Ai No Kusabi (Feedback Requested):

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1 Komodin12th Jun 2012 10:12:32 AM from Windy Hill Zone , Relationship Status: I like big bots and I can not lie
TV Tropes' Sonic Wiki Curator
Okay, the work page for this light novel appeers to have been cut, presumably before the P% has been established. Now, can someone clue me in on what to do with this page? Should we restore the page, or should we leave it cut? Is it pornography, and/or is it pedo-pandering? Tell me...
2 KuroBaraHime12th Jun 2012 10:19:04 AM from Somewhere...I think
It wasn't cut before the P5, it was one of things cut by Eddie a while ago because it got 3 devil heads.

I don't know any thing about this, but we probably don't have to worry about pedo stuff since all the GIS images are of the two adult main characters. The light novel was published in June, a Josei magazine for BL stories.
Just glancing over the plot synopsis, I would say that there's a LOT more plot than I would guess based on the cover. It's been published in the US by Digital Manga Publishing... I can try to find a copy online and give it a read through (Yaoi doesn't really affect me) if needed.
4 lebrel12th Jun 2012 11:08:00 AM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
The original is an 8-volume light novel series from the 1980's (6 are legally available in English, last 2 coming this year/next year), two 1-hour OV As from the 90s that apparently has a slightly different plot (not legally available in English but there are fansubs) and a new OVA series of 4 half-hour episodes that either just came out or is just about to come out (also not legally available in English but I expect that fansubs will shortly follow).

I've only read the first few volumes of the novels, and while there is explicit, kinky sex (BDSM is involved, and sex slavery is a plot point), there isn't very much of it; one scene each in V1 and 2 and two in V3 (the translated volumes are around 175-200 pages of prose each, so they're a bit shorter than a standard US novel, but there's still a pretty high story/sex ratio). I have only seen clips of the 90s OVA, none of which included any sex, so I can't report about that, or on the new OV As.

Mostly the 3 volumes I read focus on dystopian sci-fi; the society has a rigid caste system, one character (Riki) is a non-citizen slum-dweller of the lowest social class and the other (Iason) is a high-ranking artificial human (cyborg? it's unclear) of the highest social class. There's interminable infodumping about the society and technology, long side plots about gang wars, black market racketeering, genetically engineered human "pets", etc. I don't know if it gets pornier in the later volumes; I have the six that are out and can try to polish the rest of them off later this week / weekend and report back.

The one thing so far that is worth reporting is that the first sexual encounter between the characters happens (in flashback, in V2) when Rikki is 16-ish (Iason is artificial but apparently looks 20ish?); Riki, a street gang leader and small-time hoodlum, is caught pickpocketing (which, as he's a non-citizen, is close to a death sentence), Iason refuses to press charges (for no reason), Riki feels indebted and offers to pay him back with sex, Iason accepts but is snarky about it and Riki comes out pissed off and hating Iason. The scene is fairly explicit but focuses mainly on Riki being annoyed and humiliated by Iason's arrogance and disdain.

Then some time later (the series isn't terribly clear on the chronology) Riki, who is doing interplanetary drug/slave-running, stumbles into some sort of shady deal that Iason is involved with; Iason takes him prisoner and uses him as a sex slave for a year or so (resulting in the other 3 sex scenes so far), then lets him go (this is all extended flashback, mainly V2/V3). The main plot kicks in after Riki returns to the slums (at which point he's 19) and re-forms his gang; the story then gets into an ongoing conflict with another gang plus internal politicking in Riki's gang (some of the new guys resent his return and want to depose him). That's where I stopped reading (I was going to wait for all the volumes to come out, because I was already getting lost with the various secondary characters reading them every six months as they came out).
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
I'll get straight to the point. It is neither pornographic nor pedo pandering.

The only possible "devil head" ALL of the books have is when Riki (one of the protagonist) thinks back to when he was 15 and came onto the other main character in something that is very close to a Sex for Services situation. Yet, it is kept brief and this particular scene really has no pandering to pedophelia since the sex is very minimal. It's a scene designed for the reader to understand the protaganist was very young and stupid back then.

The animated adaptations are even more tame by being suggestive but never actually showing anything. It is not pornographic when nothing is shown.

As for the pornographic nature of the novel? Not porn although can be explicit. The characters involved are all 17+ since genetically engineered sex slavery is a plot point.

The only vaguely questionable content is the fact Riki was 15 when he got a handjob by an older but artificially created man (who could be really 10 years old for all we know but that isn't the point). It doesn't go into detail or really graphic content here but makes it clear there was lust and shame involved.

After that the main protagonist is either 17 (of age in most countries) when he became a sex slave or an adult at 20/21. Iason had kept him for 3 years (17 - 20 years old) before letting him go. All of this is told in a flashback as well. Then another year goes by when Iason comes to take him back. So nothing about children being sexually exploited either....

