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
thisFAKE. 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:
- NYPD officer Berkeley Rose first showed some signs of
attraction to Ryo (volume 3).
- 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).
- 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
- Dee's adoptive "mother" Sister Maria (Penguin)
is shown jumping about with red flowers and a coconut tree
in the background.