Skip Beat! – Love Me = Unbitchify (05-07)

November 20, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in Skip Beat! | 8 Comments
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Woo! Three cheers for ten times easier full arc posts! Now I can do fun little titles and I’ve cut my work by…well more than half. Doing it this way also makes it a lot easier to enjoy Skip Beat! since I don’t really have to worry about trying to say something about a scene I experienced like…four years ago or something.

Yup. This way is much better (for now).

Well the anime has gotten a lot more interesting with Ruriko’s arc, just like the manga did. The complaints that can’t be fixed are still there (low budget = lazy animation and the music still bothers me).

Doing things in my new full arc blogging gives me a chance to blog in a little bit of a different way. To be honest, the screencap-comment blogging is really easy and also constricting. It’s fine for a series like Shugo Chara! which either gives enough excitement or is basic enough for a screencap to prompt a thought. But the Skip Beat! anime…not quite the same.

Oh yeah and…Taiwanese drama became official (though I’ve known about it for about half a year…). Since dramas are almost guaranteed to be different from a manga, I’m probably going to blog it (in my Skip Beat! anime category), but…I am only going to be able to watch and blog it if some kind soul decides to sub it.

Ruriko Arc

sb05-01I’d essentially call Ruriko’s arc the first arc of the series. Before this you have everything which can just be collected together as the introduction. You can’t even quite call it the audition arc because it doesn’t revolve around Kyoko’s audition. It starts before the audition and ends after. it’s just an introduction.

But Ruriko’s arc starts with meeting Ruriko and ends with Ruriko…well it ends when she stops being a bitch and actually gives Kyoko a 100 point stamp. When she turns into a proper human being.sb05-02

It really does strike me as odd sometimes. While Kyoko is on a mission to find her feelings of love and become a “proper human being” again, she actually helps others find their way more often than she helps herself.

Or at least to more of a degree, Kyoko grows in every arc, but at this point it really seems to be more about showing more of and developing Kyoko’s character. Kyoko’s determination has come up a lot before, but it was in this arc that we really got to see how far it can take her (it can even prevent her from fainting) and how it can even affect others.

sb06-01Yeah. At this point in the story I think that every arc has a theme. The introduction was rather simply “revenge” and I’d say this one is “determination” or maybe more like, “having pride in one’s work” and being determined about that specifically.

At this point, the Love Me idea ends up working a lot better and practically than any of its detractors (obviously Ruriko for one) could imagine. Kyoko is trying to do a good job so she can get points and doesn’t really care that much about making people love her. But! Somehow she manages to do it anyway. And she continues to slowly pull people over to her side (I hope that’s not a spoiler).sb06-02

The anti-shoujo (as far as Kyoko being all gun-ho for revenge) has it’s very good shoujo moments. It’s probably the most common theme in shoujo afer romance. Turning enemies into friends.

Except Sho. He’s enemy number one and we kick him to the curb!

Speaking of Sho, I feel bad for Kyoko because her mind is still so firmly stuck on him. To the point where she can’t even see some of her own accomplishments. It’s true that a lot of what she used in the acting battle, she learned for Sho, but not all of it. That determination which she wanted to use to knock Ruriko down a few notches was all hers. You can chalk it up to the influence of her grudge demons, but we get to see later that she’s always been a vengeful little thing who believes in JUSTICE!

sb07-011It’s difficult to keep it so vague without spoilers, I wish I could explain better.

But also, the way Kyoko appears when she wears make-up is all hers! Though it’s not something she necessarily can do herself just yet. But the attitude she has when she’s got her make-up is once again, all hers.

However, these sad revelations of Kyoko’s (that she’s “empty”) don’t keep our beloved heroine down for long. Determination will absolutely lead her to discover her own way! To a Kyoko that purely belongs to herself! And the creation of many other “selves” as well~ (Keeping it vague~). The real story in SKip Beat! is Kyoko growing as a person. I think I said it before, her revenge against Shotaro is just the icing on the cake.sb07-02

So, a lot happened in the first real arc of Skip Beat! but now we’re up to episode 07. However, as much happened, there’s still at least ten times as much that needs to happen. If this anime is going to be 24 episodes like I think…I wonder how many arcs we’ll even get through (well I assume it’ll take 2-3 episodes for each, so we’ll see).

Lasting Developments

Since Skip Beat! is such a long series, so new things are always getting introduced, even as lat as 100+ chapters when we got to see a family member of one of the characters for the first time.

So even at episode 07, new important points for the story are still being introduced. As the story goes on, we’ll probably have less, but I’ll keep this section going as long as I can!

Love Me

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Actually, I don’t think this is any big development, but it’s worth a definite mention considering how many arcs are started by a need for the Love Me section. Quite simply, it’s Kyoko’s ticket to the gate of the world of show business. She’ll have to get through that gate herself of course. Using her guts!

