Skip Beat!March 24, 2009 at 3:48 PM | Posted in Anime | Leave a comment
(スキップ・ビート! Sukippu Bīto!) is a Japanese shōjo manga by Yoshiki Nakamura. It is the story of Kyoko Mogami (最上 キョーコ Mogami Kyōko) a 17-year-old girl who discovers that her childhood friend and romantic goal, Sho Fuwa, only keeps her around to act as a maid and earn his living expenses, as he works his way to become the top pop idol in Japan. Furious and heart broken, she vows to get revenge by beating him in show business. In Japan, the manga was first published in Hakusensha’s shōjo manga magazine Hana To Yume in February 2002, while in the United States, it began publishing under Viz Media’s Shojo Beat label in 2006. As of June 2008, nineteen volumes have been released in Japan, and as of March 2009, seventeen volumes have been released in the United States. In 2002, a drama CD adaptation was made and released by Marine Entertainment, and covers the first volume (chapters one to five) of the manga. An anime adaptation is produced by Hal Film Maker, and began airing October 5, 2008. It is also aired in Singapore on Okto with English subtitles every Friday at 11pm.
The story revolves around a young girl named Kyouko who went with her childhood friend, Shou, to Tokyo to pursue his dream of becoming an idol. Despite of supporting him, she overhears him dismissing her as boring wallflower. Furious, Kyouko vows to get her revenge to defeat him by entering the entertainment world.
- 最上 キョーコ Mogami Kyōko)
- Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa (drama CD), Marina Inoue (anime)
- Instead of staying home and attending High School in Kyoto, Kyoko travels with her childhood friend Shō Fuwa to Tokyo to help him while he makes it big as an idol. When she finds out he only invited her so she could be his maid, her heart and innocence are shattered. More vengeful than depressed, she swears to avenge herself. Shō comments the only way to do this would be to beat him in show business, so that’s what she decides to do. She changes her hair style and begins the task of applying to Shō’s rival company (Akatoki Agency), L.M.E. While her audition stood out, the president of the company realized that she lacked the key point needed to become an idol: love, as without genuine love for this profession and for the audience, she cannot make it far in this world. However, despite her failure, she had such an interesting and impressionable audition (she did katsura-muki as her talent portion) that Kyoko is given a second chance. The L.M.E. “Love Me” section is thus founded. Lory makes a deal with Kyoko that if she whole-heartedly completes all the jobs given to her as a Love-Me employee to the client’s satisfaction (which is determined by how many points they stamp onto her record book), by the end of certain period of time, when she has accumulated enough points, she will be given a grand debut. Thus begins her journey into the show business world.
- (敦賀 蓮 Tsuruga Ren)
- Voiced by: Ken Narita (drama CD), Katsuyuki Konishi (anime)
- Ren is, in outward appearances, an extremely nice and polite star. However, he shows his true self whenever he deals with Kyoko. He was originally unhappy with Kyoko, because she joined show business for revenge. However, he gradually warms up towards her. Realizing that she isn’t just trying to become an actress for revenge, and supports her growth as a budding idol. Although at times teasing, he is in love with Kyoko. For example, he does not allow himself to be near her alone sometimes, because the urge to hold her is increasing. (In volume twelve, when Kyoko falls, after trying to get a pot from the cabinet and, instead of crashing into the chair she was standing on and then the ground, Ren catches her and hugs her despite himself). He quickly recovered so that Kyoko would not discover his mistake. He has also hugged her in Act 98-99 after Reino, Kyoko’s stalker, tells her that “Corn” might be dead; not wanting to see Kyoko cry and, as a result of another one of his urges, he holds her tight and tells her that Corn, her childhood friend, is fine. He also hates Sho Fuwa, because of his ties to Kyoko. Some of the people closest to him have begun to notice his feelings for Kyoko, namely, Ren’s manager, Yashiro and the agency’s president, Takarada.
- Although he has frequently dated and has had a lot of girlfriends, he actually had zero experience with love. This fact caused him to struggle a great deal while defining his character’s role in Dark Moon.
- Interestingly, at the age of twenty, Ren has lived a large portion of his life in America. In fact, he began his acting career in the United States, albeit disastrously. Although he gained experience, he was fired so often that he has lost count, an experience which is in sharp contrast to the staunch and disciplined actor he is today. Fortunately, his past in America is unknown to the public as Ren Tsuruga is only a stage name. He is the son of a famous actor named Kuu and his mother’s name is Julie. Although there are hints of a dark past, his earlier years are shrouded in mystery (though it is noted that when he was in his teens, he felt a lot of pressure from his parents and therefore escaped from America to Japan). Recent chapters show that his real name is Kuon Hizuri. Back when he was a kid,he became friends with Kyoko. But to this day, Kyoko still pronounces his name wrong, calling him “Corn”.
- (不破 尚 Fuwa Shō)
- Voiced by: Nobutoshi Kanna (drama CD), Mamoru Miyano (anime)
- His real name is Shōtarō (松太郎 ). He keeps it a secret because he finds it a very old-fashioned and traditional name. He is a typical stuck-up star, and is also very ruthless. Shō had no qualms about tricking Kyoko into going with him to Tokyo so she could be a free servant for him. He also had even less qualms about being extremely cruel to her when she discovered this. Shō eventually figured out that Kyoko was in L.M.E., and was surprised to see her transformation. It is also revealed that he has more feelings for her than he originally thought, such as in Act. 82 when he personally brought some medical cream for the cut in Kyoko’s face (caused by him), and apologised sincerely. Most notably during the Dark Moon shoot over a resort, Kyoko’s stalker Reino announced in front of Sho, that he plans to steal her away from him. Reino from the band Vie Ghoul had stolen one of Sho’s music sheets/songs previously planning to use it for their own success. When Reino chased Kyoko through the forest, Sho followed pursuit and was the one who protected Kyoko even calling Kyoko “his woman”. However this moment was not witnessed by Kyoko. Despite his ruthless and cold personality, Sho has a sense of humor that he keeps buried deep down, nearly busting a gut laughing in private to Kyoko’s misprouncing Vie Ghoul as Beagle. As Kyoko once commented, Sho has loved comedy shows on TV since they were both kids.
- Though most of these lean toward a general possessiveness for Kyoko, who had been his constant companion and servant since childhood. Further on in the series though, Shō begins to show a kinder side to her and hints that he has real feelings as opposed to just possessive feelings. Once he finds out that Ren Tsuruga is in love with Kyoko too, he gets really mad. Shō thinks of Ren as his rival and is extremely petty at times when they meet, even going as far as to pick a fight with him. Shō is also a big flirt and can be very shallow. He tends to like older women, but he is fine with women with big breasts and oozing pheromones. Shō has disliked Ren because he is the coolest guy in Show Biz. Shō says he’s going to steal all of Ren’s fans and the title of “The Coolest Male Celebrity” from him.