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Part of a larger series of interrelated stories of salarymen, Fujisaki Kou's Virgin Love and its two direct sequels follow the rather smutty relationship of two business partners: Kaoru a mid-level manager at Todou and Daigo the executive director of Mercury.
After moving back to Japan to work at the Todou group, Kaoru takes to drinking alone every night out of boredom. He ends up getting picked up by fellow Ethical Slut Daigo, but only agrees to a one-night stand. A couple weeks later they meet at work. They begin a Friends with Benefits relationship, with Daigo secretly hoping for more. Kaoru, having commitment issues thanks to his Abusive Mom, eventually calls it off when he finds himself going Crazy Jealous Guy over little things. After Daigo shows up to stop him from sleeping with Yonehara, a CEO who had been harassing him, they reconcile and decide to be lovers.
...Junai No Seinen picks up after this, with Daigo still worried about what Kaoru's feelings for him are. This only gets worse when Kaoru's ex-sex friend Ian shows up hoping to strike something up again and Kaoru takes advantage of this to make Daigo jealous in order to feed his own insecurity. It backfires when Daigo leaves him in anger. After a Kaoru has a public meltdown Daigo figures out what was going on and forgives him.
In Men's Love Daigo gets called to America by his father under the cover of work but really for an Arranged Marriage that he is trying to force on his son. Daigo tries to hide the matter from Kaoru knowing how badly he'd take it, but Kaoru finds out when Daigo's father tries to bribe and threaten him to break up with Daigo. Kaoru goes to America to force Daigo to make a decision and Daigo finally succeeds in Calling the Old Man Out.
These three works are scattered amidst a loose series which focuses around the Todou Group. The series' chronology is: 1) Happy Yarou Wedding, 2) Utsukushiki Kemonotachi, 3) ...Virgin Love, 4) Toriko Ni Natta Kemono, 5) ...Junai no Seinen, 6) Kemono Wa Ai De Iyasareru, 7) Playboy Amour, 8) Oboreru Kemono No Koibito, 9) Men's Love, 10) Aikata, and 11) Ueta Aikata. 11 volumes and counting.
- Abusive Mom: Kaoru's mom neglected him for her relationships and then blamed him when they went sour. His emotional isolation and fear of relationships stem directly from not wanting to be her.
- Abusive Dad: Chiharu's father wasn't much better. His preferred method of education was beating his son repeatedly with a cane because he didn't like the "look in his eyes".
- Ambiguously Brown: Daigo and his father, whose ethnicity is never specified.
- Arbitrarily-Large Bank Account: Daigo's father has his mooks give Kaoru a blank cheque, to be filled with any sum he likes so long as he ends his relationship with Daigo. He is apparently unaware that money can't buy you love.
- Arranged Marriage: Daigo's father tries to force him into a marriage that will be favourable for the company.
- Bad Dreams: Kaoru has a lot of trouble catching sleep because he always dreams of his abusive childhood.
- Bait and Switch Tyrant: Kaoru and Chiharu both overwork their subordinates when they want to get things done, but are liked for the fact that they are effective and work equally hard. Kaoru specifically often takes responsibility for mistakes that his subordinates make, for which they are grateful.
- Beautiful Dreamer: Occurs frequently with Kaoru because he can only sleep well when Daigo's around, leaving Daigo to just watch him.
- Be Yourself: Both Kaoru and Daigo exchange this sentiment. Daigo has no problem with Kaoru being a Crazy Jealous Guy by nature, while Kaoru tells Daigo he doesn't have to worry about living up to his expectations because Kaoru wouldn't date him if he didn't already.
- Being Personal Isn't Professional: Daigo purposefully keeps the two sides separate. He's a generous and easy-going by nature, but as a young CEO has to be professional and commanding at all times in the workplace to ensure the company's survival.
- Berserk Button: Don't ever imply Kaoru's sex life is affecting his work. Or flirt with Daigo.
- Birds of a Feather: Their Ethical Slut Work Hard, Play Hard personalities and their ablility to relate over work is what draws them together. Daigo describes it as finally having some who can meet him on the same level.
- Broken Bird: Kaoru is one of the few male versions of this.
- Brutal Honesty: Kaoru is the master wielder of this particular technique. He can destroy someone's self-esteem with this in less than a minute (shown to rather cruel effect in the associated series). The only person this doesn't work on is Chiharu.
- But Not Too Foreign: Daigo is mixed race, with his mother being Japanese, his father American (ethnicity unspecified). In a kind of subversion the reason Kaoru takes an interest in him is precisely because he looks foreign. Kaoru just doesn't like Japanese men.
- Calling the Old Man Out: After years of working for his father doing everything he's been told to, Daigo finally stands up to him with regards to the Arranged Marriage and trying to keep him in America. With a conveniently timed threat from Todou it works pretty well.
