Archive for April, 2010

Skip Beat – a lovely easily watchable anime with a female protagonist that is brilliant.

SKIPBEAT

I have to admit that I’m not a romantic, I stay away from anything in the straight romance genre it just isn’t my thing so I’m not sure what brought me to this anime. As one that usually rejects the heterosexual monogamous couple, preferring her slash or straight out gay characters or dark romances between other worldly being or relatives and generally doesn’t like lead female characters as they never have anything in common with me and just never act as I would also being female this was a series out of my normal watching pool. And I have to say I am so glad I drifted from me stereotypical watching as I discovered a highly enjoyable little gem of a series. The stories centres around Kyoko a 16 year old girl who has quit school to travel with her prince charming as he lives out his life’s ambition of being a famous idol. While Sho Fuwa gets his big break and begins his climb up the fame ladder, Kyoko does everything in her power to support him, working multiple jobs to afford the apartment they share while making sure he is fed and supported. Kyoko being a simple and plain girl thinks nothing of the sacrifice she has made to her life if it will bring ease and comfort to Sho and she can spend time with the love of her life, her Prince Sho. We are told a fairly romantic tale at the start of the series about how all girls are beautiful and hide a goddess with them; girls just need a prince to unlock their hidden potential from a chest they have stored in their hearts. Well Sho has the key to Kyoko’s chest and unlocks the girl inside. Kyoko over hears Sho telling his manager how he only keeps Kyoko around to act as his maid and servant, that she is a plain and boring girl with no sex appeal that is only a stepping stone in his climb to stardom.Kyoko’s heart is broken and released is a spirit of such hatred and betrayal it transform our little duped Kyoko.

This is why after one episode I realised I was going to love this series. Kyoko’s inner girl is quite simply mental instead of falling into despair she becomes angry and decides to get revenge. She decides that the only way to get back at Sho is to follow him into fame and become such a shinning star she becomes more famous and is more loved than he is. Kyoko gets a new make over and sets out on journey. Kyoko has her issues from the start she seems quite bi-polar and a little scary at times. Kyoko is a hard working, honest and determined girl. She has guts and doesn’t back down but underneath this is a level of dignity and respect for her work and talent and the strength to put 100% into all she does takes her far but whenever she is reminded of Sho its like a switch is flipped and she turns into a angry monster with uncontrollable rage and a passion for destruction that scares all those around her. It’s the scary stalking crazy persona that gets her foot in the door of show bizz but it’s her hard working and determined personality that keeps her there and helps her grow. It soon turns out that under all that crazy and ambition for revenge is true talent. Kyoko does in fact have potential and while it’s unrefined she is a natural actor with true talent. What I also like about Kyoko is that her physical change isn’t too dramatic, by cutting her hair, dyeing it and getting some new clothes she doesn’t automatically become a beautiful woman. She is still a little simple and plain looking compared to the other stars around her but its when she performs and is truly made up that she becomes beautiful. Its an honest portrayal of idol beauty, clothes, make up and wigs can change a persons exterior but Kyoko’s talent and hard work can shine through this as well as her mental and angry turns which always add for great comic relief.

kyoko

The other aspect of the series is the introduction of male actor and top of his game idol, Ren Tsuruga. He and Kyoko start of on the wrong foot and their relationship is plagued by misunderstandings. Ren initially takes a dislike to Kyoko because he hates the reason for her choice of career. He takes acting very seriously and is very passionate about his work. He loves acting and hates the idea of it being used for something such as revenge. But as he gets closer to Kyoko he begins to see her true potential though they have a rocky friendship he try’s to give her advice and nurture her talent. Ren also has his own interesting development as its Kyoko that unknowingly helps him plug a hole in his acting and makes him realise about his true emotions. Of course this is the beginning of a romance but as Kyoko is still on her own journey the series doesn’t focus too much on the romance which is why it makes me want these two to get together even more. Ren and Kyoko make a great pair and they are slowly, by building their relationship are also growing as individuals. Kyoko although firmly denouncing love does find something she loves and that’s acting, whether or not she and Ren will find the same doesn’t matter for the moment because Kyoko is doing something I admire, finding herself and how far her passion and ambition can take her. Not losing herself in relationships and the need for a boyfriend and romance she can truly grow as a person and see her strength and they way she inspires those around her, which is a beautiful and fun thing to watch.

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