Tag Archives: Skip Beat!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 14 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 14 

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 2, 2008

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Shojo Manga/200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Kyoko joins Director Ogata for lunch. He seems happy to see her, which is more than can be said for her co-stars. Naturally, the conversation turns to Ren and how he’s doing. The director is doing better as well, and has a new-found confidence he was lacking before. That is largely due to something Ren said to him. Meanwhile, Ren and Mr. Yashiro are headed to his next job. The agent is working on Ren to talk to Kyoko about how he feels, and Ren doesn’t even bother to deny his feelings anymore. Not to him, anyway. What Mr. Yashiro doesn’t know, though, is Ren’s past with Kyoko. Perhaps if he knew that, he’d drop hints to Kyoko in order to get these two lovebirds together! Ren believes that there is someone who could possibly sway Kyoko’s heart by the mere mention of his name, and that disturbs him.

Kyoko is scheduled for an interview on Japonet Scope, thanks to her rising star. But on her arrival, she notices a door marked with Sho Fuwa’s name! What, can he really be here also? But the guy she runs into is not Sho, and yet he knows who she is… and seems to look down on her? Kyoko is surprised to learn that a new group named Vie Ghoul has not only climbed the charts but they have a song that has surpassed Sho’s! But she is indignant to discover that they are imitators of Sho! An angry Kyoko marches to Sho’s dressing room and tells him she needs to talk to him!

Mr. Yashiro tries to get Ren to watch the music video clip that Kyoko is in, but because it’s Sho’s clip, Ren is less than inclined to do so. His agent is trying to make him jealous so he’ll do something about his feelings, but Ren is resisting.  Kyoko is being sent on location for a few days for the film. She doesn’t realize until she’s there that a well-known music studio is nearby. And oh dear, it looks as though both Sho and Vie Ghoul are going to be there! What else could happen? Maybe Ren could show up too?

Kyoko has definitely grown and matured since we first met her. And while she still plans to get her revenge on Sho, she is not afraid to tell him about his shortcomings. The rose-colored glasses she once wore are gone… even if she can’t see how much she likes Ren. Still, it’s a start. But what’s going on with these Vie Ghoul guys? Are they going to throw some oil on this fire or start a conflagration of their own?

Great volume, look forward to more!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 13 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 13     

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 1, 2008

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Shojo Manga//2 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

It’s a sink-or-swim moment for Ren! He has to convince both the President of LME as well as the director of the film that he can play Katsuki not only well but better than his predecessor. Mostly he has to convince Lory, who knows him too well to think he can accomplish this. Ren requests to ad lib a scene, expressing his confidence that his co-star Itsumi will not only be able to do so, he will make her react the way he wants her to. The scene begins…where will it end? Most importantly, will Lory approve?

Afterward, Kyoko is amazed that Lory has figured out that Ren is in love with a girl…although she is clueless to the fact that the girl is her! Mr Yoshiro suspects the truth, and tries to give Kyoko a clue, but the poor girl remains oblivious to his hints. When Kyoko offers Ren the precious stone she once received from Corn (whom she believes to have been a fairy but was actually Ren), what will he do?

Most of this volume is taken up with Ren’s test, but it’s well worth the price of admission to watch him in action, drawing on newly discovered although unadmitted feelings for Kyoko. Between the two of them, they don’t have a clue! Guess we have to wait to find out which one catches on first!

Great volume, can’t wait for more!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 12 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 12     

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

 

Mr. Yashiro feels his plan to have Kyoko make dinner for Ren the night before must have been a failure. Ren is silent today, and even more odd, he’s listening to a cd on his earphones. What kind of music does Ren even like? Kyoko hurries to intercept them, as she knows where they will be, and grabs her chicken suit, but ends up with the slimmer version, just so she can talk to Ren. Meanwhile, the director is concerned that he will have to fire Ren, although he doesn’t want to and he surely doesn’t want to hurt him. But something is seriously lacking in his performance, and he can’t have that, not if he is going to make a better version of the film than his father. Besides that, the President of LME has told him if Ren can’t do it, then fire him. He’s coming back in two days and he will decide about Ren for himself when he watches his performance.

