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Recap / Skip Beat Volume 22

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She's reaching for the stars!
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Is there such a thing as being too good? With Ren's help and some last-minute modelling lessons, Kyoko finally gets a grip on the Natsu that she wants to portray. She arrives on the set of Box "R" the next day already in character, and despite her costars' attempts at sabotage "Natsu" blows everyone away. The director loves her new take on the old bully role, but there's one person who isn't feeling the love. Kyoko's costar Chiori can't stand the fact that her plan to get Kyoko in hot water with the director has gone to pot, but beneath all that there's a simmering resentment over Kyoko's seemingly effortless rise to fame. Even Chiori's attempts to bully Kyoko are having no effect!

As filming on Box "R" proceeds, Kyoko learns a bit about Chiori's past and pieces together a dark secret that Chiori would prefer stay in the past. But things come to a boil when Chiori learns that, in addition to being featured on Japonet Scope before Chiori, Kyoko has another regular role on a TV show (never mind that it's as a giant chicken). Kyoko is used to dealing with her own demons, but how will she fare against someone else's?

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This volume contains the chapters:

  • Act 127. "Private Exit" note 
  • Act 128. "Switchover" note 
  • Act 129. "Slow Burning War" note 
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  • Act 130. "Reversal" note 
  • Act 131. "The Image that Emerged" note 
  • Act 132. "Cross Eyes" note 


Chapters in this volume provide examples of:

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Chiori acts polite and humble around her manager, her coworkers, and the director, but in reality she's seething with barely contained rage. She writes all of her true feelings in her "Poisonous Notebook," but Kyoko's appearance is causing some of that poison to seep out into the real world.
  • Embarrassing Animal Suit: Kyoko's job as Bo the Chicken on Yappa Kimagure Rock requires her to wear a large chicken suit.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Chiori has a minor outburst when the director asks the stylist on the set of Box "R" put her hair up. Kyoko learns from Honami and Yuka that Chiori has a bad burn scar on the back of her neck. Later on Kyoko overhears from the members of Bridge Rock that a decade ago, child actress on the set of a movie called The Scarlet Dice also got a burn scar on the back of her neck...
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: The title page for chapter 127 shows Kyoko as Snow White, with Ren and Yashiro as two of the seven dwarfs.
  • Fashion Model: Ren is one of the top male models in all of Japan, so Kyoko turns to him for advice on what else but modeling. Why? Because Kyoko needed to create a version of Natsu that looked and acted like a naturally charismatic leader - something she was having trouble with, especially when the director pointed out that her posture was too proper and her mannerisms were too stiff to fit in with the "average teenage girls" that made up Natsu's clique. Kyoko decides that she has to create a Natsu with an attitude and bearing other girls would naturally want to emulate, and the best way to do that is to model Natsu's mannerisms on fashion models.
  • Flower Motifs: It's a shoujo managa after all:
    • The title page for chapter 127 depicts Kyoko as Snow White on a bier overgrown with roses.
    • The title page for chapter 132 shows an extreme closeup of Kyoko surrounded by hibiscus flowers and cherry blooms. Hibiscuses symbolize the fleeting nature of beauty, fame, or personal glory. Cherry blossom represent the fleeting nature of youth, but also the coming of spring.
    • Most chapters have a few instances of panel backgrounds filling with unexplained flowers.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Disappointed in how Chiori has changed her look to fit in with the more "mature" Natsu, the director calls for a stylist to put her hair up in pigtails to have Yumika be the "cute" one in the group again. Chiori refuses to go for full-on pigtails (because of the scar on her neck) so they compromise and give her half-pigtails with some hair left hanging down to cover her neck.
  • The Makeover: Kyoko's makeover for the role of Natsu is subtle but effective: she parts her hair to the side and smooths it down a bit, accessorizes with Princess Rosa, and makes generous use of the nice cosmetics that Moko gave her as a birthday present. But the biggest change is in her personality and comportment. "Kyoko" is proper and unfailingly polite, to the point that her costars refer to her as "plain udon." But "Natsu" is naturally poised and elegant, with an affected personality — as if nothing that happens can phase her nor pique her interest.
  • Shipper on Deck: Yashiro is very interested to learn that Kyoko spent the night at Ren's apartment, even if she only visited to ask for advice.
  • Show Within a Show: Box "R", Dark Moon, Yappa Kimagure Rock, Japonet Scope, and The Scarlet Dice are type 1 examples, with "characters involved in the production of the show(s)."
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Honami and Yuka continue their campaign of bullying Kyoko when they decide to mess with her costume for Box "R" by stealing the ribbon off her school uniform. Later, a furious Chiori rips up the nametag on Kyoko's dressing room door. Kyoko is unimpressed, even leaving Chiori a note to "try harder" on her next attempt.
  • Those Two Girls: Honami Makino and Yuka Sudo, two of Kyoko's costars in Box "R". They're almost always seen together and seem to know each other outside of work. They're also united in their efforts to bully Kyoko, at least before her total reinvention of Natsu's character.
  • Type Cast: After child actress Chiori's success in her role as a dark and violent Little Miss Badass in The Scarlet Dice, she was only able to get job offers for roles that were similarly dark and scary. Eventually, the job offers stopped coming in. Having grown up a little, Chiori is trying to make it in show business after discarding her stage name, but she's seen little progress in the four years since she's returned to acting. Chiori becomes extremely resentful that Kyoko, a newcomer who hasn't been acting for even a full year, seems able to escape the role of Mio so easily.


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