My question is what kind of sexual discussion/description in adult works would qualify as simply "adult" from actually being gratuitous or outright so exploitative that it classifies as pornography?

Ai no Kusabi is neither gratuitous nor exploitative. It's just a Prince and the pauper Meets Romeo and Juliet type story only the pauper was made into the Prince's sex slave. It also does not cater to pedophiles. I hope this helps. So please re-consider the page being cut.

To the Mods: Pardon all the edits. I've been interrupted like 8 times while trying to type this...

edited 16th Jun '12 12:58:27 PM by VeritasVierge

I also want to add something I feel should be important to note. There is a very well written fanfiction out there of this series that is smut and popular but not by the author. I want to bring it up because it seems many people within and outside the fandom of the series have mistaken it for official work and it's not. It's called the "Taming Of Riki" which a fan recount of what supposedly happened during those missing 3 years not present in the novel to fill in some blanks. (The novel has brief flashback explaining what went on and how it was hell for Riki as a sex slave but Iason enjoyed himself). It can totally be classified as porn but it not canon.

Since this work is under review, I think it's important people are aware of this particular fanfic and don't make the same mistake. The last thing I would want is for Komodin, lebrel or whoever else that's on the P5 committee to stumble across and think it's part of the series. I still don't get why this fell under "pornography" when it's not porn and being so heavy on plot it frustrates the yaoi fangirls.

edited 16th Jun '12 12:56:10 PM by VeritasVierge

7 jkbeta16th Jun 2012 01:06:09 PM from right behind you , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
While I understand your concern, the P5 have demonstrated that they are able to keep original works and fan works apart; in fact, they have asked numerous times if certain pictures etc are canon or not. </derail>

edited 16th Jun '12 1:06:29 PM by jkbeta

8 Meeble16th Jun 2012 03:38:13 PM from the ruins of Granseal
likes the cheeses.
Yes, we don't cut a main work based on what fan works do. If so, nothing would survive the content policy. Thanks for pointing that out, though, so we'll know what to look out for.
Visit my contributor page to assist with the "I Like The Cheeses" project!
This is really hard to find online, but based on the above, it doesn't sound like porn. Anyone else got any info?
Obsidian Proboscidean
From Wikipedia:

Iason keeps Riki, who is bound to Iason with a penis ring, as his pet for three years.

I think that sounds pretty obscene. The character being "kept" is underaged, too.
I'm an elephant. Rurr.
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
[up]Having seen clips of the animé, I feel the need to clarify: the penis ring is an electronic tracking device (and I don't think you actually see the guy's penis when it's put on; I may be wrong, though). It's not attached to a chain that Iason is holding, or anything like that. (That said, you may wonder why it had to be a penis ring in the first place and not, say, a head implant, but oh well.)

edited 20th Jun '12 2:59:57 AM by DoktorvonEurotrash

It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
12 Heatth20th Jun 2012 04:14:24 AM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
[up]As a joke? Imagine the situation of someone telling you o wear a penis ring. I don't know the context, but there could be many innocent reasons for it to be a penis ring and not anything else.
It could just be an odd presentation of future fashion mores.
Insanity is Relative...
It seems adult, but not outright porn, to me. Of course, I've never seen this show/read this series so I can't give much of an opinion. But judging by what's been said here, it's adult, but doesn't seem explicitly pornographic. It doesn't seem to be using the sex for the sake of it, but rather as plot points. That's perfectly valid in my eyes, but it's still NSFW.

One thing some might find a bit iffy is the idea of it being younger adults. I know that's not really pedophilia, since 17/18 is generally the "you are now considered an adult" age, and honestly it doesn't bother me as long as the people involved aren't kids, but it still might be misconstrued that way, especially with that apparent handjob scene involving what appears to be an older man. It's still adult + child, and even though there's shame attached, it could still be considered pedophilic by some people.
It's like my momma always told me: "Troping is as Troping does..."
17-18 does not run afoul our guidelines.
[up][up] They'd be wrong. While works using younger teens can get the eyebrow, it's usually 12-13 which raises the eyebrow, not 16-17, which is the age of consent in many US states, and also the people tend to have adult mentality and body.
[up][up][up][up] Just because something is obscene does not make it porn. It's starting to seem like people are looking for reasons to clarify this as porn at this point.... 17 is underage now too?

You're not going to find this online for free. At least the web page that had it is down since this is a licensed novel. Yes, I read all the novels however I did read from a French translation so detailngs of what I know may vary from what American readers may have read.

