June 19, 2016 posted by

“Forgotten” Anime OAVs #23: “Fake” (1998)

FakeFake, directed by Iku Suzuki. 58 minutes. April 21, 1998.

Combine buddy-cops, homosexuality, mystery and comedy, and you get Fake. It was a leading comedy-drama manga series of the 1990s as a seven tankōbon manga by Sanami Matoh from 1994 to 2000; a yaoi (“boys’ love”) title that was restrained enough to appeal to a general audience.

The plot involved two young New York City plainclothes detective partners of the 27th Precinct, Dee Laytner and Japanese-American Ryo “Randy” Maclean. Dee is the veteran member, although he is considered a loose cannon by the precinct’s Chief Smith, while Randy is a new-hire. Dee takes charge of Randy’s training, and since they are both homosexuals, this includes the extroverted Dee making obvious moves on the more withdrawn Randy. Since Randy is an orphan, he accepts Dee’s offer to become roommates.

During the course of the episodic manga, Dee and Randy’s relationship is developed, as is the soap-opera cast of the rest of the (fictitious) 27th Precinct, especially the Chief. Two other important members of the supporting cast are Bikky and Carol (a.k.a. Cal – her name written in katakana can be translated both ways, and has), two homeless teens “adopted” by Randy who often share Dee’s and Randy’s apartment.

Fake_series_manga_yaoiThe OAV, produced by the J.C. Staff anime studio, is based on Chapter 5 in book 2 of the manga. Dee and Randy tale a vacation alone to England, although Dee has to bribe Bikky with $100 not to tag along with them. Randy hopes to relax, while Dee hopes to initiate more direct gay action with Randy. Naturally they get involved with a murder at their quaint Olde Englishe resort hotel. The OAV expands the manga story to drag onstage the other main supporting characters in the manga: Berkeley Rose of the New York State Police; 27th Precinct marksman Jemmy J. “J.J.” Adams and his partner Drake Parker; and Ted (no last name), another 27th Precinct detective.

Further plot synopsis would spoil the murder mystery, although al most everyone could have done without the ghost subplot. It was licensed in America by Media Blasters and released under its AnimeWorks label.

The OAV was unusually prestigious at the time. The Japanese voice actors were some of the leading names in the profession. In America, it was broadcast in November 2007 on Viacom’s Logo TV digital cable and satellite TV channel as part of Alien Boot Camp, an anthology program devoted to LGBT-themed animation.

Next week: “Forgotten” OAVs #24.

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