- Genre : Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
- Episodes: 25
- Studio: Hal Film Maker
There’s one thing in this world powerful enough to give a young woman wings! One special, all encompassing emotion that can make you walk on water and move mountains. At that tender age, when we first enter adulthood, and all seems possible, that’s when we’re the most susceptible to it and all the wonders it holds. Let’s face it, in this wide, limitless universe, full of people, the odds of meeting that one person that will give you such a feeling are next to nothing. OK so maybe there isn’t just one person, but you know what I mean. It’s still a long shot. That’s why you should never take for granted those precious feelings. Pure hate is not something that happens every day. And for Kyoko, that thirst for revenge is about to make everything better.
I read Skip Beat in manga form, obviously, a few years ago. I remember enjoying it well enough, but I never really felt the need to watch the anime. You see, I’ve been playing a lot of otomes lately and it made me think that I was ready to survive a romance series! So why not start by one I already knew I didn’t hate…
Skip Beat isn’t exactly a new anime. In fact, it’s a bit over 10 years old now and to put it bluntly, I thought it was older. It has a somewhat aged look. The character designs are a bit out of style, especially for the men, and the animation is stiff. The colors are also a little flat but nicely saturated. This said, it’s not a story the needs very impressive visuals and fluid animation. I guess I would have connected to the material a bit more if I found the boys more attractive but it’s not a fault of the show that they don’t cater to my personal tastes.
On the other hand, the voice acting is quite good, which is a huge plus. Interestingly, I found that locations and backgrounds were really detailed even by current standards. I’m not sure what the decision making was behind this particular aspect. I will say that it goes a long way towards suspension of disbelief.
Honestly though, if you’re going to watch Skip Beat, you’re going to watch it for the story. And you know what, you should! I mean it’s not that special. After getting her heart broken a young girl decides to enter show business in order to overshadow her ex in a overly complicated revenge plot and discovers that she actually likes her new life.
It’s pretty standard romantic comedy fodder and honestly it could be the plot of any of the dozens of entirely forgettable movies that come out each year. Of course, there’s a handsome new actor to fawn over. Of course, contrived hijinks are going to force her to have to deal with her ex and hilarity will ensue. The material isn’t that interesting really, and it isn’t particularly fresh. In fact, the premise would also have led me to believe the show is older than it seems.
Everything here lies in the treatment of the material. First let me just say, Kyoko is great. No really, she’s great! She’s childish, petty, quick to anger and prone to panic. She’s also hardworking, resourceful and surprisingly kind. Although she does have a tendency towards the too good to be true, pure hearted heroine trope, making her openly superficial about her looks and rigidly angry, evens the character out.
In this case, the wonderful and energetic force of nature that is Kyoko, really benefits from movement. I preferred the anime to the manga for that reason. The character really came to life with exaggerated facial expressions and restless movements. Basically, I really liked Kyoko and I believe this iteration of her is the most fun.
I was also grateful for the focus on non-romantic relationships. Skip Beat puts just as much emphasis, if not more, on Kyoko developing true friendships with her peers and finding a stable support structure after being abandoned by her own family. If anything, the OTP of the series is Kyoko and Kanae (another fantastic character by the way). This has to be the only romance series that could realistically be remade without the romance and not change much. You know, that may be why I enjoy it.
On the downside, the boys are a bit underdeveloped. Since the story follows Kyoko pretty closely, we don’t get to spend that much time with them. They seem fine, I wouldn’t call any of them bad characters. They’re just a bit flat in comparison. Finally, the anime does end somewhat abruptly. It’s not exactly incomplete but there isn’t any huge sense of closure either. You are expected to infer the end. I don’t mind tis usually but when you spend 25 episodes waiting for that one magical moment and it cuts off just before, it’s a bit startling.
All in all, Skip Beat didn’t become a shoujo classic by accident. It’s a really fun watch. I found myself endlessly saying, just one more episode.
Favorite character: Kanae
What this anime taught me: Apparently bright pink jumpsuits are not super fashionable? Who knew?.
Relax, we’re all crazy, it’s not a competition
Suggested drink: Sweet Revenge’s Strawberry Cure
- Every time Kyoko gets “aggressive” – take a sip
- Every time Kyoko terrifies/creeps out those around her – take a sip
- Every time Kyoko daydreams– take a breath
- Kyoko’s daydreams affect others – take a deep breath (you are gonna be so relaxed!)
- Every time we hear the word revenge or vengeance – take a sip
- Every time attractive boys act like jerks – nod knowingly
- Every time someone other than Kyoko daydreams – take a sip
- Every time the Prez shows up in costume – take a sip
- Every time Kyoko makes a new enemy – giggle
- Every time we see Ren’s evil smile – take a sip
- Every time we see the Love me uniforms – wonder where you can buy one