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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Ai no Kusabi Vol. 1 by Yoshihara Rieko 
18th-Jan-2008 04:21 pm
Yoshihara, Rieko. Ai no Kusabi: The Space Between Vol. 1 - Stranger. Trans. Kelly Quine. Los Angeles: Juné, 2007.
          Summary: With illustrations by Michihara Katsumi. After spending three years as a sex slave to Blondy Iason Mink, one-time gang leader Riki mysteriously returns home to the slums of Ceres...apparently unwilling or unable to pick up where he left off.
          Comments: For once, DMP actually (in spite of themselves) has gotten their imprint name (nearly) right. Yoshihara's infamous tale of sex, drugs, and blond bishounen was first serialized in Shousetsu June way back in the late 80's when sadomasochism and suicide were among the most popular tropes in stories for women about men loving men--and before the advent of the "boy's love" genre proper. DMP has licensed Ai no Kusabi's most recent published incarnation, a multi-volume, expanded edition with each chapter from the single-volume hardback 1990 edition roughly corresponding to one book. While surely a great way to soak up as much money as possible from devoted fans, the format is doing DMP no favors. If you weren't already sold on the value of this series, the first volume definitely isn't going to convince you. Not only does the translation/adaptation border on the unreadable...hardly anything of significance to the plot actually happens! It's all dystopian sci-fi-style background information! I'll probably continue following the series for the sake of my own personal pop cultural literacy, but I heartily recommend that the rest of you save your time and money.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Seibido Shuppan in 2001
          Rating: 3/10 - Reading this book was an exercise in self-abuse. (And, no, I'm not referring to its masturbatory potential.)
18th-Jan-2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
The sad thing is, I like Kira Takenouchi's doujinshi novels for AnK, much better than the actual series. :/ Have you read the translations online? [wont link them here] If yes, was there much of a difference?
18th-Jan-2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Have you read the translations online?

Nope. I believe what has been translated was the 1990 edition, however, so there are actual textual differences between what DMP is using and that one in Japanese. I don't think Yoshihara is a horrible writer, per se...but as usual DMP's English adaptation is embarrassingly bad. And I don't care for the multi-volume format.
18th-Jan-2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
So, the book is roughly equivalent to the 10 minutes of backstory text that run at the opening of the fansub?
19th-Jan-2008 03:24 am (UTC)
19th-Jan-2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
I only saw the OVA and I thought that was vastly overrated^^
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