasn't longer, I'll be getting the second book.
Shadowsword
Feb 01, 2011 Shadowsword rated it it was amazing
I love the books. Finally released, watched the movie years ago and again and again. One of the best m/m romance stories ever, but very hard erotic
Sahar
Sahar rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2016
Jenny Ponce
Jenny Ponce rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2013
Andrea26cj
Andrea26cj rated it it was ok
Jan 01, 2015
Mmm
Mmm rated it did not like it
Jun 21, 2015
Kaitlin Paulley
Kaitlin Paulley rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2013
Missleafy
Missleafy rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2013
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Ai no Kusabi Novels 2 41 Mar 31, 2011 12:29PM  
  • The Guilty, Volume 01: Verdict
  • S, Vol. 3: Split
  • Caged Slave
  • World's End
  • Maiden Rose, Volume 1
  • Kizuna: Bonds of Love, Vol. 1
  • ZE, Volume 3
  • Gentle Cage
  • Cold Fever (Cold, #3)
  • Under Grand Hotel, Volume 02
  • Dark Walker
  • Finder, Volume 1: Target in the Finder
  • The Bride
  • The Aristocrat and Desert Prince
  • Yellow, Volume 02
  • In These Words, Volume 2
  • CUT
  • お金がないっ 1 [Okane ga Nai 1] (Okane ga Nai #1)
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Japanese author and a key creator of the homoerotic subgenre known in Japan as shōnen ai ["boys' love"]. Yoshihara spent the first three years of her career writing straightforward homoerotic romance, before stumbling into sf, seemingly by accident, with the success of her signature work Ai no Kusabi (December 1986-October 1987 Shōsetsu June; 1990; trans as The Space Between 2007-2008 [see ...more
More about Rieko Yoshihara...

Other Books in the Series

Ai no Kusabi (8 books)
  • Ai no Kusabi Vol. 2: Destiny
  • Ai no Kusabi Vol. 3: Nightmare
  • Ai no Kusabi Vol. 4: Suggestion
  • Ai no Kusabi Vol. 5: Darkness
  • Ai no Kusabi Vol. 6: Metamorphose
  • Ai no Kusabi Vol. 7
  • Ai no Kusabi Vol. 8

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