Comics · Queer · Romance · TV & Movies

Fake: From Manga to Anime (#queerpop)

FakeBack 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!

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9 thoughts on “Fake: From Manga to Anime (#queerpop)

  1. I’m actually having a real hard time coming up with a yaoi that DOESN’T have consent issues. There is a homosexual romance in the anime Peacemaker Kurogane (one of my favorite samurai anime of all time) that does discuss consent, but the gay couple isn’t central enough to really call it yaoi.

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      1. Yes, it does. Which is why I was kinda sad the two can’t be disconnected from one another. It’s almost a critical point of every story (I’ve read at least)… The ‘sub’ (because it’s never flexible) must be abducted/raped/coerced to show his weakness. It’s sorta Beauty and the Beasty, if Beast was less a metaphor and actually DOING the horrible things he stands for, only to be forgiven by the abused for a happy ending. 😛

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  2. haha, yeah, yaoi IS really bad about situations of consent. Sometimes I feel like people just get raped all the time and, hell, why don’t I ever question it???? Do you have some recs? 🙂 I’ve read Crimson Bound, Hua Hua You Long, JounJoun Romantica and am looking for some more great ones!

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      1. Demon Diary! 😀 Crimson Blood! If you like Crimson Blood, you may like Finders Keepers, though that one has a TON of rape, sadly.

        I found my first and favorite yaoi in a book store in Tokyo last year and it made me happy. A science fiction, super retro yaoi (still rapey, due to android-slave as protag), but I love that it had a real story carrying through as well. Scanlations are hard to find, though.

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