In volume three, installments continue to take a more serious turn, though the slapstick humor, most notably in Dee and Bikky’s antagonistic bickering, is still very evident. Dee and Ryo end up with one of the most chilling investigations to hit the precinct: a string of violent murders that seem to be the work of a serial killer while at the same time also hints at drug connections. The ever-conniving Berkeley (who makes Dee’s romantic tactics seem sweet by comparison) brings in an old FBI friend, the kick-butt Diana, to help out with the case, conveniently pairing her with Dee while keeping Ryo for himself. The ensuing investigation and outbursts of possessiveness force Ryo to blurt out some of his own feelings for Dee, but (of course) they get interrupted before actual confessions can be made.

The violence level in this volume is a bit more gruesome than usual, but not gratuitous, and the higher stakes make for a very satisfying drama. The playful Diana makes a great addition to the cast, especially as someone who humanizes Berkeley and who sees the developing triangle more clearly than anyone caught within it. A shorter vignette gives us an appreciated look into Ryo’s past including the death of his parents, which will lead us into later volumes’ more serious stories, and ends with a sweet look at why no one should spend Christmas Eve alone. In a familiar pattern, this volume also includes with another installment in the progress of Bikky and Carol’s lives ø this time Bikky seeks to prove himself worthy of Carol by competing with his perceived rival, Lai, on the basketball court. Never mind that though Carol flirts, her heart belongs to Bikky– she just has to figure out how to drill that into his thick skull.

Fake Volume 3
ISBN: 9781591823285
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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