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Skip Beat!, Volume 2

Review

Skip Beat!, Volume 2

written and illustrated by Yoshiki Nakamura

It was no surprise that I enjoyed volume two of Skip Beat! just as much, if not more, than volume one. As normally happens with a strong series, the lives of the characters are further explored and drawn out, providing the needed emotional hook to carry you on to the next installment.

Kyoko's resilience is highlighted in this volume, but she is happily not depicted as being so unflappable as to be cold or unapproachable to the reader. She has her self-doubt, which she experiences in this volume, causing her to consider giving up her quest for revenge. When she bounces back, the reader gets the feeling that she is starting to pursue this quest not just for revenge, but for some other as yet unexplored need.

At the beginning of volume two, we find Kyoko having seemingly given up her plan for revenge after flunking her L.M.E. audition. Happily, she gets over this fatalism quickly; I loved that one of the catalysts for this rebound was that her uncle, who disapproved of her plan anyway, disapproved even more of her giving up. This support from a parental figure gives her the drive to continue.

We also see in this volume the burgeoning of Kyoko's hidden talents. She had practical training growing up that, while seemingly unrelated to being a pop idol, stands her in good stead while acting. This series does a great job of gradually revealing the traits and talents of a protagonist. Not only does the reader not know everything about Kyoko, we get the feeling that Kyoko is discovering her talents and value as well.

The addition of the Love Me! section, where Kyoko can try to become an idol by doing deeds and getting stamps from those who she impresses, grants both a comedy to the manga and a way for Kyoko to allow herself to care for others again under the guise of pursuing her revenge. The idea initially sounds ridiculous and cliché, but it truly works for this series, and is something that hopefully will be carried over into other volumes.

We also (happily) see that Sho may not be as one-sided as he appears in the first volume. He remains unlikable, but there is remorse and jealousy beyond simply one-sided greed. Hopefully we will see the evolution of his character continue in future volumes.

Again, the art is intriguing in an almost realistic way, hard lines truly denoting Kyoko's determination.

Reviewed by Kyla Hunt on September 5, 2006

Skip Beat!, Volume 2
written and illustrated by Yoshiki Nakamura

  • Publication Date: September 5, 2006
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • ISBN-10: 142150586X
  • ISBN-13: 9781421505862