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Ai no Kusabi Pairing and detail analysis because Nat dissed my OTP XD

Do you have any idea what you have done Riki? You've dragged a Tanagura Blondie down to a low-level human.

Okay, I'll admit that Iason and Riki have one of the most fucked up relationships ever. Iason is in love with Riki. Riki knows this but he never actually says anything or acts on it. And in a way, they have a dependent relationship because at the end of the first OVA, Guy beats up Riki and tells him he never wants to see him again. THus completely severing Riki's relationships in Ceres.

Why does Iason/Riki appeal to me? I mean, it's obviously one-sided most of the time and Iason is sweet as he is deadly. I suppose it's because Iason's love is consuming.. Iason is willing to give up everything, destroy the whole world, kill off every single member of the human race just to be with Riki. Yes, Iason would go that far. Heck, Iason defied Jupiter, the ultimate authority of Tanagura. Doing that would mean losing his own mind (quote Raoul I'll be the one who'll have to tamper with your mind")

"No matter what anyone says, no matter who you are thinking, remember, you are MY Pet"

Guy. Riki's pairing partner and hinted love interest? has a problem with this situation. Personally, I don't see Guy as a love interest, but the hints are there. I have no issues with Guy, except that he almost mirrors Iason completely. Guy is equally possessive over Riki and when after a while, becomes slightly mad with revenge.

So what? They're all messed up. Obviously Iason/Riki can't work. After all, it isn't consensual. Again, this is why you really need to watch it and see. It is consensual to a large degree in the second half of the anime. Riki doesn't talk to Iason in anger or hatred.


Riki: Iason, is it true you're in a bad position because of me?
Iason: Who told you that?
Riki: You heard rumours everywhere. As it is, I'm supposed to be the rare animal on the market.
Iason laughs.
Riki: It's no laughing matter!
Iason: So, you're worried about me?
Riki: ...That's not it. I'm just a little concerned if I get sent back to Eos.
Iason: If you have time to worry about that, then you should improve your skills.

I realized my wording in the previous entry on Iason's treatment of Riki was a little harsh. Iason did not break Riki, that we can tell by the flashbacks. It wasn't quite taming either, but it quite clearly the breaking of a person.

....I need a new obsession. Utena Tenjou is hot in the movie like woah. XD
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oh, now you've got me going
but it quite clearly the breaking of a person.

And THAT, quite alone, is enough to bring on the NATHATE. I don't have much against life breaking a person, because people are often strongest at the broken places, and I actually prefer people that have been broken before (who may or may not have healed from it) because they're less stupid. But a selfish breaking, a breaking to whim and desire and a mark of ownership even if it's not in the literal obvious sense--fuck that. Iason doesn't need to stick that goddamn ring on Riki for Riki to be mindfucked and owned by him in a way that no human being should be owned by another.

Listen: there is a power imbalance. No relationship with power imbalances will ever work, unless it is specifically a domsub one and they both know fully what they're getting into and they both consent of their own free will. Neither of those conditions were fulfilled here. What this is is akin to a relationship between a child being fucked by an adult; Riki looks to Iason with the same sort of need for approval, and Iason has the same sort of clingy I-want-him thing going. That's the sort of imbalance there is. Humbert loved Lolita (using THIS definition of love, anyway, which is certainly not the same as mine; at any rate he needed Lolita desperately on an emotional level, or at least what she represented). Does that make what they had okay? Tell me why paedophilia is right, and then I'll concede that Iason and Riki have a future.

Consent is not the only factor in whether it's right or not. (Dammit, if you did philosophy this would be so much easier to explain.) Suffice it to say that the consent must be freely given, and by that I mean of free will, and by THAT I mean willed without the affection of external cause. Iason caused that freely-willed consent to be given. So. No.

