Monday, June 15, 2009

Skip♦Beat!, vol. 5

The story: Kyoko's finally found some success with a steady gig. But does she have what it takes to win a part in her next audition? Both Kyoko and Kanae head off to the audition with high hopes, only to have a rival of Kanae's show up to ruin their chance at success.

Reaction: A good portion of this volume is dedicated to the two-day audition. It was really fun to watch the relationship between Kyoko and Kanae grow. I also liked how being part of the Love Me section proved an important way of garnering the director's attention.

Deep thoughts: I've done auditions and improv before, so I was personally interested in how the process was presented in this manga. It's really hard to come up with such good ideas on such short notice, but it proves how much natural talent Kyoko and Kanae possess.

Artwork: With the introduction of so many new characters, it would be easy to mix them up, or to replicate them and make only slight changes to distinguish them. However, Yoshiki Nakamura has such a talent for creating characters that are not only distinct in personality, but also in physical representation. I particularly liked the director's tough-guy, yakuza look!

The verdict: Highly recommended. I loved the character development in this volume. While it's subtle at times, it proves that Kyoko's growing as she deepens her relationships with the people around her. Skip♦Beat! is available in the U.S. from Viz.

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