Chains of Love

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Kamui and Fuuma don't seem to mind the chains...

Come to me, cover me, hold me
Together we'll break these chains of love

Erasure"Chains Of Love"

An Anvilicious version of the Red String of Fate, Chains of Love are often utilized in manga artwork, especially in Shojo and Yaoi, specifically the Yaoi Guys often end up in these. Used to indicate that two people are "bound" together literally and often unwillingly, perhaps suggesting that one of the two is the "old ball and chain" to the other.

Often overlaps with Because Destiny Says So and What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic. If used in a villainous or negative way, this often overlaps with Bondage Is Bad.

Alternately can be seen as bits of cloth, thorns, or in one case, red wires, an amalgamation of the Chains and Red String that's possibly even more Anvilicious than the two separately.

On the non-symbolic side is the Chained Heat plot. Often used to generate sexual tension between the chained parties that may or may not progress into Slap Slap Kiss depending on the plot. See also Slave Collar.

Examples of Chains of Love include:

Anime and Manga

  • CLAMP is fond of using these, to the extent that it's not clear if they have a bondage fetish or simply enjoy teasing the Fangirls.
    • Kamui and Fuuma of X 1999 are shown several times in these, tying into the "destined" aspect to their relationship and rivalry.
    • Likewise the two leads of Legal Drug appear multiple times in bondage-gear, playing up the Ho Yay even further.
    • Sakura and Syaoran of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle are shown sporting the chains in some color pieces, and at one point all the main characters receive clothing with prominent chains.
    • Heck, even their bonus arts for Code Geass sported Lelouch and Suzaku united by chains. Ear chains. More detailed examples below.
  • Kaori Yuki of Angel Sanctuary also includes this in her art.
  • As does Matsuri Hino of Vampire Knight.
  • Literal example: In Death Note Light and L are literally chained together during a story arc. Though Genre Savvy Misa does actually point this out, the main symbolic meaning is something else entirely.
  • GetBackers sure contains a lot of this for a Shounen.
  • Happens both literally and in the artwork of Loveless, though in the literal case it's used as a spell to try and immobilize the protagonists.
  • Used in the second season's Ending Theme of The Familiar of Zero, with Louise mentioning taking Saito for a walk with the "chains of love" (or "leash of love", same thing). Given how she treats him normally, this is entirely unsurprising.
  • An image from the Code Geass calendar delivers a double-whammy with Anti-Hero Lelouch in chains and White Prince Suzaku tied up in red cloth. Unsurprisingly, the characters were designed by CLAMP.
    • This gets taken Up to Eleven with the second season's first ending theme, which puts everyone in them (with the exception of Nunnally, who gets ribbons instead).
      • And the second one puts Lelouch and Suzaku in them again.
  • A lot of Okane ga Nai artwork includes Ayase in chains.
  • A Full Metal Panic! gag doujinshi from in an episode of Lucky Star featuring... Gauron and Sousuke. Yeah.
  • The back cover of one volume of the manga and at least one or two other official illustrations for Yami no Matsuei show Muraki and Tsuzuki in this pose, featuring red or black ribbons or chains. Not surprising given Muraki's tastes...
  • Miku becomes chained to the shinigami Sei after a near death experience in Shinigami Lovers
  • For a little change: Shouko Kirishima of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu will do whatever it takes to have Yuuji Sakamoto with her to the theaters... even if it means binding him up and giving her reluctant boyfriend a dose from her Taser.
  • In Ah! My Goddess Keiichi and Belldandy are bound together due to a wish that Keiichi made. Belldandy doesn’t object to that, however. It’s her sister Skuld that does. But Urd doesn’t mind them being bound together at all.


  • There is a Western example in the Hitchcock film The 39 Steps in which it is commented that after being handcuffed together for most of the film, it makes sense for the male and female protagonists to marry.

Video Games