Book Review: Skip Beat, Vol 8 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 8     

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 4, 2007

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Shojo Manga//216 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


After winning a part in Sho’s new music promo, Kyoko is finally recognized by Sho, to his surprise and horror. Sho’s agent and the other co-star, Mimori, whom he has been flirting with, are shocked when they realize Kyoko and Sho have past history, especially Mimori. Kyoko assures Mimori there is nothing between her and Sho, and Sho assures his agent that he always thought of Kyoko as a housemaid (which is true). But he also goes on to say he still thinks of her as his. Seriously?

In the promo, Kyoko and Mimori play angels, one good and one bad, while Sho is the devil who falls in love with the good angel (Mimori). Kyoko’s bad angel is infuriated that he has done this to her friend and kills him. But whenever they shoot the scene where the bad angel chokes the devil before he falls to his death, Kyoko gets into the role a little bit too much and almost kills Sho for real. She wants to do her best, not for revenge, but for her acting career, which she has begun to take very seriously, but she’s afraid her hatred for Sho is overcoming her acting abilities.

Who can she turn to for advice? She calls Moko, but the call goes to voicemail. She considers Ren, but she doesn’t even have his number. She manages to obtain that and calls, leaving a panicked garbled message. Moko calls back, and gives Kyoko some advice that really makes sense and helps her decide how to play the scene. Meanwhile, Ren is on set with his agent, Mr. Yashiro, between takes. Yashiro is surprised to see Ren look at his messages and actually listen to one, something he never does. And then he is shocked to see Ren return someone’s call! He knows the call can’t be work-related, as they would have gone through him first. So who can this special person be?

After the scene, Kyoko and Sho get into an argument, and while they are fighting, Kyoko’s phone rings. Sho grabs it and answers, not speaking. He is shocked to hear a voice he recognizes as Ren Tsuruga’s! Why is he calling Kyoko? What’s going on between them? Sho turns immediately jealous and barks something into the phone before clicking off. Unfortunately, Ren recognizes the other voice as well and jumps to all the wrong conclusions. When Kyoko runs into Ren and Maria back at the agency, she is horrified to find him angry with her, although he disguises it well. But she can tell by his gentlemanly smile that he is mad. And now she’s also in the middle of a mystery with Moko that her friend refuses to explain, so Kyoko and Maria follow her to learn what is going on with her.

Kyoko is growing as an actress and as a person, as she realizes that her need for revenge on the deceitful Sho is being overshadowed by her love of acting and her desire to be the best actress she can be. Sho is such a brat, and he has the nerve to think he owns Kyoko! He’s only interested because he’s seeing her as a person for the first time, and has never truly appreciated her. He’s still just a shallow vain punk, and I hope and pray Kyoko never falls for his tricks and insincerity ever again. On the other hand, I was tickled to see how jealous Ren is and how he is becoming more and more transparent to his agent, who is already beginning to guess at Ren’s feelings for Kyoko. Just imagine if he knew the whole truth! Sometimes I forget that Ren is just four years older than Kyoko, at the age of 20, because he acts far more mature and worldly. I wonder how much he will reveal to Mr. Yashiro, and what exactly did Moko do that has threatened her career?

Great volume, looking forward to the next one!

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