I went into this manga thinking it would be a good laugh, something surprisingly shallow... But it was the complete opposite. The more I read, the more engrossed I became. Skip Beat! pulls you in and under. The beginning is a bit slow, but once you get past the initial catalyst for the story everything get much more interesting very quickly.
The protagonist is fabulous and I fell in love with her by the end of chapter two. Her development is very interesting but there are a couple of aspects to her that never change. Her determination and self-worth. She isn't your typical heroine. She doesn't fawn over her love interest (in fact there isn't one for quite some time!). Kyoko is still working out her place in the world, but she is still sure of herself. Whenever she starts to doubt, Kyoko usually can set herself straight (or one of her friends does). She's funny and idealistic but cynical about love. She is a woman scorned but that doesn't take away from her character. Instead that fuels her until she realises that her goal isn't to beat Sho, she's doing it for herself because she loves acting.
Complex. So so complex. His background is shrouded in mystery. Ren is not all that he appears to be. In fact, Kyoko is one of the few people who can see through his shining face to the underlying feelings beneath (honestly it's one of the funniest parts of the. story) Kyoko is one of the few people he can connect with. He likes her as a person and is willing to help her in any way he can. Kyoko sees him as her superior and treats him as such, later on it pains him. Ren's feelings are conflicted and sometimes he has to figure out whether or not he's being selfish with Kyoko. What is interesting is that he never really has the cliche "what is this feeling". When he develops feelings for her, he knows he does. And it makes his heart sink. Truly, his backstory is one of the most complicated and interesting I've seen.
The two together:
Kyoko and Ren's interactions range from hilarious to heartbreaking. Both struggle with their feelings for the other. However what is interesting is that to both of them, the job comes first. The two refuse to let their work suffer because of feelings. It's admirable and I enjoy seeing their work ethic.
The other characters are compelling and could be the protagonist of this story easily. Each character has their own backstory and enjoyable to watch. I find myself looking forward to seeing Yashiro, Maria and the President. This is a very good story with a compelling plot. If this genre of manga doesn't appeal to you, I urge to read it anyway. Once the ball gets rolling, you'll be invested in Kyoko's story.