July 12, 2010
Sanami Matoh – Tokyopop – 2003 – 7 volumes
Okay. Any bad blood between me and Fake was completely resolved when the criminal of the moment planted a bomb in the police station, Dee triggered it, and Dee and Ryo had to flee the building ahead of the blast in one of the most Hollywood scenes I’ve ever seen in a manga. It would have been a lot better as a parody, but all the same, it was nice to see.
The majority of the volume is dedicated to this bomber case. A criminal is copying the style of bombing from an older case the chief remembers from years ago, but the suspect in that case has been dead for years. The bombings take place at Bikky’s school and the police station, and Dee and Ryo are drawn in more and more as they involve themselves in the case, escalating into a scene where the criminal traps Dee in the school while Ryo and Bikky are left outside.
There’s a cute Bikky story at the end of the volume (about a secret he keeps from Carol), and a very short story at the end about Dee getting sick and Ryo taking care of him.
I still don’t care much for the humor, but it helps that it’s totally self-aware, and it also helps that the dialogue is camped up to the nth degree to match it. And at this point, the character-based jokes are starting to get funny again, in that you can see the set-up starting and you know the inevitable will happen. I also like that Ryo, Dee, and the others are displaced out of their precinct and are now unwelcome guests in the Bronx, which carries over at least one more volume. We also get to see Ryo and Dee in their uniforms for the first time, doing traffic duty presumably as punishment for setting off the bomb that destroyed the precinct building.
The romance is still dialed down quite a bit, though Dee is persistent, and Ryo is beginning to respond to his advances. It hasn’t gotten much further than intense kisses and an admission from Ryo that he might be changing his mind, but the fact that anything has happened at all is pretty stunning for a series like this. I like that there’s at least a little romance development, even if it is miniscule. Unfortunately, Bikky still interrupts most of the time, though, even during the scenes at Dee’s apartment.