Also? Iason. Does. Not. Love. Riki. Just cos you're willing to give up YOUR ALL for someone doesn't mean you love them. It means that he wants Riki and that he needs Riki. Neither of those two things is the same thing as love. Probably the exact fucking opposite. Love isn't a goddamn feeling, it's a motherfucking commitment and you have to work at it. It's cliched, but one of the true hallmarks of love is letting the other person go if they want you to, and I mean real letting go, not just Iason's version of "Here have a year of freedom HAHAHA NOT MY RING'S GOING BACK ON YOUR DICK, BITCH"--yes, okay, that's completely not what he said, but the gist of it is that (remember, you are MY pet). It's not even just the manipulation. I'm pretty certain even manipulative bastards have a hope of finding true true love. It's the sheer selfishness of it, the complete and utter disregard for what Riki is (again, see breaking of person), neither of those things would exist in true love. Fucking hell, even Erik (Phantom of the Opera) let Christine go in the end. And, dude, he was in that much worse a position than Iason is.

Why do I like Guy? Because jealous or not, he sees that Riki is being, and I do mean this in both senses of the word, possessed by Iason. Iason has taken Riki and changed him; a deliberate change, an alteration, a chaining of the spirit, not the kind of change that is precipitated by the movement of love. I decidedly do not agree with the castration deal, but I can understand his motives, and, as is obvious, I agree with them wholeheartedly. See, hypothetically speaking, if I ever became like Riki and gave myself to an Iason? I hope, with all sincerity, that I would have a friend who's enough like Guy that they would break me the FUCK away, although preferably without the loss of genitalia.

And yeah, that's one of my major angerpoints, too. Iason took Riki and he gentled him, he leashed his spirit. I consider myself to be defined, in a really huge way, by my pride. I do not give myself over to anyone, I will not do that, not unless it is done in love and with full clear comprehension of what I'm doing. The shields I've put up will make sure of that, I think. Iason took away Riki's pride. That, to me, is an utterly unforgivable sin.
and yes it's long enough that I need TWO comments
That's as far as I should go, I think. But remember this--I didn't cover everything. I didn't go in-depth. I could write a proper goddamn essay on why Iason and Riki are fucking idiots and why the pairing doesn't work, rehashing this comment and adding stuff and restructuring it. And for bonus points, I can tell you why I like the Sanzo-ikkou's version of fucked-up and not this. Why Gojyo/Hakkai works, and not Iason/Riki. Want any more?
Re: and yes it's long enough that I need TWO comments
You need to watch it.

And Iason does let Riki go in the end. Hell, Iason saves Guy's life at the cost of his own. Iason loves him so much that he lets Riki go in the end and he tells him to take Guy. You say that Riki lost his pride, but it's still there.

Riki: Someday I'll kill you

Riki hasn't lost all his pride. Yes, he has been tempered slightly, but the pride is still there. Even Iason doesn't want him to lost that. Riki still fights against Iason.

Damn, I'm too sleepy to write. I'll add more later okay?
Re: and yes it's long enough that I need TWO comments
Iason. Does. Love. Riki. The emphasis in the dialogue when Iason is talking to Raoul and Katze makes that very obvious. And when you say Iason needs Riki, you tell me that isn't love. You know it's love when you need someone. It could be twisted, it could feel destructive, but love is all those things and Iason loves Riki.

Iason knows what Riki is. And Iason can let Riki go.

Riki: Let me go.
Iason: Not yet

The fact that he says 'not yet' is indication that Iason knows that in some point of time, he would have to let him go. And Iason does do that and Iason saves Guy because Riki begs him too and because he believes that Riki loves Guy. That is why Iason saves Guy on the cost of his own.

Another thing; I used to be like Iason almost. I used to do the same things he did (albeit in a different manner). And I was quite possessive in that sense, but I also let go. And she came back out of her own admission. I did not force her. I suppose I could say I changed her, but tell me if I'm wrong, but don't you change in a relationship? Whether it is harmful or loving? In all relationships, a certain amount of change is expected. Either you change for the person you care for or the person who cares for you, changes.

