Title: Skip Beat!
Japanese Title: Skip Beat!
Author: Yoshiki Nakamura
Licensed: Yes (Viz Media, Shojo Beat)
Release Date: July 5th, 2006 (U.S.)
Volumes: 19+ volumes
This plot is about Kyoko Mogami, a 16 year old girl who fell madly in love with her best friend Shotaro when they were children. Since then she has done everything in her power to ensure his happiness. Sho is the heir to his family’s inn but decides he wants nothing to do with such a boring life and decides to pursue a music career in Tokyo. Sho asks Kyoko to abandon high school and her hometown to join him in achieving his goal. Kyoko agrees and lives a hectic life working multiple jobs and spending nothing on herself so that Sho may live comfortably. Eventually, Sho is considered to be in the top twenty most popular entertainers in Japan. One day, Kyoko brings Sho his lunch at a company building and overhears Sho complaining about her to his manager, saying that she is a boring and plain girl that he’d like to be rid of. Kyoko then unleashes a torment of vengeful demons (literally) from deep within herself and swears revenge into Sho’s mocking face.
“She’s not your typical shōjo heroine. When the boy she thought she’d be with forever dumped her cruelly, Kyōko didn’t weep or wail or drown herself in despair. Instead, she got “pissed,” vowed to get revenge. After changing her image, Kyoko made it her life’s goal to make Sho pay by climbing so far up the show-biz ladder he’d rue the day he ever looked down on her!” ~Wikipedia
(I felt this quote was a magnificent way to describe her character, in fact reading this line about Kyoko’s character is what inspired me to go out and buy this manga for myself!)
Despite the fact that Kyoko decided to exist for revenge she is a very cheerful and goofy character. She admirably bears the pain of Sho’s betrayal and her own lonely childhood;I really can’t help but admire and love this character. She also possesses unique demons that react to the negative feelings of herself and others. Kyoko often uses their presence to create a dark aura to scare those around her when she is feeling particularly angry.
Ren is the top male star in Japan (Sho considers him his rival) and gives a very kindly and understanding impression to all, except Kyoko. Around Kyoko Ren drops his kind façade to tease and torment her. Ren eventually comes to care for Kyoko and realizes he has childhood memories involving her (although she does not recall them). He also possesses a mysterious/dark past which he doesn’t wish to be discovered.
Shotaro grew up with Kyoko and although she considered them friends he has only ever thought of her as his possession and servant. Shotaro is very selfish and is obsessed with maintaining a “cool” image no matter what the situation. When Sho discovers that Kyoko has actually taken up the challenge of becoming a bigger star than him he seeks her out to further mock her. He cannot accept that Kyoko is an individual person now and not his tool.
The art is beautiful, I can’t quite name what it is but there is something about the way this artist draws her characters that makes them irresistible to me. I really love all these characters and this story has very interesting/addicting love triangles (a must have for any good shojo). Sho knew he was tossing aside Kyoko…but can he handle seeing her toss away him as well despite what he did to her? Ren isn’t sure what to do about his budding feelings for Kyoko, but he knows he doesn’t want Sho in her life anymore. All the while Kyoko is blissfully unaware of any feelings of romance from anyone and is just focused on becoming a rising star in the the entertainment industry. You really feel yourself really getting behind Kyoko and cheering her on! This is a manga I can re-read ANY number of times many times in a row and still feel content (please note I can only do this with one other manga series). The only drawback is I’ve caught up to Japan and have to wait for each chapter release eagerly. This manga has my highest shojo recommendation; it manages to have all the most positive aspects of a typical shojo story without any over girlie or sappy stuff that makes you cringe.
[…] to the manga in this review. If you’d like the plot summary and character descriptions go here for my manga review. I’d feel too cheap copying the same summary and such in the anime […]
I love Skip Beat!
I love the anime and the manga, but I enjoy the anime more and the reason is that is I enjoy the art in the manga but it’s hard to picture and put to life some of the things in the manga. For Ex; Kyouko’s inner demons.
Skip Beat is like a cake. The manga is the yummy cake and the anime is the lovely frosting on top