Cover of Skip Beat volume 1 as published by Hakusensha, featuring Kyoko Mogami
|Genre||Romantic comedy, Showbiz|
|Written by||Yoshiki Nakamura|
|English publisher|| Viz Media|
|Magazine||Hana to Yume|
|Original run||February 15, 2002 – ongoing|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kiyoko Sayama|
|Written by||Mayori Sekijima|
|Studio||Hal Film Maker|
|Network||TV Tokyo, TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Osaka, TV Setouchi, TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co., Ltd.|
|Original run||October 5, 2008 – March 29, 2009|
Skip Beat! (スキップ・ビート! Sukippu Bīto!) is a Japanese shōjo manga by Yoshiki Nakamura. It is the story of Kyoko Mogami (最上 キョーコ Mogami Kyōko) a 16-year-old girl who discovers that her childhood friend and romantic goal, Sho Fuwa, only keeps her around to act as a maid and earn his living expenses, as he works his way to become the top pop idol in Japan. Furious and heart broken, she vows to get revenge by beating him in show business. In Japan, the manga was first published in Hakusensha's shōjo manga magazine Hana to Yume in February 2002, while in the United States, it began publishing under Viz Media's Shojo Beat label in 2006. As of June 2011, twenty-eight volumes and one fanbook have been released in Japan, and as of July 2011, twenty-four volumes have been released in the United States. In 2002, a drama CD adaptation was made and released by Marine Entertainment, and covers the first volume (chapters one to five) of the manga. An anime adaptation is produced by Hal Film Maker, and began airing October 5, 2008. It ended airing with episode twenty-five on July 12, 2009.
Skip Beat! follows the story of Kyoko Mogami, a sixteen year-old girl who loves her childhood friend, Shotaro Fuwa, but is betrayed by him. Having spent a large part of her childhood at Shotaro's parents' inn, she learned a great deal about hostelry and other such jobs. Shotaro, not wishing to take over his parents' business, moves to Tokyo to pursue a career in music. Sho, as he is called by his fans, asks Kyoko to leave high school and her life in Kyoto Prefecture behind to help him. Upon arrival in Tokyo, Kyoko lives an unreasonably frugal life and works multiple jobs to support Sho, spending nothing on herself and doing whatever she can for Sho, who eventually becomes ranked seventh of the top twenty most popular male celebrities of Japan. One day, she overhears Shotaro complaining about her to his manager, saying that she is a boring and plain girl. He proceeds to sweet-talk and flirt with his manager, in stark contrast to the cold and demanding attitude he usually exhibits towards Kyoko. Kyoko doesn't shed many tears when she learns that Sho wanted her along only to handle housekeeping duties. Instead, her "Pandora's box" opens and she vows vengeance on Sho. As she is carried away by security, Sho mockingly tells her that if she wants revenge, she had better become a bigger star than he is. And so, Kyoko changes her appearance and enters the entertainment industry, facing many challenges along the way. Skip Beat! follows Kyoko's journey to climb the showbiz ladder as she meets interesting people, troublemakers and friends alike, with hopes of getting revenge on Shotaro, as well as regaining the sense of compassion that she had lost when her heart was broken by him. Along the way she meets Tsuruga Ren, who at first hates Kyoko but later comes to love her. As Kyoko cultivates her acting and friendships, she soon discovers a sense of self separate from her initial plans for revenge.
