Nov 6, 2011
I didn’t think this manga would be as dramatically dark. It was still light, sweet, and funny, but underneath all that, the characters had pain. Enough pain to move you...and make you laugh seconds later. Making you feel a tad bipolar.

When Haine Kamiya was in the 4th grade she was sold to the Otomiya family for 50 million yen to the. Thinking that her father must have hated her, she then turns into a delinquent because honestly if she needed to blow some steam off- how else is a confused and misunderstood kid suppose to do it? In the brink of her sadness she meets a person that is pure light in her dark world, Shizumasa Touguu. From that day on she was never the same, she made it her goal to follow him. Not in the stalker type of way, sort of, she just decided to change her life in order to be someone who can stand next to him. When she finally reaches him and enrolls in the same prestigious private school he is, not only does he have the title of “Emperor,” but he is cold and distant. Does he even remember the girl he helped?

At first, I figured it’d be like every other manga and have characters who do things you expect left and right but in such a way that it makes you want to bang your head against the wall. Though there is some instances of predictability it was still illustrated in a pleasant way, changed at the right times that you won’t really notice and just flow with it.
I thought the pain and loneliness in the characters was the nicest thing of this manga. How they all had different circumstances that made them bitter or unhappy in their own way but each of them showed it in their own way. How they dealt with it, sometimes in the most destructive way and how they learn from it, sometimes later, sometimes sooner, and sometimes not before its destructive nature took a few of them for a chaotic ride.
The story has a lot of mysterious things here and there, secrets. To say more on the summary will guarantee I spoil it somehow since adding cast and details will just confuse if I don’t explain more, so yeah I refuse.

It wasn’t perfection personified either. I thought it had a lot of main characters who looked a lot alike, which always infuriates me on some level that I end up ignoring. Also some parts felt rushed while others felt slow. Too much not knowing also can get on your nerves if the timing is not right on how long it takes for more hints to be dropped. In that subject if I were to further dwell in certain areas of it I’d say that the subject of someone’s sexuality is just breezed by and is not realistically demonstrated. Making everyone understanding and loving about it when in reality it isn’t always like that at all. It just depends on how you breeze through it, I prefer not to dissect manga that aren’t serious until serious moments arise. With that being said my rating is based on if the end result of said piece was worth it for me.

The characters are too many to name and looked alike at first. Some characters are there for the sole purpose of shedding some laughter in the otherwise gloomy atmosphere. Others are at both ends of that sphere being just as complex as they are quirky.

Haine was pretty average at first but she has a lot more personality to her. She is also strong willed and I didn’t expect such a cheerful girl to be so full of sadness underneath. I think what amazed me most is that for someone who was always making laugh, she was actually so dark/sad inside and never let herself be happy, not really.

The main cast in itself was solid. Haine's friends and love interest are not only interesting but surprising. Their take on things and their feelings/thoughts will take you by surprise. Because of the summaries I have read, the plot development took me by surprise, which is never a bad thing. Not so much with the main girl (Haine) but with her friends and family. Only a few manga where the parents get a shot at the spotlight. It was to say the list, interesting.

The art, what can I say? It was beautiful. From the clothes to the details in each of the characters hair and poses, Tanemura does an awesome job giving the characters a royalty feel to them. Apart from the some characters looking alike like I mentioned (multiple times) above, I think the art was very nice and clean.

Personally I’d like to see an anime adaptation of it. Just to see it in live and in color, all the time. The ending was a little disappointing in a way. I was just not happy with one of the main characters ending. Or maybe it's just left over nostalgia from it ending to begin with, since finding another manga that I would enjoy is like trying to find my other shoe when I'm in a hurry, not impossible but it takes a while... I think the world needs more anime that we can connect to emotionally, even if just a little It isn’t always like that but through some parts it is exactly like that.

“I named her “Haine.” Because my love with you has been reduced to ashes…”
Reviewer’s Rating: 9
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