Passion: Forbidden Lovers (Mania.com)

By:Patricia Beard
Review Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fans of the manga will find this novel a satisfying complement to the multi-volume manga series; readers new to this series are bound to feel short-changed.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Shinobu Gotoh and Shoko Takaku
Translation: Christina Chesterfield

What They Say
The novel that spawned the 4-part manga series previously released by June is now available in English! Shima, a teacher, and Hikaru, a high school student, have pledged to spend the time between now and Hikaru's graduation to lose themselves in each other's arms. No matter how many times their bodies join, Hikaru can't figure out Shima's feelings. With the two consumed by passion, graduation day approaches...

The Review!
This slim 144 page volume, with illustrations and color plates by Shoko Takaku, the artist of the manga, recapitulates the major points of the manga series. This is the story of high schooler Hikaru Umino and cool beauty, teacher Kuniaki Shima, and the unusual romance that they share.  The novel abbreviates the major events assuming that the reader is familar with them.  Where it deviates from the manga is in more exposition of the past relationship of Shima and Amamiya and the present sexual tensions between the two, both of which had been marginalized in the manga. 
The text reads well. There are no jarring grammatical errors.  Sexual description is straightforward, unelaborated and somewhat chaste given the subject matter.  Credit should be given to translator/adaptor for the excellent interpretation of Shima.  His coldness and seeming indifference are well voiced and more convincing than that depicted in the manga.

This is not a book for those unfamilar with the manga series. Reading the manga will be a more satisfying experience. There is too much that is given short-shrift in order to get to the real heart of the novel - more about the relationship between Shima and Amamiya. Those who are fans of the series will find that this retelling addresses some of what had been missing, and it does it well with the only negative being the price point for such a slim volume.   



Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18 and Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
MSRP: 8.95
Pages: 130
ISBN: 978-1569705742
Size: Shinsho
Orientation: Left to Right