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Dark, but great yakuza love story
Story: Desperate for money, Aoi accepts a hit on the yakuza boss, Kurihara. Unsurprisingly, he’s caught during the assassination attempt — more surprisingly, Kurihara chooses to exact his revenge not through torture, but through sex. Months later, Aoi is Kurihara’s kept lover, and neither man is happy with the relationship. But it seems the more they try to pull away from each other, the harder it is to escape from their emotional and physical entanglement.
If Aoi was your friend in real life, you’d beg him to break off his abusive relationship with Kurihara, who is unapologetically cruel and selfish. And while we never find out the circumstances that made him think murdering a yakuza boss was a good way to make some fast cash, Aoi is nonetheless a sympathetic character just trying to make his way in a harsh environment. Of course, this isn’t real life, and if you can accept this story’s dark premise, Kuku Hayate positions us so that we hope Kurihara and Aoi stay together against all logic and tenets of mental health. Even the late appearance of the policeman character — who in any other manga could ably fill the role of the romantic lead — is unable to sway Aoi from his tempestuous attraction to Kurihara.