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Impressions: Skip Beat

This is my most awaited release this fall, exceeding my excitement for Special A last time. Since I was a bit disappointed by Special A’s changes in plot and not-so-great art, I had been praying hard that they don’t murder Skip Beat, one of the best and crackiest shoujo manga I’ve ever read. I’m glad that at episode 1, I am very impressed and totally wanting more.

OPENING SONG: the generous – “Dream Star”

The opening is upbeat and fun. It reminds me of Full Moon wo Sagashite openings. It’s fun and has a powerful push and fits Kyoko’s personality really well. I like how they already included Kuon and the stone in the opening. The last scene with Ren looking at Kyoko’s large screen ad is very very giggle-inducing xD;.

EPISODE PLOT/SUMMARY: Episode 01

As mentioned in my Fall 2008 Anime Lineup post, Skip Beat is a story of revenge of a girl named Mogami Kyoko. Kyoko was invited by her childhood friend and secret love Fuwa Shoutaro to run away with him to Tokyo. Blinded by love, she agreed to keep an apartment with Shoutarou while the guy chases after his dream of becoming an idol/actor/singer.

Kyoko keeps the house, does part-time jobs to pay for bills and food, and still manages to chase after Shou as he becomes more and more popular. She buys his albums, runs after freebies, and gleefully cheers when she hears people talking about Shou. Because she’s Shou’s childhood friend, she knows how to keep Shou happy and laughing and content — or so she thought.

One day, after a night of trying to comfort Shou, who was sulking about a rival in the business (Tsuruga Ren), Kyoko decides to bring Shou, some food. She braves the fangirls and goes past the guards to cheer up the man she has devoted herself to.

As she enters, though, she hears Shou and his manager talking. Shou is trying to win his manager’s affection but his manager mentions the “girl he’s living with.” Shou dismisses Kyoko as an ugly, rural girl who doesn’t know anything. He even admits to treating her like a servant — because someone needs to keep the house.

A woman scorned, Kyoko knows he has gone to far. She cracked and furiously confronts Shou (threw him the food xD) and a myriad of evil spirits from her well-kept box flew out, inflaming her rage. She swears the Shou will pay for what he said.

Shou shrugs her off, telling her that he couldn’t be touched because unlike Kyoko, who is just a commoner, he is a popular celebrity. Because of that, Kyoko vows to get her revenge by entering showbiz herself.

She used the money she was saving up for her and Shou’s future and got a makeover. She moved out of the apartment and is eagerly looking forward to starting a new life: a life of making Fuwa Shou miserable for eternity.

ENDING SONG: 2BACKKA – Namida

I thought it was a Sunset Swish song at first. It’s calming, an opposite of the poppish opening song. I like how they portrayed Ren and Kyoko in the scenes, soft colors and meaningful expressions… While I was expecting a slow, girly song at the end, this one works, too. It’ll take a little time for me to catch the song and hum it. :P

ART/DESIGN: Hal Film Maker

I am very surprised that I love the designs and animations. They included all the things I like in Skip Beat manga: the exaggerated hand in Kyoko’s mouth, the rush of obsessed!Kyoko, the little evil spirits hovering around, the fat chibi heads. EVERYTHING (I  hope). I appreciate that they decided to copy the original artwork. I’ll be devastated if they didn’t.

There are times when Ren’s and Shou’s faces look a little off to the side, but Kyoko is very pretty.

SEIYUU: Inoue Marina, Miyano Mamoru, Konoshi Katsuyuki

First, Inoue Marina is great. I only remember her as the bubbly Mihashi Ruri in Oofuri, so I didn’t know how versatile she is. Her voice still lacks the “ARRGGHH” Kyoko power, but she is quite promising. She can carry the violent/rushed/cracktastic lines well and I hope she’ll stay that way.

Second, Miyano Mamoru is AMAZING. I kind of love Shou now XD;. Shou is half-Tamaki (Ouran Host Club), half-someone else. Miyano is such a talented seiyuu and I am always awed at how he could carry all sorts of roles (from noisy to stoic…).

Third, Konishi Katsuyuki, I am so sorry I misjudged you. As you guys may remember, I said I will hold my judgment for Ren’s seiyuu because I cannot get over the “Morikawa Toshiyuki should voice Ren” mode. But as I have heard Konishi-san, I think he’s PERFECT <3. I was hoping he wouldn’t make his voice too deep and he didn’t XD. He has produced a very cool and gentle voice for Ren that I am dying to hear more!

QUIRKS: Right now, I have no quirks! I’m sure some fans of the manga will object to this, but I am satisfied with the way the first episode was handled. I hope the coherence to the original plot as well as the art will persist until the end of the season.

And I hope this is a long anime. Oh, come quick, next week!
LOL, random cameo:

<3

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