September 28, 2016

Skip Beat [Chapter 240]

[Free talk: A futile attempt to write a short summary + commentary ^^; ]

The chapter starts with Kyouko reading about a girl going out on a candlelight dinner with Ren. With a picture attached of Ren escorting her, the girl mentions about finding Ren having that mature guy’s charm since he is used to looking after women. But in reality, it is actually a party for Purple Down 2 with all the cast and crew.
Kyouko realizes that this girl worked with Ren in that autumn drama two years ago. She looks at a picture of a cute looking girl holding a puppy. Her name is Morizumi Kimiko. Yashiro saw her looking at Kimiko’s blog that he asked if Kyouko is an ardent reader of that blog. Kyouko explains that she is looking for information on the internet regarding Kimiko to help her understand that person’s character. In the end, she found this blog.

Since she read that she was in a movie with Ren before, Kyouko asks Yashiro what he knows about Kimiko. Kyouko wants to know if she is really a person who’ll use vile methods to steal a role to the point of endangering someone’s life. From her blog, she doesn’t seem to be that kind of person. Yashiro tells her that Kimiko is from a showbiz family. The producer of Purple Down is her father.

At that time, he heard that as producer, the father solely decided to cast Kimiko into that role. But then, whenever a Morizumi relative is part of the directing, auditions-type of jobs, she will appear in that drama. Those kinds of situation aren’t few so there is a high possibility that it is true.
Kyouko thinks out loud if Kimiko can really cope with getting jobs through her connections especially in the acting world. If her acting skill is far off from the other actors, it will be very hard for her to blend in with the cast and crew. Yashiro refuted her by saying that everyone ought to have considered her acting as not bad at all.

This made Kyouko think that something is wrong because obviously Kimiko has advantageous circumstances and own talent for her to stand out yet how come her exposure isn’t that quite high. Is she active in some other areas other than the television industry? Since Kyouko is now more aware about the acting world compared before, she ought to have heard of Kimiko’s name on the television yet when Erika’s bodyguards mention her name, it didn’t ring a bell. She even had to search about this Kimiko person.

Recalling that one of the bodyguards told her that she is related to the producer, Kyouko quickly searched on the internet who is the producer of the drama, Lotus in the Mud. It is a certain Morizumi Jouji. Scowling Kyouko asks if this is the producer of Purple Down. Yashiro corrects her that it is the producer’s older brother.

Yashiro asks if Kimiko is also auditioning for ‘Momiji’. Kyouko stutters that she should...most probably. Holding her head, Kyouko groans for the audition has already been decided. Yashiro tries to calm her down by saying that in the industry, the one who have the say and has the right to decide is the ‘producer’ especially in movies.
Even if the director [Edit: in the Chinese scanlations, Jouji is the director/screenwriter] wanted to cast Kimiko, if the producer opposes it, then it isn’t considered. For example, the winner would need more of the producer’s approval rather than the director’s. Kyouko backtracks on that because Erika already got the role but it was decided that they hold another audition.

Even if IT IS Erika’s father’s request, at least, that ‘producer’ has a sense of fairness on wanting to choose someone other than ‘Morizmi family member’ and he even showed flexibility in accepting a supporting role’s substitute. Kyouko thinks that if she has an opportunity to show it to someone, how she will interpret the role of Momiji. That is her hope. Kyurara audition is also like this since they already wanted Erika from the start.

Kyouko happily recalls their gorgeous skit which reversed the situation. Even if she done it while working with Kanae as one but she has grown since then. Even if she has no partner, but Kanae will definitely stand at her side. All pumped up, Kyouko believes that it is okay, she can do it.

Yashiro interrupts her by saying that since she had recovered, he wants to give her something. It is the reason why he is there. Kyouko is confused upon seeing a gift from Yashiro. He explains that a month had almost passed, and this is a return gift for Vday. Kyouko screams in shock. The gift is a horse carriage aromatherapy candle holder. She is very happy over how cute it is.
Relieved that it is within his expected reaction from her, Yashiro apologizes for the delay. He prepared it before White Day but he always didn’t have an opportunity to give it to her and it isn’t something he can conveniently carry around. The real 99% reason for it is because he doesn’t feel that he can give the ‘return gift’ to Kyouko alone without Ren’s but in the end, his intention was futile.