- Calling Your Orgasms: Done from time to time.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Kaoru spends an entire night chain smoking in attempt to fend off an anxiety attack after Daigo's father's henchmen try to bribe him to break up and tell him Daigo is getting married.
- Conservation of Competence: Averted. Everybody working in the top levels of Mercury, Todou and Evans Corp. are extremely competent. This in itself is a type of counterbalance, as no party can really take advantage of the other when they're equally skilled.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Most of the characters are portrayed as morally flexible in the interests of business, but Daigo's father dances closest to this trope when he bribes Kaoru to break up with Daigo and failing that threatens to expose his sexual orientation so that Daigo can make an marriage that's advantageous to the company.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Invoked. The reason Kaoru shuns romantic relationships is fear of becoming like his man-crazy mother. His prediction does come true somewhat, but Daigo is willing to accept the madly jealous side of him and convinces him to give their relationship a chance. Daigo himself can't stand it when other men touch Kaoru though he's much more restrained in his reactions.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The Abusive Mom thing didn't really work out so well for Kaoru as an adult. Chiharu's Abusive Dad problem screwed him up pretty damn badly as well. Their parents - who are apparently siblings - seemed to like using their children as outlets for their anger, resulting in horribly unhealthy complexes in both.
- Death Glare: Kaoru has one. As does Chiharu. It seems to run in the family.
- Defrosting Ice King: Kaoru doesn't really like people until Daigo's warmer personality starts dethawing him. Even his subordinates notice he's become nicer, increasing his popularity at work.
- Didn't See That Coming: Daigo's father genuinely didn't think Daigo would ever stand up to him. He also wasn't counting on Todou to find out about him threatening Kaoru.
- Dirty Old Man: Yonehara, who sexually harasses Kaoru.
- Ethical Slut: This is pretty much a love story between two manwhores.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Kaoru.
- Everybody Smokes: Everybody. It seems to be how they get through the workday as no one smokes when they're feeling good.
- First Love: Despite both Kaoru and Chiharu's long line of one-night hook-ups and Fuck Buddies, both Daigo and Kazuki respectively are the first and only people they've ever fallen in love with.
- Freudian Excuse: Kaoru's mother seriously messed him up. Just the implication that he's anything like her is enough to send him flying off the walls.
- Fuck Buddies: Kaoru doesn't want a relationship but thinks the sex is too good to give up so he and Daigo become this. Eventually Daigo falls for Kaoru.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: When Kaoru has an anxiety attack at Ian's farewell party Daigo tries to get him to snap out of it, but eventually has to settle for knocking him right out, knowing Kaoru would hate everyone seeing him have a breakdown.
- Green-Eyed Monster: unsurprisingly, Kaoru and Chiharu. Insanity really is inheritable in their case. Other characters have been caught in the jealousy-trap, but absolutely none take it to the kind of extremes that Kaoru and Chiharu do. Safe to say they've never tried to murder someone over it.
- Heroic Bastard: Daigo's mother was a mistress of his father, and Daigo's never been officially recognized as his son. His dad stayed completely out of his life until he hit university age, when he sent Daigo to school and put him on the fast-track in his company.
- Heroic BSOD: Kaoru has a panic attack the first time Daigo leaves him, and again when Daigo shows up at Ian's farewell party with a date.
- Hero Stole My Bike: Lampshaded when Daigo steals a bike from a random stranger to try to chase down Kaoru and Yonehara.
- Hopeless Suitor/Romantic False Lead: Ian when he shows up to try and get back together with Kaoru. Ian thinks he's Romantic False Lead and Daigo's worried he is too, while Kaoru and Chiharu know Ian is the Hopeless Suitor.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Kazuki has absolutely no idea that Chiharu is a cold, manipulative Magnificent Bastard.
Kaoru: The only person in the world who doesn't see you as a cold-blooded monster is probably that kid.
- If It's You It's Okay: Daigo's pickup line is basically: "I like women, but you're gorgeous. My place or yours?"
- Imaginary Love Triangle: Chiharu's knowledge of Kaoru's sex life starts to make Daigo think there might have been something between them and Chiharu decides to fan the flames. Kaoru later reveals to Daigo that Chiharu is his cousin and he's just being had. Turns out that he did this deliberately to mess with Kaoru, after how Kaoru messed around with him and Kazuki when he was first introduced in the prequel.
- In-Series Nickname: Daigo is referred to as the "Young Lion of Mercury" in the business world, and in the Todou group Kaoru is dubbed the "Beautiful Noble."
- The Insomniac: Kaoru, thanks to being haunted by Bad Dreams of his childhood. He discovers being in a stable relationship combats this.
