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FAKE Item Shop
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Title: FAKE
Comedy / Romance / Shonen-ai
Sanami Matoh
Manga Credits: BExBOY Magazine
Images: Dee and Ryo | Carol and Bikky

DVD Cover Description: Meet Dee Latener and his half-Japanese partner Randy (call me Ryo) McLean, 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...?

HN Opinions
Average Rating:

skysenshi (01.17.2002)
I'm high on "FAKE"
I must admit, this is my very first complete manga—and it's a shonen-ai, to boot! I absolutely fell in love with this manga so much that I avoided work (and my boss' calls) just so I can spend the entire day reading volumes 2-7. That's how high I am when it comes to FAKE. All logic, caution, and whatever objectivity I try to muster in this opinion just dwindle away to a mass of sighs that I seem to be producing on an hourly basis.

Four days after finishing volume 7, I still am not myself. I kept re-reading favorite parts of just about all the volumes every night before I go to sleep, particularly pages 148-158 of the 7th book (he he). During the day, I couldn't concentrate on meetings and conferences, my thoughts lost in fantasy. I almost wish I were born male. Male and gay.

So what makes FAKE so fabulous that I just can't stop thinking about it? Well, for one, it was also the first shonen-ai manga that was introduced to me by an online friend named Stella in 1997. Back then, what I can see were only scans off her own copies. It was only late last year that I decided to buy my own set, inspired by its overly short anime OVA that I had rented recently. I spent $60 for the entire set, but it was just worth it.

This is all thanks to Sanami Matoh, the ultra-talented author, who knows just how to weave an erotic cop story filled with comedy and romance. I've never been a fan of action films, but FAKE's characters are so alive that you just can't help but adore them. Two love angles make up the entire series. One is the Carol-Bikky pairing and the other is the Dee-Ryo tandem. Dee Latener and Ryo McLean are the main characters—police officers working for the 27th District of the New York Police Department. Oh and yes, I forgot to mention that they're also a gay couple. What's good about these two is that they break all sorts of stereotype associated with gay people. For instance, Dee may be brash and macho, but he's in fact the mushier half. Ryo is the "softer" half, but he finds it difficult to express his feelings, especially when it comes to Dee. Humor arises when Ryo's seriously bishounen countenance gets flustered by Dee's not-too-subtle sexual advances.

Those who are not into boy-love scenarios, on the other hand, can appreciate the Carol-Bikky love angle. Bikky is a golden-haired African American boy who turns to acts of waywardness as a way of rebelling towards a society that seemed to turn against him. Cal, on the other hand, is a street-smart kid who has the same naughty tendencies for (mis)adventures. Though Cal is three years older than Bikky, this doesn't stop her from loving him...and eventually sealing this promise of love on her 18th birthday (^_-).

Other characters that add more charm to FAKE are Berkeley Rose, who not only holds a high ranking post at the NYPD but also has a rather keen interest in Ryo; JJ, the second best sharp-shooter in the department, who has the worst crush on Dee; Ras and Rai, the teenaged couple who are friends with Cal and Bikky; and Diana, the naughty FBI agent who can't seem to stop bestowing a little complication upon Dee and Ryo's relationship from time to time. Diana plays a very big role in the manga, as she will be the key to Dee and Ryo's consummation of a long unrequited desire.

Once in a while, Sanami Matoh would add extra comic strips near the end of a book, and these little strips would be written in English. I find them extraordinarily entertaining, as the characters' English resemble that of Noodle-chan's (Otaku Fridge's resident icon). A sample conversation would go:

Dee: He is fast asleep
Dee: I try to kiss
Ryo: ...What?
Bikky: (enters scene and stretches Dee's mouth, then runs away laughing)
Dee: Bikky!
Ryo: Oh...surprised... (doki, doki, doki—heart beating)

I noticed that the acts aren't necessarily in chronological order. While the plot thickens in the middle of the series, some of the acts seem out of place. Like for example, in volume 4 act 12, Bikky and Cal "celebrate" Cal's 18th birthday. After this act, they become children again. This persists in other volumes, too, but it's not too much of a bother, since a break from all the action can sometimes be needed.

All in all, I would highly recommend FAKE to anyone who would be willing to listen and to anyone who is open-minded enough to enjoy a good dose of comedy and action. I think shounen-lovers (male and female alike) who are looking for something new would also love this. Well, before I start sighing again, I must say, "Try this. You definitely won't regret it!"

Art: 9 Story/Plot: 9 Characters: 10 Ecchi Level: 7