He learned two days ago from Ren [about going to Guam or something?] so even if it is late, he can give it to her. Yashiro explains that he was away from Tokyo for around 5 days or else, he would have given it to her on the 14th. But then, even if it was late for a month, she ought to have that kind of reaction, too. Kyouko apologizes and says that she thought the ‘return gift’ is only limited on White Day and she basically didn’t think that she’ll get a ‘return gift’.

Yashiro explains that in this industry, there is a high possibility of being unable to return the gift on White day especially Ren so there is a rule of ‘return gift’ within the month which are sent out. Ren didn’t personally mention it but that is how is how he sees it before. Since the actor and manager are one body by fate, he also unconsciously copied this action of Ren’s.

Yashiro thinks that everyone is happy getting a ‘return gift’ and it helps in having good relations. Even if everyone is aware of that situation of balancing that importance and work, no one would mention it out loud. Yashiro says that even if a month has passed and the ‘return gift’ wasn’t forgotten to be given to her then that is because Kyouko is very ‘special’.
Pause. Kyouko blushes and thanks him. She says that it is the first time a guy said that she is special. She reacted only now because it took some time for her neurons’ synapse to transmit. While Yashiro wonders if he properly conveyed it to her, Kyouko starts saying that actually, they have a connection that others cannot dare imagine after all.

She completed the missions of being Ren’s manager and Ren’s younger sister. She managed to experience it thanks to being in Love Me section. Their unique connection is a Love Me member’s special privilege. Yashiro thinks that she had forcefully twisted the meaning of ‘special’ but forget it, there’s no way for her to understand his meaning since she is Love Me member number one. Just then, Sawara calls out Kyouko to meet with someone. Yashiro quietly looks at the picture of Kimiko on the computer.

Later on, Yashiro thanks Sawara for telling him where Kyouko is. Sawara asks if he is managed well the Tokyo stuff. Yashiro says yes, thanks to him, since it will be some time before Ren comes back from THAT SIDE. He [Yashiro] was also able to finish the work before so he can breathe a sigh of relief. Sawara asks if he hasn’t told Ren yet.

Yashiro says yes because he wants to give him a pleasant surprise. Sawara says that it is worth seeing. They talk about Kyouko’s new job commercial offering. There are more offers coming in and it is probably thanks to Box’R even if the second episode’s rating isn’t that high. Still, Kyouko’s charisma in the TV drama is there.
Sawara thinks that Mio and Natsuki are totally different but then, the same goes with Kyouko herself. He says that even if Kyouko wants to concentrate on acting but then, she cannot decline other offers besides acting. She had been more or less distress about it for a long time so he wants to get someone who can give her suggestions. Yashiro looks thoughtful.

At the Love Me room, Kyouko opens her locker to put in her new gift. She is going for fighting practice so it will have to wait when she has time and the mood to bring it home. Recalling what Yashiro said about not being able to give back ‘return gifts’, she remembers that Lory called them out on White Day. She becomes disappointed that she has to shake her head to not think of it.

She actually didn’t think of ‘return gift’, and she didn’t except it so why is she troubled by ‘why’ she didn’t receive a return gift. It is also thick-faced of her to think about that. She already got a candle holder from Yashiro, tea cup set from Ogata and mirror set from the Bridge Rock guys when she only gave them two truffles.

It is like she is some malicious loan shark who got more than what she gave. She is glad that Ren forgot about it. She cannot imagine Ren giving something that will conform with her gift that probably cost 400-600 yen and how come guys’ return gift is so costly that it is already multiple times more than the cost of just two truffles.
Then, Kyouko remembers that she didn’t give Ren truffles, she gave him a special queen rose red wine jelly. She assumes that because it isn’t chocolate, so it isn’t a target of Ren’s ‘return gift’. She thinks that it is possible that she doesn’t know about this ‘Vday rule of Japan’ so if it isn’t a chocolate, there’s no return gift. She decides to give cookies-type next time in case she receives costly return gifts.

After getting her things from the locker, Kyouko rushes out to the street. She had a suffocating feeling for a while but it is okay now. She checks her cellphone for the bus schedule and looks aghast. While catching her breath at the bus stop, she thinks that if she couldn’t catch the next one, she’ll totally be late. She checks how much time she had left. 4 minutes.