Kyoko takes a box lunch to Ren at his apartment and she offers to help him rehearse, taking the role of Mizuki. He agrees and they begin.  During the course of the day, they find themselves accidentally in an intimate position.

Ren is finally confident in his portrayal of Katsuki. But will he be good enough for Lory? Ren has a request for the director, though. He wants to improvise some of the lines in the scene, in order to play the part the way he feels it. He is confident that he can make it work. Will the director give him the chance? And will Lory accept what he does?

I love, love, loved watching Kyoko and Ren rehearsing together, especially knowing how Ren feels about her. He has hinted as much, albeit obscurely, in his talks with the chicken, talking about the person he likes who is still in high school. Kyoko hasn’t caught on that it’s her he’s talking about and would not believe it if someone told her that. She is very clueless when it comes to Ren, and is just starting to realize that she likes him as him, not as Ren Tsuruga the movie star/actor. But how will she feel when she finds out he is Corn? I can’t believe that will end well. I can’t wait to see how the scene goes and what Lory’s reaction will be.

Rooting for Ren to succeed and looking forward to the next volume!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 11 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 11      

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

 

Kyoko’s portrayal of Mio has caught everyone by surprise. They are beginning to acknowledge that she has talent. Ren finds himself dreaming of her at night, remembering a time when they were children and he had to tell her he was leaving, which was heartbreaking. When they arrive on the set, Mr. Yashiro enlists Kyoko’s aid in making Ren eat the way he should. Ren surprises Kyoko by telling her he wants to be like her, that he wants his portrayal of Katsuki to exceed that of the original, as Kyoko is doing with Mio. Even the original Mio thinks Kyoko’s performance is better than hers. But just when things seem to be going so well, Kyoko is shocked that a re-take has been called… on Ren! Ren never has re-takes! What is up with that?

Sho doesn’t show, at least on the outside, how much he is affected by learning that Kyoko is going to be in a movie with his biggest enemy, aka Ren Tsuruga. But he has been affected, and can’t stop imagining things, such as Kyoko making lunches for Ren, the two exchanging pet names and intimate touches. He vows to have the best girlfriend once he is on top! Could it be Kyoko? And how disturbing is that thought to him?

Ren has been told by the director to go, and to come back when he can confidently play Katsuki. The President’s worst fears have been realized. What is he to do? Kyoko realizes Ren is in trouble, but she has no idea why. As his junior, she doesn’t dare approach him with an offer of advice. But then she remembers the time she was able to help him, dressed as Bo. Maybe that could work again? How to engineer such a meeting? Fate smiles on her when she discovers him by chance, on her way to play Bo. Ren reveals that he is having problems with the love scenes because he has never fallen in love! Bo/Kyoko is shocked, but still determined to help Ren. Ren reveals there is someone he does care about, but she’s in high school, so Kyoko decides to coach him, little dreaming that he is talking about her. To be fair, Ren has no idea he’s talking to Kyoko. Mr. Yoshiro plays matchmaker and maneuvers Kyoko into making dinner for Ren, but things don’t quite turn out as expected.

This series goes straight to my heart, I love it so much! I look forward to the day when both Kyoko and Ren will realize how they feel. I’m afraid some bad times are going to come in between though, since Kyoko doesn’t even known Ren is Corn, and that is bound to be an upsetting revelation. At least now that he is focusing on her, he can do his love scenes. Maybe even Lory will realize that Ren cares for Kyoko. I love to watch Kyoko’s continued growth as an actress. She may have begun this journey for the revenge, but it has become something so much more.

Can’t wait for the next volume!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 10 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 10   

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

 

The remake of Tsukigomori is getting a lot of attention. Kyoko is worried about the director. He seems so frail, as if the weight of producing a better film than the original is getting to him already… and they haven’t even begun shooting! Kyoko makes the mistake of asking Ren if he is nervous, and he gets irate with her. She is reluctant to admit that one reason she took the role was for a chance to act with him and watch him act. At a press conference for the film, a reporter asks the director why he changed his name and he passes out!

