Author: Yoshiki Nakamura
Viz; ISBN: 978-1-4215-3072-7
Skip Beat Vol. 20
Skip Beat remains to be one of my most favourite series of all time. I love both the external and internal struggles that Kyoko has in order to achieve her dreams of becoming an actress. In this volume, we get a glimpse of Kyoko struggling to understand her new role as a girl who has everything, but is bored with life. She can’t seem to connect with the character because she never felt bored in her entire life.
December 24th is around the corner, and Maria (Lory’s Granddaughter) doesn’t understand why Japan, a non-christian country celebrates Christmas. The truth behind her complaints is that Maria’s birthday is on the 24th, which also happens to be the same day that her mother died in a plane accident. She feels as if she doesn’t deserve to ever be happy on her birthday.
Kyoko realizes the reason behind Maria’s unhappiness about her birthday, and propose for them to have a thank you party for all the people that they were thankful for throughout the past year. Lory eventually had his way, and ended up making the party big and glamourous.
At the end of the party, we finally meet Maria’s workaholic dad. Maria never invited her father to the party because she feared that if she asked for her dad to come to the party, he would also die in a plane crash, just like her mother. We finally see Maria and her dad somewhat solving their misunderstanding. It’s nice to see Maria finally happy to receive her father’s love.
When midnight rolled around, It’s Kyoko’s birthday. Ren was the first person to congratulate Kyoko and give her a rose as a present. Moko had no idea that it was Kyoko’s birthday, but luckily she had a present set aside for Kyoko for christmas. I actually enjoyed Moko’s reaction towards Ren giving Kyoko a gift first. She made sure that Kyoko liked her gift better than Ren’s.
What I like the most about this volume is that we see development among the side characters. We get to see Maria reunite for her dad from overseas, which she was scared of seeing. We also get a glimpse of Moko trying to buy a girly gift for Kyoko, even though the idea of purchasing such a girly gift revolts her. It only proves that Kyoko is actually an important friend to Moko.
Skip Beat Vol. 21
We’re finally back on track to Kyoko’s career, opposed to Maria’s and Kyoko’s thank you party that took up most of volume 21.
Kyoko is in a state of bliss the next day after her birthday. She have never received any presents on her actual birthday and this causes her to be in an extremely good mood. Because of this, she ends up being late for a group rehearsal for her new drama called “Box R”. This doesn’t leave a good impression on the other cast members of the drama, especially since the director didn’t even scold Kyoko for being late.
Kyoko ends up being seriously depressed during her next job, which then inhibits her from preforming Mio properly. She then tells Ren her problems, and Ren just told her to do her best, and she’ll be okay. She doesn’t understand why Ren is not scolding her, so she ask him why he didn’t scold her. Ren then gets agitated and tells her if she can’t get serious about acting as Mio, she should just go home. Ren’s assistant thought that Ren was being too harshed on Kyoko, but Ren knew that it would only spark Kyoko’s determination to continue back on track.
Kyoko has a hard time filming her new drama. It turns out that the director only wants Kyoko to act as Mio in her drama. Kyoko doesn’t understand why he would want that, since her new character is someone totally different from Mio. It turns out that Kyoko has no idea on how to act as a normal teenage girl. She grew up in a Japanese Inn and learnt how to behave like a proper japanese girl. The director got fed up with Kyoko not being able to be a normal teenage girl, and decided to film all the scenes where Kyoko is acting like Mio first, cause he knew that she would act it out perfectly. Kyoko can’t seem to understand her character, especially since, the Director only wants her to act like Mio. Seeing Kyoko’s confusion, Amamiya (another cast member) tells her that she should ignore the Director’s directions, and just act the way she feel suits her the character the most.
I got a feeling that Amamiya is another one of Kyoko’s enemies, since she deliberately plotted to turn the Director and the other cast members against our heroine, Kyoko. I honestly don’t mind Amamiya presence since, it’s just going to be another obstacle that Kyoko has to go through in order to because a 1st rate actress in the entertainment industry.
The only thing that I’m a little bit disappointed in is that there has been absolutely no develepment between Ren and Kyoko through the last two volumes. Come on, this is a shoujo manga, so where the heck is the love? lol.