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From Anime Waves:
Shiho is a "private actress" who works for a production company. She also does personal assignments that needs her to pretend to be a different person. She takes on assignments for people and takes on the personality of the person who they are pretending to be.
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Excellent and gorgeous
This is a classic, gorgeous manga talk about acting. Unlike Glass Mask, the play-acting in this manga is used in the real life, which is quite new and interested, even until now. The story is not exciting, but warm and elegant, with many things about life, friends, family, love.
As for the art, it's a classic shoujo style, really soft and beautiful.
I had read this long times ago, but it's still one of my favorite shoujo.
Worth your time
This is a really captivating manga. So far I've never liked manga featuring acting, young people in the theatre scene and the like; but this one is different. The PA theme might seem weird but it's really well executed. Do give it a try, it's a very enjoyable read.
This is one of the best acting-related manga I have ever read. As good if not better than Skip Beat!, depending on your taste. It's more focused on the acting of a Private Actress. It's very "episodic"--the theme or acting environment changes every chapter; every chapter Shiho acts as someone else. And she's quite good.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The girl, Shiho, is not in the entertainment business. She is a PA (Private Actress). She gets hired by people who want her to act like someone else--that may include acting as the reincarnation of a dead daughter, someone's lover, or a middle school student (she's in high school). She's a fantastic actress--some people call her a "genius." She is reluctant about becoming an entertainment actress because her father and mother are very known actor and actress. She is a love-child from their affair. Her father is a married man. Her mother is single.
If you want some sort of romance in this, you will get it, but in small doses since the romance is just a sideline plot. So far (chapter 27), the romance is not a happy ending one yet, but still very much hopeful.
Even though she is not in entertainment business, she sometimes acts as an extra in films. Lately in the manga, she has started to come out of her shell and started acting professionally. I'm really looking forward to more chapters!!
... Last updated on October 8th, 2011, 8:23pm
opinion and culture note
An enjoyable read! At first I thought the way that the author kept including random famous people was kind of spazzy, but then I started looking up the people I didn't know and it was really fun!! Another thing I liked was how varied the people were. Murderers and sick people, people in love or escaping from it, and then our beloved/hated main character and antogonist!
SIDE NOTE: In c.27 the guy says his son looks stupid, but it isn't an insult! In Japan you have to be very humble, so if he had praised his son it would have seemed rude.
I read this long ago and like it very much, truly want to read it again. Give it a try and you will like it. What a pity the project was dropped.
... Last updated on September 11th, 2007, 3:29am
I have fond memories of the live-action series, which is played more for comedy. The manga is good too.
One of my first
I remember reading this as one of my first mangas. Yet I never had a chance to finish it fully. Today I did.
I liked it a lot back in the day. One thing was for the beautiful drawings, and another was the suspension and detective feelings it gave. Thing is, many mangas which I enjoyed when I was younger can't really hold up to my expectation when the older me revisit them. Gladly, P.A. did. For the first time since a very long time, I concluded the series today.
The drawing is very generic. But somehow the mangaka made it possible to recognise certain people, especially the key ones. The plot improved a lot towards the middle to the middle end. However, as commented by many others, it was a rush-ending. I'd like to learn so much more, especially Kana's dark past and what sort of hell did she went through. A lot of things were left unanswered and explained. But all in all, if you don't mind that, and you like short, succinct, and somehow good polished pieces, definitely, you won't hate it, rather feeling the same as I do. It is just the trait of Michiyo where her mangas are quite "shallow". But again, they leave somewhat of impressions that follow you, especially P.A. as I believe this should be the best of her works.
Because it was one of my first loves, so I ought to make it easier. To a child heart, it is forever a 10 for me.
I LOVE THIS
This manga (and skip beat) were the two manga that made me fascinated with the acting genre. It's unique in its approach and the main character's job is quite interesting! I love how many different characters we got to see--I just still haven't had enough! Need more!
Could, should have been more.
The episodic nature of P.A. works kind of, but it could have been much better. As PrincessVera says in her review below, "The plot could be tied together better, but isn't.". For instance, c22 ends on a strong note, and yet c23 feels almost entirely unconnected to it. In general, it takes Shiho way too long to make her mind up about whether she wants to stay as a P.A. or whether she wants to become a real actress. What could have been one or two decisive and strong moments was stretched out over far too many chapters.
To that, I have to add that I found the ending of v8 unsatisfying. But more importantly, the author put supernatural stuff into tons of chapters - that doesn't add mystery; it just kills suspense. Specific examples: Once in v2, once in v3, divination in v5, astral projection or something in v6c20, hand reading in c21 (plus an awkward use of multiple personalities), a string breaks to signify bad luck in c22, etc. Finally, a recurring villain appeared, and Shiho didn't report them to the police for no reason whatsoever. As a result, more people got hurt or died in subsequent episodes...
This story could have been far stronger with a less episodic nature and no supernatural stuff. (And if supernatural stuff felt necessary, it should have been introduced as part of the setting, like Kyoko's vengeance in Skip Beat.)
... Last updated on November 12th, 2013, 8:22am
A good read
Private Actress is a manga that captivates its readers with something new and different in the beginning. Its one of the better acting mangas I have read (Skip Beat being THE best). I thought the story got a little slow as it progressed and the ending feels a bit rushed. I wished the mangaka slowed the ending and/or had more chapters between Chiomi and Shiho.