I had actually planned on discussing an anime, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, in my post today, but something happened. Something miraculous and squee-inducing...so, sorry to Moribito--you are a beautiful anime and will be discussed later. Now, on to the very important task at hand:
Fake (1994) and Fake II (2007) by Sanami Matoh.
Now, Gravitation was my first real introduction to the wonders of anime/manga I had, of course, seen bad mecha in the 80s as a child, but those things were aimed at boys...still, I couldn't give two shits about battle robots...not two. My co-pilot, Ms. Shakespeare, introduced me to Gravitation fairly late in a lot of ways...I was in my late 20s when, all of a sudden, yaoi (silent squee for boy love); but not just yaoi, complicated adult plots, tensions (my favorite) and yearnings and secret hidden pasts and all that torturous sexuality...romance characters I could relate to because I'm not the kind of girl someone sweeps off of their feet without risking a punch to the face. Romance was never for me...but this yaoi-business, totally my cup of diet coke (tea is for grammas). Although Gravitation was my first squee-inducing experience with anime and manga, what came next always seems to be the most important manga milestone: Matoh's Fake. Fake is hands-down my favorite manga. I am madly and desperately in love with the characters (two NYC detectives in what must be the gayest police force EVER), the long-drawn-out romantic entanglements, the frustrations, the grit, the crime, the surprising humor and flirtations. The series was published in Japan in 1994 (a long time before yaoi really caught on), but because the last issue was released in 2003 in the US, I was able to buy the whole series at once (I couldn't help it). I have read those 7 issues over and over again; I have dreamed of Dee and Ryo (Dee in particular)...I even bought the one single episode of the (look-worthy but disappointing) Anime. Years after Matoh's last issue of Fake she released an art book with a post script to the series...I ate it all up, along with ANY and EVERY fanfic on the characters. There could never be enough Dee and Ryo in my world. When the series ended I cried. When I reread it, I cry. And just this week I was thinking...maybe I should read Fake.
This morning I was putting off work, and thought I would check to see if the new fansub of Ouran High School Host Club Chapter 66 was up yet, because I needed something to break the ennui of grading and the end-of-semester blues. Ouran is at a crucial point very near the end of the manga series, so I'm a bit obsessed and look for new updates every day. There was nothing new, and no news about when the new fansub would be posted. So, I don't know what lead me to this, but I thought..."Maybe I should see if there's anything new by Matoh." I was looking for another series, anything by this funny and remarkable manga-ka. After all, Fake had been on my mind.
Then...SQUEEEEEEE! Just this year, Matoh has taken up the Fake saga again and is working on a new ongoing series: Fake II. It's been almost 15 year since the original series was released in Japan, and now I get new stories, new dramas, and new make-out scenes with Dee and Ryo! Bubbling over with squee, and unable to contain the outpouring, I called Ms. Shakespeare who was posing as a mild-mannered, very red-haired, office worker on the other side of the country (2,200 miles away) to share the news.
So far, I have read the first chapter, 39 pages, and can bring myself to read no more. I am too overcome with squee. It's too much for one girl to handle. I have to say that despite the subtle changes in Matoh's style over the years, these characters are still the same lovely, awkward and quick-to-respond characters from the old series: they have remained true to those "selves" in remarkable ways. So, this fangirl is ecstatic...please let there be more Fake II on the horizon and never let it end. The series, on Mangafox, is labelled ongoing...I can only hope this is true.
In the meantime, although my life cannot be put on hold, I plan to read these cherished new chapters slowly...painfully slowly...in order to savor this new bliss, and preserve that squee for the trying days of composition papers ahead.