Passion Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

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: 12.96
  • Pages: 168
  • ISBN: 1-59970-978-5
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Passion Vol. #01

By Mike Dungan     December 16, 2004
Release Date: October 01, 2004

Passion Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Shinobu Gotoh, Shoko Takaku
Translated by:Ten-Ten
Adapted by:

What They Say
Student and Teacher, Man and... Man. Taboo upon taboo is what Hikaru and Shima have to overcome if they want to pursue their feelings for one another. Unable to contain his passion one day, Hikaru forces himself on the teacher. Guilt-ridden after the incident, Hikaru seeks ways to make up for his sin. Surprisingly, Shima has quite a unique suggestion for atonement... he proposes to the boy that they "play-act" as lovers when away from the prying eyes of the rest of the school populace. However, they would only pretend to be so for the duration of Hikaru's high school life. As graduation day draws near, will Hikaru be able to convince Shima to keep him as a lover for good? Already a popular genre in Japan, especially among females, yaoi, also known as the "Boy's Love" genre, is becoming a rising phenomenon in North America. As one of the top titles of it's genre in Japan, PASSION, will sure to engage readers to a world of intimacy and unique emotion that is solely yaoi manga.

The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hikaru is in his third year of high school, and he's in love with a teacher at his school, Shima. One day, he forces himself on Shima. Though Shima is also gay, it's still forced. Afterwards, Hikaru begins to understand just how terrible a thing it was he did. The guilt is almost overwhelming, but he's saved by Shima himself. Shima suggests they play act at being lovers. They'll keep it quiet and see each other when they can. Hikaru is ecstatic, but also at a loss, since he's never been in a situation like this before, and he really doesn't know how to act.

Another teacher at the school is Amamiya, and he and Shima were lovers when they were in school. But Amamiya broke it off years ago for his own selfish reasons. Lately, though, he's been showing renewed interest in Shima, and begins to make his intentions known. Shima, though, wants nothing to do with Amamiya anymore, at least not romantically. The school nurse, the beautiful Ms. Morikawa, acts as a confidante to Amamiya, and tries to get him to give up on reuniting with his old lover, even though she isn't aware yet that it's Shima.

Meanwhile, Hikaru continues to see Shima when he can. He studies hard and improves his grades to honor a promise to Shima. Slowly, he begins to feel more comfortable around Shima, but he's still aware that Shima is only acting at love.

This is the first title from Digital Manga I've read, so I was curious to see what it would be like. I'm impressed with it. the story, written by Shinobu Gotoh and illustrated by Shoko Takaku, is well constructed. The events between the four main characters flow smoothly, and Hikaru's awkwardness is especially well done. The art is good, with a light, almost sketchy look in places. Takaku has an interesting way of illustrating mouths that I like quite a bit. The only drawback is that the people in this story must have the pointiest chins in all of manga.

The book comes in a larger A5 format, about the same size as the older style Viz books.A nice bonus is a full color dust jacket. The front cover illustration has Hikaru and Shima having an intimate moment, and the color is full of warm earth tones. The back cover has a pink pattern on the top half and purple on the bottom, with a small image of Hikaru and Shima in the middle. The back of the book has a great little postscript from the creators, including a little 4-panel comic of Takaku and her assistants at work. The art reproduction seems to be quite reasonable, with good detailing and no noticeable problems with screentoning. The adaptation was a little awkward and stilted at times, but not enough to be distracting.

Passion is well-written and illustrated, with a very believable romance between a student and his teacher. When you add in the larger size of the book and the dustjacket, I don't see a reason why a yaoi fan wouldn't want this title.


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