Tag Archives: Yoshiki Nakamura

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 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 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!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 7 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 7   

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 3, 2007

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

It’s not easy to be a substitute manager, a budding actress, and a wannabe high school student all at the same time, but Kyoko never backs down from a challenge! Even when she and Ren are caught in a serious traffic jam, and she is worried that he will be late to work, thus tarnishing his perfect image, she makes sure he gets there on time, even if she has to appropriate someone’s bike to do it!

At school, she finds herself being picked on by one girl in particular, Mimori Nanokura, although Kyoko doesn’t understand why that is. When Kyoko runs across the commercial she and Moko did together, while walking on the street, she is taken by surprise, although she isn’t exactly flattered by some of the comments she overhears from passersby. Even more surprising is the call she receives from Ren. Is he watching her or something? How? He hasn’t had time to give her marks for being his manager, but somehow that doesn’t work out as well as either one planned.

Kyoko’s manager receives a call from someone who was impressed with the Curara commercial and wants to use the two girls – aka Moko and Kyoko –  in a music video – featuring Sho Fuwa? Can it be? Kyoko is furious at first at the idea of being used by Sho, until she begins to see this in another light, namely as an opportunity to use Sho as a stepping stone for her own career. But Moko has already made another commitment to a 2-hour drama, so Kyoko will be on her own, if they will accept her.

At the audition, Sho keeps staring at Kyoko. She realizes she has to make him believe it’s not her, so she begins to act completely not like herself. But then Moko’s role is re-cast – and given to Mimori? Will she reveal who Kyoko really is? How can she get the girl to stay quiet, at least long enough to get through this music video? Or maybe it’s time to let him see who she really is, so he can worry?

This was a fabulous volume, especially the back and forth between Kyoko and Sho. How like a man, to want her now that he sees what he couldn’t see in her before. The music video they are shooting concerns a devil (Sho) and two angels, and Kyoko plays the angel who wants to kill him. How appropriate is that? Also, Ren still seems to be struggling against his feelings for Kyoko, but even his manager can see he cares.  Kyoko continues to grow, both as a person and as an actress. Loved this, looking forward to more!

Book Review: Skip Beat, Vol 46 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 6       

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: May 1, 2007

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

After succeeding in the audition for the commercial, Kyoko and Moko are warned by the director that they have to take good care of their bodies, because that’s what professionals do, and he gives them a rather frightening glare for good measure. Entitled brat Erika is still miffed that Moko bested her and swears she will keep her from succeeding as an actress, no matter what!  Her sycophantic toadies leap at the chance to be of service to her and begin to stalk Kyoko and Moko, but no matter what they attempt to do to harm the two girls, Kyoko manages to unwittingly thwart their efforts.

Ren is on the set with his manager, Mr. Yashiro, whom he fears is coming down with a cold, when Maria appears. Right behind her, her grandfather Lori makes his usual grand entrance, complete with band. Maria tells Ren it’s for a commercial that is being shot, and Ren is surprised to learn that Kyoko won the audition. Maria, who is insanely jealous of Ren, tells him the story of how she met Kyoko at Training School, giving Ren much to think about. After he leaves, Lori becomes aware that Kyoko hasn’t been able to go to High school, but not by choice, and offers her the opportunity to do so. That means she will have to study hard!

At LME, when a manager is ill and unable to perform their duties, the company appoints a daimane, or substitute manager. But when Yashiro does indeed come down with a cold, none is available, so Kyoko is giving the job of managing Ren. Neither of them is particularly pleased with this decision but can’t do anything about it. Kyoko is afraid she will screw up and not do a good job, thus earning Ren’s wrath. Ren doesn’t think she can do a good job, and feels like he doesn’t need help, since he’s very self-sufficient. Kyoko finds being alone with him awkward. When he notices her rumbling stomach, he suggests they stop and eat, not taking no for an answer, and he takes time to eat as well, which is what Lori had counted on when he gave Kyoko the assignment, since Ren is prone to ignore such things as meals.

Kyoko is very observant and nurturing, and takes care of Ren despite himself. But when a particular scene has to be re-shot repeatedly because the actress Ren is playing against is too stupid to pronounce a word correctly, Kyoko is concerned, as it is raining and she already thought Ren was wearing himself out and could get sick. When her fears are realized, she goes above and beyond to bring him back to full health!

I really loved this volume of Skip Beat!  (Who am I kidding, I love them all!) This one was especially good because of the great interactions between Kyoko and Ren. He’s been suspicious of her motives for joining LME ever since he heard it was for revenge against Sho. But he’s beginning to realize she is really interested in succeeding as an actress. Not only that, she has a great natural talent. Who knew? Of course, he has an advantage in that he remembers her from when they were children, and she isn’t aware that he is her beloved Corn. Wonder how long he’ll keep that secret. Kyoko is growing as a person, and as an actress. Her natural abilities, plus her own kindness and goodness, continue to shine through. My biggest wish is to see these two get together, but I know that’s not in the cards for a long time to come.

Great volume, looking forward to more!

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 5 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 5

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 6, 2007

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Playing the giant chicken Bo on television is exhausting for Kyoko, but she’s actually grateful the producer gave her a second chance, after the fiasco with Sho. But apparently the viewers loved her and thought the old Bo was boring, so now she is determined to make the most of this opportunity. To do her best, so she can succeed.

Kyoko runs into Ren at the agency, and his being nice to her and smiling at her has even more freaked out than before. She forgets to inform the agency that she has an audition for a commercial scheduled for the next day. Of course they are happy for her, and Ren tells her to do her best. At the audition, Kyoko unexpectedly runs into Moko, and an entitled blonde who is sure the world revolves around her and her money. Apparently, she and Moko go way back, and she is very condescending and mean to Moko. But instead of fighting fire with fire, as only Moko can, she is down and almost defeated! Kyoko can’t believe what she is seeing. What’s going on here? After the first round of auditions, Moko is ready to quit, but Kyoko slaps some sense into her!

The commercial’s director, who missed the first audition, overhears the discussion between Kyoko and Moko, and is curious to see what they can do. So he changes the casting call from one to two girls, and all the girls have to team up to audition.  Kyoko ends up with Moko. When the others girls, including the rich one, find out that Moko and Kyoko work together at LME, they claim their pairing is unfair. So to even the playing field, they demand that they can’t rehearse together beforehand. Moko is appalled, but Kyoko agrees. But can they play upon one another and bring out the emotions the director and his team need for the product without even being able to discuss it first?

This is a big deal for Kyoko, auditioning for this commercial. No chicken suit to hide inside, only her. Plus she is auditioning against Moko, whom she strongly wants to be friends with. Moko is resistant to her overtures of friendship, but Kyoko isn’t the type to give up easily. I enjoyed watching the director of the commercial as he watched them carefully, sensing something special there. And of course he was right.

Poor Kyoko has no idea that Ren has finally realized how and when he knows her from because she has changed so much, and she has no idea who he was to her. All she knows is that she is afraid of his gentlemanly side as much as his colder side. I love watching the two of them together, but I know they have a long way to go. Lots of fun in this volume, can’t wait for more!

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!