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Manga / Haou Airen

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Sexiest Triad leader ever. For good, for bad, and for worse.

17-year-old Kurumi Akino lives in Tokyo, helping her ill mother to take care of her little siblings and working hard at both school and her part-time job. Her life is pretty ordinary, isn't it? Well, it is... until she bumps into a handsome stranger on her way home. The guy promptly places his hand over her mouth, kisses her forcibly, and then threatens her with rape if she screams since he's being pursued by other people. He promptly collapses and Kurumi thinks she can't leave him there, so she treats his wounds at home and manages to have him tell her his name: Hakuron. However, he gives her a sleeping drug through a kiss and leaves her there, escaping from the Akino household..

Since Hakuron disappeared as soon as he arrived, Kurumi now wonders if it was all a bad dream. It isn't, actually. A few days after the incident, when she's on her way to class, Kurumi finds herself whisked off her feet and shuttled to Hong Kong, and the culprit is Hakuron! It turns out that the stranger whose life she saved is actually the most powerful and badass mobster from The Triads and the Tongs, and he wants to "thank" her by making her his woman. From then on, the poor girl will be caught in the struggles among several triad groups as well as the in-fights in Hakuron's group, and will also have to deal with Hakuron's own extremely screwed up view on life and love, as well as the very traumatic loss of her own innocence. All of this happens in a strange land, very far from the Tokyo where her family and her past remain...

Haou Airen (覇王·愛人 Overlord Lover) is a Shoujo manga series created by Mayu Shinjo, which ran in Shojo Comic from 2002 to 2004. It was also adapted into 3 CD dramas. Like a lot of Shinjo's works, Haou Airen is heavy on sexual content and melodrama. Was almost going to be licensed in English by Viz Media, but dropped at the last minute due to potential controversy.

Some more info about it here.

Haou Airen has the following tropes:

