Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 17 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 17   

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date:  March 2009

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/shojo manga/200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Vie Ghoul’s Reino stalks Kyoko to Ren’s hotel room, but she informs him that she has no fear of him as she has God’s favorite as an ally (she means Ren). She also has an amulet of protection she wears on a chain. Afterward, she falls asleep in Ren’s room and he doesn’t have the heart to wake her. The next day, Vie Ghoul and Sho are at it again. But there seems to be dissonance among the members of Vie Ghoul as well.

Mr. Yoshiro continues to encourage Ren to openly declare himself to Kyoko, but so far his words are falling on deaf ears. But Ren’s manager can tell that he likes Kyoko, whether he’s willing to admit it or not.  Just imagine if he knew about their past history!

It’s the last day of shooting and back to Tokyo, but Kyoko wants to thank Director Ogata before she leaves. On the way to the lobby, she runs into Sho’s manager, who thanks her for the change in Sho. Kyoko protests that she’s done nothing, but the manager insists that she helped Sho get over his music problems. Like Kyoko cares?

Oh dear, will he never learn? Reino catches Kyoko alone and continues to bully her, telling her to get rid of the amulet. But when he starts to get physical, help arrives in the form of Ren Tsuruga! Reino looks at Ren oddly before asking who he is, then accuses him of using a false name. Ren isn’t put off. Of course he has a stage name. Somehow Reino doesn’t  seem to accept that response. Afterward, Kyoko is reluctant to discuss the amulet with Ren, and tries to explain something about Corn, unaware that Ren is Corn.

Ratings for Dark Moon are fantastic. Kyoko is happy that people hate her character, because it means she did a good job playing her. Meanwhile, Ren has been tapped for a new film. The catch is that he won’t be revealed as part of the cast, in order to surprise moviegoers, and neither will his name appear in the final credits. Mr. Yoshiro is far from happy about that, but Ren doesn’t mind. Kyoko receives a call from the studio. They want her to drop by the next day about some job offers. Kyoko is excited!  Unfortunately, the roles all seem to be similar to Mio, and she is disappointed. She knows she can do more than that!  She whines to Moko, who is in the midst of giving her advice when Lory shows up with a job – with the LoveMe Section? What the heck?

Back to Tokyo and back to other things. Hopefully, Kyoko won’t have to endure Sho or Reino anymore. I have a feeling Ren will continue to look out for her. Her new LoveME assignment is the actor who played Ren’s role in the earlier version. He’s back in Japan and Lory has assigned Kyoko to him as a member of the LoveMe Section. Lory tells Ren that Koo is in town and tries to set up a meeting, but Ren isn’t interested. At least not until he learns that Kyoko is actually with him!

I love how Ren is wrestling with his feelings for Kyoko. He has just barely begun to admit them to himself, much less to his manager. If he doesn’t know how to deal with them, it’s because he’s never really felt this way about anyone before. And he undoubtedly carries a torch for her from long ago. Hopefully, he’ll get over this reluctance in time and actually court her. Of course, there is still the whole Corn hurdle to get over. I just know Kyoko will not take that lightly when she learns the truth.

Can’t wait to see how Kyoko deals with Koo in the next volume, and what will Ren do?


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