Fake Fur Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
By:Danielle Van Gorder
Review Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Translated by:Andrew Marshall
What They Say
"When I was a junior in high school, I always thought about kissing someone. 15-year-old boys always pretend like that, right? One Valentine's Day, I received a letter with chocolate - from a guy! The whole class was thrown into an uproar..." With a collection of sweet stories, Fake Fur takes you on the rocky road of love.
Sometimes, you have to lose something to learn how important it really was.
Dressed in DMP's standard trim size with dust jacket, this is an eye-catching book. The cover has a watercolor shot of Yamashita sitting in a winter outfit, complete with big fur hat. Yamagata's art translates extremely well into color, with the watercolor effects really highlighting the piece. The logo is large and definitely stands out against the cover image, but the overall effect isn't bad.
Yamagata's art is simple and almost sketchy, with minimal use of backgrounds, screentone, or shading. But sketchy doesn't mean unfinished in this case, as the overall effect is polished and emotional.
All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original. The translation flows smoothly without any rough spots.
Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Yamashita is quiet, but all he can think about is kissing someone. When he receives a card from another boy, he starts to wonder if he might be gay. His best friend Kubo, on the other hand, is always the center of attention, but shares certain things like his cooking and his dreams for the future only with Yamashita. When Yamashita admits to Kubo that he might be gay, a question from Kubo and an encounter with the man who sent him the card makes him realize that he's actually in love with Kubo.
Despite the change in their relationship, Yamashita and Kubo work to try to keep their relationship the same and stay friends. A trip together to Yamashita's grandfather's house causes things to change even more as they get even closer, just in time for Kubo to move away.
After Kubo leaves, Yamashita finds himself stuck and unable to move on. A meeting with Remi changes things, but Yamashita comes to realize that he needs more than just physical company to ease his loneliness. He moves on to other lovers, including his classmate in college, Fukazawa. But he still can't seem to open up his heart to anyone other than Kubo, until he finds out that he might actually lose Fukazawa.
The stories in this volume have a beautiful melancholy mood that really stuck with me even after I had finished the book. It wasn't necessarily sad, but the themes of emotional connection in a lonely world and not knowing what you have until it's gone were extremely well executed. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking deeper exploration of emotional issues.
Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Fake Fur