[Fujoshi Friday] 6 Yaoi Anime Like Ai no Kusabi [Recommendations]

Ai no Kusabi is a haunting tale of twisted love in a world where one’s status in society is based on the color of their hair. The Blondies live in a clean, technologically advanced environment while those with darker hair, often called Mongrels, are forced to live in slums rife with violence. In a lot of yaoi, we have a separation of societal class, such as college students and high society elites in literature or business. Ai no Kusabi presents us with a unique setting in which there is a huge class divide among not just the main characters, but everyone, and it very much affects their relationships. Iason, the Blondie, and Riki, the Mongrel, are both muscular and imposing men, instead of the usual pairing of a well-built manly man and a boyish/girlish man pairing. A remake was done in 2012 which does not show the ending of the 1992-1994 version and elaborates more on the events in the middle of the first OVA.

Riki and Iason are not brought together out of mutual interest, or even one chasing after the other. Iason seeks to exert his power over others while Riki wishes to live his life totally free from anyone’s influence. While trying to establish dominance over each other they end up falling in love. This type of twisted, unhealthy relationship evolves as a result of their warped society. Similar shows abound with themes of betrayal, manipulation, and forced sexual content between members of different social environments. We would like to include a trigger warning for rape as that is present in all the following anime, and as such may not be suitable for all readers. With that having been said, we are going to jump right into 6 anime like Ai no Kusabi!

Similar Anime to Ai no Kusabi

1. Boku no Sexual Harassment (My Sexual Harassment)

  • Episodes: 3
  • Aired: Dec. 1994 – Oct. 1995

Making yourself stand out in the company firm can be quite the daunting task, especially as a new recruit. Mochizuki wants nothing more than to please his boss, Honma, who tells Mochizuki it takes more than being business savvy to make it! Honma forces himself on Mochizuki and teaches him sexual favors can be an important business tactic, and Mochizuki must engage in this practice that’s far more common than he ever knew. By allowing other potential business partners to make use of his body, he increases his sales and benefits both himself and Honma, who he finds himself starting to fall for.

Boku no Sexual Harassment is not a regular love story between two people who work for the same company, such as Sekkaiichi Hatsukoi. Instead of sex happening as a result of emotions, sex is used as a tool to entice prospective clients and close deals. Honma serves as a kind of mentor to the naïve Mochizuki. While he expects Mochizuki to do what’s necessary for the good of the company, later in the show it becomes apparent Honma does have some affection for the man, despite encouraging him to sleep with other men. This is much like how Iason and Riki’s relationship evolves, with Iason forcing himself on Riki and later becoming attached to him and wanting him to be happy, willing to grant him one year of freedom. While Mochizuki is not nearly as opposed to sexual interactions with his superior as Riki initially is, they both come to accept their feelings and role despite their lives changing drastically. Neither show ends with the main characters falling in love and living happily ever after, so if you liked the harsh reality of Ai no Kusabi, you’ll be able to endure Boku no Sexual Harassment!


2. Aoki Ookami-tachi no Densetsu (The Legend of the Blue Wolves)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Dec. 1996

Humans have had to expand to other planets, and the colony on Pluto enjoys a prosperous existence. Then one day, an alien race named “Apocalypse” by the humans, begins capturing humans to utilize their brains in order to expand their knowledge and power their mechanical bodies. Two soldiers determined to fight the enemy seem to simultaneously be urged together and ripped apart by fate. Despair follows Jonathan and Leonard, and in a world filled with bloodshed, even love seems doomed to die.

These two shows carry a similar heaviness and lack of hope. While war is absent from Ai no Kusabi, neither of the settings are supportive of the idea of love. In both anime, those in charge are corrupt and feel that they can exact their will over those they perceive to be lower than them. Jonathan and Leonard have a mutual relationship unlike Iason and Riki at first, but both Iason and Captain Continental in Aoki Ookami find themselves obsessed with bending a reluctant man to their will rather than utilizing much more willing people to fulfill their desires. The rape in Aoki Ookami is first off more graphic and secondly harder to watch, especially with how long and vehemently Jonathan fights against it, unlike Riki slowly getting turned on despite his hatred for Iason which the watcher can at least take comfort in knowing their feelings for each other will change. However, there is also a touching, explicit scene between each pair of main characters. Both shows feature a tragic end and sacrifice, leaving the viewer with a profound sense of loss.


3. Enzai

  • Episodes: 2
  • Aired: April 2004 – Oct. 2004

Guys is falsely accused of murder after the petty theft of candy from a shop, and now faces the rest of his life in prison. Between sadistic staff and malicious inmates, Guys is forced into unending sexual situations more meant to humiliate than stimulate. Even faced with constant abuse, Guys won’t give up hope that one day he will acquire the evidence he needs to prove his innocence. With the help of a drunk lawyer and a few prisoners unjustly sentenced like himself, Guys will fight to win not only his but his friends' freedom.

