So I finally got around to watching the anime adaptation of Skip Beat. I won’t be delving in details because overall there isn’t much to say outside that it was a very faithful adaptation that only cut of a few scenes from the manga and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the manga’s story get animated. What I did not expect was to get so addicted to the story again. I marathon the anime and after finishing it yesterday, I’ve been getting urges to re-read the whole manga again. I don’t know what it is about this series, but it’s down right addicting for me. More so than anything else I’ve ever read. Even my all time favourite manga Basara didn’t cause such a reaction in me (but maybe that has something to do with the lacklustre anime adaptation than the quality of the manga itself). I’m kind of worried about starting Tokyo Crazy Paradise because I don’t want to get addicted so quickly again, but on the other hand, watching the anime has definitely reawakened my curiosity about Ms. Nakamura’s other manga.

That said, there are a few things worth mentioning to express why watching the anime is worthwhile even for someone who has read the manga. For one, I felt the anime really brought out the wacky character reactions to a whole other level. Not only were some of the reactions a bit more expanded upon (for example, Kyoko tormenting Sawara and his family was expanded on a bit and showed that she was doing it for a couple of days and nights, whereas in the manga, the shift is really quick and the exact period of time she spends tormenting him is undetermined), but they were also acted out very effectively. This made it have a slightly stronger impact than in the manga (although both the manga and anime made me laugh multiple times due to the wacky reactions, so I don’t really favour one to the other).

Kyoko 100% approves of this anime.

The other thing is that the anime made it pretty apparent who was thinking what. There are a few parts in the manga that are sort of ambiguous for a while, in that you aren’t sure if they are actually happening or if someone is thinking them or if it’s just backstory for the character in the dramas that the main cast must act out. Two cases stick out to me the most. The first is the case of Sho imagining Kyoko being all lovey-dovey with Ren after he finds out the two of them are staring in the same drama together. In the manga, you only figure out Sho was imagining this after a few pages, which led me to sort of wonder what was going on at first because it was so out of character for Kyoko. Now, I thought this was kind of cool, but I do appreciate how much smoother it plays out in the anime because it shows you right away that Sho is imagining this funny scenario. The other example is the backstory of Katsuki, the character Ren plays in the drama Dark Moon. The scenario revolving around Katsuki starts out of nowhere, with no indication of who is narrating; and for a good part afterwards, I thought it was actually Ren’s backstory, until it becomes pretty apparent that it’s Katsuki’s. Although even then I had assumed Ren was recalling his past through his mutual situation to Katsuki (both unable to love the women they like because of something in their past), until the very late parts of the manga told me otherwise (the “Beagle” saying stuff about Corn -the stone- didn’t help matters either as Katsuki’s past fit really well with the idea that the stone had absorbed immense amounts of negative energy since he was young). The anime, on the other hand, clarified this pretty well since it has Director Ogata narrate the passage and cuts directly to him speaking with Ren about his problems with portraying Katsuki.

That said, I was a little sad to see certain things cut out of the anime. The daruma doll is completely missing, which is a shame because I really liked how the relationship between Kyoko and her old employers plays out and that one scene was pretty touching. The anime also skipped Kanae’s story arc that happened right before Dark Moon, which I didn’t mind too much because it wasn’t my favourite parts of the manga, but I still think it was an important part of the story given that an important character is introduced (Hio-kun) and we actually learn a lot about Kanae (like why she reacted to Kyoko like she did when she first saw her and why she failed the third stage of auditions for LME). The anime also cut out the part where Kyoko and Puchi met at school, which I thought was also a shame because we didn’t see a few funny scenarios once the two of them meet at Sho’s PV. Biggest disappointment was definitely that the anime ended after 25 episodes. I really wish there was a second season. I’d love to see more of the Dark Moon arc animated and see some of the other arcs brought to life (Kuu arc please~). Really, it is such a shame it wasn’t more popular. :( Well I am happy I at least have the manga~ I can’t wait to buy the rest of the volumes (and I hope Viz doesn’t take forever getting the rest of the omnibus editions out… although they probably will. ;__; )

Bottom line? I definitely recommend watching this anime for people new to the series and those who read the manga. One of my favourite current shoujo manga!

–SW

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