Iason does not have the clingy I-want-him thing. Sure, he wants Riki, but he does not cling onto him 24/7. Heck, he even lets Riki work in the black market and lets him do whatever he wants most of the time. Also, Riki does not look upto Iason, but they are on an odd set of terms. Riki does care for Iason, despite his better judgement and Riki suspects that Iason loves him. Thus, when Riki asks for a job, Iason immediately sets him up with Katze. Even Katze says, "Even if Riki's existence becomes an Achilles?"

Iason replies, "It's better than letting him suffocate in Eos"

Okay, Riki didn't lose his pride when Iason had him for three years. When he came back, he wass slightly more mature and that was it. But it was Guy who beat him up and threw him out that changed Riki for the worst. It was Guy who broke him ultimately because Riki had lost everything the moment Guy beat him up. If Guy had not done that, Riki would still be fighting Iason with tooth and nail. But since Guy abandoned him at that crucial moment, Riki had nothing else left. That was the worst kind of breaking. Imagine that circumstances made you look like scum and your friends rejected you for it? What would you do? Go back to the friend who threw you away? Keep searching for their approval? I for one, wouldn't go back to someone who spat in my face.

And Riki tries to push Guy away so that Guy could move on. Riki tries almost everything to keep Guy away from Iason, but Guy gets mad with jealousy that he is willing to sacrifice himself and Iason, without really bothering about Riki's opinion at this part. You tell me if you're going to be happy if your friend decides to blow himself up for your happiness. Personally, I think I would devastated if something like that happened.

Actually, the weird thing about the power imbalance is that it shifts in the second OVA. At first, it's Iason who is holding all the cards, but as the second OVA continues, it becomes more and more apparent that it's Riki who has Iason around his finger. Iason tells him to save Guy and go. That is a turning point here. And Riki makes the decision to come back.

In the end, Guy understands. He does because Katze explains it to him (in less detail) and Guy says, "I shall ponder the loss of an arm". The arm that Iason tore off. I wouldn't call Guy regretful, but he sees the clearer picture almost.

Re: and yes it's long enough that I need TWO comments
You know it's love when you need someone. It could be twisted, it could feel destructive, but love is all those things and Iason loves Riki.

NO it goddamn well is not. Need is twisted and destructive. Love is NOT JUST NEED. Love is fucking well IGNORING your own need. You don't fucking matter. The other person does, above all else. That's love. No emotional blackmail, you don't even get to present your own case, you swallow your pain and whatever bullshit you have and you offer them the goddamn best you can. Always and forever. That's love.

Iason saves Guy, wonderful, he's got a heroic streak in him. He's a sap and listens to Riki, even better. Still, none of those things equals love. Does this redeem Iason? Yes, somewhat. Does it mean the relationship works? Nup. Still not enough. What Iason does, is, in part, what I mean in my previous paragraph. But if he truly loved Riki...he would have done more than that. Iason playing the hero stinks of authorly indulgence. That, y'see, is when the writer tries to convince the audience that these two characters love each other. But there isn't any buildup, any truth behind the sappy scenes.

Iason: You no longer have a pet ring to bind you. I will give you a year of freedom. I'll be waiting, for that moment. The moment that you will truly become mine...

Letting go. Right. That's not letting go. Letting go means LETTING GO. No more Riki in Iason's life, no hoping that the pet will come back to master. Iason gives him everything he needs to survive and cuts him off completely and entirely, and then if Riki comes back anyway after a period of time long enough for him to think things over clearly (6 months to a year, in my not-so-humble opinion) I'll think differently. "Truly become mine"? Yeah, right.

She came back how? Was she thinking straight? Could she live without you? Or did you mindfuck her into not being able to do that, either? Could she walk away and live on her own? IT ONLY COUNTS if she could do all that, if she could grow and live as her own independent person, and she still came back to you. Yeah, you change in a relationship. YOU NEVER TRY TO CHANGE THE OTHER PERSON. If they change, it is THEIR CHOICE. YOU change. I do not change the people I love. They do not change me. I change because I want to stop hurting them. If they do not reach that point of thought and do not change for me, I motherfucking well live with it!

