Skip Beat!

Title:Skip Beat!
スキップ・ビート! (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: INOUE Marina
KONISHI Katsuyuki
Kyoko has devoted her life to Shotaro. When Shotaro came to Tokyo to debut as a singer, she followed him and worked to provide for him. But one day, Kyoko overhears Shota telling his manager that Kyoko means nothing to him. She's just convenient, a housekeeper. This makes Kyoko furious, and she vows revenge on Shotaro. But Shotaro just laughs at her, saying she won't be able to touch him because he's now a popular singer and she's a nobody. So Kyoko decides to get into showbiz and become even more popular than Shotaro to humiliate him. Unfortunately, Shotaro has destroyed Kyoko's ability to love, and she discovers that it is a prerequisite for her to debut from her chosen company, LME. The president of LME puts her into a new section made for those who caught his eye but have something missing. It's name... Section Love Me. (Summary from ANN)

R1 (English) manga licensed by Viz Media
Animation by Hal Film Maker.
Series aired October '08 thru March '09.
25 TV Episodes (~25min each).

2009 Anime Reactor Award - BEST COMEDY STORY for 2009.

For more information, see - Wikipedia Entry.
Episode Details 
1893, 1894
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 7 7 7 6 9 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1858#1552]
(Buy-/ Rent+)

Been quite a while since I last found a shoujo title that I genuinely enjoyed. Skip Beat focuses on the challenges faced by our lead Kyoko in trying to become a successful actress as she learns that she wants to get more out of it besides being a tool to get revenge on her jerk of an ex-boyfriend and popular musician, Sho Fuwa. Some have called the series as something of a Cinderella story and the description seems mostly accurate as we learn of Kyoko's tragic and impoverished back story and dealing with the ramifications of being abandoned by those close to her. The emotional scars do affect her at the start of the series as she lacks the passion for wanting to enjoy acting at first as she only seen the profession as a means of seeking revenge on Sho. But as episodes progress, she does develop a genuine love for acting, sees it as something she feels motivated to excel in beyond her original goal of revenge and a number of episodes revolve around how Kyoko approaches a role she would be performing in.

Beyond Kyoko, some other characters get focused on within the world of stardom as they come to connect with Kyoko and we learn of their own personal challenges they struggled through to get to the point where they were at within their careers. Tsuruga's character is given the more prominent focus in his interactions with Kyoko as he seemingly hates Kyoko's motivations for persuing an acting career at first, before the changes in her motivations lead him to start supporting her and developing feelings for her. The series does drop hints that Tsuruga may have a more tragic past than Kyoko and he may have known her for far longer than she thinks, but the series abruptly ends before more of these aspects to the storyline could be explored. This weakness appears to be due to the title's manga source material still being ongoing as of this review.

Another issue I did find with the series at points came with its comedy. Scenes with it tend to pop up throughout a good part of the series, serving to either exaggerate on a conflict or emotional state affecting one of the characters or to lighten the mood following a rather serious development in the show's storyline. The title's comedic style was hit-or-miss for me as I had some moments where the humor focused on the former got me laughing, but others left me indifferent and usually had me feeling that they got in the way of the mood of serious scenes for the latter mentioned moments. Fortunately, the comedy does tone itself down as Kyoko's emotional state improves from adjusting positively to her new life as an actress and doesn't intrude too heavily upon later developments with her character and others.

The visuals to the series are rather standard for a late 2000s anime in terms of detail and design for characters and scenery. Details are clean and bright color is used to go along with the show's upbeat mood, but this and the animation for Skip Beat don't particularly stick out. The same thing applies to the show's soundtrack as it does its part to complement scenes in the series that fit for their intended purpose, but have nothing too memorable with them.

Gripes aside, Skip Beat is still one of the better shoujo titles I've seen recently as there hasn't been anything from the demographic that has seriously hooked me beyond a number of titles that came out during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The focus on Kyoko's growth as an actress is a compelling and enjoyable story worth seeing throughout Skip Beat's 25-episode run, alongside other characters in stardom who interact with her. If you're a shoujo anime fan, this is worth a definite look.

Last updated Saturday, November 01 2014. Created Saturday, November 01 2014.
Buy Jan-Chan [series:1858#967]
Just as Silence and Stretch have mentioned ... Skip Beat has somehow just charmed itself on to my 'really-want-to-watch' list.

Beneath the goofy humor and super-deformed scenes, is a strong 'Cinderella story' of a girl who initially gets into acting for all of the wrong reasons, but then finds out that she really likes to act (and she is actually good at it.)

Episode 14 has a weird little side story of a rival actress trying to attack her with a Colonel Sanders (CS) mannequin ... well, there is a 20+ year-old story about how sports fans tossed such a mannequin into the river and brought down the ''Curse of Colonel Sanders' on their baseball team.

(Talk about obscure references and abstract symbolism. How many times have you seen anime characters hide behind and/or use ↗CS mannequins as props? One should never use Colonel Sanders to try to whack your rivals!!!)

Wikipedia entry for ↗The Curse of the Colonel

If you enjoyed the off-beat and quirky comedy of the Ouran Koko Host Club or Lovely Complex series, then this title is something that you will NEED TO CHECK OUT!!

