Author: Shinobu Gotoh
Manga-ka: Shoko Takaku
Publisher: DMP Books
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: October 2007
Synopsis: “A rendezvous with his long-distance lover leaves Hikaru’s heart aflutter, but things never seem to work out as planned with this couple. Hikaru ends up stuck at work and his co-worker Nagisa bumps into Shima-sensei as he waits for Hikaru in front of the school building. Nagisa finds Shima-sensei incredibly cute and adorable and invites him for a drink since his night with Hikaru is ruined. …And he says “Yes?!?”
Three years after the release of the first volume, Digital Manga’s first yaoi publication, comes volume four of Passion. It’s the conclusion to the story of Hikaru and Shima’s student-teacher relationship and its progression since Hikaru’s graduation.
With Hikaru no longer Shima’s student, they had vague hopes that their relationship would be easier but of course this is not the case. In this volume their fears and worries continue to litter the pages as numerous secondary characters bring about feelings of envy and concern. An underclassman of Hikaru wants to finally confess her love to him while Hikaru’s old lover, Nagisa, acts her rival, neither sure who truly owns their target’s heart. These two make up a surprisingly large size of the book but it’s for the best. Four volumes of the two main characters dealing with the same problems is beginning to feel more than a little old.
The art looks nearly identical to how it appeared in volume one. The lines are thin, and though clean and solid for the most part, have a sketch-like feeling to them combined with the screen toning. Paneling is done in a way that helps to keep the story well paced and characters are easily distinguishable from one another. The water coloured image on the cover is attractive and eye-catching though gives a much different sense of the story’s tone than the brown pastels of the first volume.
DMP’s work on this series has been consistent and well executed throughout especially with the many panels that require replacing text overtop of artwork. The translation are smooth and the font is easy to read.
From start to finish, Passion was a light, emotionally driven story that balanced a fine line between believable and absurd. While the two suffered numerous bouts of self-doubt, which suits their particular trials, it often felt like four volumes of self-angst as opposed to any realistic view of the trials of love. While in the beginning it worked as a fluffy tale of romance, by volume four readers have tired of Shima and Hikaru’s passive attitudes and will find more entertainment with the secondary characters in this final installment.