Love can make people do crazy things, even if it’s skipping high school to follow your boyfriend to Tokyo to begin his career as a rockstar. Admittedly, the popular rom-com Skip Beat may give bad presumptions when it’s revealed that the main character’s (Kyouko) sole motivation for entering showbiz is to seek revenge on her ex-boyfriend (Shou) by outshining him. In actuality, Skip Beat is just as fun to watch as its name portrays it to be. The plot itself is actually what brings out the comedy in the anime because of the characters’ reactions. The anime is not reflected on a girl’s life that revolves around her ex, but it focuses on how she discovers herself. Apart from the steady pacing, Skip Beat is also a prime example of how creators advertise a manga by ending the anime with a cliffhanger.
The pacing is steady and engaging, and there are no fillers. The dramatic and funny moments are perfectly balanced. Nothing is immediate, including Kyouko’s attempt at stardom. A romance story develops in the anime, and the steady pacing is fulfilled by showing no intimacy within the series. The story also reflects on other characters instead of solely Kyouko, so the viewer gets to learn of situations from those characters’ points of view.
The only problem with Skip Beat is that the story is incomplete. The romance is still in development and has a while until it fully blooms. Kyouko has a past with another main character that was shown in brief clips in later episodes, but it is never fully revealed. Kyouko is clueless about it, while the other character still keeps it a secret. Additionally, a new subplot was introduced near the very end of the series, and a solution is never reached. Although the story itself is incomplete, the creators did a good job on giving a hopeful ending. All of the characters were given a reflection, and it gives the viewer enough for the imagination. Since there has been no talk of a second season for the past four years, the viewer is left with no choice but to read the manga in the meantime.
Instead of a weak-hearted female lead that is usually present in shoujo anime, Kyouko is an aggressive and driven individual. All characters have their own personality, and it’s cool that some actually address the stupidity behind Kyouko’s motivation for showbiz. The main characters and supporting characters all balance out the theme of the anime. There are some characters with huge egos, contributing to the comedy as Kyouko enters the entertainment world by taking one step at a time. The contribution of the other characters also helps Kyouko develop into an independent and strong woman.
The “Character” category would have a perfect score of 10, but the interruption of the subplot placed a halt on some of the characters’ development.
The animation is unique from most other anime. Apart from the plot itself, the animation is to thank for the comedy. Demonic and depressing auras, along with emotions, are drawn hilariously with ghostly figures. Also, the characters’ designs as chibi are both funny and adorable. The colors are exceptionally vivid and bright in the character and background designs, giving off a refreshing and fun atmosphere to the anime.
The voice actors were superb. Marina Inoue (voice of Kyouko) did an excellent job separating her innocent vs. aggressive voices to fit Kyouko’s split personality. “Dream Star” by generous is upbeat and expresses Kyouko’s confidence within herself. The OP and ED changed at Episode 20 as there is more love affection shown between characters. The background music is played at the right moments and fits the moods of each episode.
Skip Beat was very entertaining. I was desperately looking for a rom-com, and Skip Beat was often recommended. I turned it down several times in the past because of the synopsis. I was disappointed with no immediate romance, but the steady pacing caused the anime to exceed my expectations. The comedy and Kyouko’s determination are what mostly kept me watching. After the first episode, I became anxious to watch the next episodes to watch Kyouko achieve her goal. I disliked how some characters’ pasts were not emphasized and how a new subplot was introduced near the end. Now I’m reading the manga to complete the story.
Skip Beat is unique from other Shoujo anime, and it’s all thanks to a strong female lead. The drama and comedy are balanced, and the plot is irresistible as you’ll become drawn to the story and feel the need to watch it ‘til the end. It is meant to advertise the manga by leaving the viewer with a cliffhanger. As someone who read the manga after completing the series (starting at Chapter 67), I say that jumping on the Skip Beat bandwagon is definitely worth the ride.
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