Created in 1996, the FAKE OVA accompanied the classic BL manga FAKE, which ran from 1994-2000. FAKE is the story of two NYC Cops, Dee Laytner and Randy "Ryo" McLean, as they battle crime, two bratty kids and sometimes their own feelings. As the manga progresses, it turns from a buddy comedy into softcore Yaoi, but manages to retain the hard-edged appeal it started off with. FAKE remains as a classic in this genre, mostly because of this, its length (7 volumes, with a sequel premiering in 2007 and still going), and that it was one of the first Yaoi series to be imported to North America.
The OVA in question follows the plot of vol. 2, when Dee and Ryo go on holiday to a remote hotel in Britain. Amidst the romantic tension and relaxation, a body is found floating in the adjacent lake. Though they are loathe to give up their vacation time, Dee and Ryo reluctantly investigate the murder. They meet a fellow NYC cop, Berkley Rose, who assists the investigation and helps bring the murderer to justice, even as a host of unexpected guests from the states arrive.
The OVA is......charming. Both genuinely and sarcastically. The reason behind this is that while the story is engaging and the characters enticing, it suffers from a lot of pitfalls of the age. The animation and art show the wear and tear of time (sometimes in a good way, sometimes bad) and the dub (yes, I watched the dub) suffers from the disjointed air many dubs of the time did. The key difference between English and Japanese voiceovers is that the Japanese record in the same room, meaning the actors can play off of each other, with a result of much more natural voicing. Sadly, English dubs are recorded separately, meaning that the dialogue often feels terse and disconnected.
Despite the vocal pitfalls, the casting was pretty decent (putting Mona Marshall as Bikky was a stroke of fucking genius) and the music was nice as well. The Opening and Ending are decent, but quite 90's (haha). Out of the main characters, Bikky feels the best acted, while Dee is comes off more naturally than Ryo does. There are some moments when the art was a touch.....90's, but these are more amusing than irritating. Given that it's only an hour long, these transgressions can easily be forgiven.
Since FAKE is, at its core, a gay manga, it may not be the best subject matter for anyone under 13 or 14, depending on the parents' views (as some parents aren't comfortable with their kids experiencing "gay media".....*rolls eyes*). There's nothing explicit, and the gore is kept to a minimum, but people will flip out at the most innocent kiss if it's between two guys, so tread lightly with who you show this to. On the upside, this is one of the most innocent Yaoi anime out there, so it may be a good introductory show for a budding fujoshi fan.
FAKE is available from TOMA (on BakaBT). Sadly, due to NyaaTorrents being down, i can't give you any other options as to language or source, except maybe for a Youtube or Veoh stream (turn to google, i suppose...). Hope it comes back soon!! ;^;
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