Haou Airen – A Recollection of Thoughts

Another manga again….So let’s go!
This manga is by Mayu Shinjo. She’s also the author of Ai Ore, another one of my favourite if impossible story-line manga.

I have a very big problem with this story. Maybe it’s because I don’t like the ending, maybe it’s because I read the comments to the story when I got confused by my feelings…So this story is about Hakuron, this king of the Hong Kong mafia. He’s also about 17-18 years old. As usual, the manga makes him look much older than he really is. I don’t mind there, but then the story devolves. Hakuron falls for this girl in Japan who took him in when he was injured.
I don’t have a problem with that, except Kurumi (said girl) basically looks like a sex doll. Big boobs and a cute face…god. At least the series was short.
No, my problem with this story is that there’s such a bigger world to this story that didn’t get told. There’s one antagonist in the story, called Eason Yen. He’s the head of a rival mafia company. He could’ve been built to become a bigger and badder enemy, but this piece of fluff makes him the ‘bad guy of the week’. Kurumi was also an unbelievable crybaby and victim (she didn’t try to adapt to being in the mafia, allowed herself to be raped, and was all around the damsel in distress.)
And then the ending. Oh, god, the ending. I thought at least this story would have a good ending. Why didn’t I read the tags? It’s a tragedy genre manga.
So, of course, Hakuron dies.
And he dies in the most wimpy way – he let himself get shot by a former love rival. I just keep thinking, if I were a mafia boss and I decided to get married in secret, even if I decided to put down my gun to become someone’s wife, wouldn’t I still wear a bulletproof jacket, so that if I do get shot, I don’t die in an unbearably cheesy scene and let go of the one I love?
Seriously, the end scene actually made me uncomfortable and ready to puke. How on earth did Hakuron get to become the head of a mafia? If you wanted them to die, at least make it so that it’s believable. The story is also way too fast-paced, not allowing some loopholes to be filled.
But then, I can’t put the blame fully on Mayu Shinjo, because during the period that she was drawing Haou Airen, she was also under the Shojo Comic magazine until 2007. They basically abused her and her drawings, leaving her out of the loop for most, if not all, of the plans for adaptations on her series. They even threatened her when she tried to leave.
So for those who can suspend their disbelief and like Game of Thrones, this might be a manga you want to take a spin with. It’s definitely nothing to brag about, but it’s good for some entertainment.
And now I’m driven to write a better story with gangsters in it.
Good god.

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