Some clarification: A "Pet" Ring is an ID for sex slaves with all of their info built in. In this novel's future, everyone has some kind of ID. (The only people who don't are street urchins from the slums). The rings are normally regular jewelry like finger rings, earrings and necklaces but Iason and Riki are a special case. Since Riki was a street urchin and not one of the genetically engineered Pets (read programmed at creation to be loyal and obedient), Riki is a headstrong, independent person that was forced into this position. So in order to make the tracking device/Shock Collar into a Restraining Bolt, he put it in an obscene area on Riki's body to inflict the most pain. This is not the norm in that society as Pets are usually generall obedient from the start. Iason's behavior as Riki's master is also exceptional being the only Elite to ever do this and keep a Pet in such a way that breaks the rules. This is also not played for laughs as it's supposed to incite horror to the reader because Riki actually suffers quite a bit.

Still trying to see how this work is porn just because it's adult oriented.

edited 21st Jun '12 4:59:25 AM by VeritasVierge

18 shimaspawn21st Jun 2012 06:11:41 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
17 is not underage by our standards. We're going by a general 16 rule. We really need people to give approximate ages and not just say underage because most of them don't specify what age that is and how far underage the character is.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Obsidian Proboscidean
Oh, sorry. I didn't realize the age was 16.

But I did find this (also from Wikipedia):

Ai no Kusabi takes place on the world of Amoi, which is ruled by a computer named Jupiter. Jupiter has introduced a number of strict social rules to society. Among them, social status is determined by hair color, blonde being the highest, down to black or dark brown as the lowest. The Blondies, genetically engineered by Jupiter, are the highest social class and occupy the capital city of Tanagura. They travel to the satellite pleasure city of Midas, which has an independent slum area called Ceres. Under Jupiter's restrictions, the Blondies are sterile and forbidden from indulging in sexual activities. They keep "pets" (young teenagers) for about a year, for purely voyeuristic purposes, before discarding them. Further emasculation is seen in the "Furniture", young boys who serve the Blondies.

The "voyeuristic purposes" part is what's disturbing.

Voyeurism is defined as "the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions usually considered to be of a private nature." The voyeurism (something that could be seen as perverted) seems to be a large part of it, and Riki is involved with it (which would make him a pet kept for perverted reasons, like a sex slave), so it looks pornographic, or at least, not family-friendly.

Also, Riki might not be underaged, but it does say that they keep "young teenagers" and "young boys" as pets, which could mean that some of the teenagers are under sixteen.

But I could be wrong.

edited 21st Jun '12 6:04:27 PM by BlackElephant

I'm an elephant. Rurr.
20 fakeangelbr21st Jun 2012 06:09:07 PM from Fortaleza, Brazil
The Awesomest Character
Actually, voyeurism can also mean that some takes pleasure in seeing someone's life.

That's the formula of Big Brother, after all.

That said, I don't think that this is the definition used in this case.
Donate money to Skullgirls, get a sweet poster.
I -think- I read part of it. I'm fairly certain that's not the intended meaning.
[up][up][up] Black Elephant, is it too much to ask you to find the source material, actually READ IT and then judge it instead of judging strictly based on Wikipedia anecdotes? I'll be sure to update the wiki article entry myself since I clearly didn't do that good a job 14 months ago when I wrote it.

The elites do behave like voyeurs. They don't actually touch their Pets. They just watch the pets engage each other. All the pets are approximately 17 to 19. In late teens and none were actually mentioned to being 16. In fact they all seemed 18 (the ones the plot actually deals with). Then they are discarded when approaching age 20. The novel distinctly says Pets are kept for an average of 2 years. If they are thrown aside at 20, one who can add numbers can only assume most Pets start at age 18 or 17. Basically the plot deals with one Elite who was the exception to the rule and how love redeems and conquers all quite tragically and bittersweet in the end from this truly fucked up relation ship.

(Should I just type out the ENTIRE plot chapter for chapter while I'm at it for you?) The reaching in this thread is ridiculous now and borders on trolling.

edited 21st Jun '12 6:45:53 PM by VeritasVierge

Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Clarification: I'm not a mod or a P5 member. However, I want to point out that "no works with people under age 16 having sex" is only a hard-and-fast rule for Fanfiction Recommendations, not for works pages.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
24 Sabbo22nd Jun 2012 01:35:32 AM from Australia , Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
Yes. And for other pages it is a guideline; a rule of thumb. While not the be-all-and-end-all, it is still an age barrier that should be paid attention to.
[up][up] I'm aware. If you would like, I will get the infamous handjob scene which in the book isn't called that and just explains the one character's reaction to it (after the deed is done) since again the scene itself wasn't in detail. All of which has nothing to do with the Pets that Black Elephant was going on and on about. I think the both OV As while being tame and showing nothing as everything is obscured or covered was more graphic than the book actually was.

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