Last updated Friday, September 10 2010. Created Friday, March 13 2009.
Watch 10 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:1858#1393]
I Love this one and I would take turns switching from Vampire Knight guilty to Skip Beat. I love the plot and how she has those little demons that show up when she gets mad. but at the same time she has also learned to control them. If we were honest with ourselves we all have those little demons that can show up occasionally. This is a good one and I feel you will enjoy watching it.

Last updated Monday, March 09 2009. Created Monday, March 09 2009.
Buy 9 9 9 8 10 9 Silence [series:1858#2939]
(All episodes watched)

Just when I was wondering where the quality shows went...

"A strong Cinderella story" indeed! (or in the words of the 2nd op, a come from behind love story)

This series started with a huge bang. An idiosyncratic girl who is head over heels in love gets absolutely disillusioned with love. The result? A comedy worth dying for. (Actually, you simply die from too much laughing) Easily amongst the best comedies ever.

The unique and exaggerated depictions of hate, anger, depression, happiness ect shown on Kyoko (and later Ren and other characters) grips me right from the start. It is funny, it is expressive, it begs me to watch on. The interesting premise: the girl is stripped of her ability to love and hence seeks revenge, but will only be able to do so if she revives her ability to love. Kyoko brings us on a journey through the entertainment industry and shows us the other face of actors, while never ceasing to amaze us with her range of talents and her immense will.

Then comes Ren, the actor who is so good that other actors are influenced by his acting to pull off the exact expressions and reactions needed. At first he detests Kyoko's motivation but as time goes on and he starts to understand her plight. Furthermore, he and Kyoko have a history behind them (kyoko does not realise).

As the story develops, Kyoko starts to emerge from an errand girl into the limelight (She now stars in a major drama series, Dark Moon). Her amazing acting ability earns her the recognition and respect from others, notably Ren. By now their developing chemistry plays a huge role in this anime, and Kyoko's baser feelings begin to have less screen time. (Except in her showdowns, in reality or otherwise, with Shotarou. Speaking of which, the MV episode is really epic) She more or less graduated from LOVE ME section at the end.

In the end, when Ren fails to portray a character in love, it is with Kyoko's help that he found out the feeling of being in love (with... guess who?). The series ended without a (explicit) conclusion to the Dark Moon production, but definitely a good ending to LOVE ME and Kyoko's future is definitely bright. She's shining like a star.

Last updated Tuesday, October 27 2009. Created Monday, November 24 2008.
Buy Stretch [series:1858#628]
(Buy- or Rent+)

(All episodes watched):

Normally I try to resist watching more than one of my favorite series per day, in order to stretch the entertainment out by saving at least one for each day of the week. This Fall season, however, there has been such a flood of neat shows that I am actually starting to worry that I won't even be able to keep up with the first-class ones. And here is yet another winner! Skip Beat became amusing rightaway. The hardworking Kyoko Mogami is kind of crazy and thus likeable. What I wasn't expecting was when she freaked out after hearing her idol scorn her--that made me realize that this is a pretty neat show and left me eager for more. Kyoko's plan for revenge by becoming a celebrity herself may not be very plausible, but it makes sense after what she goes through. The first episode does a good job of establishing exactly what her goal and motivation is, which means I can root for her wholeheartedly. Provided she hasn't snapped and gone permanently evil, that is.

No, she's not permanently evil, but her angry, disillusioned personality out for revenge plays an important part in the show--how often is the main character of a series like this? You cannot blame her, of course, and the signs are that she'll become involved in romance again, in the process regaining the ability to love which she lost at the begining. This show was clearly aimed principaly at female viewers, but the jokes are good, especially when Mogami becomes angry. The SD mode images which reveal her angry self, and the demons and angels struggling to influence her behavior, are highly amusing. For awhile I was becoming a little impatient for something major to happen regarding her and the two boys, but something seems to be coming up.

The very first frame of episode 13 made me laugh, and reminded me of one of the principal strong points of this show: the expressive faces and superdeformed mode scenes. This show is precious, for the unpredictable wackiness within a plotline which nevertheless makes sense and is easy to follow. I think Skip Beat is my favorite Fall 08 series which has carried on into the Winter 09 season (and will surely outperform most, if not all, of the new series). Another thing I like is the way this show is neatly packaged, with each episode ending on a cliffhanger of sorts which leaves me eager for more.

This show definitely has a certain charm about it, for instance the way Kyoko and Tsurugi misunderstand each other in a clever and plausible way at the end. It's not often that a character endears his- or herself to me to the extent that Kyoko (and a number of other ones) have done here. This was a show where I put off watching the final episode because I simply didn't want it to ever end. When I realized that there were only five minutes left and the two still hadn't quite realized how they felt about each other, I became terrified that this might be based on an incomplete manga and there wouldn't be any definitive conclusion at all. Suffice to say that it was not the ending I was expecting, but a good one nevertheless. Perhaps it's indicative of the overall quality of Skip Beat that it can get by without delivering the ending which the viewer expects, and yet cannot be accused of shortchanging us in the slightest. If only there could be additional seasons of this series! Or, additional series of quality similar to that of Skip Beat.

My favorite line: "But now I see, when I feel that tiny bit of happiness, that means I'm in love what this chicken told me" --Tsurugi

Last updated Monday, April 13 2009. Created Monday, October 20 2008.

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