Waaaaaaah! Okay, it turns out that my squee-filled swoon for Fake may or may not have been premature in some respects. I've been doing fangirl research, and the good news is that there are 5 ? chapters, officially, of a bonus story...I've found four in fanslation. These chapters, entitled Fake Second Season, are running in the Japanese magazine Hug, but because of the author's sudden illness (Matoh is fine...I researched that too), it has been slow arriving. There is also a new reprint of the original Fake already released in full in Japan. The original 7 issues of the series have been reprinted in 5 issues with new side-stories in each one. There is no english language release date for them yet, but they are new...and the series is popular, so I'm crossing my fingers (but not holding my breath).
Here's my review of the Hug magazine fanslations of Fake II: First, it doesn't matter...I love it. I'll be honest, I just don't care how good or bad it is, I get to see Dee and Ryo again. But, I will try to be critical with this review, so...complaint one: not enough flirting! The nice thing about the original was that no matter what dire situation the characters were in (gang warfare, serial killers, etc.) there was always time for a sexual innuendo, or some act of agression on Dee's part. Although a bit of the flirty humor is still there at times, it doesn't tease at the edge of the story like the original. Perhaps it's because the orignal storyline felt so complete in many ways? Is this why there isn't that hint of will-they/won't-they? I don't care that they have...I just want more of it. The characters were so completely developed and real in the original incarnation...I want something more than just a detective story (although it was good), I want to see their relationship as well. When the series left off, everything was brand new, I want to see the compromises and attraction of a new relationship. I want to see the uncertainties of Ryo, the adamant insistance of Dee. This is what I loved about these characters and it seems that this is what was left out of the new series...so far anyway. That said, there was a kiss, and I screamed and ran through the house back and forth for two minutes before returning to look at the next page. Oh, thanks to the manga-powers that be for a new Dee/Ryo kiss. I was damn-near swoony. (Perhaps I'll post soon about why Dee is the man of my dreams?) Ah, lest I get too far away from criticism and back myself into a fangirl dream corner, let's continue.
Matoh's style has changed; her characters, which were always very angular and over the top in terms of style and dress (lush and grapey? Always with the grapes! Grapes everywhere!), have somehow rounded? Now, as I was reading I could hear the imagined grumbles of one very smitten Ms. Shakespeare, but I actually like the new style. The rounder faces are cuter. Even Ted, Drake and JJ, the constant sidekicks, are cuter. Despite the style-change, all of the characters are instantly recognizable. Dee is Dee (Mr. Wonderful)--Ryo is Ryo (Sandra Dee). Matoh has taken the time to make us aware that no amount of time has passed since the last chapter of the original and the new series...I recognize outfits, rooms, everything. I recognized the couch they sit on and the shoes...ah, the very shoes tossed to the floor in the last chapter of the original series (and with that I'm on the verge of a fangirl meltdown again).
In all honesty, it doesn't matter, I'm in some sort of hopeful delirium at this point and nothing can sway me entirely from the flitters of squee that envelop me. I can only hope that there are more chapters to come.
In the meantime, there are 7 issues of Fake on my shelf beckoning me to start all over again. Then I'll write a real review of the original series (Dee heavy, of course), and ask Ms. Shakespeare to do the same. This is a very interesting and complex series, and a groundbreaking work in many ways--at least in terms of yaoi. No series that I've read has really done the same sort of things Fake has done...I don't know if they're afraid of breaking with what is now a fairly formulaic approach to yaoi manga, or if this is just SO different it's in a class by itself? There is certainly something very different about it, from the characters ages (these are 30 something cops), actions and reactions, to the very serious and realistic (no robots) situations to the artwork (angles are strange in this series) and dialog (very convincing)...there's a lot to be gleaned from this series. And no matter how many times I reread the originals, I always find something new and interesting in each read.