Ai no Kusabi: The Space Between

OVA (4 eps x 25 min)
3.203 out of 5 from 2,115 votes
Rank #5,237

In a future where social class is determined by the color of one's hair, Iason sits at the top of the pecking order as a "blondie," favored by everyone. He is given latitude in his daily life, but draws unwanted attention when he chooses to take a "mongrel" named Riki as his pet. Society has no taboos against staking claim to other humans, but the length and nature of this relationship brings unexpected consequences.

Source: Media Blasters

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In a technical sense, the style of animation, character designs, and background settings were pretty decent. The story set-up seemed like it could be interesting since there were clearly a lot of societal politics that a viewer does not understand at first. However, I had no clue what was going on with the plot and as time went on, I realized that I wasn't supposed to be paying attention to that part and instead focusing on the hot anime guys. First off, the main relationship was the most toxic and abusive thing I've seen in a long time. I typically seek out LGBTQ media and this one was recommended to me as a good BL, but it suffers from the strange fetishization that's present in so much BL content where the viewer is assumed to be brainless and perfectly content with seeing half naked men huffing and moaning as much as possible even when it's not for any good reason. The bizarre sex scenes were genuinely awful and I didn't like the way they were initiated even once, so I couldn't find a single reason to recommend this to someone else. I liked some of the worldbuilding and character designs, but 4 episodes isn't nearly enough to explain the politics and origin of this society that would've made this show more interesting. The ending was abrupt and didn't provide any sense of closure for the story either. If there was any attention to the plot details, maybe it could've been an interesting look at sexual trauma and abuse, but every single potentially interesting plot point that was hinted at or introduced became a loose end that was never addressed. It looked pretty, but there was no substance whatsoever. Don't even give this a shot if you like BL, you'll be disappointed.

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