Both of these anime feature ideas of human pets and sexual servitude based on status. Much in the same way Iason was at first with Riki, many of those in the prison sought to use sexual acts to humiliate and establish dominance over Guys. While most of the story is more upsetting and depressing than Ai no Kusabi is, it undeniably has a happier ending. The story is more rushed, particularly when compared to the slow pace of Ai no Kusabi, but Enzai has only two episodes to summarize the game it’s based on. Guys also gets aroused even when being abused which at least allows for less guilty viewings. If you can stomach child death and are not turned off by rape from multiple people, the mystery of what really happened will pull you in!


Any Anime Like Ai no Kusabi ?

4. Okane ga Nai (No Money!)

  • Episodes: 4
  • Aired: Feb. 2007 – Dec. 2007

Ayase is a quiet, gentle boy who cares for everyone he comes across. When he wakes up in a slave auction with no memory of how he got there, everything seems over for him until a loan shark named Kanou buys him before any nasty, lecherous old men can. Kanou is relieved he was able to see Ayase again but finds that Ayase has no memory of him. On top of that, Ayase refuses to believe his own cousin betrayed him and sold Ayase to pay off his debts no matter what Kanou says. Feeling betrayed, Kanou demands Ayase pays him for the price he was bought at… with his body! Every time Ayase offers himself, Kanou will take off 500 thousand yen but when his debt is 200 million yen, Ayase won’t be walking away anytime soon.

Both Okane ga Nai and Ai no Kusabi deal strongly with the idea of ownership of a person, with Riki as a pet and Ayase as merchandise. While Iason doesn’t carry the initial love for Riki Kanou harbors for Ayase, both older men end up caring desperately for their younger lover, even putting their life on the line. While Riki is swept up into the world of the elite, Ayase is caught up in a world of money crime. Riki and Ayase are both taken against their will by their owners, but they both show signs of receiving pleasure despite their objections. For those fans of the master/slave dynamic, these OVAs offer multiple arousing scenes for a fangirl.


5. Shounen Maid Kuuro-kun – Tenshi no Uta

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Sept. 2010

Kuuro is left with his father’s debt after he flees the country. Unbeknownst to Kuuro, his father offered him up to the incredibly rich Misu in exchange for paying off the debt. Misu decides to use Kuuro as his personal sex-slave, despite Kuuro’s violent objections! However he finds the more he’s used by Misu, the more accustomed to his new role he becomes… but Kuuro is afraid, after being abandoned by everyone in his life, to lose himself as well.

Kuuro-kun is not as continuously dark, while it definitely deals with some depressing subjects, as others on our list. There is an element of humor sporadically through the episode, though most of the content is various sex scenes. Just like Ai no Kusabi, the role of master and servant is made very clear, even down to Iason and Misu dressing their partners the way they want. Both Riki and Kuuro are fighters and refuse to play the part of an obedient pet initially. Kuuro-kun has a decidedly happier ending but is very like Ai no Kusabi in the amount of control one exacts over the other, in life and in bed.


6. Finder Series (You’re My Love Prize)

  • Episodes: 2
  • Aired: Feb. 2012 – Aug. 2015

Akihito is a care-free photographer that cares more about finding the next scoop than his own safety. One day his prying eyes interfere with Asami, a big time mobster, who decides to punish the curious photojournalist by trying him up and raping him after slipping him a drug that makes him incredibly horny. Refusing to let this instance deter him, Akihito continues to delve into the mysteries of the underworld, only to discover a betrayal much closer to home than he anticipated. As Asami and Akihito’s fascination with each other continues, they may find themselves more entangled than they could have anticipated.

Just as Riki is pulled away from his life of freedom, Akihito is forced into a world he knew nothing about, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As Iason was drawn to Riki, so was Asami drawn to Akihito’s free spirit, and similarly wanted to squash and control it. Even with traumatic events happening to Riki and Akihito, the latter being raped by a rival crime lord, they retain their stubbornness and will to live life as they want. Both Iason and Asami used sex as a means to humiliate their chosen target, but it later becomes an act of love. This is another story that starts out dark and foreboding with some heavy content along the way, but if you wanted a happier ending than Ai no Kusabi gave you, you’ll enjoy this OVA.


Final Thoughts

While death and non consensual sex may not be the happiest themes for yaoi, sometimes it can aid in creating a more dramatic story outside of mere jealousy or shyness. Sometimes they’re used simply to be more attractive to a certain audience. Whatever the reason, all of these stories deal with darker themes of death, betrayal, and sacrifice. Some debt, whether imagined or real, is one of the main reasons for these twisted relationships, Legend of the Blue Wolves being the only exception.

In each of these settings, people can be gotten rid of or even killed if they’re found to be a nuisance, which perhaps makes each small act of mercy or kindness stick out more. While not for everyone due to their depressing nature, these OVAs showcase a love that blooms like a dandelion between cracks in the sidewalk. Sometimes that dandelion is crushed, but that doesn’t render meaningless the fact that it managed to grow at all.

May

Writer

Author: May

Hey friends! I reside in Georgia and use my degree in Japanese primarily to (barely) read doujinshi that hasn’t been translated. Beyond deciding who is best girl in whatever I happen to be watching, I really enjoy ballroom dancing, reading, crying over dating sims, karaoke, and being surrounded by beautiful things~ (You know, scenery, décor, boys, stuff like that). I also love talking about passions with others!

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