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Skip Beat
by turnip head on April 6th, 2009, 6:43am

Rating - 10 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 5 out of 5
Story/Plot - 5 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

A shoujo story about a girl who hates a man and seeks vengeance against him- while swearing off love- and *meaning* it? Not your typical girly manga. Kyoko kicks butt. The perseverance common in shoujo is displayed at itís best with this one. Sheís like the energizer bunny. Kyoko takes the sour lemons life hands her and makes unique, tangy lemonade. Sheís bitter- severely bitter but she knows it and wants to gain back the feelings sheís lost. While, of course, kicking the jerkís butt who tossed her aside at the same time. You know, as a side benefit. She drags supporting characters along with her, and within her triumph, leads them to their own. Who wouldnít love this plot?
Everyone is familiar, yet incredibly different than anything weíve seen before. Kyokoís got gumption and itís evident in everything she does. Sheís also bright, talented and a character who can stand alone in her own right. A shoujo heroine without the neediness- definitely not the norm. Itís as if the typical shoujo heroine could have been Kyoko *before* she saw what scum the guy she was wasting her affections on was. The expected and beyond is met again with the male lead. We get the feeling every other mysterious, handsome lead previously done in a shoujo was just a rough draft for Tsuraga-Ren. I love that heís the main character actively striving to help Kyoko reach her goals. Heís got *personality*. A temper, emotional hang ups, a soft side and all that delightfully packaged into a neat little box and kept hidden behind a discreetly polite mask. That only our heroine can crack. Even if the set up is trite (this is arguable), nothing about the way this has been done is. Because neither falls helplessly into the otherís arms and life makes them work through their various challenges before either can even fathom reaching the goal. Itís realistic in a way most shoujo couldnít even begin to be. Itís why we relate so well to these characters, main and supporting alike. Even the main antagonist has grown and changed throughout the story, as all real people do. And all the supporting characters who have challenged our leads have experienced change- all for the better, and thanks greatly to Kyoko.
Drawing Style
Nakamura-sesnseiís drawing style is very distinctive. Hers was one of the first manga I read and it jarred me when I came back to her particular brand of artistry after viewing other works. I remember blinking a few times and it seemed I had to readjust my brain. After that, it was as if other artists were the ones who were mundane and typical and banal. Few artists take a chance on their own brand of drawing like she does. Sometimes three or four artistsí works will mesh together in my head except for very small distinctions. Itís very easy to tell a Nakamura work. Itís unique and interesting and expressive. Not to everyoneís tastes, but certainly very memorable. Some of the scenes are positively delicious to view over and over again. No reading necessary. The depth of emotion, the detail of expression, the pure artistry of these emotionally charged moments makes me catch my breath. Half the time, the art tells as much, sometimes more of the story than the speech bubbles.
Absolute. Except, you know, when Iím itching for another chapter. I adore this series. Itís the ultimate shoujo. Because while it follows the general lines of its genre, it encompasses and showcases all that is best about it. Emotional growth, development of character and the possibilities a true love- realized or not- can bring.
When I have a friend interested in starting manga, I always give them the best example of the genre. I point them in the direction of Skip Beat.
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two thumbs up! by hyunwon88 on May 18th, 2012, 7:09am Rating: 5

Your review is the best. Skip beat is shojo at its finest and the more you read it the more you are hook to it. I am not a bias reader but every time I re-read this manga to find faults to it I only get addicted to it more. IMO Skip Beat shares the top spot with Basara, One piece, Hana yori dango and Dengeki Daisy.
well written by Banarok on October 30th, 2010, 11:27pm Rating: 5

it was a review easy to read and easy to relate to, I agree completely.
Awesome Review! by shojojunkie on November 25th, 2009, 8:40pm Rating: 5

I agree with this review. It sums up my feelings so well. It's the first and only "3 Dimensional" shojo I've read.

Everything makes sense because the reader never forgets the underlying reasons why the main characters act the way they do. From the way the main antagonist exposes the female lead's weaknesses, to the way the main male lead struggles with his memories and angst, to the way Kyoko herself goes "fangirl-y", child-like and just a tad crazy when faced with seemingly impossible situations. Nakamura never lets the reader lose perspective.

It's also the only "read between the lines" manga I've read. You're right, there's no need for words, the artwork speaks for itself.
Brilliant by Amber3 on November 15th, 2009, 6:22pm Rating: 5

Brilliant manga, the 'Glass Mask' of this century, will probably turn into a classic when it's finished. Read it even if you don't like Shoujo.
Nice review. ^_^
^_^ by yuzuru19 on May 20th, 2009, 11:45am Rating: 5

Really great review.I agree with everything said.Skip Beat! is one of the best-if not the best- shoujo out there,totally worth of its hype.Awesome job,recommended to anyone.
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