Kyoko shows up on the set on her first day as Mio, having already been transformed for the role, complete with scar. Her make-up is so realistic, she frightens some of the actresses playing school girls! Mr Yoshiro praises her for acting so scary only to discover she was being herself. Ren wonders when she changed, and speculates that it’s all Sho’s fault. The actress who played Mio originally, Miss Iizuka, who is playing her mother in the remake, arrives on the set, and she is clearly angry with their choice of Mio. She thinks Kyoko is a no-one and doesn’t deserve to play Mio. She decides she needs to test Kyoko on the role, and if she doesn’t perform to her satisfaction, Kyoko will have to step down! Meanwhile, Sho’s agent is trying to keep Sho from learning that Kyoko has landed a role in Dark Moon. Luckily, he is often oblivious to his surroundings. The trouble is they are headed to the very station that is producing Dark Moon!

Kyoko has a sudden inspiration and tells Mr Yoshiro she’ll be back soon, dashing away. He chases after her but to no avail. This sudden departure just feeds into Miss Iizuka’s prediction of failure if they continue with Kyoko as Mio. But Ren is confident that she will return, he has faith in her. The director prays that he is right. Three hours pass before Kyoko returns – with dyed hair and a new haircut! One that exposes Mio’s scar! What can she be thinking? Will the old battleaxe get her way and have Kyoko removed from the cast?

I love to watch Kyoko grow as an actress. She is so intent and so serious, and determined to give everything her best. It was hilarious when Mr. Yoshiro told Kyoko that Ren loves her but she wasn’t even listening! Watching the director of the film grow a backbone and tell that old witch he’s in charge was great! Kyoko’s interpretation of Mio is going to put her on everyone’s radar, I’m sure! I’m curious to see what Sho’s reaction will be, now that he’s seen the Dark Moon poster. Will he want what he can’t have? He did say that he considers Kyoko his!  Looking forward to the next volume!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 9 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 9   

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

 

Kyoko has an ongoing role as a giant chicken named Bo, but very few people know that, thank goodness. What are the chances that the same bratty child who said that Moko’s career is done should be the guest on the show? Kyoko sees it as her chance to find out what happened, but ends up being told her career is done too! Kyoko refuses to be intimidated by the child. Even when he threatens to out her to the world as Bo! (Unfortunately clever that one is!)  Kyoko engineers a meeting between Hio and Moko in order to find out what really happened, and why this brat is so vindictive. Turns out that on the set, Moko threw Hio, who claims to have suffered grievously at her hands. Why would she treat a child like that? And why doesn’t she see anything wrong with her behavior? In order to clear up the mystery, and explain why she did what she did, Moko takes Kyoko and  Hio to her home. Kyoko is excited to see Moko’s family, but she is in for quite the shock!

Ren is called to an early morning meeting with Lory, who is curious about the reason Ren’s phone was broken, assuming it had to do with a woman. But Ren denies that. Ren becomes confused when Lory brings up the lack of romantic gossip concerning Ren, like that’s a bad thing. But Lory finally comes to the point and tells Ren that “his acting of love sucks!” Ren is shocked as Lory explains that he’s hidden it so far because his roles haven’t called for it, but it’s obvious he’s never really loved. Ren tries to deny that, but can’t prove it and is dismayed at the way their conversation is going.

Kyoko and Moko have finally figured out what Hio’s problem is. Well, mostly. And Moko confesses to Kyoko what she has been doing for extra money, which is simply acting and nothing horrible at all. But Moko calls Kyoko out for not telling her own secrets, despite having confessed to her. Kyoko is terrified that Moko won’t like her anymore and she’ll lose her only friend! So Moko walks away!

Kyoko is shocked to learn she is being offered a part in a drama! She was even recommended for the role by the producer of Sho’s video! The drama is the remake of one that was very successful twenty years before. And oh, the lead actor is going to be Ren! She tells them she has to think about it, suddenly terrified of being around Ren like that. Meanwhile Mr. Yashiro is trying to find out what is bothering Ren, and for some reason he keeps linking Ren’s bad mood to Kyoko.