- Kyoko Mogami (最上 キョーコ Mogami Kyōko; stage name 京子, Kyōko)
- Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa (drama CD), Marina Inoue (anime)
- Kyoko is a 16-year-old, bright, intelligent girl bent on revenge against the boy that used her feelings of love and devotion for his own selfish gain. More vengeful than depressed, she swears to get even. Shōtaro, the one who used her, tells her that the only way to do this would be to beat him in show business. She changes her hair style (cutting her hair short and dyeing it chestnut), and her attitude and begins the task of applying to L.M.E., the biggest rival of Shō's talent agency. While her audition stood out, the president of the company realized that she lacked the key component needed to become an idol: love, as without genuine love for this profession and for the audience, she could not succeed. However, despite her failure, she had such an interesting audition (she did katsuramuki as her talent portion) that Kyoko was given a second chance. Thus, L.M.E.'s "Love Me" section was founded. Lory made a deal with Kyoko that if she completed all the jobs given to her as a Love-Me employee to the client's satisfaction (determined by points stamped into her record book), by the end of a certain period of time, having accumulated enough points, she would be given a grand debut. Having entered show business, Kyoko found a genuine love for acting and a rare talent for performing a great range of emotions and characters. Her professionalism, raw talent, and willingness to give her all for her role eventually earn her the respect of those around her, including Tsuruga Ren and Kotonami Kanae. As a result of her box being opened, her personality is slightly twisted (vaguely reminiscent of Yukino from Kare Kano), with an army of spirit demons that looked just like her and it is a recurring joke during the series that she uses voodoo dolls of Ren and Sho, though less for actual harm and more for purposes of impersonating what they would say in a situation. Kyoko comes to care and eventually falls in love with Ren, although she doesn't realize it. She helps him in desperate times as a rooster mascot named "BO" with whom Ren expresses freely his worries without knowing it is Kyoko in disguise. Kyoko's father is gone and her mother left her in the care of Sho's parents when she was a child. When told she would need her mother's permission to make a debut, Kyoko tells LME's president her mother does not care where she is or what she is doing. Because she has no father and her relationship with her mother is bad, Kyoko has always wanted to have loving parents, like the ones Sho has. Her mother always expected her to get 100% on all of her tests, but Kyoko did not live up to her mother's expectations, even though she tried really hard. She would cry when she didn't get a perfect score but since she did not want to cry in front of Sho, she went to look for a place to cry. This is where she first meets "Corn" (Also known as "Kuon" or "Ren") Later, she realizes that she was mislead into believing that a perfect score is the only way to go. She realizes that a normal person would be very happy to have the grades that she got at school. She loves fairy tales, being fascinated by the idea of an ordinary girl suddenly becoming a beautiful princess loved by everyone. She is also very modest. Whenever someone compliments her on her looks, she believes that is due to the magic of "Princess Rosa," a crystal given to Kyoko by Ren. She also has a charm that she always keep with her. A purple stone "Corn", named after a young boy who had given it to her when she was a child. The stone changes color when held up under the sunlight, and the only belonging that Kyoko cherishes the most as an important "fairy prince" gave it to her. It was later shown that the young boy named "Corn" was Ren, and this was unknown to Kyoko.
- Ren Tsuruga (敦賀 蓮 Tsuruga Ren)
- Voiced by: Ken Narita (drama CD), Katsuyuki Konishi (anime)
- Ren has an extremely kind and gentle persona. He takes his acting very seriously and expects professionalism from those around him. While he maintains a perfect public image, he has frequently shown his true face to Kyoko, failing to maintain his polite facade in front of her. He was originally unhappy with Kyoko because of her impure reasons for joining show business, and frequently found ways to annoy and tease her. However, once he realized that her acting was more than a tool for revenge, he began to support her growth as a budding idol. Although at first in denial, he eventually came to terms with his love for Kyoko and grew as an actor as a result of the realization. He makes many attempts to express his love, but Kyoko is continuously blind to all romantic overtures. Ren was voted top male celebrity in Japan on the same poll that ranked Sho seventh, causing the latter to have strong feelings of jealousy and rivalry towards him. Ren tends to become insecure whenever anything happens between Shō Fuwa and Kyoko due to their former relationship and now their frequent coincidental, and un-coincidental meetings, giving Sho multiple openings to cause him emotional distress. Despite the obvious obstruction of Shō's closeness to her, Ren has no intention of giving Kyoko over to him. Ren's mysterious past is another obstruction to his romantic feelings towards Kyoko yet to be fully explored in the manga. However, it is known that the actor of 'Katsuki' in the first Tsukigomori, Kuu Hizuri, is his father. Tsuruga Ren is a stage name Ren adopted to escape the shadow of his father's fame. His real name is Kuon Hizuri. When he was young, he met Kyoko and became good friends with her, although he was mistaken for a young fairy prince and his name mispronounced by the girl ("Corn" instead of "Kuon"). After many years, the two met again. It was only later on, when he had came to realize his true feelings for the woman, that he had also finally discovered that Kyoko was in fact that little girl whom he had met when he was a child. It is also known that he had a violent and painful past.
Shō Fuwa (不破 尚 Fuwa Shō)
- Voiced by: Nobutoshi Kanna (drama CD), Mamoru Miyano (anime)
- His real name is Shōtarō (松太郎). He keeps it a secret because he finds it very old-fashioned. He is an extremely egotistical, extremely talented music star. Shō had no qualms about asking Kyoko to give up her life in Kyoto to support him in Tokyo, fully cognizant of her misconceptions of the nature of their relationship. After Kyoko's transformation, he is shocked and soon discovers he had more feelings for her than he originally thought. He has disliked seeing Kyoko's tears since childhood, knows her preferences in food, and of her love for fairy tales and things romantic in nature, but stole her first kiss so that she would hate him and obsess over him. Shō holds a great animosity towards Ren because he is hailed as the coolest, number one guy in show biz. Shō declared that he'd steal all of Ren's fans and the title of "The Coolest Male Celebrity" from him. He does not like Ren's closeness to Kyoko and he challenges Ren as he makes it known that he would not willingly give up his place in Kyoko's heart as the one she thinks of the most.