- In the Blood: Kaoru and Chiharu believe madness runs in their family. They're correct, although given their parents' actions it could easily be a nurture thing. That said, their mom and dad were/are completely off-the-wall insane in rather ugly ways. The only thing that keeps Kaoru and Chiharu sane are, quite literally, their relationships with Daigo and Kazuki respectively, who act as huge stabilising forces. It something happens to those relationships, they tend to fly off the handle and fall to pieces faster than a speeding train on amphetamines.
- Ladykiller in Love: Daigo after meeting Kaoru. Kaoru is a mankiller (maneater?) in love when he finally comes around.
- Chiharu has an...er..."impressive" record. Certainly enough to make him this.
- Love Confession: Daigo accidently blurted it out when Kaoru said he'd stop seeing him. He hadn't intend to confess so early into their relationship.
- Love Hurts: When things go wrong with Daigo, Kaoru gets physical pain, stops sleeping, loses weight, and usually goes into Heroic BSOD. Ouch.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Kaoru thinks this, based on his mother's behaviour.
- Lampshaded by the author herself:
Voice over: The man who didn't know how to love [Kaoru]... The man who knew nothing but hate [Chiharu]... Their love is a record of sanity and madness.
- The Love Slap of Epiphany: Inverted. Daigo gets kissed by some random girl at a club and Kaoru slaps him, which Daigo reads as Kaoru having feelings for him. Kaoru freaks out when he realizes this might be true.
- Lysistrata Gambit: Kaoru completely ignores Daigo for a week when he thinks Daigo's crossing the line between work and their personal lives. He intended to hold out longer, but it wasn't going so well for him.
- Men Can't Keep House: The reason why they always meet at the hotel rather than their apartments.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Subverted by Kaoru, who sometimes covers his torso with a bedsheet but is buck naked from the waist down.
- Nepotism: How Daigo became a CEO so young. The fact that he's extremely competent definitely contributed though.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Ian uses the fact he is known for this as an excuse to grope Kaoru in public. This includes the majority of his company as well. His secretary gets rather pissed off at him about this in Playboy Amour.
- Operation: Jealousy: Despite Daigo being loving and utterly devoted to him, Kaoru puts this into action - consequently putting Daigo through emotional hell - as a way of constantly reassuring himself that Daigo cares about him because he's just that insecure. This backfires, however, when Daigo, being normal and not raised in an dark, abusive childhood atmosphere like Kaoru and Chiharu, decides not to put up with it anymore.
- Poor Communication Kills: Averted... most of the time. Usually never becomes a problem between Daigo and Kaoru because of Kaoru's Brutal Honesty Is The Only Way policy. Now in the associated series? See Playboy Amour for a prolific example courtesy of some ridiculously low self-esteem issues.
- Pride: Kaoru's biggest flaw, which is his defense mechanism to combat his insecurity and jealousy.
- Relationship Upgrade: At the end of ...Virgin Love Kaoru and Daigo upgrade from sex-friends to lovers.
- Salaryman: The series is set in the white collar world and chock full of Work Hard, Play Hard salarymen.
- Sex Equals Love: A one-night stand ends up becoming a series of them which ends up becoming an actual relationship.
- Smoking Hot Sex: Surprisingly averted. Everybody Smokes, but they only seem to use it for stress relief from work, never casually after sex.
- Happens once, courtesy of Daigo. Although that was after just having resolved a fight with Kaoru, so again: stress relief.
- The Snark Knight: Kaoru's default mode is disdain, which includes disdain for himself whenever he fails to live up to his own standards.
- Spanner in the Works: Chiharu's long-term plan to crush his father ended up being completely derailed when he fell in love with Kazuki.
- Those Two Guys: Daigo's high school friends, who show up from time to time just to be scared off by Kaoru.
- Turn Out Like His Mother: Kaoru's biggest fear.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Subverted. Everyone who knows about Daigo's father assumes that's why Daigo works so hard. Actually, he just wants to take care of his mom.
- With Family Like This: Kaoru and Chiharu seem to actually hate each other half the time when they aren't helping each other out.
- Work Hard, Play Hard: To compensate for being a workaholic Kaoru's only two hobbies outside of work are sex and drinking. Daigo is much the same.
- Yandere: Chiharu. Once, when Daigo and Kazuki become good friends, he almost kills Daigo. He was 2 seconds away from beating his skull in, and would have succeeded if it hadn't been for Kazuki. Another time, he tries to kill Kazuki by choking him to death. Again, he would have succeeded if not stopped, this time by Kaoru who calls him on it with a What the Hell, Hero?. Health tip: never ever make Chiharu jealous. You'll live longer.
- Apparently they already swapped their The Reason You Suck Speeches a long time ago
- Probably a mixture of both
- The fact that the reason for this is that both are borderline insane with enough childhood baggage to sink an oil liner makes this slightly less romantic than it sounds