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: In the drama CD, after being mortally wounded by the Shanghai Mafia while picking up Kurumi's wedding dress, Fuoron nearly tells Kurumi he loves her. He changes his mind at the last moment, and instead just tells her to be happy before dying.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In both the manga and drama CD, Diron is an aggressive, rude, and rather unintelligent member of the Triad. However, unlike in the manga, he never attempts to rape Kurumi, partly because the manga story arc in which that occurs in omitted in the drama CD. Furthermore, he's the most upset after Fuoron is killed by the Shanghai Mafia, and even chooses to avenge Fuoron in an ensuing fight by sacrificing his life to turn the battle in Hakuron's favor.
  • Adapted Out: Certain characters in the manga do not appear in the drama CD.
    • Kaafai, along with the entire story arc in which Kurumi runs away, is not included in the drama CD. This is part of the reason why the drama CD has an alternate ending.
    • Leslie Lam is not a character in the drama CD either due to it being a Compressed Adaptation.
  • Alternate Continuity: The drama CD, where Hakuron survives. Apparently, had he lived, he and Kurumi would've been Happily Married and had a daughter.
  • Alternate Character Reading: In the original title, the first two characters ("Haou") are read in Japanese, while the latter two ("Airen") are read in Chinese.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Kurumi gives one to Hakuron, after he points a gun at her head and orders her to swear her love to him.
  • Arranged Marriage: Hakuron and Reilan.
  • Ascended Extra: The leader of the Shanghai Mafia only appears once in the manga and is unnamed. In the drama CD, he is given the name Wang Fei and the nickname "Grade One," and also plays a bigger role near the end as the war between the Dragon Lord Organization and Shanghai intensifies.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Hakuron went up the Triads's ranks via basically kicking all kind of ass to get there. Also, that's how he recruited Diron into the group.
  • Attempted Rape:
    • More than once, but special note goes to the Too Dumb to Live triad guys who grab the escaping and BSOD'ing Kurumi and attempt to make her a Sex Slave and Reilan having her schoolmates try to rape Kurumi, out of jealousy and as a part of her Thanatos Gambit. Hakuron saves her both times, of course. Which doesn't stop him from sexing her up in non-con/dub-con ways, tho.
    • Diron even gets in on the action, until Fuuron stops him by holding a sword to his throat. He tries it again later, but is thwarted by Hakuron.
    • Eason Yang also tries this after he unsuccessfully tried to use Kurumi as a bargaining chip. As usual, Hakuron saves her.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me, I Owe You My Life and Florence Nightingale Effect: Nothing would've happened in this manga, had Kurumi not decided to treat Hakuron's wounds.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Kaafai (Betty) and Hakuron (Veronica), for Kurumi. Until Kaafai goes Yandere too. Kurumi (Betty) and Reilan (Veronica), for Hakuron.
    • Later in the manga, as well as the drama CD, Fuolong takes over the Betty to Hakuron’s Veronica to Kurumi’s Archie.
  • Blood Knight: Hakuron, Diron. A sort-of Justified Trope since both of them are high-ranked Triad members and their fighting skills are what brought them as high in the hierarchy as they are.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Horribly subverted: the one splattered in blood is the groom in a white suit.
  • Book Ends: The start of Kurumi and Hakuron’s relationship begins and ends with the latter being injured to near death.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Once Kurumi's Stockholm syndrome sets in, Hakuron tries this technique on her a lot because he realizes that his enemies will do horrible things to her if he appears to care for her. He even goes so far as to make her be Fuuron's mistress instead of his own. It doesn't work very well.
  • Break the Cutie: Fuoron's backstory.
    • And Kurumi, despite her Love Martyr tendencies, finds herself pretty broken. A good example would be her huge Heroic BSoD after Reilan's Thanatos Gambit. The fact that immediately afterward Hakuron raped her repeatedly in an effort to stop her from leaving him didn't help.
  • Broken Bird: Kurumi thinks Reilan is one. Considering Reilan's Rape as Drama deal, she isn't that far off... only that she was way too spiteful to invoke real sympathy. And Kurumi herself either barely averts becoming one, or by the end of the series she's a Broken Bird in her path to recovery.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Kaafai.
  • Chronic Self-Deprecation: Hakuron keeps saying horrible things about himself and insists in telling Kurumi that he's a monster and she should reject him for such stuff, but that doesn't stop him from hugging her passionately and sexing her up. Many times, against her will.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Reilan.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The drama CD skips roughly the first 10 chapters of the manga. These chapters included important events, such as Hakuron and Kurumi first meeting each other, Kurumi learning that Hakuron is a Triad boss, as well as Kurumi being kidnapped by the Eason Yang for the first time and then learning that Hakuron actually has several lovers. Additionally, the storyline in the manga after Kurumi is kidnapped by Eason Yang a second time is almost completely cut out and replaced, partly due to the alternate ending.
  • Contrived Coincidence: 15-year-old Hakuron just happened to go in an important mission in Japan in exactly the same day of Mr. Akino's funeral? And then he happened to see the funeral procession and catch a glimpse of 14-year-old Kurumi?
