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Fake Fake Fake Fake
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Title: FAKE
Genre: Comedy / Romance / Shonen-ai
Sanami Matoh
Manga Credits: BExBOY Magazine

Cover Description: Meet Dee Latener and his half-Japanese partner Randy (call me Ryo) McLane, a couple of detectives in New York's 27th Precinct. Not only does this pair of crime fighting crusaders chase down criminals, but Dee can't seem to stop chasing Ryo as well. Is it just his dark eyes that attract him so, or is it something else...?

Tired of the daily city grind, our heroes set off for a vacation in England, to relax, enjoy themselves, and if Dee has his way...

But when Japanese Americans start turning up dead outside Dee and Ryo's hotel, the ever vigilant mismatched investigators become embroiled in the local crime scene. Although their hotel had seemed to be the perfect secluded little romance rendezvous, Ryo starts off chasing murder suspects while Dee can't stop chasing Ryo.

It may not be all tea and crumpets for a couple of tough guys fom New York, but this adventure will give them a taste of Britain that they will not soon forget. Dee's plans for seducing Ryo may have gone awry, you can be sure he'll stay hot on the trail until he gets his man!

HN Opinions
Average Rating:

skysenshi (11.25.2001 ed 09.13.2002)
Not enough minerals!
Pardon the StarCraft-y pun, but this is what best describes what one can feel when watching a too-short anime version of a beautiful manga. I was actually mistaken when I recalled that Kizuna was the first shonen-ai comic book that I had gotten hold of. It was this—FAKE. FAKE was the very first boy-love manga that a friend named Stella introduced to me back in 1997.

Unfortunately, having read at least half the manga, I couldn't help but have biases against this anime. Oh, it still doesn't lose that thrilling sense of romance that could give any girl (or gay guy) butterflies in her/his stomach. However, only the first parts of the manga (Vol 2, Act 5) were condensed into a one-episode OVA. Disappointing? Partly. There were so many promising angles in the manga that would have given the anime a real boost, like for instance our central figures Dee's and Ryo's pasts. Since FAKE's environment revolves around the New York Police Department, it would've been interesting for viewers to know how Dee and Ryo ended up being there in the first place. Another is the relationship of supporting characters Carol and Bikky. They have a more intimate kind of bond that was not evident in this 60-minute feature.

For those shonen-ai fans that have not read the manga, they might find the ending a bit lacking. It seems as if the show isn't over yet and that they should expect more to come. I would not blame them. After all, Dee and Ryo are a very fascinating couple. Dee's aggression could sometimes seem adorable, especially as we know that Dee and Ryo are both male and would more or less have the same physical strength and abilities. It's really a fresh change from all that barbaric "I male, I master, you female, you slave" (insert chest-thumping action here) themes that most Freudian oriented hentai titles are dripping with. Take note, though, FAKE is shonen-ai and not yaoi. This simply means that it's a soft love story where the farthest erotic encounter would be a duel of the tongues.

As for the artwork, it took me a while to get used to the colors of the anime, being used to reading black and white. It also took me quite some time to realize that the anime drawings are very faithful to Sanami Matoh's work in the manga. Despite being incomplete, as most animated versions of popular manga are, I thoroughly enjoyed the group's little antics that make their otherwise tragic cases humorous. I think I nearly ruined this rented VHS because I kept playing back those romantic kissing scenes that take place a few times in the show.

UPDATE AND EXTRA NOTES: I have just been able to get hold of the DVD, being an obsessed FAKE fan that I am. The English dubbing seems pretty decent, if only the actors didn't sound too stiff or too gay as compared to their Japanese counterparts. Also, please take note that Arisa and Cindy in the anime are not present in the manga so whatever "initiative" (hehe) Ryo finally took wasn't exactly aided by these two.

ADDITIONAL MANGA/ANIME DETAILS: Many eventful manga situations are featured in the opening sequences. Just for the sake of the viewers who do not know who the heck those people dancing in the intro are, here are a few explanations:

  1. NYPD officer Berkeley Rose first showed some signs of attraction to Ryo (volume 3).
  2. Incorrigible Diana, the FBI agent, who isn't in the animated version's main story, is only in the opening song, doing some serious butt-kicking as well as re-enacting her outrageous behavior in volume 3. She is shown kissing Ryo, which is actually just her way of teasing Dee and Rose (volume 3).
  3. Ryo has a habit of drinking something hot while looking out the window. In this case, my guess is it's one of Christmas volumes, when Ryo reminisced about his parents' death (volume 3).
  4. Dee's adoptive "mother" Sister Maria (Penguin) is shown jumping about with red flowers and a coconut tree in the background.
Art/Animation: 6 Story/Plot: 8 Characters: 10 Sounds: 8 Ecchi Level: 4