YAOI NOVEL REVIEW: Passion: Forbidden Lovers ~ Shinobu Gotoh

Hikaru is in love with his teacher, Shima. He expresses his love for him like any high school boy with a crush would; he attacks him in an empty classroom and has his way with him. Realizing just what he’s done Hikaru is humiliated and asks how he can atone for his actions. Instead of turning him in to the authorities, Shima decides Hikaru will be his “make-believe” lover until he graduates. Hikaru could not be more thrilled and so their make-believe relationship begins.

Hikaru is the seme in this relationship, however, being the younger one he comes across as more inexperienced and nervous around Shima. Shima definitely looks the part of the uke and really doesn’t look old enough to be the teacher. His personality conflicts with his looks as he acts more like a seme in how he treats Hikaru.

I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like this one because it didn’t seem like there was much to it. Surprisingly, I did like it quite a bit. Hikaru’s personality is very endearing and I found myself wondering just how this one would end. Shima acts very indifferent to Hikaru’s constant expression of his love but periodically we get a glimpse of his true feelings. The author does manage to slip in a little bit of a twist at the end, which I though was a nice touch.

One thing to be aware of is that the sex scenes are not described… at all. If you’re looking for explicit or even moderately descriptive sex scenes you won’t find it in this one. Even with that, I still enjoyed it overall. Another thing is that this novel runs on the short side at only 130 pages. The one color insert is actually double sided so that is a nice touch. Outside of the color insert, there are only eight black and white illustrations scattered throughout as opposed to the usual ten or eleven. The characters as illustrated are attractive but I wouldn’t say overly sexy. As I mentioned earlier, Shima the teacher looks younger than the student so I think they could have done a better representation of the age of the characters. The translation is pretty good, there were only a few times that I had to back track and reread a sentence. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and think the author did a nice job representing the feelings of the characters. The lack of sexual description and length of the overall novel may make you want to think twice, however.

Plot = B+

Character Design = B

Book Design/Illustrations = B+

Sexual Content = D

Translation = A-

Overall Grade = B-

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