Clingy, fine, bad choice of words. Possessive. Controlling. Manipulative. Take your pick. It doesn't matter what Riki does, Riki just has to know that he belongs to Iason. No human alive should ever, ever, EVER belong to anyone else.

Riki: So my chain isn't that long.
Katze: I'm glad you're understanding, Riki. [...]

Riki is never free. Riki is a sentimental dope who develops Stockholm Syndrome (Wiki it if you don't know what it is). Doesn't equal knowing consent. Wouldn't hold up in a court of law. Doesn't make it right.

Iason: As long as you've got the pet ring on, you are mine. No matter who says anything. No matter who you may be thinking of.

Yeah, that was stupid of Guy. Shoulda been supportive instead of destructive. But Riki was long since broken, had long since been changed. He would not leave Iason. Guy asked whether they could begin again. What was Riki's response? That he was Iason's pet. Yeah, yeah, ring, contract, whatever. No rebellion. No leap for the chance at freedom. He'd been broken and Iason had done it. That's breaking. Not friends being abusive idiots, everyone's an abusive idiot at least some time. Breaking of spirit. Breaking because Iason fucking well FELT LIKE IT.
oh my god it's even longer this time around
Riki: Where the hell am I to go? To the salon? A pet who's over 20 AND from the slum, I'm a living fossil in Eos. I'm fed up of being part of a freak show.
Iason: What great progress. I do not mind at all what you do... (he takes Riki under his chin and forces the boy to face him) as long as you are aware of the fact that you are my pet.

Freedom my ass. If Iason loved him, he'd give him a way to be free. Give it to him, you understand? On a silver platter, with no strings attached, no conditions, no need for Riki to look back. Doesn't matter how much Iason loved and needed Riki. If Iason loved Riki and Riki didn't love Iason--and I'm going to be pedantic and include the clause about loving of your own free will, i.e. sans sexual training et al.--then Iason should have just fucking let him go.

Guy: Didn't you feel any shame being touched by such a guy? You had such pride.

Had. Had.

Guy: When we used to hang out together, everybody turned to look. I was so proud of you. With you, I didn't care how dangerous it was. Riki, you gonna destroy that? Can you betray us? I'm not saying come back to Bison. You don't even have to be my Riki, but just don't be his. Not his!

And THAT is the difference between Guy and Iason. "Don't even have to be my Riki." "Not saying come back to Bison." Right, real jealous. More like concerned. More like desperately caring. He doesn't want Riki to be his. He wants Riki FREE. Would I be happy if my friend blew himself up for me? No, I'd call him an idiot and lots of other names besides, but the one thing I would not deny is that he was a good friend. Guy didn't do it carelessly. Guy did it because as long as Iason was alive, Riki could not be free. Guy sacrificed himself as the only way to obtain Riki's freedom. I can respect that.

Riki: This is the truth you wanted to know. Open your eyes wide and look! Did you know? It gives me the shivers when I'm caressed lightly here. (he touches his nipple) Here, and here too.

Guy closes his eyes and turns his face away with a painful expression.

Riki: He says they're my good points. As long as the ring is on my penis I can do it with him. And you have no right to wreck that!

Yeah, that reaaaaallly sounds like Riki doesn't need Iason, that Riki doesn't look to Iason for approval. "He says they're my good points." Praise from Iason validating Riki's way of life. "I can do it with him." Sexual submission, sexual need. Yes, lust is such an important factor in important relationship decisions. Yeah, the sexual conditioning had nothing to do with it. Yeah, Iason making Riki feel good is so much more important than Riki being clear-headed and dependent on nothing. Right. Iason doesn't need to hold anything over Riki. Riki's become addicted. We call that a psychological disorder, i.e. he's WRONG IN THE HEAD.

Guy understanding is--authorly indulgence. Or Guy being stupid. Pick one. Just because the whole world condones it doesn't goddamn well make it right. See the clearer picture? You mean the clearer picture where the fucked-up duo should be allowed to continue fucking each other up? Right. Yeah. Crystal clear.
Re: oh my god it's even longer this time around
ummm....Iason didn't expect Riki to come back. He was in shock when Riki does come back.

