Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Passionate Theory by Ayumi Kano review

Passionate Theory

Author/Artist: Ayumi Kano

Publisher: Juné

Rating: YA – ages 16 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, School Life

Grade: C

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***

Midori Komasawa wants to study overseas. He is passionate about math. Midori failed to tell his best friend Arie Kanoh about going overseas. It seems that Kanoh has deeper feelings for Midori than just friendship. But there seems to be a rival on the scene for Midori's feelings. Gin Hanabusa is Midori's cousin, a math teacher at Midori and Kanoh's school, and Kanoh's former math tutor. Kanoh knows first hand how Hanabusa feels about Midori (at least he thinks he knows). Here begins our bizarre love triangle of math.

Midori's parents were killed in an accident when he was younger and was raised by his aunt and uncle, Hanabusa's parents. Kanoh learned about Midori through Hanabusa. Hanabusa would tell stories about Midori to Kanoh. Kanoh could tell how much Hanabusa cared for his cousin. Soon Kanoh and Midori, thanks to Hanabusa, became good friends. But the friendship is now strained. Kanoh has fallen for Midori and he has seen how much Midori cares for Hanabusa. Kanoh decided to start pulling away from Midori, starting with pulling out of the math electives. Both Midori and Hanabusa are hurt. Who loves whom?

Passionate Theory is about as exciting as proving Geometry theorems. Initially I thought the idea of using math as part of your story was unique, but this follows the yaoi manga formula a little too closely. We have the typical love triangle, one of the main character's parents getting killed and being raised by aunts and uncles, falling in love with your best friend, and the possible attraction between cousins. Ugh! I really wanted to like Passionate Theory, but I found it to be more than somewhat confusing. While reading the inner thoughts of the characters, you have no idea whose mind you are reading.

The only redeeming quality to this manga is the art. Yes, Midori's eyes are unnaturally large, but I guess that's just to show his innocence. Ayumi Kano-sensei's art is simple but still beautiful. The characters each have distinctive looks and it is easy to tell each of them apart. Juné also made it a beautiful product. The larger size, full color dust jacket that actually hugs the book nicely, and higher quality paper make it a nice book. It's also very flexible with out being too flimsy.

It's a toss up. Would I rather do Calculus or Differential Equations instead of reading Passionate Theory? Since I'm not a huge fan of math, I'd rather read Passionate Theory. But only for the art.

***Review Copy provided by Publisher***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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