Kanae ("Mōko") Kotonami (琴南 奏江 Kotonami Kanae)
- Voiced by: Yukiko Tagami (drama CD), Risa Hayamizu (anime)
- When introduced, Kotonami's character looks to be the villain to Kyoko's heroine, but Kanae is much more sympathetic than she first appears. Kanae wants desperately to be a top-rate actress and was at the same audition as Kyoko. Although she made it further than Kyoko, she also failed for lack of love. Thus, she became the second member of Love Me. Kyoko nicknamed her Moko because of her habit of saying "mō" as an interjection. After their tag-team effort in winning an audition for a commercial, despite obvious differences in their personalities, both girls recognize that they are in fact very similar, leading them to become best friends. Although her attitude towards Kyoko may seem aloof at times, it is clear that she values their friendship, as she reluctantly shares her secret with Kyoko when she fears her unwillingness to share her troubles might drive Kyoko away. She is convinced that Ren Tsuruga is in love with Kyoko because of the way he acts toward Kyoko.
Yukihito Yashiro (社 倖一 Yashiro Yukihito)
- Voiced by: Masahito Kawanago (anime)
- He is Ren's manager. When first seen he is a serious character, later on he is used largely for comic relief. We get a better understanding of Ren’s subtle emotional shifts from Yashiro’s not-so-subtle reactions to Ren’s interactions with Kyoko. He fully supports a romantic relationship between the two and often needles Ren about his lack of progress in that area. He also tends to associate anything Ren says to Kyoko and Ren’s feelings for her, even before Ren himself came to terms with them. He doesn't know how to drive, which is why Ren is always seen doing the driving. One of his roles as manager is to pay attention to Ren's health which includes checking that he had his share of sleep and food.
- He must use latex gloves when handling electronics because any electronic device that he touches directly will soon be rendered useless. In particular, he has mentioned that a cell phone will die after about 10 seconds of direct exposure to his skin.
Lory Takarada (ローリィ宝田 Rōri Takarada)
- Voiced by: Banjo Ginga (drama CD), Kouji Ishii (anime)
- Lory is the extravagantly flamboyant president of L.M.E. (Lory’s Majestic Entertainment) and Maria's grandfather. He is known for his signature flashy entrances everywhere he goes, done extremely to the point that every entrance he made were based on a theme. He also wore costumes, had complete props, animals, background music and men for that performance. For him, one of the secret to success in the world of show business and the most important thing an actor must never forget is love, which is his favorite word; for the audience to love him, the actor must also love his work and show that to the audience in order for him to gain fans. For if there is no love at all, the actor won't survive in that world. Lory is one of the first people to recognize Kyoko’s potential of being a great star, and created the "Love Me" section because of this. He seems genuinely concerned for Kyoko and wonders what could have happened in her past to cause her to lose the ability to love. He learns in Vol. 4 that Kyoko does not have a father and has a bad relationship with her mother but does not know the details. Later, when he learned that she dropped out of school he arranges for her to attend a high school that accommodates students working in show business and their hectic schedules. He is also one of the very few people in the industry to have discovered that Ren was in love with Kyoko. It was later shown that he played an important part in Ren's life, particularly in Ren's past, as he advised the young and breaking Ren to beat his father in show business, by first working his way up at the country where Ren's father was born, Japan, and when Ren was finally ready he can go back to America where he can be on his own to enter Hollywood all by himself without Lory's help. With this, he guided Ren during his stay in Japan. As the president of his company, he never show favoritism even to Ren when it comes to serious business at work. Once he is around, his style of judging an actor's capability of staying in his role or not was if he isn't satisfied and the actor doesn't act based on his standards, he will leave even before the scene ends during filming, which meant that the actor was already terminated from the play. He also has an assistant with him who is always around, who constantly wear an arabic costume.
- Takenori Sawara (椹 武憲 Sawara Takenori)
- Voiced by: Tomoyuki Kōno (drama CD), Kenji Hamada (anime)
- He is the head of L.M.E.'s talent section. Sawara was tormented by Kyoko into allowing her to take part in L.M.E.'s newcomer audition (Kyoko originally auditioned under "Talent" rather than "Acting"). Despite the initial meeting, he is actually very supportive of Kyoko, even through her penchant for tripping her own career up. Sawara is under the impression that Kyoko is actually a fan of Shō.
