The first volume introduces us to the darkly handsome Dee and the endearing Ryo. Intrigued by his new partner’s shy manner and modesty, the out-as-bisexual Dee immediately starts needling Ryo about his sexuality and, in the tradition of wacky romances, enjoys creating situations where Ryo must go along with gratuitous displays of public affection. (Those bad guys are looking for our witness? Well then, we’ll just make out in the street to distract them and all will be saved…) Ryo, understandably flabbergasted, protests, but he can’t help but be softened by Dee’s inherent good nature. As they work through cases involving renegade tweens, the amusingly attitude-filled Bikky and pretty pickpocket Carol, Dee begins to realize that what started out as teasing means more to him than just a way to mess with Ryo’s head. The first volume also introduces us to more comic relief– J.J., a lovelorn sharpshooter (and how many times do those two things go together?) who hopelessly pursues an uninterested Dee. As Ryo takes in the wayward Bikky and draws Dee more and more into his life, Dee begins to hope that, just maybe, Ryo protests his advances a little too much.

On a side note, the racial distinctiveness in this series is inconsistently represented– Bikky (half-African-American and half-Caucasian) looks barely different from Ryo (half-Japanese and half-Caucasian) who also looks essentially the same as Dee (Caucasian). Side characters are given more distinct visual cues of ethnicity including dreadlocks and darker skintones– the reasons behind the presence or lack of such visual representations are puzzling, but not intended to be stereotypical or offensive.

Fake Volume 1
ISBN: 9781591823261
By Sanami Matoh
Tokyopop 2003

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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