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AKA: フェイク
Genre: Action suspense police drama / romantic comedy
Length: OAV, 60 minutes
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD from Media Blasters
Content Rating: R (mature themes, sexual innuendoes and situations, some violence)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: City Hunter, NightWalker
Notes: Based on the shounen-ai manga of the same name by Matou Sanami.
Rating: Five StarsFive StarsFive StarsFive StarsFive Stars

Fake

Synopsis

Ryou (aka Randy) and Dee are partners in one of New York City's toughest districts. These homicide detectives are infamous for their talent on the beat and always get their man, both on and off the job. Well...at least Dee *wishes* he could get his man. When not chasing criminals, Dee is chasing Ryou, much to Ryou's chagrin.

In this one-shot OAV, Ryou and Dee get away from it all by going on a European vacation, but soon after arriving discover the dark secret of the resort. There is a serial killer on the loose. The target: Japanese tourists. When other tourists go missing, Ryou becomes determined to find the killer, but little does he know he is next...


Review

Yet another surprise gem from the folks at AnimeWorks. I heard about Fake about a year ago, and it was described as "The Gay Lethal Weapon." Comparing it to Lethal Weapon is accurate, as Fake has all the scathing comedy and well-paced action of the original movie. This OAV has you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next, when you're not falling off of it from laughing so hard!

Yes, so Dee and Ryou are gay, but unlike many other entrants in the yaoi genre, it's not the primary focus of the anime. Dee's pursuit of Ryou is more akin to Shampoo's pursuit of Ranma - Ryou doesn't want to give in to Dee, but deep down he can't help but like the fact he's being chased. And what Dee goes through so that he can have his "romantic getaway" with Ryou, from bribing their street punk charge Bikky into staying home to BEGGING the Chief to let him have his paid vacation at the same time is downright hilarious. Things don't get any easier for poor Dee once he gets Ryou alone, anyway, as soon all of his scheming comes to naught when the killings start.

What seriously impressed me with Fake is that they focus the story on the two of them solving a rather complicated murder-mystery. It's a well-conceived story, at that. No one is as they seem...everyone involved has their secrets, and the true killer isn't who you'd think it is. Fake keeps you guessing at every plot turn who the real killer is and what the true motives are. All very serious, and not very pretty, when you get down to it. The comedy is necessary to break tension without losing the focus of the story. Not an easy task, but Fake pulls it off spectacularly.

The characters are fun and well fleshed-out, my favorite being Dee. He really is a decent person, and he does care about Ryou. If only Dee wasn't so aggressive in his demeanor; then he would really have a chance at catching his heart's desire. The animation and art for the series is top-notch, and the soundtrack is appropriate, complete with a catchy theme song.

Not too much is explained yet as far as some of the background characters go. For example, why does Bikky live with Ryou, besides just to keep Dee at bay? If the further adventures of Ryou and Dee are as good as this one, I think I just might have myself a new all-time favorite here!

(But I guess I'll have to get the manga to find out -sob-)

Gripping storyline, well-paced action and suspense, not to mention outrageous comedy, all in one package! Take away two stars if you like your cop dramas more like NYPD Blue than Ally McBeal. Anyone with any kind of hang-up about homosexuality, especially when played for laughs, may want to stay away from this (but they'd really be denying themselves a real treat).

Recommended Audience: Teens and up. This is a very realistic murder-mystery. Some deaths are depicted onscreen, and there are serious attempts made on the lives of some of the main characters. Allusions to rape also limit this one to older audiences. The very blatantly gay Dee may also not sit well with some viewers who have hang-ups about yaoi.



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Fake © 1996 Sanami Matou / Biblos • Placet
 
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