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Skip Beat
by celinae on July 9th, 2007, 8:26pm

Rating - 9.6 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 4.86 out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 5 out of 5
Enjoyment - 5 out of 5
Overall - 5 out of 5

Click here for series information

(Warning: spoilers for the first few volumes ahead!!)

Compared to Tokyo Crazy Paradise, Skip Beat is definitely a more shoujo-comedy-drama-style manga. It doesn't have yakuza (well, pretty much not), police gaki, and violence abounds. Still, however much I liked TCP, and however much it was a true classic manga, I consider Skip Beat to be a level way above it.

Sure, in terms of plot, it isn't really that innovative, and some of the plot twists might be rather shoujo and cliched. It doesn't have the interesting subplots of mob politics. But that doesn't stop it from making my heart pound and letting feelings of giddy happiness overfill my brain whenever I read some of my favorite chapters of the series. In fact, this is one of my top favs--one of the few manga series that, once they're published, I consider buying all the volumes (including some in Japanese). Maybe the only series, on the other hand.. XD

The emotions in here, and the relationships between people, and how they are portrayed as they develop (especially the main pairing~~~), is really amazing--even if it doesn't seem like much in the first volume or so, every chapter you get a glimpse to the inner depth behind the story. For example, while Kyoko's past isn't something that some might have experienced first hand, Nakamura-sensei is extremely clever at showing the ways it might have affected her. And they're remarkably realistic, too, because things like that, so deep down, are present, but they're hidden so well behind other things that you can't quite tell if they're there, even though you might guess at it.

Because she has had such a hard time, what with her childhood and with Shou, you really want to support Kyoko, because she's strong, even though she faces so much in opposition. I find the way Nakamura-sensei shows Kyoko's acting skills, while potentially cheesy, is irresistible--I really want to see her grow as an actress.

While the cliched-ness I detracted from the score, it's still.. a great plot. Especially as you read further along the story, it gets harder and harder to wait for each chapter, and Nakamura-sensei makes the worst cliffhangers ever, it seems like. XD

All of the characters in Skip Beat are distinct, and really well developed. Each has a little quirk, or a history that defines them (well, except for Yashiro, I think.. he's more like comedic relief, or a foil to Ren, maybe.. and also some others in the show biz industry, but they're mainly minor characters, so it doesn't matter as much). The characters in Skip Beat are alive in a way that I find many other series can barely imitate.

Drawing Style
It's really nice, even if her style is kind of awkward in terms of anatomy (i.e. how guys are drawn, and the proportions of their bodies). You get used to it pretty quickly, though, and it doesn't really detract from the drawing style as a whole.

Nakamura-sensei has really matured as a manga-ka, and every page is very well arranged, and she has an excellent sense for portraying time, actions, and emotions. Her backgrounds are very good, and aren't skimmed over as much as many other shoujo manga-kas do in their work, plus she's a master at using tones (just check the first chapter, and you'll see!). Plus, Ren is a total bishie! xD There are multitudes of beautifully drawn scenes and pictures, throughout the entire series. Her style in SB is really much better than TCP, and I, when looking back at some old volumes I had, was amazed at how much better she became in terms of panel arrangement and the simple impact of her drawing.

This series, like I said, makes me giddy with happiness--the drawing, the characters, the relationships, the plot... There's comedy and romance to balance the angst and plot/drama. Even now, I still reread (for like the fifteenth time XD) some parts, because they're just amazing, not only because they're so squee-able (*cough* Ren *cough*), but because Nakamura-sensei puts so much art and effort into this series, and it shows.

My absolute favorite, and if you liked TCP, or shoujo, it'll definitely be yours. It's a lasting obsession, too--mine has already lasted nearly two years, and I still love it so much! XD

While we haven't gotten to the end, though, this story isn't about where they end up, but how the characters got there, and Nakamura-sensei shows extremely well. I truly recommend this series to you. ^^
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no objections ^_^ by ichigo_daisuki on March 29th, 2009, 12:11pm Rating: 5

Your review of Skip Beat really expresses the emotions of how both the manga and Nakamura-sensei can affect yourself and other fans. To be honest, what you wrote is exactly how I feel about the series but I never thought (specifically) about it before. I just thought it was great. Thanks to your review, I realized my true feelings of Skip Beat besides thinking "It's just great!" biggrin
excellent series by fushigidane on March 27th, 2009, 10:16am Rating: 5

the mangaka's rendering of facial expressions and kyouko's inner/outer demons are worth the price alone....
Nice review. by strawberryheaven on June 22nd, 2008, 1:02pm Rating: 5

I don't usually go for shoujo series as much as I used to (there's only a four shoujo series I'm in love with now). Seems like a lot of shoujo series are all the same and nothing different/ or original (from my point of view) nowdays.

I heard news of an anime coming out soon of this series so I'm taking the time to read reader's comments and your review really helps me get to know what to expect out of this manga so I'm ready to read this series for myself. Thanks for the review. ^^
No Subject by Lija-chan on March 27th, 2008, 7:58am Rating: 5

Very well put. Everything about you've mentioned are all very correct. I say...this manga is awesome as you say it. x'3

All thanks to Nakamura-sensei. -nods- This work of hers is by far the most beautiful thing that I've come across to in my entire life. xD
And...I'm still only 18. Lawl. xDD
No Subject by ~^^EtErNaL-wInTeR^^~ on February 12th, 2008, 11:31am Rating: 5

Love it. And you've mentioned everything very well in the review. ;D
I can't wait until the 20th volume comes out. I also hope we get to the romance stage soon.
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