It’s no stranger to Skip Beat! manga readers that the series’ most consistent theme throughout its 219 chapters thus far is dedication. Even in the anime aired in 2008, the characters’ dedication to things around them is very apparent. They’re committed to the tasks given to them, no matter how tough they are, and they’re doing so with single-mindedness to deliver sheer quality. Given that Skip Beat! is set on the entertainment world, I suppose their very careers’ success is dependent of their level of commitment.
Since I started reading Skip Beat! some time back in 2009, I was never shy about my amazement at the main characters Mogami Kyoko and Tsuruga Ren‘s dedication to their acting. In many occasions, both characters overcame adversities to deliver quality work. But it doesn’t just stop there. If I reflect back the chapters I read all these years, it’s clear that the series’ many characters remain dedicated in many aspects of their lives.
Dedication to Person
While I think it’s rather silly of Kyoko to be so blindly attached to Fuwa Shō, she remained dedicated to him until that fateful day when she’s been cast aside. When asked, she eagerly agreed to join Shō to escape from Kyoto in order for him to pursue his dream, just so she could be with him. She’s willing to work two jobs to pay for a condo that neither one of its tenants stay much in. Kyoko even hated people that Shō hates and ridiculed those who insults him.
Such dedication is not rare, although it’s blind. But nonetheless, it’s one aspect of being dedicated.
Dedication to Work
As mentioned earlier, I admire Kyoko and Ren’s dedication to their career. Since the beginning, both characters are always ready to cast aside their natural personality to take on extreme roles. There are many occasions in which many characters showed their dedication to work, but there are certainly a few standout ones.
Despite being in extreme pain, Kyoko managed to pull through a scene which requires her to sit down on her injured ankle in Chapter 12. This level of professional dedication has earned her praise and respect from the director.
Ren’s lack of tolerance with Matsunai Ruriko also serves as part of his dedication to acting. He refuses to work with people who does not take their work seriously. Throughout the chapters, Ren was seen struggling to play certain character types from time to time. His own sense of professionalism added on to his pressure to play the characters well. But he’s dedicated to his acting, his career and therefore, would often seen putting in extra effort to perfect his play. In fact, in Chapter 152, it’s revealed that Ren has been sort of putting on a show off screen too. Living as a character rather than as himself, that is.
Recently in Chapter 219, Amamiya Chiori overcame insecurity and hopped on to a scheduled variety show she hated to take part in. She did that all because she figured doing some comedy work may be useful to her career in drama in future. That’s dedication, man.
Dedication to Goals
It’s almost the end of the first month in 2015, how are you getting along with the goals you’ve set earlier this month? Many people, myself included, tend to stray easily away from goals we’ve set upon ourselves.
In Skip Beat! though, there are two characters that I could think of that strikes me as very dedicated to their goals and dreams. The first character is Kotonami Kanae, a friend and rival of Kyoko. She is desperately determined to succeed as an actress and has been working hard to achieve it. Kanae is quick to accept offers and attend auditions that can bring her closer to her goal. In Chapter 26, she even innocently hoped that Kyoko could somewhat sooth her into believing she could achieve her dream after getting her chances repeatedly sabotaged by school mate.
The second character is Kyoko. While her goal is a little less admirable, she’s been clinging on to the idea of reaching the top since declaring her war with Shō. If I thought any trace of her revenge is lost since coming to genuinely like acting, that determination has been reiterated very recently in Chapter 217.
Dedication, determination, commitment, whatever you call it, there’s something attractive about it. Perhaps that’s why reading Skip Beat! has been so much fun. It gives something to cheer on, something to look forward to.