Cover of Fake by Sanami Matoh.
|Genre||Shōnen-ai, action, comedy, yaoi|
|Written by||Sanami Matoh|
|Published by||Biblos (former)
|English publisher|| Madman Entertainment
|Original run||1994 – 2000|
|Written by||Sanami Matoh|
|Published by||Asuka Shisha|
|Original run||2007 – ongoing|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Iku Suzuki|
Fake is a seven-volume Boys' Love (shōjo with homosexual male themes) manga by Sanami Matoh. The story focuses in a romance between Randy "Ryo" Maclean and Dee Laytner, two New York City detectives from the fictitious 27th precinct. An anime version of the fifth act (or chapter) from the second manga is also available, in the form of an OVA.
Randy "Ryo" Maclean, a half-Japanese cop, is new to the 27th Precinct, and he is partnered with Dee Laytner, an American with an overconfident attitude. The seven-volume manga details their adventures as police in a violent city and delves into each one's past, as well as developing their slowly building relationship. The final volume contains yaoi, and the first six volumes are mostly of a less intense, shōnen-ai nature.
Other noteworthy characters are Bikky and Carol, two kids who have lost their families and have been taken in by Ryo, and subsequently by Dee. A few of the acts focus on the very sweet young love that develops between those two. JJ and Drake are other detectives from the 27th, and JJ, completely obsessed with Dee, becomes quite jealous of Ryo, and that of course makes for some interesting moments throughout the manga, although JJ moves his attentions to Drake towards the end of the series. Berkeley Rose has a similar fancy for Ryo. He isn't shy about it either, going so far as to steal a kiss whenever possible, much to the irritation of both Dee and Ryo.
The manga itself mainly focuses on various cases Ryo and Dee have to solve, many of which become quite personal, allowing for convenient flashbacks to Dee's and Ryo's troubled pasts.
Fake was first published as seven volumes by Biblos, but after the company went bankrupt in 2006, Fake was republished by Mediation as five volumes, with one newly drawn extra story featured at the back of each. Fake's English translation is published by Tokyopop in the United States of America, and by Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand. All seven volumes are available in English. The one-off sequel "Like, like love" is only available in Japan as a part of an art book by Matoh.
- Dee Laytner (ディー・レイトナー Dī Reitonā )
- A dark-haired young American cop who dislikes trouble-makers, which is ironic, since he seems to be one himself. His personality can switch from boisterous and inappropriate to serious and calm instantly. Though moody at times, he cares very much for the people around him. He is in love with Ryo, but has dated women in the past; in Dee's own words, he has several types of women he likes, but Ryo is the only and perfect man for him to love.
- Dee may seem to be rude and intrusive, but he has a strict sense of honor that will not allow him to take advantage of anybody; however his parameters can often be well outside the norm. He claims to hate children but understands Bikky's motives well, often acting the part of the wicked uncle when Ryo tries to impose a bit of discipline upon the unruly boy. Dee is fiercely protective of both Carol and Bikky, and is well liked by the children who now live at the orphanage where he and his childhood friend Tommy grew up.
- The surname "Laytner" is made up; the name of the cop who found him in an alleyway was Jess Latener. Seeing him as a father figure even after he was revealed to be less than perfect, Dee was proud to take a similar name to the strict Jess. Dee is searching for stability in his life. Dee claims at first to have been trying to get Ryo to lighten up by kissing him but falls in love with him.
- Randy "Ryo" Maclean (ランディ・リョウ・マクレーン Randi "Ryō" Makurīn )
- A half-Japanese officer with light chestnut hair; Dee's partner. A shy and sensitive man, he lost both parents at the age of eighteen. While he seems to be a little "out of it", he is very mature and his attention comes into play when it counts. He takes in the young Bikky to live with him early on in the story, and of course, he needs every ounce of smarts to keep the boy out of trouble. Often, he tries to deflect Dee's advances, but to little effect.
