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Skip Beat! Vol. #30 Manga Review

3 min read
Skip Beat Volume 30
Skip Beat Volume 30

As Cain Heel, Ren is tapping into the very personality he’s trying to suppress. Will it overwhelm him?

Creative Staff
Story: Yoshiki Nakamura
Art: Yoshiki Nakamura
Translation/Adaptation: Tomo Kimura

What They Say
Ren’s new cast mate Taira Murasame used to be a biker, and he sees show biz as just another gang to get to the top of. Normally Ren would have no problem dealing with a punk, but his role as BJ requires him to tap his darkest depths. When Murasame and Ren have to fight on camera, can Ren remember that it’s only acting?!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Ren is deep into his role as Cain Heel, so deep there’s no difference between the way he acts on or off camera. But that’s a method actor for you. Still, as Cain Heel, it’s obvious that he’s still being tormented from within, and it’s hard for Kyoko to help him as she has been cast as his sister, and Ren insists that she dive into her role as Setsu as deeply as he is Cain. But while she can play the part, she can’t think like him, and when she realizes that a scripted fight with Murasame might now have been as fake in Ren’s head as it was supposed to be, it reinforces her fears. But as Setsu Heel, who can she reach out to for help?

I came into Skip Beat a few volumes ago and found myself getting right into it. I’m really enjoying the dynamic between Kyoko and Ren (or Setsu and Cain, in this case), and I want to know more about what’s eating away at Ren from his past. In particular, who is Kuon? I wonder if this is something I’d know if I wasn’t coming into the game so late, but at the same time, I’m enjoying the intrigue as well. Not knowing is actually helping my enjoyment. I was a little surprised at how different everything was from the last volume I read to this one. It took me a little while to realize that Setsu was really Kyoko, and I was wondering where she’d gotten to, particularly considering how close they seemed to get just two volumes earlier. Once I realized who Setsu was, it made a lot more sense, and frankly, it just increased my interest in their relationship. There’s a lot going on here between them, and I want to see where it goes.

In Summary
Skip Beat is a manga I’ve only recently started reading, but I’ve picked it up really quickly. The characters are great, and the torment that Ren is going through is fascinating. I’m really interested to see where that goes and how Kyoko fits into all of this as she tries to help him out of his funk. Ren’s insistence on method acting is a great twist that’s adding an unexpected element to the story, not to mention more obstacles in Kyoko’s way. It’s some great writing, and I’m looking forward to more. Recommended.

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
MSRP: $9.99