- Maria Takarada (宝田 マリア Takarada Maria)
- Voiced by: Hiromi Konno (anime)
- Maria is the granddaughter of the president of L.M.E. and used to use her cute appearance to get people's sympathy. She did so before Kyoko's audition; however Kyoko recognized this, and called her out on it. While some people would be angry at Kyoko, Maria began to idolize her, and views her as an ultimate big sister. Maria also suffered from a huge guilt complex from her believing that she is the cause of her mother's death. As a result, Maria thought that her father hates her. Kyoko managed to make Maria understand that her father didn't hate her, or think that Maria caused her mother's death. On her birthday, Maria is able to officially reconcile with her father during a thank you party arranged by her and Kyoko. Maria shares an interest in black magic with Kyoko and has a large crush on Ren Tsuruga.
- Shoko Aki (安芸 祥子 Aki Shōko)
- Voiced by: Rio Natsuki (anime)
- Shoko Aki is Shō Fuwa's manager at Akatoki Agency. Since Shō and Kyoko split Shō's been living at her place. However, he was already living at her place most of the time even when he was still living with Kyoko, though the two of them, Kyoko and Shoko, get along rather well. Shoko Aki herself wanted to become an actress (Act.85), but decided she didn't have the talent for it. But she still wanted work that was connected with show business, and got a job as a manager. She also believes Shō has feelings for Kyoko, and tries to hint at him that he should confess his feelings to her.
Skip Beat! began as a manga series written and illustrated by Yoshiki Nakamura which started serialized in Hakusensha's shōjo manga magazine Hana to Yume on February 15, 2002. The first bound volume was released in Japan on July 19, 2002, and as of June 20, 2011, 28 volumes and one fanbook have been released in Japan. The manga was licensed by Viz Media for release in English in North America on Viz Media's Shojo Beat imprint. The first volume was released in English on July 5, 2006, and as of July 3, 2012 , 28 volumes have been released. Furthermore, Viz Media has also re-released Skip Beat! in the VIZBIG format (3-In-1 Edition) since March 6, 2012, as of July 3, 2012 , 3 volumes have been released.
A single drama CD entitled Skip Beat! Drama CD was released by Marine Entertainment bearing the catalog number "MMCC-7029" on September 26, 2002. The drama CD covers the first volume (chapters one to five) of the manga.
The anime adaptation was directed by Kiyoko Sayama and animated by Hal Film Maker, it began airing in Japan on October 5, 2008 and ended on March 29, 2009. The first opening theme is "Dream Star" by the generous. The first ending theme is "Namida" by 2BACKKA.The second opening theme is "Renaissance" by the generous, and the second ending theme is "Eien" by Yūsaku Kiyama. Anime streaming website Crunchyroll also officially streams the anime online with English subtitles due to an agreement with TV Tokyo.
In 2008, a Taiwanese drama of Skip Beat! was announced in a press conference in Japan, titled (Chinese: 華麗的挑戰; pinyin: Huá Lì De Tiǎo Zhàn) or Extravagant Challenge in English, starring Ivy Chen as Kyōko, Choi Si Won as Tsuruga Ren, and Lee Donghae as Shō Fuwa. It was to be directed by Niu Cheng Ze (鈕承澤) and produced by Gala Television (GTV). A few days before shooting was due to begin, in January 2009, Lai Cong Bi (賴聰筆), Deputy General Manager of GTV stated that the production has been postponed indefinitely due to factors such as restructure of the joint venture company in Japan and script re-write.
In March 2011, it was announced that the project will resume filming in April 2011 with the leading role of Gong Xi (Kyōko) by Ivy Chen and Choi Siwon and Lee Donghae of Korean boy band Super Junior as Dun He Lian (Tsuruga Ren) and Bu Puo Shang (Shō Fuwa) respectively.
The series ended up airing from December 18, 2011 to April 1, 2012 with a total of fifteen episodes. Each episode runs about an hour long and follows very closely to the plotline of manga, albeit with some comedic elements added in. Given the ending it held(much like the Anime it left loose ends, although still managed to move farther along in the plot) and the many fans the series has acquired there has been speculation as to whether there will be a season two, many believe they are waiting for the manga to finish so as to provide a proper ending. Season two will be released in 2014.
A video game was released on May 28, 2009 for the PlayStation 2.
The opening song of this game is "Blow Wind" by SMILY☆SPIKY. The game takes place after the animation of Skip Beat! where the main character, Kyoko Mogami, needs to choose her next job and develop her relationships with others.