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Discussed when Reilan sets up her Thanatos Gambit and claims she wants Kurumi to be tainted by her gangrape as revenge for Hakuron tainting her.
    Reilan: "How does it feel to see someone you love being tainted in front of your eyes? (...) But everything that has happened until now, you have done it to me! You heartlessly stole not just my body and my life, but my heart as well!"
  • Crapsaccharine World: This is how the SAR itself is described. It's a bright, shining city full of prosperity and fun things to do... while gangsters train children and teenagers like Hakuron, Diron and several others as well as assassins in a shadow war filled with rape, murder, and suicide.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Hakuron and Kaafai.
  • Creepy Crossdresser/Wholesome Crossdresser: Fuoron. His heart is in the right place, but he is a Triad member.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Hakuron and Fuoron.
  • Darker and Edgier: We know that Shinjo uses explicit sex in her works, but this one also includes quite a bit of graphic violence and murder.
  • Death by Adaptation: Some characters that survived in the manga are killed off in the drama CD.
    • Fuoron is killed by the Shanghai Mafia while getting Kurumi's wedding dress for her.
    • His death prompts Hakuron to launch a full-scale attack on Shanghai, in which Diron dies.
    • Eason Yang also dies after showing up at Hakuron and Kurumi's wedding and setting the church on fire.
  • Demoted to Extra: Fuanron, who raised Hakuron after the latter ran away from home, is only briefly mentioned in the drama CD as Hakuron tells Kurumi how he ended up joining the mafia. His name is not stated either.
  • Disappeared Dad: Kurumi’s father died prior to the beginning of the manga, hence the reason why Kurumi became the breadwinner of the family.
    • When first introduced to Kaafai, all there was to know he lived with his mother, but no father was seen.
  • Distress Ball: Kurumi and Fuoron in Volume 8.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Kaafai.
  • Dramatic Irony: Hakuron promised Kurumi in Chap. 5 that he won’t die, come the final chapter and Hakuron is killed by Kaafai.
  • The Dragon: Fuuron, to Hakuron.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kurumi downs a bunch of sleeping pills when she gets distraught over not being able to be with Hakuron. Fuoron saves her with a punch to the stomach.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Fuoron.
  • Easy Amnesia: In Chapter 35, Kurumi falls down a flight of stairs and loses all her memories of the events of the whole series. She gets them all back just as easily in Chapter 43.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Kaafai was first shown wearing serving clothes that were naturally seen in restaurants, but after he went all Yandere for Kurumi - Kaafai was shown wearing a police outfit, which implies he’s corrupted by his feelings for Kurumi.
  • Facial Markings: Hakuron has a very distinguishing dragon tattoo on the side of his face. Seems that only Kurumi has seen it and lived to tell.
  • Faking the Dead: In the drama CD, after kidnapping Kurumi a second time, Eason Yang apparently dies in an explosion he set off to kill Hakuron. He actually survives and lets everyone think he's dead, though he later dies for real after he gets in a gunfight with Hakuron at the latter's wedding after setting the church on fire.
  • Fallen Princess: Hakuron was a Chinese nobleman, and he and his Missing Mom tried to escape from his abusive father. Upon being recaptured, Hakuron's mother urged Hakuron to leave her behind, and he had to do so. It went From Bad to Worse soon afterwards.
  • Fetishized Abuser: Hakuron.
    • He who threatens Kurumi with rape when they meet to keep her quiet since he's being tracked. Later he kidnaps her to make her his mistress as "thanks" for saving him, and rapes Kurumi repeatedly at one point. Despite all of that, Kurumi believes she can change him. Oh, and he receives quite the heroic treatment from the narrative.
    • Unlike Kurumi, Hakuron's ex Reilan realizes how fucked up her relationship with Hakuron was. At one point, she very bitterly says about him "stealing her body, her life, and her soul". Yet, the narrative presents her as vengeful against Kurumi as she is against Hakuron, and vilifies her.
  • Forced to Watch:
    • Except, in this case, it's the hero (sort of) raping the heroine and forcing the Romantic Runner-Up to watch.
    • A straighter example is when a rival Triad gang kidnaps Kurumi and their leader has Hakuron watch via video as he strips and molests her.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Fuuron
  • Girlish Pigtails: Kurumi, though technically speaking she's 17 and thus a little old for the style. She wears them to emphasize her youth and innocence in contrast to the Crapsaccharine World she winds up in, and keeps them even as she loses said innocence through all the Break the Cutie.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: What happened to Kaafai when he's Forced to Watch as Hakuron rapes Kurumi. This is why he shoots Hakuron to death in the end.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Diron in the drama CD. After being fatally wounded, he laughs off his injuries, says he'll go find Fuoron first, and tells Hakuron to not mourn him and keep going before dying.
    • Hakuron at the end of the manga, when Kurumi talks about their future together.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Hakuron kills Kurumi's first would-be rapists.
    • Also, when Fuuron kills the shopkeeper for refusing to sell him the Dragon Sphere in Volume 8.
