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Manga, OVA, Audio Drama

Kizuna: Bonds of Love (絆 KIZUNA~恋のから騒ぎ~, Kizuna: Koi no Kara Sawagi) is a yaoi manga, authored by Kazuma Kodaka. In Japan, a total of eleven volumes were published first by Biblos and then by Libre Publishing between December 1992 and September 2008. In North America, the series was partially released in English by Be Beautiful between September 2004 and August 2007. Digital Manga Publishing later acquired the license and condensed the entire series into six volumes, published from September 2010 to May 2012.

Kizuna has also been adapted into a drama CD in 1998, and into three original video animations. The first two are each 30 minutes long and were released in 1994. Both subtitled and dubbed versions of these OVAs have been released in the United States on DVD. The third OVA, titled "Much Ado About Nothing", is 45 minutes long and came out in Japan in 2001.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Kei Enjouji falls in love with kendo prodigy Ranmaru Samejima when they meet in their first year of middle school. From that moment on, Enjouji becomes determined to romantically pursue Ranmaru, regardless of the coldness and annoyance the other shows him. Throughout their remaining years in school, their relationship grows from awkward friendship to a strong love.

When Enjouji's mother dies during his third year of high school, she leaves him a letter revealing that he is the eldest, albeit illegitimate, son of yakuza boss Takeshi Sagano. Seeing Enjouji's distress over his mother's death, Ranmaru vows to protect him. Ranmaru makes good on his promise that very afternoon, saving Enjouji's life by shoving him out of the way of a yakuza hit man's car. Ranmaru survives the hit-and-run, but he is gravely injured and it looks like he will have to give up kendo. Enjouji supports Ranmaru throughout his extensive physical therapy. With their love for each other strengthened by adversity, the two start living together.

Neither of them want to have dealings with the yakuza, but get drawn into it when Enjouji's younger half-brother, Kai Sagano, Takeshi's legitimate son, comes looking for trouble. Kai says that he loves Ranmaru too and blames Enjouji for everything that has gone wrong with his life. Despite the rocky start, Enjouji and Ranmaru soon befriend Kai. At one point, Kai saves a drugged-up Ranmaru from a lecherous professor. He ends up taking advantage of Ranmaru's vulnerable state and rapes him, but neither Enjouji nor Ranmaru hold a grudge against Kai. While Kai claims to love Ranmaru, he has more than platonic feelings for his bodyguard, Masanori Araki. Masanori has been Kai's caretaker since he was little and has a brother-like relationship with the boy. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Kai is the son of a yakuza boss.

Much Ado About Nothing (絆 KIZUNA~恋のから騒ぎ Kizuna: Koi no kara Sawagi) Enjouji and Ranmaru are a mostly-happy couple, but when Ranmaru finds lipstick on Enjouji's chest, he becomes suspicious and leaves in a huff. Enjouji follows Ranmaru throughout the day. As they do so, the two men think about their past and their uncertain future.

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