Back in April, my letter F in the A to Z of LGBT+ Comics was Fake, a yaoi mystery/action romance manga from the 90s, written by Sanami Matoh. It’s my favorite manga by far, and also just a great comic book, a fusion of romance and crime story. There was an anime adaptation in 1997, and I’ve finally had a chance to see it!
The anime adapts the third volume, for some reason, and is about an hour long. In volume 3, Ryo and Dee went on vacation to England and came across a series of murders, eventually realizing Ryo was also in danger. This volume also introduced Berkeley Rose, Dee’s rival for Ryo’s affections. The anime adapts it pretty directly, with a few short flashbacks to events in earlier volumes. The art did a great job of following the original, I could immediately recognize each character by their expressions.
(Also, the DVD is either dubbed or made in English, but also subbed in English, and the two aren’t the same. They’re sort of the same, mostly the same, but the word choices are totally different and a lot of the personality choices are totally different — the nonessential turns of phrase are gone in the subtitles, it’s all very brusque and declarative. Just ignore the subs if you can.)
The DVD says “Contains depictions of alternative lifestyles. Viewer discretion is advised.” I find this oddly humorous, but still, viewer discretion really is advisable. There are sexual situations, which is a different proposition onscreen than in a book, and this volume in particular is built around Dee trying to get Ryo to succumb to his advances. All of manga has consent issues, and yaoi manga is especially bad about it. This anime is neither better nor worse than the comic… Slightly problematic but on the whole better than all the other yaoi I’ve read. The story is the same in both, a solid crime story with a great romance, and volume three is representative of the whole in tone and content. So, if you like Fake, certainly check out the anime, and if you prefer watching anime to reading manga, then definitely give this one a go!