She decides to make a run for it as if her life depended on it. She is stopped by a car that honked at her. The driver is waving for her to come over. She checks it out and it is Yashiro who offers her a ride on his car. Kyouko is surprised that he already has a license when she recalls that before, he told her that his only shortcoming is not having a license for him to become a perfect measure to Ren.

Yashiro says to become the perfect manager, he went to a training camp for two weeks. He tells her that this super manager can be hired right now for a limited time. So if she wants to hire him, then get into the backseat right now.
Comment: On the first page, is that Kyouko looking jealous or shocked over this ‘date’? I had a similar reaction as I wonder who this girl is before realizing that Kyouko might be researching about the competitor. From the looks of it, Kimiko is indeed a nice girl. With that kind of post and picture, who would think that she is capable of doing THAT to Erika.

Still, I’m curious, is that her latest post? It was about two years ago. If she no longer updates the blog means she was busy with something else or something’s up. Things do not jive just like what Kyouko is thinking. If the producer is ‘boss’, why would they even bother with auditions and didn’t just cast Kimiko for the role. But that role doesn’t seem destined for her since Kanae mentioned of a certain someone, most likely Kimiko, wanted her role, too.

Since she isn’t as popular as she should be given her family background and probably average/above average talent, could it be that she isn’t really interested in acting? I’m imagining that she was forced to act or at least, this time to audition as some ultimatum that she has to get the role by hook or by crook for whatever reason. Anyway, Kyouko’s task is to impress everyone enough during the audition with her interpretation of Momiji for her to get the role.

Also, when it was mentioned Momiji having a family who are into showbiz, I immediately thought of Ren again. So, is Ren’s past going to be connected to that? Is it possible that Momiji also wanted to get out of her family’s shadow so she tried to audition instead of the role being given to her on a silver platter? Or, is she like that bully who tormented Ren before, assuming that he just has to get a certain role? Maybe both?

On a side note, it seems that Kyouko isn’t used to typing on a keyboard that she is using the two-finger technique. =P It is also amusing that everyone already knows what to give Kyouko. She is someone whom one can easily give a gift to and you’ll know she’ll be very happy with it. ^^ Yashiro is trying to hint about Kyouko being special to Ren but it failed. Don’t give up, gambatte!

That is actually one reason why I’m excited about Yashiro being her temporary manager. He can act as a cupid for the two. Or perhaps, he might find out Kyouko’s feelings for Ren. I’m thinking of Kamo’s role, the bodyguard in TCP, who also played cupid. ^^ Hopefully, that will help in the stalemate situation of the two.

Iirc, Ren doesn’t plan on giving a return gift to Kyouko. Yashiro seems to be hinting that he will. Well, if he does, I wonder what it will be. Will he give it again in a not so obvious manner like before? What will top that gem he gave before? And since White day has passed, it makes me wonder if it is a guarantee that there won’t be any other return gift from the other guys like Shou or Reino.

Anyway, Kyouko got her temporary manager. Maybe he can also help her with the Momiji issue aside from whether or not to take certain other jobs. As I mentioned, maybe love life, too ^^ How long is Ren going to be in Guam? I assume that 2 weeks had passed since it took Yashiro around that time to get his license, or he passed some work to Sawara for him to get that license? So here’s hoping for some development while Yashiro is her manager. ^^ Scans by 红莲汉

Quote of the day:
A positive attitude will always lead to positive outcomes. ~ Author Unknown


  1. My guess is that this isn't as "temp" as Yashiro implies. That would explain the focusing in on him dealing with Kyouko, Sawara's little "have you told Ren", as well as why he would need a license(Ren always drives and seems the type to continue doing so), and several times now we've had people hinting about getting Kyouko a real manager (Sawara & President). Truthfully, Ren's self sufficient enough that any decent help would be enough. This would allowYashiro to help "protect" Kyouko - as he and Ren mutually agreed a while back, since she has "no experience with men".

    Anyways - just my personal guess.

    1. Ren, I thought the 'have you told Ren' was about having a license.

      Yup, a lot of people hinted on that. You got a point. It might be long term later on. Well, I'm sure Ren would be happy to share Yashiro to 'protect' Kyouko from men ^^

    2. Actually, I think I am the only one who got sad in this chapter .. because (in my opinion, obviously) it seems like he was hitting on her... "we have a special relationship" ... it seemed to me that if Ren is not taking any leads, he is going to. I don't know, but I sensed a really "male attack" in Yashiro, like I want to be by your side. Something like that!