Riki: He saved Guy's life even though he knew it was a hindrance. He did it for me. That's more than enough reason for me to go back

As for need. Tell me anyone, anyone who is selfless enough to completely let go of a person they love. Someone who gives up everything for another's happiness and be happy themselves. I've never met such a person. Humans aren't meant for letting go of things. It's part of our nature. Letting go, is really difficult even if you're in love. Take Heathcliff for god's sake. He held on for a good twenty years after Cathy had died.

I shall now quote Saiyuki! XD

Kami-sama: You have so many things. Won't you give them to me?
Sanzo: *gives the creepiest smile ever* I won't

"Muichimotsu". The philosophy that Sanzo holds for the longest time ever has been cast off. He even says that 'his master's policy was his own greatest enemy'. Even Sanzo realizes how difficult it is to let go of precious things. And Sanzo (being possessive enough as it is) refuses to do so.

I concede to your point of Stockholm Syndrome (XD I had forgotten about that really). And your points of sexual need because there are gaps in the three year time period. I don't know exactly what happened, we only see flashbacks. So yeah, not enough definite stuff there to argue back with, so I concede there.

Riki: Don't look at me with those eyes

I'll admit that all the characters are pretty much messed up in the head. But the breaking of spirit, do you really think Riki is broken? Because I can't seem to see that.

She came back how? Was she thinking straight? Could she live without you? Or did you mindfuck her into not being able to do that, either?

Okay, I did not do that. Angie was capable enough on her own and she still is. And I did change for Angie a lot. I came in terms with it and let it be. Our friendship wasn't that dysfunctional. It was more her crush on Vinit that I couldn't handle in a way. But I sympathize with Iason. I didn't say I forgive him for doing the things he did, but I understand the reasons.

I like Guy. I really do. I understand what's he going through as well. But letting go of people? Is painful for both Iason and Guy (which is why I said they parallel each other).

Anyway, I have to study now, so I can't be on the internet to continue replying. Stop here and continue later? Or what?

Re: oh my god it's even longer this time around
Continue later, prolly--I should get to studying too. T____T
And, several months later...........
Tell me anyone, anyone who is selfless enough to completely let go of a person they love. Someone who gives up everything for another's happiness and be happy themselves. I've never met such a person.

Then you've never met anyone who's ever truly loved. You let them go. You walk away. It tears you the shit up inside but you do it anyway, because you love them and it's what's right. Need'em? Yeah, love often comes with need, but need =/= love. Your need doesn't count. That's love. And the thing about it is, you may not always succeed--yeah, you're right, people find it damn hard to be selfless. But if you love you goddamn well KNOW you're wrong and you try and try and try anyway, and if you fail you try some more.

...Don't understand the Saiyuki point. Sorry. Don't know Saiyuki well enough, I think. But from what I gather, that's because Sanzo's not letting go of his self. It's not just "precious things", there are so many categories of that. It's Sanzo's SELF. The parts of his mind that are his and his alone. That I can dig. Riki, on the other hand, caved. He let parts of his self be taken away, his freedom and wildness. So.

Yes, I think Riki is broken. You don't have to be a gibbering mess to be broken. But he is not the proud creature he was before. That's broken.

Those were partially rhetorical. You changed for her. That...in this particular sense, that's good. (In other senses, it isn't, but they're not part of this argument.) She's strong to come back. Good for her. But it still doesn't make what you did right. And Iason's definitely not right.

Guy's losing a friend. Iason's losing a boytoy that fulfills a psychologically-messed-up-need. What parallels?
Re: And, several months later...........
I felt like it. *gives you a 'no duh' look*
Re: And, several months later...........
No, I was clearing out my memoried posts and found this, and felt it was unfinished business.
Re: And, several months later...........
Unfinished business =/= bored. Granted, I was clearing them out because I was bored, but I didn't reply to this out of boredom.