Thursday, June 4, 2009

Skip♦Beat!, vol. 2

The story: It's been a few days since Kyoko failed the LME audition and she's given up her dream of revenge. But, a chance encounter renews her inner demons and she returns to the agency. Of course, the kooky president has a plan and Kyoko becomes the first member of the new "Love Me" section. While Kyoko does her best to be loved for her work, she is presented with the opportunity to win a role against a selfish singer cum actress.

Reaction: I love this volume's themes of perseverance, confidence and determination. Even though Kyoko could easily become a solitary character (especially considering her roller coaster of emotions lately), she's unknowingly surrounded herself with people who care about her. When Taisho (her boss at Daruyama) gives her a pep talk, she seems renewed and more ready than ever to succeed.

Deep thoughts: The symbolism behind the daruma is one I've seen before -- most recently in Walkin' Butterfly. I love how the daruma never falls over; it always bounces back. Also, the drawing in of a second eye once the goal is reached lends a tangible expression of accomplishment to more esoteric objectives.

Artwork: Again, there's nothing particularly spectacular about how the characters look. However, there are some characters that are so amusingly distinct, like LME President Lory and Kyoko's bosses at Daruyama. The comedic touches, including Kyoko's personal demons and her absurd reactions, provide much-needed visual variety.

The verdict: Highly recommended. My opinion hasn't changed since the last volume -- this story continues to amuse and seems to move along quickly, which matches Kyoko's mercurial personality. Skip♦Beat! is available in the U.S. from Viz.

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