Skip Beat!

I finally got the motivation to write a review for Skip Beat!, which I completed watching quite a while ago. Sorry I was lazy guys! I guess I wasn’t very motivated because it didn’t make such a big impact on me like the other animes. It was funny and light-hearted but also mostly serious on other points. This anime didn’t touch my heart very much, not like the other animes probably also because the progress of romance was really slow, even uncertain at times. Most of the comedy came from the female protagonist, Mogami Kyoko herself because she has a twisted personality that includes little demons and black fire aura around her that other people can sense sometimes, resulting in hilarious results.

Funnily enough, Skip Beat! was the very first shoujo manga/anime that I heard about, from a friend back when I was in Secondary 4. Back then, the story seemed interesting enough, but not enough to retain my interest in it and pursue the manga or anime. So I forgot about it. I only decided to watch the anime this time round because I thought I’d give it a try. And although it wouldn’t and didn’t hit my top 10 animes, it wasn’t too bad too.

So here’s the story:

Mogami Kyoko has a huge crush on her childhood friend, Fuwa Sho so much that when he asked her to follow him to Tokyo to help him pursue his dream of becoming a famous singer, she agreed and left everything behind. Now in Tokyo, she’s dedicated to serving him and helping him with anything at all. So long as she gets to be near him and see him happy, it makes her happy and contented.

She works in 3 part-time jobs during the day in order to make ends meet and pay for the expensive rent in a high-class apartment that she shares with Sho. Unfortunately, Sho doesn’t reside there due to his work and he only comes back to the apartment once in a long while to get a change of clean clothes. Kyoko doesn’t care about herself much in order to look after Sho; she wears old clothes and cuts her own hair to save money from getting a haircut at the salon.

One day, while going to deliver some food to Sho at his workplace, Kyoko overhears him speaking to his manager that she is ‘unattractive’, ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘annoying’ and that he was just using her along, making use of her dedication to him to rely on her for his living expenses. He goes on to say to his manager that Kyoko does housekeeping and cleaning; that’s why he chose her and that if Kyoko wasn’t like that (dedicated, and enjoys making others happy), he would’ve never invited her to come with him to Tokyo because if he came to Tokyo alone, he wouldn’t have been able to survive himself.

When Kyoko hears all that, she becomes enraged and upset. Her ‘pandora’s box’ is opened, releasing all her demons and she throws the food she brought at Sho and yells that she wants revenge on him for using her for convenience’s sake. While she’s being dragged out by two security guards, Sho tells her that if she wants to beat him and get her revenge, she’d join this industry. Meaning, showbiz. He also taunts her that even if she does, it would be useless.

Angry with Sho, she leaves the apartment immediately and vacates it. She then goes on to change her appearance to make a comeback and start her revenge on Sho. She gets a haircut and dyes her hair orange. She also buys herself new clothes, making her look more refreshing and different from her old self.

Kyoko then goes to the rival agency of Sho’s, L.M.E. and begs the head of the talent section, Sawara to take her in. After much persistence from Kyoko, Sawara caves in and tells her that she has to enter L.M.E.’s audition first before they can recruit her. Kyoko meets Tsuruga Ren, the agency’s top actor and when he asks her why she’s so determined to get into this industry, she accidentally and forcefully blurts out that it’s for revenge. Disgusted with her motive, Ren doesn’t give her any encouragement and leaves.

Later on, at the auditions, Kyoko impresses the judges with something outstanding but she doesn’t get selected because they realise that there is no room in her heart for love, which is what they consider to be important if they want to excel in showbiz. L.M.E. invites Kyoko back and tells her that they created a new section just for people like her, called Love Me. Kyoko is appalled at first, because of the ridiculous name of the section and the outstanding hot pink suit that she has to wear around. Her job in this section is to help out as many people as possible and in return, if she does a great job, she would get awarded points. More points would lead her to her ‘graduation’ from the section.

We later find out that Kyoko has a talent for acting and honestly, those were the better parts of the anime. She realises that too and she decides to improve on her acting skills to also match up with Ren, whose acting skills are so good that he can incite a natural reaction/response from his co-actor or actress without effort. Kyoko also makes a friend whom she nicknames ‘Moko-san’ in the middle of all this.

The story goes on to show us Kyoko’s progress in her friendship with Moko and Ren and how she grows as an actress. She also starts to wonder halfway through the show if she’s now learning acting because she still wants revenge on Sho, because she wants Ren’s respect as a budding actor or because she truly loves acting and wants to do it for herself.

My personal favourite scenes are all the scenes that shows us Kyoko acting. She becomes amazing when she’s acting and taking on another persona. There was even a hilarious scene whereby she had to strangle Sho’s character for his music video and she did it for real, making the others panic and redo the scene many times.

There was also another scene near the end of the series that she had to act out as Mio, from a drama called TsukigomoriĀ and she had trouble figuring out her character. but when she finally got into character, her character was absolutely compelling and convincing. She exuded the hatred her character needed so well that the other actors and actresses were impressed and were able to act easily with her.

Because she brought her character Mio to a higher level that was even better than the previous Mio portrayed in the original movie, Ren feels pressured to act out a better Katsuki than the original one but he has a major problem. Ren doesn’t know how to express his love or feel love because he has never truly been in love, making all his romance scenes seem unrealistic. Kyoko promises to help him and we see the start of a new day.

So like I said, this anime isn’t one of my favourites, but if you watch it, you honestly wouldn’t mind it. It’s funny though, and surprising at some points. Overall, this anime would gain my favour probably in the storyline section, even though it didn’t have the best one.

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