After being repeatedly slapped around the face by rabid fan boys and girls insisting that I *must* watch this show, my alabaster skin could take no more and so it was time to relent and finally watch Skip Beat. From my experience, a series that appeals to a wide range of anime fans usually doesn’t have the necessary je ne sais quoi to win me over. The mushy synopsis and average looking screenshots have never particularly grabbed me, but niggling curiosity made me want to find out for myself just what was so special to have set tongues a wagging at Anime-Planet.
One of my biggest pet hates in anime, specifically romantic anime, is a weak female lead - one that unquestioningly follows a handsome guy, who is a complete bellend to her. It may well happen in real life, but entertainment should be an escape that you can enjoy, and the feeble minded frauline that has become a frayed shojo anime stereotype is more likely to make me rage than empathise. Twenty minutes into the first episode, and I’m feeling the anger bubble; Kyoko spends her entire life acting as a servant for Sho, an idol who hardly even registers her existence, and yet she adores him! Choking back the bile, the final 2 minutes come as a pleasant surprise, setting the scene perfectly for the remainder of the show. Our naive little girl has spunk, and plenty of it.
Using the noble excuse of revenge to forge her career in show business, Kyoko doesn’t have things easy and this is one of Skip Beat’s strongest points; she doesn’t become an instant darling of the stars, and her temperamental nature make things even worse for her career but also shows her human side. Although her fury is highly amusing, I found myself cheering for the underdog and really wanting her to succeed. While the introduction of Ren has most sane women drooling, he also gives the female protagonist an excellent polar opposite to bounce off of. With an expectation that our heroine will drop at his feet, it is like a breath of fresh air that she instead continues as a strong and independent personality.
Although Skip Beat is utterly irresistible and forces you to instantly fire up the next of each twenty-five episodes, my expectations of feeling warm fuzzies from a romantic conclusion were dashed as the show simply stops. No resolution, merely the intriguinging promise of a next stage. Sadly, this happens just as the real gritty drama kicks in when Sho and Ren realise they are more than pretty boys and do actually have emotions. I will push my way to the front of the queue if there is ever a second season, but as it stands I can’t help but feel a twinge of disappointment at being left hanging.
Looking at the bold characters parade across the screen, my initial gut thought was “ick”. My second reaction to the onscreen chibification was sudden laughter. Somehow, the temperamental animation quality seems utterly perfect for Skip Beat. The bishies are just a little too elongated, Kyoko’s eyes take up about 50% of her face, and exaggerated reactions are ridiculously over the top, but isn’t this the manga way? The show knows exactly what its predominant strong points are: the story and characters.
Although predominantly headlined by the fabulously melodic voice of Marina Inoue and her inner monologues, all of the vocal cast are superb. Ren's deep voice will set knees a trembling as the seiyuu for Haji from Blood+ gives an astonishing amount of depth to a typically stereotyped character.
Although I usually detest fluffy, romantic j-pop bile, the soundtrack found a special place in my heart. Fun and upbeat, the audio is another part of Skip Beat that goes to emphasise the stronger sections of the show.
Kyoko, I love you. Kyoko, I adore you. Kyoko, I want to *be* you. Never before have I felt such empathy as that for Skip Beat's leading lady. Her refusal to simply roll over or bow down to the guy running her life makes a nice change from much of the harem anime to have recently graced our screens. Fun, spunky and very realistic, Kyoko should be crowned a modern day heroine for her ability to deal with beautiful boys without becoming too distracted. I don’t think my resolution would be that strong...
Sho and Ren are the token eye-candy, but prove they have actual substance underneath their delicious exteriors. As the utterly detestable ex-love interest, Sho plays the perfect antagonist. You hate him, and yet his performance in the dark moon arc will have all female viewers wondering if an animated character, of all things, is single. Ren is much more complicated, though sadly was cut off in his prime by the abrupt series finale. His profession that he has never loved anyone else could have produced some serious romance, but I guess those in charge felt this side of him was better saved for a second season.
Soon EN Version.
Yosh publique français! Parlons de l'anime Skip beat!
