Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Skip Beat #1-177 (Thoughts so far)

Here's another shoujo series I adore. Although I never really cared for the art or the style, I really enjoy the story. This manga covers the trials and tribulations of Kyoko Mogami, who selflessly followed her love, Shotaro Fuwa, out of their small town to help him in his venture into stardom. Unfortunately, she ends up finding out the hard way that he was using her all along, causing her to, no not break down, but fly into an almighty rage. She swears vengeance against him, and practically forces her way into his company's rival, L.M.E., so that she could beat him at what he does best: show business. The road isn't easy for her though, and she has to build her way up from the bottom of the barrel. Her initial audition is a failure, but Lory Takarada, L.M.E.'s awesomely crazy president,  is impressed by her determination and interested in her unique personality. He grants her a second chance through the company's "Love Me" section. That is, the section he just made up right there on the spot, because screw normality, he's the president!

Thus, Mogami is forced to handle various odd jobs in order to gain "points," which when she has accumulated enough, will be granted her own grand debut. Surprisingly, in spite of just wanting to become famous to get back at Sho, she finds a genuine talent and love for acting. She's capable of playing a wide range of characters, so long as she has the opportunity to build them up, and assume the persona (which, being a method actress, becomes her personality until her role is done). Ren Tsuruga, L.M.E.'s most successful and popular actor, initially dislikes Mogami for her impure reasons for joining show business. However, after seeing her genuine abilities, and being able to see her reasons evolve from revenge to true appreciation of the craft, he ends up being one of her strongest supporters (and major love interest, of course). In fact, Mogami's first big break ends up being a movie where she costars with Ren himself. To add to their dynamic, Mogami is one of the few people who can see past Ren's polite facade, especially when he's trying to hide his anger, and Ren actually knows Mogami much more intimately then he lets on. That's right! Secret childhood friends. Normally, such a thing can be frustrating for me, but it makes sense here. The childhood friend she remembers is blond hair and blue eyed, while Ren walks around with black hair and brown eyes (I think). Add several years not seeing each other, and anyone would be hard-pressed to make the connection.

Supporting characters include Kanae Kotonami (nickname Moko for some reason), Mogami's reluctant best friend and partner in Love Me, Yukihito Yashiro, Ren's intuitive and perceptive manager who sees Ren's true feelings for Mogami, and Shoko Aki, Sho's manager who's also perceptive of charge's feelings (also for Mogami, the little wiener), and works to help him grow up and realize it. So far, it's been a fantastic read. I especially love how Mogami is not your typically meek shoujo heroine, and isn't afraid to be angry and get her hands dirty. Plus, her downright supernatural ability to manifest her negativity into this adorable apparitions is just hilarious. I just hope there's some development between Ren and her soon, since it's absolutely killing him that continually get closer and closer, and yet still get nowhere. If only she could accidentally stumble upon him with his original hair and eye color, dammit! Even if that'd be a cop out, dammit! Ah well, I still love the read anyway!

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