Kyoko meets Moko at a karaoke box and confesses her past relationship with Sho Fuwa. Moko is shocked, having believed Kyoko to be a mega-fan of Sho’s. They discuss Kyoko’s options regarding her acting and the offer of the drama. And then Moko drops a bombshell when she dares to suggest that maybe Ren actually likes Kyoko.

Ren is disturbed after leaving Lory. Maybe the man is right, maybe he shouldn’t accept the role. But a familiar scream draws his attention. And yes, it’s Kyoko, who has just read the script and realized she is not being cast as a rich nice young girl but a disturbed one. She has just run into the director of the drama, who is pleading with her not to change her mind, that she is the one he wants ever since he saw her play the angel in the video. Ren is caught unawares by the knowledge that Kyoko is to appear in the drama as well. And suddenly he accepts the offer to be the star!

So much going on in this volume! At least the mystery of Hio has been solved (even if he is still somewhat of an entitled brat) and also we learn a lot about Moko’s home life (egad, that would drive me crazy!). Now on to the drama! Both the series and the behind-the-scenes drama! I wonder how Lory would react to the knowledge of Ren as Corn, and his past relationship with Kyoko. After all, his current one is very complicated. I think he would not only understand, he would see through both their protestations. Of course, Kyoko doesn’t know Ren is Corn, and the longer he waits to tell her, the bigger the explosion, I’m sure. Especially if they manage to draw closer in the meantime.

Love, love, love this series, so awesome!  Until next time!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 4 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 4   

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 2, 2007

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Shojo Manga//200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Kyoko shines in an exercise at the LME acting school, at the same time helping the president’s granddaughter, Maria, grapple with issues she has with her father. Maria fears her father doesn’t love her and thinks he blames her for her mother’s tragic death. Kyoko helps her to learn to communicate with him, thus earning Lory’s trust, even if he doesn’t always understand her methods. But he realizes his initial assessment of her was correct. She has something… something definitely worth cultivating.

Lory tells Kyoko that, as a minor, she needs her mother’s signature to make her debut with LME. But he isn’t prepared for what he sees in her eyes when he brings up the matter. Is there a way to work around this, for her sake?

Kyoko has a special stone that is very important to her. She keeps it with her at all times and relies on it in times of stress. So when she drops it, she is afraid she’s damaged it, or worse, she’ll never see it again. Ren Tsuruga finds it and returns it to her, but in the process a memory is awakened…

Kyoko and Moko receive an assignment as seat fillers for the first variety show of a popular rock band that LME is very proud of called Bridge Rock. At the last minute, a supervisor asks if they can help out with something else, as a cast member can’t make it. Moko enthusiastically agrees, until she finds out what the part is and leaves that to Kyoko, who suddenly finds herself thrust into a giant chicken suit!

As if this isn’t bad enough, she learns that the band’s first guest is none other than Sho Fuwa! Talk about awkward. But she comes to appreciate the fact that he won’t even know it’s her in this suit. So, what can she do to sabotage him?

After the debacle of the show, while still in costume, Kyoko runs into a distraught Ren. As she instinctively tries to help him, she begins to discover a whole new side of the actor she never knew existed. But can she keep him from taking off her bird head and revealing who she really is?

I loved this volume, as we get to know Kyoko more and more. She is developing, both as an actor and as a person. Of course she isn’t perfect, and her vendetta against Sho is still very much alive. But watching her with Maria is priceless, and of course her interactions with Ren, who is worth far more than that trashy Sho. Now the question is, what does Ren remember, and what is the story here?

The story is both humorous and dramatic. You gotta love Kyoko’s little voodoo dolls, she is so serious about them. And my heart aches for her as she tries to gain Moko’s friendship. This is a young girl, on her own in a big city, taking care of herself the best she can. How can you  not root for her?

Can’t wait for the next book!