Shoujo Elements

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Whee~ It is a shoujo manga after all. I mean, I guess you could stick Skip Beat! in the less well0known and surprisingly shunned GIRL POWER section of shoujo manga, but even so…those manga usually don’t have a heroine who acts like a villain sometimes.

But with the unbitchification or Ruriko (turning her into a nice “frenemy”) we have our classic shoujo. Let’s be friends with everyone~

But of course when it’s Kyoko, it’s done in that Kyoko way.

Kyoko’s Resolve

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So we all know about Kyoko’s determination, but that was for the sake of revenge. Now we get to see Kyoko step back a little to focus on herself as well. She hasn’t made too much progress yet (it’s a long series), but every journey begins with one step. The fact that even though Kyoko hates love that she wants to get the ability to love back…says a lot about her. She’s a good girl~ (which is why we should all throw slugs at Shotaro for being such an ass).

I mean, I don’t think any one would expect her to trust people again after being betrayed by a boy she knew all her life (and she doesn’t even have any other people in her life to fill that void). So it really is admirable that she wants to try nonetheless.

Kyoko’s Good Feelings

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Probably goes along with the shoujo elements to some degree, but…our vengeful Kyoko got the chance to step back a little for the first time. She still has her, “LOVE IS THE WORST” opinion, but she’s not so against helping people. She got back a little bit of her idolization.

Of course Ruriko smashed that to pieces, but you still get the feeling that it’s there. Somehow.

Yashiro’s Insights

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Yashiro is the person who spends the most time around Ren, so it’s only natural that he knows Ren best. So, when he brings up the idea that maybe Ren used to get into fights…I wonder who we all should believe? Mr. Lying and Saying Mean Things While Smiling or our megane manager!!! It’s up to you.

RenxKyoko

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Well. It’s barely there, but at least it’s there more than it was before. Or to put it in another way, Ren’s not just super-bullying Kyoko. I mean, he is bullying her, but…not just. They had some real interaction in this episode…and it was slightly positive.

…I give up. Basically, we got our shoujo background going (that image can so easily be manipulated for shipping purposes!). We can start this incredibly slow relationship development now.

Kyoko’s Family

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It was there a little in episode 03, but we got another peek at the circumstances that lead Kyoko to live with her mom. Once again, I hate being the person that gives out spoilers, but I really wish that all those peeks would lead us somewhere already.

Kyoko’s Cinderella Transformation

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Make-up + Plain Kyoko = Bishoujo!!! Teaching girls every where that even if you’re plain, if you put make-up on that even you can be Cinderella (I don’t mean it to sound bad, it’s actually a common message in shoujo…).

Honestly, the transformation didn’t seem that big of a deal to me in the manga (until Natsu’s arc I suppose, but attitude played a lot into that), but the change in Kyoko’s character design helped make the “transformation” more apparent. In the manga Kyoko was already so cute that the make-up just made her look different. So, a good change from manga to anime.

Kyoko’s Lifestyle

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Well I’m not sure if it’s a “lasting development” but it’s important. All of that traditional upbringing in an inn is a definite part of what makes Kyoko…Kyoko. And here we get to see a whole lot of what she learned.

Kyoko’s a rarity! The ideal of a Japanese girl! *shockgasp* Actually that does come up later. Huh. Just noticed something kind of.

Ren > Everyone

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Well first he completely showed Shotaro why he’s the number one guy in show business (but I’ll get to that later). Then we got to see why he’s not just loved by girls, but why everyone he works with sees him as a real professional. Because he is. He’s the best in the business and if you’re acting opposite him, he’ll force a better performance out of you than you could do yourself.

So yeah. Ren > Everyone. Remember it.

Acting

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It’s kind of odd that its takes us this long to get to one of the real repeating themes that come up so often, but it’s a huge series so you can give it some slack.

Now we can finally set the record straight (no thanks to ANN). Kyoko =/= Idol. Kyoko = Actress. It’s not a spoiler, because that’s what she wants to do. It becomes apparent in the final episode of the arc. It’s also what she tries to start her career off with.

Grudge Number Two

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Well, technically we don’t get fully into this until episode 08 it seems (woo! Voodoo dolls ftw!), but yeah. Ren’s a bully. And bullying isn’t something Kyoko takes lightly. Hohoho~ (too bad for Kyoko that we already went over Ren > Everyone)

Spotlight

There was that little bit of transitional “filler” before Ruriko showed up in episode 05 which is important. Not the gum cleaning stuff though (I’m so glad they cut that down), but…this:

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Well, we already went over the fact that Ren > Everyone so I don’t think we need to really go over what happened here (except just to say that Sho is a childish loser). However, it’s important. There’s three main characters in the series and two of them just met for the first time. Also, this being shoujo…well yeah.