    • Averted in the case of Reilan, as we clearly see her bleed and collapse to the floor in a puddle of her own blood after Hakuron shoots her to death. Made worse by how we think it'll be played straight when the scenery changes to the building facade... only to return to the fatally injured Reilan.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: Kurumi thinks she can pull this in regards to the dude who practically kidnapped her and brought her to Hong Kong to be his mistress. (Then again, the poor girl is trapped in the SAR and has no way out, considering Hakuron is a high-ranked Triads leader.) In any way, it does NOT go well.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Fuoron is an unusually proactive version of this trope.
  • Intimate Psychotherapy: Subverted. Kurumi has sex with Fuuron after a really hard time (including a scene in which she tells him about said problems), but she doesn't exactly feel better afterwards.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Hakuron and Kurumi both buy into this argument, noting that Kurumi's body reacted during his multiple rapes of her, and she starts having lustful feelings towards him in spite of herself. Hakuron argues that this means she has no choice but to stay with him, and she comes to agree with him.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Kurumi attempts to stop Hakuron from shooting Reilan, even when she's to blame for Kurumi's almost gangrape. This being Hakuron, he doesn't listen.
  • Promotion to Parent: Kurumi gets a partial one, having to help her mother with her little brothers' raising after her father's death. Not only that, but Mrs. Akino is ill and badly needs Kurumi's help.
  • Rags to Riches: In Tokyo, Kurumi is from a very poor family and struggles with her part-time job, her Promotion to Parent and her studies. Suddenly, she finds herself shuttled to Hong Kong and immersed in incredible riches and luxury as Hakuron's "mistress", and he promises to her that he'll send money to Mrs. Akino so she can support herself and the twins without Kurumi (And he does more or less keep his word in that sense).
  • Rape as Drama: Reilan gets gang-raped by Eason Yang's goons and forced into prostitution, which helps send her further into Yandere territory.
  • Rape Leads to Insanity: As said above, Reilan was driven to bitterness and insanity after she gets gangraped by the mooks of her fiancé Hakuron's rival and forced into prostitution, and she gets so broken that she invokes the trope via setting her love rival Kurumi to be gang-raped in front of Hakuron himself to specifically mess with the girl's mind. Even when Kurumi is rescued, Reilan uses this as a part of a Thanatos Gambit as well, so she gets broken anyway — but by the end, she gets somewhat better. And also, Kurumi is raped by Hakuron himself in front of her newfound friend Kaafai... and he is the one who goes crazy instead, which leads him to ultimately shoot Hakuron dead.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Kurumi waves around a loaded pistol when Hakuron is teaching her to shoot, but Hakuron yells at her to be careful and takes the gun away. Hakuron himself demonstrates unsafe gun usage later, when he repeatedly points guns at people to threaten them, even when he does not intend to kill them.
  • Secretly Selfish: Both of Kurumi and Hakuron are guilty to this trope, since the former puts up a hopeless Love Martyr towards her abusive boyfriend against standing up for herself and abandoning her family and friends back at home, and Hakuron, himself, tries to justify his actions towards Kurumi as a way to “protect” her, but it made the situation between them worse.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Hakuron's father was an utter bastard. Guess what was his end.
  • Taking You with Me: Eason Yang tries this twice to Hakuron. He first kidnaps Kurumi and uncorks a grenade when Hakuron comes to rescue her, then sets the church on fire at Hakuron's wedding and makes him stay behind and fight him. He fails both times.
  • Teen Genius: Hakuron is a top hitman in the Triads and pretty much the heir to his group... at the very early age of 18/19. His companions are hinted to have been this in the past as well.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Referenced. When Diron tries to rape Kurumi, she protests and calls him "sensei." He realizes that she still thinks of him as her P.E. teacher, and concludes that this makes it even better, because "it'll be like doing something really naughty."
  • Thanatos Gambit: Reilan, as her Take That! to both Kurumi and Hakuron. Explained in her last will.
    Reilan: (written) "If my wish comes true, I'll be murdered by Hakuron in front of Kurumi. Anyway, Father, this is Hakuron's mercy. And that stupid bitch will hate Hakuron for the rest of her life. And as my last trap: " Kurumi, when I'm reborn, we'll be friends. I promise!" Stupid Kurumi, she'll never know it was all a lie!"
  • Together in Death: Subverted in the drama CD. It appears that Hakuron and Kurumi perished in the church fire at their wedding. However, the epilogue reveals that they actually survived.
  • Tragic Keepsake: A jade jewel that Hakuron's Missing Mom gave him.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: After successfully killing Hakuron, Kaafai suddenly disappears after the former dies. Doesn’t appear to win Kurumi over the Time Skip epilogue as well.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Volume 8, Mrs. Akino gives one to Hakuron after the Akino's home is burned down.
    • Followed by one from Fuuron, who calls him out for going out of his way too much for Kurumi.
    • And Kurumi attempts to give him one when she recovers her memories. Doesn't work as well.
    • Even earlier, Kurumi gives a huge one to Hakuron when he kills Reilan.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Kurumi's mother. Kurumi was shaping up into one of these as well, until her life... "changed". She seems to have become a real one after Hakuron's death.