    3. I also sensed that. But, in the end, I dismissed it because this is Yashiro who is rooting for the two = I'm thinking too much. ^^;

    4. You weren't the only one. I also thought Yashiro was hitting on her. (I was a little happy) I kinda like that pairing even though I know Ren is the end game. Can't wait for the next chapter and summary!

  2. Thank you once again, Kat. There were subtle differences between the English and Spanish translations, so I was very interested to see yours, based on the Chinese one.

    A note: There is a confusing error in the English translation, and probably the Chinese one, too. From the preview samples of raws I have seen online, Morizumi Jouji’s position in the Lotus in the Mire team is not producer, but director [監督 (kantoku)] and also writer of the script [脚本 (kyakuhon)]. (But not the writer of the original novels, only an adaptation.)

    Hmm... As a big cynic, I actually found Kimiko's brand of cutesy a bit creepy. The bait-and-switch story “what a dreamy date…that is, I wish it had been a date, when it was actually a work dinner”. …And I wonder what kind of dog that is in the profile pic. It doesn’t look like a Chihuahua dog, so it might be a puppy. A real animal lover would not have a puppy in a profile pic like a cute prop, they would prefer a recent photo cuddling their grown-up pet. So Kimiko seems to be faking loving animals. …And also, her using the fluffy dog prop reminds me of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” thing in fables, or Red Riding Hood - both with role reversal.
    Kyoko's outside-television theory reminds me of Glass Mask, where iirc the characters make the most impact acting on stage in the theatre, even though stage acting is lower-status than television.

    1. You're welcome, Zozo ^-^

      Oh. Well, the Chinese scanlation got it right. It wrote: 'Director/Screenwriter'. I had doubts because of the English so I didn't mentioned it. And, how the chapter went. Now that I think of it, no wonder Kyouko said that if the director wanted Komiko, the producer can override it. Still, I'm a bit confused since he seems to be also the producer or else, why would Kyouko at first think she has no hope. ^^;

      It is a puppy. I would think that it is for cute effect. Something like a photo shoot? Hm...I haven't thought about that but it is possible.

      Really. I'm actually more impressed by stage actors than the ones on television so for me it is stage actors > television actors.

    2. ^^ Good to speak/type to you again.

      Hmm, I assumed Kyoko was despairing at first because she didn’t know that it is the producer (unknown) who makes the final decision, even if the director (Morizumi) doesn’t agree. Kyoko doesn’t have experience with that situation. >>
      (Well, not *exactly* that situation… Although Sho’s producer, Asami Haruki, was the one making decisions and managing the video shoot, that’s different from a drama since she’s in charge of Sho’s whole musical career whereas the video director is only in charge of the filming.)
      >> And Kyoko does have experience with the power of directors. Shingai threatening to replace Ruriko with Kyoko; Kurosaki making changes to the commercial storyboard and raising the number of girls to cast to two; Ogata casting Kyoko and Ren, and adapting the script to include their versions of their characters…

      I guess it’s probably a photo shoot. I hope the photographer/staff only borrow the puppies for a little while, the way TV crews do with human babies. It would be sad if photographers buy dogs to use as props/models until they’re not cute any more, then give them away.

      Ah, I meant that stage actors are lower-status in the entertainment industry, not lower in my personal opinion. It seemed to be that way in Glass Mask. The characters are more impressive as stage actors, can be a lot more flexible than if they were on film because there are many stage performances but only one final cut for TV…and yet, to reach the “top” and become a star in the industry, the heroine had to appear on TV (and in films?), Hollywood-style.
      It seems TV/film star status would also be the “top” of the mountain that Kyoko was trying to climb earlier. Iirc, at that time, she wanted to become more popular than Sho = “sell more product” (CD sales for him; I guess drama viewers for her? (DVD sales aren’t mentioned.))

      I find it very interesting when actors are on stage *and* screen, especially if they have very different roles. <<For example, Ian Holm. He is/was(?) an important Shakespearian stage actor. I saw him in the lead role in a play which was filmed for TV. And then I didn’t recognize him when he played Bilbo the hobbit in “Lord of the Rings” ^^; …So, it’s definitely possible to be a high-status stage actor and get minor roles on film. And without (unobservant ^^; ) viewers noticing it’s the same person, for years.

