Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Text/Translatin Rating: B
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
- MSRP: 12.95
- Pages: 208
- ISBN: 1-56970-853-3
- Size: A5
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Jazz
Jazz Vol. #04
By Eduardo M. Chavez
July 11, 2007
Release Date: February 21, 2007
© Digital Manga Publishing
Writer/Artist:Takamure Tamotsu / Maeda Sakae
Translated by:Melanie Schoen
Adapted by:Melanie SchoenWhat They Say
Narusawa chose to break off their relationship for Naoki's sake. But Naoki falls into a state of depression that alarms his father. Despite being adamant against his son's relationship with his doctor, he prepares a room for Narusawa right next to Naoki's. Unaware that only a thin wall separates him from his love, Naoki stirs in his room, his mind and heart in pieces. Will Naoki spend the rest of his life pining for his lost love?The Review
Narusawa's unique patient-doctor relationship with Naoki appears to have come to an end. Now that Naoki has been discharged by the hospital the two have gone their seperate ways. They no longer live together. Furthermore, Naoki is now with someone else; someone who is not as swayed by his emotions as Koichi-sensei. Koichi has dedicated himself to his profession; emersing himself in medicine and those who helped him with his craft over the years. Considering the turbulent relationship they had this might be an improvement on their relationship.
Sadly, the two are still struggling with their own identity and their feelings for one another. There is no way to overlook that the two have had a great influence on each other's lives over the last year or so. Naoki has grown to be a man in that time and Koichi has traveled the world developing his skills as a physician. The reason to two are who they are now is because of the relationship they shared. They needed each other. They chased after each other. And for the longest time neither one knew how to convey that to the other. Feelings manifested themselves in violence, frustration and self-abuse. They were destructive towards each other. And yet, together these two were the only real thing they had. That passion, positive or negative, was all they had and in a way all they needed. Well that and the smell of Jazz...
Jazz is a fairly unique story as it goes about the romance genre from an angle of physical and mental abuse. So when Maeda finally separated the two, it was quite apparent how much the two personalities needed each other. There was a sense of dependency there between the two. These characters were always very flawed, but looking at them as individuals their weaknesses are obvious. Koichi is aimless and void of life. As a human he was only a puppet, manipulated entirely by his environment. Naoki is a beast. He is bigger than life and void of empathy, the young man seems to be void of a conscious and as such is often causing great pain to those he truly cares about. There was no way a story with a cast like that could work without some adversity. Jazz is full of it and it never backs off that plot device. And because these characters never grow out of those roles, this series never really breaks lose either.
I have to admit some of the storylines in Jazz were well written. If this were a series of stand alone vignettes, similar to the Finder Series, I possibly would have enjoyed the property a bit more; instead, as a continuous narrative, I really could not find myself really appreciating the angst and abuse much. These two did make a good couple but sadly it wasn't until this final volume where I finally got to see what was under the surface of them as individuals and by then the music was over.