Then we have the fact that Ren got to see just a little bit of the person Kyoko despises. Now he gets to see that he’s really an ass. Not that it makes him any nicer to her.

And it’s so much fun to watch Shotaro get all worked up to see him so easily brought down with a smile. Go Ren, go!

So the spotlight gallery:

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Rather useless, but whatever. I don’t care. As long as it gets the point across (the point is Ren > Sho).

Random Screencaps

Because it’s impossible to escape the way I’m most familiar with blogging right now.

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Kyoko…doesn’t learn her lessons easily, does she? Every time she focuses on skipping right to the top of show business, something bad happpens…

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…like this.

Oh lol. Love Me jumpsuit. lol is all I can say.

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Kyoko and her fairytale delusions fantasies. She’s so wonderfully viscious at times, and a naive little girl at others…

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Booo! Shotaro you suck! *throws various objects*

You’ll rue the day that you turned your back on Kyoko! You better start soon or it’s just going to make you suffer more in the long run.

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I can’t say why I loved the addition of this scene so much (though precisely because of the scene you can probably guess), but I really did. Really, really, really did.

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RAWR! I am Godzilla! *electronic toy dinosaur rawr that sounds like a car that can’t start, really high-pitched*

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Eheh. I need some sort of thumbs up emoticon. Someone make me one!

Until then….*thumbs up* (so lame…)

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Part two! Because. (I am so weak against the princess carry, no matter what the real circumstances are)

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Hi there Yashiro. Please come join my harem of every mildly cool guy in glasses please. But ah! There’s a missing requirement. Why haven’t I seen you without glasses yet? (HONESTLY! I just realized that…yeah I don’t think it’s ever happened! FIX IT Yoshiki Nakamura!!!)

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Fucking Awesome.

See~? Ren doesn’t just bully Kyoko. He bullies everyone who dares not to take their job seriously. Be a professional ppls! Otherwise you get stabbed in the head…with words.

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Oh lol. Director~ I hope we see you again someday. You’re so calm and calculating and…hey. Where’s your glasses then? This is wrong!!!

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…I need to check out the fansub for this scene because I want to know what Kyoko thought he said. But oh~ How I love the way those two interact. It’s so much fun~ (fangirl side coming out)

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Yup. Just more of me loving the way Ren and Kyoko interact in the early parts of the story. Just being a silly fangirl so you can move along~

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FUCK YEAH KYOKO! You show that bitch her place! Kyoko > Everyone (except Ren…because that defies Ren > Everyone)

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This…is not how a normal girl behaves about something she loves. What happened to make-up fangirl Kyoko? She got replaced by…well yeah. Whatever this is.

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Oh it’s okay. The fangirl is back.

…But really. Does put things in perspective over what kind of life Kyoko is leading. But if she’s happy now, then I’m happy too! Yay make-up and yay Kyoko!!! \o/

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More interaction~ Because it’s fun~

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Kyoko…I…I think I love you.

What is a word which surpasses “awesome” by one hundred times please?

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…I feel like such a wuss for being at home and lying down when I just have a headache now. Damn you Kyoko and your uber-guts!!! (but I still love her)

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Ohohoho~! Now whose awesome level is higher? I have no idea. Let’s call it a tie, okay?

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Just want to say it quickly…Marina Inoue does a gentle, classic Japanese girl voice…awesomely. Every episode I seem to love Marina-san more and more!

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Okay…so Ren’s awesome level is higher right now. It has to be in order for him to make our vicious awesome girl panic like that.

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It took until she fainted for her to stop…and she only fainted when she was told it was over and Ren left. Kyoko…is so fucking awesome. I have to make voodoo sacrifices to her or something!

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DId the quality in animation and art this episode double or something? It’s not just me, right? I can dare to hope now, can’t I!? I want an awesomely animated angel Kyoko! And other things too…

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Kyoko’s so cute (even when she’s making weird faces). Though it does defy logic. She was doing her best to take Ruriko down (without a hint of love in her soul) and got 100 points. But she totally deserved them nonetheless!

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…The sound effect used here was normally the sort that would piss me off (all thundery or whatever), but…I actually thought it was kind of…cool. Or something. Gah.

I hate it when things that piss me off are used right so they can’t piss me off!!!

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I can’t even imagine being controlled like that. It makes Ren completely awesome, but it does kind of make you feel bad for the people acting against them. Unless they’re like Kyoko…in which case they can just have something new to aim for.

Now then…it worked okay here (because Kyoko looks pretty), but they need to ease up on the DRAMA colors. I’m going to start having Marmalade Boy flashbacks if they go too over the top (oh my god those freaky contrast colors were at the end of like every episode!).

