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Recap / Skip Beat Volume 20

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There's nothing quite so sweet as friendship.

It's the season of giving in Tokyo, but Lory's granddaughter Maria is in no mood to celebrate. Kyoko, never one to sit out a challenge, finally gets Maria to admit what has her so soured on the holidays. It turns out December 24 is Maria's birthday—and the anniversary of her mother's death. Kyoko decides to cheer her up by hosting a party that has nothing to do with Christmas or birthdays at all. A party to say "thank you" to everyone important in their lives: a "Happy Grateful Party."

Lory gets himself involved and suddenly the party's bigger and crazier than either girl imagined. But they've got things under control - at least until Lory's flair for the dramatic strikes again. When someone close to Maria makes an appearance at the Happy Grateful Party, will she be able to repair the cracks in her heart?


This volume contains the chapters:

  • Act 115. "Lucky Number '24', Part 1" note 
  • Act 116. "Lucky Number '24', Part 2" note 
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  • Act 117. "Lucky Number '24', Part 3" note 
  • Act 118. "Lucky Number '24', Part 4" note 
  • Act 119. "Lucky Number '24', Part 5" note 
  • Act 120. "Lucky Number '25'" note 

Chapters in this volume provide examples of:

  • Character Name Alias: Maria has specifically forbidden Lory from hosting her party or getting too involved, so he shows disguised as elderly gentleman called Uncle Long-Legs and bankrolls their party anyways.
  • Christmas Episode: Chapters 115 through 120 really. Though Kyoko and Maria aren't calling their party a Christmas party (or a birthday party, for that matter).
  • Embarrassing Animal Suit: Kyoko invites the boys from Bridge Rock because they gave her her first job in show business on Yappa Kimagure Rock. She also invites Bo the Chicken, though for once it isn't Kyoko in the costume: some unnamed extra from the show is filling in as Bo the Chicken.
  • Flower Motifs: It's a shoujo managa after all:
    • Lory bankrolls Kyoko and Maria's "Happy Grateful Party," so of course the venue (his massive guest house) is filled with thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of flowers.
    • Maria's party dress is decorated with floral embellishments. Moko's party dress has a single rose-shaped decoration on the strap.
    • Lory's "magic trick" creates a tsunami of flowers that cascade out over the ballroom floor.
    • The title page for chapter 119 shows Maria in her floral party dress holding a bouquet and surrounded by flowers.
    • Ren gives Kyoko a huge red rose for her birthday.
    • The cast of Dark Moon who are invited to Kyoko's birthday give her a large bouquet of lilies and roses for her birthday.
    • Most chapters have a few instances of panel backgrounds filling with unexplained flowers.
  • Jerkass Gods: Maria admits that after the death of her mother, she's afraid to even hope for things like a visit from her father because she believes that God is cruel, and that he'll take away anything she asks for even if it's only in her heart. She got scared the moment she realized she wanted her father to attend her Happy Grateful Party because he would have to get on a plane to come and see her, and Maria's mother died in a plane crash on her way to visit Maria for her birthday.
  • Large Ham: Lory Takarada again. Even though Maria has forbidden him from hosting her party or getting too involved, he steals the spotlight with his "end of the party" act. It involves causing a blackout in the ballroom, costumes, spotlights, pyrotechnics, a shower of origami butterflies, magic tricks, a tsunami of flowers on the dance floor, and finally making Maria's father appear on stage as if by magic. Even this is rather tame by Lory's standards, as he's been known to introduce himself to strangers with backup dancers and travel about on a parade float shaped like a pirate ship.
  • Oblivious to Love: Kyoko is oblivious to Ren's attempts to flirt with her, and to any possible romantic implications that might come with him giving her a red rose for her birthday/ Christmas.
  • Playboy Bunny: The title page for act 115 shows Kyoko in a dangerously short strapless dress and a pair of bunny ears. Overlaps with both Fanservice Cover and Covers Always Lie.
  • Show Within a Show: Dark Moon and Yappa Kimagure Rock are type 1 examples, where "characters are involved in the production of the show."
  • Significant Birth Date: Maria's birthday is December 24th, while Kyoko's is December 25th. They decide to hold a joint "Happy Grateful Party" instead of a Christmas party or a birthday party because the 24th (and by extension the whole Christmas season) has a negative connotation for Maria — it's the day her mother died in a plane crash.


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