I don’t know what drew me to Skip Beat, but it’s a story I immensely enjoy. Skip Beat is a about love, or the lack there off, transformation, and revenge. Imagine if you will, this scenario:
Imagine you are an orphaned girl who had a crush on your childhood friend, Shou-chan for as long as you could remember. Imagine also, that you are taken in by his family with the intentions of being his future wife. You are taught to be a proper Japanese wife and run the family business. Your whole life revolves around him and his needs.
Then he decides not to take over the family business and become a top pop idol. He moves to Tokyo for his big chance and you follow him. You find a job to support him and neglect school to make his dreams come true and as soon as he’s signed and begins to make a name for himself, well…he sorts of drops you like you were nothing.
He’s been cheating for a while, he’s been unromantic and uninterested in you, and he is honestly surprised that you are still so gullible and naive. You catch him cheating and he really doesn’t care. This would describe the life of Kyoko in Skip Beat.
Kyoko felt like her heart was ripped from her chest and placed in a grinding machine. She swears revenge on Shou and declares that she will become a better star than he ever was. She also vows never love again. Blaming her predicament on her love for Shou.
Kyoko is surprisingly good at transforming herself for her acting roles, but Shou disregards her achievements, which drives her deeper and deeper into a fit of rage. Her mentor and love interest Tsuruga Ren wants her to get over Shou and live her life, but Kyoko’s rage won’t let her.
I love the artwork and the humor. Some things in this manga really had me laughing. I also love seeing Kyoko act. Seeing her transform almost completely into the character is surreal and you can tell she has potential to be a great actor. You find yourself loving to watch her perform and anticipating when she will become even better than before. The other characters all support her journey in their own way, but Ren and Kyoko is the relationship you will probably be waiting to develop the most.
Kyoko sometimes get in her head way to much. In the later chapters, you will find way to many pages dedicated just to her internal monologue. Kyoko also allows Shou to continue to manipulate her through anger, which gets tiresome. I tried to remember that Kyoko is still so young, but sometimes I think she needs a splash of cold water to wake her up.
Another negative is the plot line. Sometimes things seem to happen in odd order. I couldn’t get a good sense of the timeline. Some events that was suppose to take maybe a day in Kyoko’s life seem to take several chapters to get through. The pacing on some events might seem to long while others are to short. It puts me off a bit. It’s like something is wrong with the storytelling, but I just can’t put my finger on what.
Skip Beat will give you laughs. It will make you smile and make you frown. Some things will break your heart and some things will fill you with joy. Skip Beat lets you see the fragile side of the characters and where they are hurt the most. It’s not as light-hearted as the cover art, and it has this depth to it that makes it…more.
I’m glad I started this manga and I hope to see Kyoko become an amazing actor, but only for herself. I would also like to see Ren allow himself to live again, but time will tell. If zany, crazy, and funny characters appeal to you than you might want to give this a read. Skip Beat is like a rollercoaster ride. If you’re up for something different, creative, and sometimes insane then you might have found your match.