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Recap / Skip Beat Volume 23

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Kyoko channels her dark side into Natsu - can Chiori learn to do the same?

Chiori’s rage threatens the whole production when she lashes out and hurts Kyoko. Kyoko is used to overcoming obstacles, and she uses her injury as an excuse to push Chiori into exploring her acting as "Yumika," on of Natsu's lackies. But Chiori's reluctance to play up Yumika's cruelty is a way to protect herself from her own traumatic past. Kyoko has learned to harness her dark side - can Chiori do the same? Or will it be lights out for Chiori?

Drama on the set of Box "R" aside, love is in the air: Valentines day is just around the corner, and LME president Lory wants the girls in the Love-Me Section to live up to their name. Lory asks the girls to give chocolates to someone they love, but everyone's got their own reason to hate that particular holiday. If that weren't enough, it turns out Ren's 21st birthday is coming up. Kyoko wants to repay him for the beautiful rose he gave her on her birthday, but what do you give the man who has it all?


This volume contains the chapters:

  • Act 133. "The 'Right Hand' That Is Unable To Resist" note 
  • Act 134. "Midblast!" note 
  • Act 135. "Continuous Palpitations" note 
  • Advertisement:
  • Act 136. "Kiss and Cry" note 
  • Act 137. "Vivid Walker" note 
  • Act 138. "Trouble Rush" note 

Chapters in this volume provide examples of:

  • Defeat Means Friendship: Kyoko's "defeat" of Chiori is more emotional than anything else, but she proves to Chiori that it's possible to move beyond the traumas of one's past and outgrow the role that defined her. Chiori ends up so impressed by Kyoko that she joins the Love-Me Section! Made all the more impressive by the fact that Chiori works for a different agency - she forced the head of Soft Hat to broker a deal with Lory so she could join LME's special project.
  • Easily Forgiven: Kyoko totally forgives Chiori for pushing her down a flight of stairs. Despite the fact that she could have been gravely injured or lost her job on the set of Box "R", Kyoko understands what Chiori is going through and what drove her to act the way she did — and she considers the transgression more than made up for after she blackmailed Chiori into truly acting out the role of Yumika.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: The cover shows Kyoko in her role as Natsu putting on some serious bling - the style is restrained and classically elegant, but the size of the stones in her earrings and necklace would make them worth thousands of dollars if they were real gems.
  • Flower Motifs: It's a shoujo managa after all:
    • The cover depicts Kyoko in the role of Natsu against a background of silhouetted lilies.
    • Most chapters have a few instances of panel backgrounds filling with unexplained flowers.
  • Oblivious to Love: Kyoko in general, but particularly when Reino demands that she give him chocolate and tells her "Valentine's Day is a day when a man receives chocolates from the woman he likes." She completely misses his declaration of affection, instead correcting him with "no, it's a day when a girl gives a man she likes chocolate."
  • Show Within a Show: Box "R" and Dark Moon are type 1 examples, with "characters involved in the production of the show."
  • Stalker with a Crush: Reino has a crush on Kyoko... at least on her dark side. He shows up to demand that she give him handmade chocolates for Valentines day, or else...
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: Chapter 138 marks the beginning of the Valentines arc.


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