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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Just Another Manga Monday - Skip Beat 29 by Yoshiki Nakamura

I feel like this is the last piece of a puzzle. I was able to post regularly until vacation and it took me a month and a half to recover. Of course, in that time, I had the New York Comic Con, storage facility boxes in my living room still to deal with, a hurricane, a winter storm, a friend visiting from out of town, 6 days of no power from the hurricane and I'm still working 10 - 15 hours over time per week. It hasn't left me a lot of time.

This, though, is the last regular post I was doing that I needed to start up again and does it feel good to be back in the swing of things.

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites.

This week, I give you Skip Beat 29 by Yoshiki Nakamura.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release Date: October 2, 2012 | Series: Skip Beat (Book 29)
Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!
On the way to the Dark Moon wrap party Kyoko bumps into her cast mate Kijima. He’s never paid her any attention before, but he heard that people called her beautiful when they saw her in her Natsu role. Kijima can’t contain his curiosity and buys Kyoko a total makeover for the party. But is his interest innocent, or does he have wicked plans in store?!

My Review:
I am finding that quite a few of the series I read regularly are starting to drag a bit and I was wondering if it was me. Kind of like a soap opera where dramatic music, close up camera work with over the top facial expressions and some sharp camera cut aways make it seem like there is more going on than there really is, or at least that things seem much more dramatic than they really are. I was beginning to despair.

Skip Beat had been dragging a bit, but I am happy to say that issue 29 starts to pick up the action again.

Half the book is the wrap party for Dark Moon. Kyoko shows up in her school uniform. What's up with that? Do Japanese teens really have no dress clothes forcing them to wear their school uniforms to every fancy occasion? As I feel I will never get an answer to that question, moving on.

Kijima, arrives at the same time Kyoko does. Kijima is a bit of a slime I must say, but regardless. He takes her to the salon and pays to rent her a dress and have her hair and make up done. When he sees what a beauty she turned out to be, he suddenly seems very interested in her and asks her out. Kyoko, not realizing he is serious, says yes and it is all down hill from there. Ren sees her all dolled up on the arm of Kijima and smiles his fake gentleman's smile and she knows she's in trouble.

Finally we see Sho again. The press is at the wrap party interviewing the cast members. Ren and Kyoko are interviewed together and Sho's manager sees the interview. She does everything in her power to prevent Sho from seeing Kyoko on television. Sho was in only briefly, but at least we have seen him again.

The second half of the book heralded the return of the Heel siblings. This is the role Ren was preparing for a few issues ago. The production has finally started. The trick is that know one knows he is Ren Tsuruga. He has a totally fake back story, looks like the devil and only speaks English. He has Kyoko with him who is playing his sister and she is actually translating the Japanese into English for him.

Murasame is the star of the show and he seems to be a bit of an arrogant jerk. When Cain Heel shows up, he seems to feel a little threatened and does that postering thing guys sometimes do. Then Murasame makes the mistake of coming on to Kyoko which doesn't go over well with either Heel sibling.

Will Ren be able to pull off a character playing a character without anyone finding out who he really is? If he taps into the great well of darkness within, will Kyoko still be his good luck charm? Has Murasame bitten off more than he can chew and made an enemy of Cain Heel? It looks like the pace is definitely picking up in the series and I can't wait to find out what happens next!
Skip Beat 30 is due out February 5, 2013.

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