Although I'm usually a big fan of Shinjo Mayu's work, Haou Airen really was not one that I could like, let alone enjoy. The characters fall in love way too quickly, especially Hakuron, who kidnaps Kurumi Akino in the first few chapters to come to Hong Kong. Disillusioned for pretty much the whole manga of the concept of love, Kurumi Akino constantly debates and questions both her love and his love for her. Scenes of consensual rape, murder, and violence are shown throughout the manga, so this is definitely not for the light-hearted romantic type of readers. Hakuron is seen at one point trying to leave the mafia, which seemed like Shinjo Mayu was trying to put some type of justice into the manga, which failed.. The end hit me suddenly, I couldn't believe that she went for that type of ending.. However, the ending did seem to me, to provide a certain type of justice I that I think she was originally trying to go for. Over-glorified and an exaggerated story of mafia life, this manga lacks in its story telling as well as in character development. However, the art is very well drawn (very similar to her other manga characters..). If you want a story of the mafia and don't mind the constant rape and all the characters falling for Kurumi Akino, then you should give this manga a shot. Otherwise, move on and choose another one you might like.
This manga threw me for a bit of a loop. I'm a romance fan, so I did finish this manga all in one day, but the plot was still missing something...
Story: Kurumi, female lead, meets Hakuron, male lead, who's injured, takes him home and gives him first aid. He is so amazed at her kindess that he kidnaps her and brings her with him to Hong Kong, where he is none other than the head mafia boss of a major Hong Kong mafia syndicate. Things start to get ugly when his other lovers get jealous of Kurumi and, in my opinion, the entire story just starts to fall apart. The story gets very dark, with frequent murdering, rape, consensual rape, and violence. Hakuron tries to leave the mafia to get away from this life for Kurumi's sake, but is unable to. The manga seems to attempt to reset itself when it is at one of the darkest points (rape,rape,murder,more rape) by having Kurumi completely lose her memory from when she met Hakuron onwards. If it wasn't such an unrealistic concept, I would buy it, but unfortunately, that stuff doesn't just happen. This manga also has a lot of holes in the story, one of them being when Hakuron blows up a Shanghai Mafia organization, nothing is continued from that. Hakuron has desires to rule Asia, and the world, to protect Kurumi, but nothing is expanded upon that story.
The ending was what surprised me the most, and, unfortunately, was what made me feel that this manga was a trainwreck.
Art: The art was okay, nothing too memorable about it.
Characters: The two leads fall in love too fast. Kurumi is totally okay with being kidnapped by some random guy and taken to another country. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE in the whole manga ends up falling in love and wants to bang Kurumi. The male lead is extremely possessive, and kindof a bad ass, up until the last volume where I feel that all his badassery that had been built up through the whole story was taken away. Hakuron is pretty much perfect, so... [SPOILERSPOILER] HOW DID HE NOT DODGE A BULLET!?!?! UGHHH.
To conclude, this manga is a Cinderella story, which is my absolute favorite romance type. However, don't expect a "happily ever after" ending, because it just simply isn't there. This story is extremely dark and twisted, so if you're looking for something light, this isn't for you.