    3. =)

      I see. Still, isn't it odd to be despairing over a producer whom she doesn't even know what s/he's suppose to be like? So, fear of the unknown? Anyway, at least she knows whom she must impress and it gives her an opening to be chosen compared to the director solely making the casting decision. ^^

      Hm..isn't it cheaper to borrow dogs than buying them especially if they of a certain breed? Perhaps, it is also a plus that they are 'tamed'. Is giving them away bad? I would think abandoning them would be worse which might get authorities after them.

      I see. I recall someone complaining about stage actors being 'over acting'/expressions then someone else would say that it is because on the stage, they would have to exaggerate it for the audience at the back in contrast to the television wherein the camera is focused on you. Well, aside from having only one final/few takes in film/TV.

      But then, perhaps, the lower status = low popularity. I mean, stage isn't exactly watched by a lot of people compare to TV/film. What do you think?

      Not really. It can be 'the top ranking female entertainers' for Kyouko. I recall there is such a list wherein Shou is below Ren who is at number one. If Kyouko reaches number 1, then that would perhaps mean she has beaten Shou. They did mention popularity in contrast to who earned more, right? ^^

      So, is it good to be able to go into other roles unrecognized or not? If it is for popularity, it probably isn't just like why Yashiro isn't keen about hiding Ren's identity before for BJ. For the craft of acting, it is a good thing ^^

    4. Hmm? I thought Kyoko was only despairing over the director (because he is a Morizumi and will want to cast Kimiko Morizumi)… And after Yashiro tells Kyoko that the producer makes the final decision if s/he doesn't agree with the director's choice, Kyoko stops despairing… (?)

      Well, I saw some abandoned dogs in Japan once in a documentary on TV, and some of the breeds looked quite expensive. Apparently there are some shallow wealthy people who abandon their expensive dog when a different breed becomes more fashionable. There was an “actors’” troupe of abandoned dogs (different breeds) trained to become performing dogs, rather than being killed by the authorities. …Generally speaking, yes, you’re right, it is better to hire a dog for a short performance than to own one. But I think maybe only performing dog trainers would allow you to use their dogs for photo shoots. It’s not as bad as fireworks, but dogs and cats generally hate loud noises and bright light = flash photography and studio lights.

      Oh… I’m surprised the theatre promoters don’t enhance the experience for people at the back by installing screens showing a better view of the stage/close-ups of the actors, like stadiums/music venues for rock concerts. Then “big name” stage actors could closely follow the fashions in mass entertainment like on television – eg making a lot of complicated facial expressions showing mixed feelings, or feelings one is trying to hide, etc. >> I think successful stage actors have the skill for stage acting AND television acting, but many of them get typecast in theatrical roles, and also the “stagey” roles on television.
      I think screen star status is THE endgame, the ultimate (career) goal, in Skip Beat, whereas the Glass Mask heroine has a rapid rise and fall on the screen, and the important (final?) competition is to win the lead role in “huge hit” play. However, I think stage roles would be a credible pathway for a rival – “stepping stones”, like Kyoko’s role in Sho’s PV/music video, or the Kyurara commercial. Those roles also had a limited audience. Not everyone is a fan of Visual Kei music, and sugar-drinks are aimed at young people, hence the “sparkling youth” theme of the CM.
      Iirc, Erika saw her stage experience in school plays as something like a stepping stone. She thought that since she had excluded Kanae from main roles, then the school acting club, that Kanae’s skill level would be lower than hers. (Erika didn’t know about Kanae’s private/undercover paid acting roles.)

    5. continued...
      Is that the ‘most desirable [huggable?] man’ ranking from the first chapter? Because that data was not very accurate. Only women in their early twenties were surveyed. Teenagers buy a lot of CDs and go to a lot of concerts. …And Kyoko was probably right when she told Sho that most 20+ year-old women prefer 20+ year-old (adult) men, and also when she told Ren an adult (20+) man can consider a 16-year-old girl a desirable adult woman, since she can legally marry [only with permission (not mentioned)]. If so, there wouldn’t be a fair popularity contest between Kyoko and Sho until they are both 20.
      Exact figures about earnings/sales are not given in detail, but fairly clear graphs of Sho’s CD sales (his string of number-one hits) and also a graph of the TV viewer percentage watching Dark Moon each week were shown. They seemed to be the “hard data” that professionals took seriously. I think only Sho was raging over popularity rankings, because he takes them personally.

