Shinobu Gotoh & Shoko Takaku
Most yaoi manga are brimming with emotion, as they're aimed at a female audience, but Passion is oddly full of unlikeable characters who like to play games with little to no substance behind their pretty faces. The main thrust of the story finds Hikaru lusting over his high school teacher (Shima), ten years his senior, to the point of forcing himself on him. But Shima likes the idea of Hikaru, and wants to "play" lovers through the end of Hikaru's time at school. This involves coercing Hikaru to get his grades up for a date, and cruelly, having Hikaru rush to meet him inconveniently, only to spend a few minutes with him before he leaves him in a daze. Shima's an ass, no matter how many soft, half-smile gazes he sends the reader's direction. Hikaru's not much better, as the only quality we see of the student is his eagerness to please Shima. Void of much emotion, I really don't care where the characters end up, or the journey they're taking to get there. The secondary plot of Shima's ex-lover attempting to win back his affections is equally as uninteresting, with an even shallower character, who happens to be the thrust of faculty room gossip. Passion also contains some of the least impressive art I've seen in manga for awhile, leaving me feeling cold on a visual level as well. Despite the title, this book leaves little to feel passionate about whatsoever.