- Ryo is unsure of what he really wants, but seems to care a lot about his partner nonetheless. He is uncomfortable with being constantly called by his Japanese name since this implies a certain degree of intimacy, and he is a very private man. However as Dee imposes this name upon him others begin to adopt it, and gradually he is forced to be more open. Highly suggestible, Ryo ponders frequently over the advice given to him by others and at times he questions his own view of himself, which tends to make him depressed.
- Ryo loves children and tries to surround himself with warmth and affection. He is very compassionate, cares little for money but saves conscientiously and likes flowers. He has a strong idea of how he wants things to be, but Dee tends to spoil these plans, with his casual attitude to tidiness and his confusing behavior. While Ryo comes across to those who don't know him as friendly and shy, at times the control he has over his actions is broken by Bikky or Dee, exposing a more violent side. This appears to upset him on occasion, and may be part of the reason that Dee makes him uneasy. At first Ryo is confused by Dee's advances and also why he lets him. He gradually warms to him, appearing jealous when other people kiss Dee. He eventually accepts who he is and how he feels about Dee.
- Bikky (ビッキー Bikkī )
- Bikky is bi-racial, African American and Caucasian. Bikky generally behaves in front of Ryo, and treats him like a father. Bikky swiftly makes it known that he dislikes Dee, especially for the fact that Dee has his eye on Ryo. Fearing that Dee may hurt Ryo since he used to be an active womanizer, and being not used to homosexuality in his surroundings, Bikky swears to protect Ryo from Dee's advances, engaging in any tactics he can to keep them apart. However, as the story moves on, Bikky's respect for the man slowly increases, and while he still doesn't fully like Dee being with Ryo he decides to stop trying to break them up, settling for "loving to hate" Dee instead. The alternate spelling of his name is Vikky, however like Carol's name in the OAV, they used a different spelling. When TOKYOPOP released the manga, Cal was changed back to Carol (see below), however they continued to use Bikky's translated name throughout the series.
- It can be assumed that Ryo adopted Bikky as when he is introduced in volume one of the original manga Bikky's surname is Goldman, but in 'FAKE "Second Season"' he introduces himself as Bikky Maclean.
- Carol (キャル Kyaru )
- Bikky's childhood friend. She states that she doesn't want to date anyone until she's eighteen, because that's when her father, who is currently in a police hospital, met her mother. She is not a stranger to crime—she hopes to collect enough money to pay her father's bail—but her pickpocketing puts her in a dangerous situation. Flirtatious at times, she repels unwanted advances strongly, letting potential suitors know exactly what she thinks of them. Carol has extremely high self-esteem and is unlikely to let anybody get the better of her without a fight.
- Carol's name has also been translated as Cal or Chal. Technically, all variations are correct, and although Carol seems the most likely spelling for a Western name, "Chal" has in fact been used on official merchandise. Unlike Bikky, she likes the idea of Dee and Ryo as a couple and tries to help them, clocking Bikky when he goes too far.
- Jemmy J. "JJ" Adams
- A former classmate of Dee's at the police academy, he is an expert marksman, second only to Ryo. He shows his serious side only rarely; his time is usually spent trying to get "Sex God" Dee to return his love. JJ truly believes that people are good. This is intrinsic to his worldview. He cares very strongly for those close to him, and holds a surprisingly pacifistic outlook considering his profession. JJ acts very childlike at times, and this causes his colleagues to dismiss him automatically. However he proves to be a very good listener, despite the fact that he doesn't usually appear to be taking things in. Later in the manga, he gives up on his pursuit of Dee and accepts Ryo being with him; few days after that, he steals a kiss from his partner Drake Parker and asks him out for a date.
- Berkeley Rose
- Berkeley first encountered Ryo and Dee while the two were on holiday in the Lake District. Dee took an instant dislike to the man, and the feeling seemed to be mutual. Initially Berkeley seemed to be ramrod straight; however it later becomes apparent that much of Berkeley's hostility towards Dee stems from jealousy- he is desperately attracted to Ryo. Dee eventually begins to take notice of this, viewing Berkeley as a genuine threat rather than an object of mockery.