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Oh lol. Such a situation. They’re both completely ignoring each other. It’s great.

Now setting that aside for a moment. Ah! Why did they take out the reporter? Unfair~ Taking out a Ren is awesome moment!! I hate you guys!

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Ohmygod. Teenager Kyoko with pigtails! So…oh my god. Kyoko with pigtails! (nothing else to say)

DAMN YOU SHOTARO! That isn’t “plain” It’s fucking cute and screw you for not thinking so! *mazimum rage*

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I know this moment was more about Kyoko finding hertrueself (*supresses a thousande egg, chara, and honto no jibun comments*), but it doesn’t stop me from being all happy and giggly.

At this point in the series, I just have to take whatever I can get. T_T I’m such a sad fangirl with no romantic moments to giggle over. Pity me.

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… Kyoko you are so dumb naive. Learn your lessons already!!!

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Oh god he’s smiling. Run Kyoko!!!

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Ah too late.

…Well…saying that she did it purely for revenge…she kind of deserved it. Revenge =/= Love. Silly Kyoko. Learn from your mistakes from now on.

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Ah…this post was long. Let’s end it on some Ren drinking tea (or coffee or something), shall we?

…Yeah. This is good.

Preview

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Moko~! And Maria too! Yay!!!

Well, this is one of the slower arcs in the manga (though it doesn’t last long, just…not much happens for excitement). So it’s one I’ve revisited less. Whether that gives the anime and advantage or disadvantage…well we’ll have to see.

Looks like it’s only going to last two episodes…which better be right. Any longer for this arc would be…quite boring.

Hm…I’m not sure how exactly these arc posts are going to continue, but I will do my best. It’s something new for me, so the format is likely to change.

As an example, eventually I’ll run out of things to list for “Last Development” and I’ll probably choose to replace that section with a section where I focus on one thing I noticed. Or…something~

I’m still sick and my blogging schdeule is still unreliable, so I’m playing it by ear. But this way is definitely making the SB! anime a more enjoyable watch. I’m less likely to have to restrain myself from spoilers and such since I can feel free to talk about the arc as a whole as much as I want.

Also, as usual, I’m going to blame my scattered ill mind if there’s anything I forgot or for just general messiness.

Oh yeah. I’m doing an arc post (though differently) for Yukine’s arc in Clannad too just because I don’t want to play catch-up and I don’t want to miss out on blogging episode seven. Though there’s still the possibility that if it’s too much I’ll just skip episode seven.

8 Comments

  1. arc blogging is better considering they follow the manga so closely and those who’ve read will only go “oh, i can’t wait for blahblahblah to happen in this arc.”

    anyway, the ruriko arc is one of my favorites too. and just yay for more renXkyoko shipping! …and are you also part of the yashiro harem? XD

  2. Skip Beat! I love the manga hate the anime. Like now I’m preferring manga Shugo Chara! To …..Doki….. Eru makes me happy though

  3. Right. The classic plotline of enemies becoming friends. ^_^

    She is a good girl. Even though love is the most horrible thing in the world to her, she still tries to get back those feelings.

    Yashiro luvre. I love his little comments/insights. I really hope the anime gets to the parts where we see his other side. ^_^ She does need to do that! And put glasses on Ren while she’s at it.

    Sigh. I think we’ll get up to volume 12 animate in the series at least, so there will be a decent amount of RenxKyoko scenes.

    Ren>Everyone else. Heh true. I still like him and Kyoko equally though. (Stubborness).

    Extra corn scene yay! Kyoko’s mom -_-. Teenage Kyoko in pigtails ^_^.(sho is a mourn). Ashtray kickin’ scene pwns. Ah. Ren’s evil gentlemanly smile=awesomeness.

    I’ll probably arc blog myself, but for Hakushaku To Yosei instead.

  4. “What is a word which surpasses “awesome” by one hundred times please?”

    Fantastic? Fabulous? Exquisite? Exceptional?

    Ren > Everyone. Amen.

  5. Wow, who does the art for this series? It looks amazing :O
    I’m not sure I’d ever watch this series, but the screencaps you have just look amazing.

  6. I wonder if they’ll have a second Skip Beat! At the rate this anime is going. I mean we’re only on the third volume of the manga. Maybe 4th. Anyways I liked how you designed this review and the random screen caps. I love chibis.

  7. Hm unfortunately I have chosen to skip Skip Beat (get it XD?). However, it looks like this is a very fine show! I don’t know why I chose to skip (get it XD?) it. It’s mainly because of time I suppose.

    Anyway, a nice and informative review :).

  8. Thank you for a very detailed post – I love some of the artwork :) While I dropped Skip Beat temporarily, probably, I’ll marathon it this December :)


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