Skip Beat! is a brilliant manga. I hate it, yet I read every release anyway, even though I know I will be plunged into an abyss of hating the mangaka for leaving things as a cliffhanger, again. In this way, Skip Beat! is a dastardly brilliant endeavor.
The main problem I have with Skip Beat! is Tsuruga Ren. It is quite obvious that Kyoko, the main female character, will end up with him– the battered, conflicted, tall and dark handsome man. How could she not? He is the character that garners the most sympathy, and Kyoko is starting to show signs of falling in love with him, though she tries to deny these feelings. Plus, the mangaka has drawn Sho shorter than Ren, which indicates Sho’s relative inferiority.
Yet, despite this, I still root for Shotaro Fuwa, and to a lesser extent, Reino.
Tsuruga is a coward. At least Sho knows what he wants, i.e., to occupy Kyoko’s thoughts. He may not be able to translate this into feelings of love because Sho is, after all, a jerk, but he has clear intentions. Tsuruga loves Kyoko, but he always gets all ‘manly’ and ‘self-denying’ and cannot piece together a coherent way to approach Kyoko. What an idiot. Plus, he manages to create all of these perverse situations and still does not make any moves. It is like a person who is playing hard-to-get, after awhile, the game gets boring, and the chaser will stop. After so many questionable situations and nothing happening, my frustration against Tsuruga is building up. This is another reason why the anime is better than the manga; the pacing is much faster, so Kyoko’s relationship with Tsuruga develops at a normal pace rather than a snail’s.
I also find Kyoko and Tsuruga’s childhood relationship to be completely irritating and such an exploitation of cliche. Of course they must have this especial connection all throughout their lives, of course, and of course, Kyoko is completely unaware that Tsuruga is, in fact, her childhood-fairy-friend “Corn.” Like zomg. When this crap explodes, it is really going to detonate a bajillion nuclear bombs. But when will it explode? When?
This reminds me of Mei-chan no shitsuji, where I have the same emotions about the male lead character– so self-denying, so gentlemanly, so clearly in love, and yet he does nothing (plus he’s like a bajillion years older than the female). So I root for the underdog, his younger brother.
I suppose this is a reflection of my personality; I have no patience for those who keep lying even though they have realized something quite important. At this point, after 170+ chapters, I highly suspect the mangaka just wants to keep rolling in the money, just like the mangaka of Perfect Girl Evolution.
I’m curious, who do you root for in Skip Beat!?