- Berkeley is remarkably similar to Dee in many aspects, but comes across as a colder, more distant man in the surface. He treats police work with a similar distance, letting slip comments that show he views the investigation of the English murders as something of a game. His gaze is extremely penetrating -- Ryo doesn't like meeting his eyes. He is not afraid of abusing his position as Commissioner to get closer to what he wants. While he seems focused, Berkeley may be concentrating too hard on one thing while letting other opportunities slip away. Diana is in love with him, but Berkeley rejects her fearing his own emotions until the very end.
- Diana Spacey
- An outgoing and flamboyant FBI agent, Diana enjoys sparring with Dee. As a relentless flirt who constantly violates the dress code, she is not afraid to use her sexuality as a weapon, and Bikky is in awe of her. A martial arts practitioner, Diana is fully able to defend herself in potentially dangerous situations. However for all her brashness, Diana is truly in love with Berkeley, who treats her as more of a sister figure. She is willing to do anything to wake Berkeley up to the fact that she has desires too, and finally gets him to declare his love for her.
- Drake Parker
- JJ's partner. A perpetual loser. Forever dumped by his girlfriends, Drake seems to be the most slobbish man in the NYPD 27th. A cheapskate, slacker and hopeless at getting up in the mornings, Drake needs to settle down with someone who cares about him enough to fix his many problems. In the manga story "Like Like Love", JJ confesses to him that he's stopped pursuing Dee, and after Drake comforts him JJ kisses him and says they should have a date to fix their love lives.
- Almost nothing is known about Ted, but as the fifth regular investigator in Ryo and Dee's office, he deserves a mention. Like Drake, he shows little respect towards the Chief. Ted is notable for having surprised fans of the black and white manga when he made a brief appearance at the end of the OVA with flaming red hair.
- Chief Smith
- The Chief of Police at the NYPD's 27th precinct. The badger analogies are frequent; retribution violent. While most of the NYPD show him little respect on a daily basis, Ryo in particular holds him in high esteem, and sees him as something of a father figure to the young men under his command, a fact which the others may or may not acknowledge. He seems gruff and flustered at the best of times, and rarely gives in under pressure unless he believes the matter to be trivial. In Act 11, a flashback reveals that his first name is Warren.
Fake was adapted into a one-hour OVA based on volume two of the manga.
The Japanese voice actor cast is notable, with such famous names as Tomokazu Seki playing Dee, Nobuo Tobita playing Ryo, and Rica Matsumoto both playing Bikky and singing the closing theme, "Starlight Heaven".
It has aired in the U.S. on Logo as part of an anthology series dedicated to LGBT-themed animation and geek culture called Alien Boot Camp. It premiere in two parts, the first half on November 9, 2007, and the second a week later on November 16, 2007.
Dee and Ryo are on vacation at a charming English hotel by a lake. Ryo is hoping to get some peace and relaxation; Dee is hoping to get some Ryo. However, things take a bad turn when a dead body is found floating in the lake. Dee and Ryo don't want to do police work when they're on vacation, but it's hard to avoid it when a case falls in your lap!
They meet two other guests, Arisa and Cindy. Arisa and Ryo bond over the fact that they're both of Japanese descent. After a pleasant day together, strange sounds are heard in the darkness of the hotel lobby. Investigating, Ryo and Dee meet Berkeley Rose, a New York cop who has decided to investigate the murder as "a fun way to kill time".
From that point on relaxation becomes impossible as surprise guests come pouring in—first Bikky and Carol, then JJ. In a town nearby, Berkeley figures out who the murderers are, and why they kill any Japanese who cross their path. Problem is, Dee just left Ryo back at the hotel with the killer, and JJ let it slip that Ryo is half-Japanese!
The OVA has been called "funny" because of its take on the common joke of "the homosexuality in the cop buddy" formula.
- Merveille, Karen (2008). Brient, Hervé, ed. Homosexualité et manga : le yaoi. Manga: 10000 images (in French). Editions H. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-2-9531781-0-4.