Skip Beat! 1-5
By: Yoshiki Nakamura
Language: Swedish, English, Japanese...
180 pages, b&w, soft cover
Bonnier Carlsen 2008-
OK, I'm a middle aged guy from Sweden, and this is a comic for teenage girls in Japan... When I was reading the first volumes in this series, my fiancée commented on what a strange job I have. Well, to be truthful, I liked Skip Beat, despite the fact that it quite obviously wasn't written for me.
Yes, the premiss for the series is, as is so often the case with Japanese comics, on the verge of being ludicrous (a young girl trying desperately to get into show business simply to get back at a man who wronged her - never mind what she should do when she is actually in show business...), but that is just a way of getting the story rolling. And yes, everything is extremely exaggerated in the typical way of shoujo comics, emotions making everyone run around in circles, explode and so on. But it is very charming, and not a little intoxicating.
I read the first five volumes in two days, and had loads of fun, both with this (hopefully not correct) insight into the strange world of Japanese show business and with the interesting ways in which the artist tells her story, using many ways of communicating which would be totally alien to a comics artist from the West. Well, that did sound very high brow... but like I said earlier, I actually enjoyed reading this. I will probably not pursue the series any longer, and I would probably not recommend it to other readers sharing my demographic background, but for younger readers I think this could very well stay interesting well into and past the 23 volumes so far published in Japan.
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