Une sorte de Nana Like mais assez differant tant au niveau de l'humour que la personalitée des personnages.
L'animé est une source d'évasion des bons moment de rigolades mais surtout des personnages attachant.
Il est a noté que l'anime n'a pas de saison 2 annoncé. La suite est pour le moment à lire en Manga.
Wonderful Anime!!!!! The story is Awesome....... Kyoko is wonderful. She is, at the beginning, sometwhat boring, and seems to only think about Sho, but at the end, her acting skills bring out her true character. Also, Ren is her arch enemy but yet, there is definately romance going on between them. If you are a lover of romance anime, I definately recommend this. Im an actor, so this also helped me in that aspect too!
Story: Skip Beat starts off about a typical shojo girl who slaves away for the one she loves only to be dumped by him when he decides she's no longer necessary. Rather than crying and giving up on life, she exacts to get revenge on him by joining show-biz and outranking him. Ah Skip Beat, how I loved this anime so. I kept hearing from others how great and hilarious this was and so I caved and watched it. Man, am I glad I did especially since it completely lived up to its hype. It's downright hilarious, charming, original, and the characters are absolutely wonderful. The anime doesn't disappoint except for the rather abrupt and not-so-great ending which is why I took some points off. It just ends and leaves you hanging. It was like the end of an episode, not a season or anime.
Animation: Vibrant, rich in color, the animation was quite lovely. The chibis were adorable, and the dark auras were done just right. The animation was suited to the scene accordingly and really brought it to life. The only problem I had were the bishies. They were supposed to be attractive but I was not a fan of their elongated faces but other than that I liked the animation.
Sound: The beginning and ending were catchy and suitable to the anime. I was quite fond of the ending but the beginning felt kind of generic. The soundtrack was suitable to the mood and never felt out of place but was forgettable. The voices on the other hand were definitely not forgettable. They perfectly portrayed their characters and breathed life into them when they could easily have been flat. All the voices were done wonderfully. Nothing to complain about there.
Characters: The best part of this anime...Kyoko, Kyoko, Kyoko. I love her. She is not a pushover, has determination, is touch and spunky, has the funniest dark auras and expressions that I've seen, and is still somehow so cute at the same time. It's hard not to root for her even when her motives aren't the purist. Ren is perfect to counter Kyoko and put her in her place every now and then and their dynamics are just hilarious. His character development is done so nicely that he has depth and yet remains a mystery. Sho is just the right villian. You want him to get his just revenge as much as Kyoko because he is just so selfish and arrogant. The other characters all have depth and go beyond stereotypes.
Overall: A must-see for males and females of any age. It's refreshingly original and still stands out in my mind. Besides the ending, I was a huge fan.
Skip beat, this is an anime I do not know where to start. When the first volume came out of the manga, i distinctly remember buying it just for the hell of. I was pretty young at the time and then I happened to find this anime many years later [2010ish] and vaguely had a memory of reading the first volume but never continued for some strange reason. I watched it ..now four times and counting,
This story follows a young 16 year old girl on her journey for revenge on her ex celeb boyfirend Shotaru. Kyoko is a spunky, passionate and talened girl who basicaly let her pandora box open. She enters the show biz world in order to gain revenge and surpass her ex in every aspect of show iz possible. Enter Ren, a 20 year old actor who at first did not get along well with Kyoko due to her goal. However, they warm up to each other and you see towards the end how their relationship starts to change. The story it self is really good. I love this anime to the point that when i rewatch it i get hooked on it all over again.
The characters I believe are all very interesting, Ren's character all around has different side and you see it throughout the anime. Kyoko makes this anime great, she is spunky, caring, talented and determined. Ren's manager is a hoot, Yashiro-san always made me crack up.
Overall I feel like if you are looking for an anime you will get hooked on, watch this, it is very good and the plot is different. Sadly the ending is left at an open ending and there is no hope left [well for me] that a second season will be made, but the ending makes it seems as if one will be made. [5+ years? i dont think so]. The manga however is still being written and is on chp 213. I also think reading the manga after watching the 25 episodes may leave you with a more complete story, even thought the arcs take longer than a regular manga to end.