      ^^ True, it’s definitely good way for an actor improve their craft. In terms of popularity, it depends on what you want to be known for. For instance, Lory doesn’t seem to be worried that not publicizing Kyoko’s role as Bo the chicken will make her less popular. Probably it wouldn’t be very useful to Kyoko, because she doesn’t want more Bo-like roles, and Bo’s biggest fans are children. Kyoko is aiming for lead roles in dramas/film = adult & teenage fans.
      A female entertainer would have different reasons from Ren to hide things like “monstrous villain” roles, at least until she had success in other, inc heroic roles. A man showing his dark side is often considered a sexy “bad boy”, but a scary woman role is only considered attractive by weird horror freaks like Reino. There also seems to be less “bad boy” typecasting than “bad girl” typecasting.

    6. Ah okay. I got it now. I thought it was Kyouko thinking of that/figuring it out = producer > director. ^^;;

      Oh. Was it mentioned what they do with those dogs? True. But then, that was a puppy. You're making me think that they sedated the dog somewhat so that it won't be that scared/hate of the noise/bright light. ^^;

      Hm..perhaps, it ruins the mood if there are screens? Or, they would have to hire directors for the screen like when do you focus a certain scene/actor pan near or out. Stuff like that?

      True, there are actors/actresses who go that route.

      Still, it is a ranking, right? Even if Kyouko is right, for Shou that is the basis of comparison ^^ I think Kyouko will win if she becomes famous internationally. What do you think?

      It is a bit hard to compare CD and TV percentage since the medium different. Shou might have more or less full control of his music production but it isn't the same with TV dramas. I have not seen any direct comparisons with actors vs singers. The usual ones I know of are popularity ranking among entertainers, most influential entertainer or the richest showbiz personality. Being richest might be a good gauge.

      Lol, true. So, is it good that Kyouko is being typecast as 'bad girl' since that is totally the opposite of her true character? It does make me wonder if she'll ever play 'good girl' roles.

      By the way, I came across an article talking about planting lotus. This quote made me think of the drama/Ren, 'From the murk of the mud spring forth a flower untouched by the dirt'. Apparently, there are many similar musings in Buddhism about the lotus. Quite fitting for Ren. About the drama, does it mean the lead will become a 'someone' after being a ronin. So, I wonder, is this really a romance drama or the love triangle is just a side story.

    7. The performing dogs? They got invitations to perform at schools and other places. They were paid to perform, and also got donations from the audience = food money. All of the “performers” had not been adopted by new owners in the government time limit, so they would have got lethal injections otherwise.
      …Ugh, yes, probable. If it’s a very young dog, it won’t be trained to perform probably yet.

      Hmm… I think the mood would depend on where you put the screens, and the kind of show. For instances, “surtitle” screens above the stage are accepted at free shows – like free operas in outdoor garden stadiums (paid for by sponsors to get publicity) – or just “hard to understand” shows, like plays in languages people learn at school. Not at indoor, expensive operas etc – they have librettos for customers to read.
      Experimenting to see where screens work (probably near the back), and some people doing extra study of filming, or selecting talented people who can do both staging and filming (I think hiring fully-trained directors probably too costly), would take an unconventional stage company. A very successful one starting to expand. Unusual, because unconventional companies are normally small = use small to medium playhouses where back rows aren’t very distant. Even “successful” usually = no empty seats and another show, not so many fans they should move to a bigger playhouse.

      Oh yes, you’re right about Sho. Heh heh, I guess I tend to dismiss what he thinks because he tends to be disconnected from reality. Like when he’s 16, under 2 years after his debut and rages over being less popular than Ren (nearly 20 and 4 years after debuting as an actor). Delusions of grandeur, big time. Actually, Sho thinking being underage won’t matter because he “looks older than 16” is stupid too. Fans (inc girls voting for him as “most desirable”) know his age from his profile online.
      I agree, Kyoko’s ambition, it was something like becoming “an actress that represents Japan = international fame, probably.
      I wonder about the “representing your country”, though. That sounds like the Olympics, but unlike with athletes, people often make mistakes about internationally famous actors’ nationality/origins. Eg Tilda Swinton. Even journalists sometimes call her English; she’s Scottish. It’s not too bad, because fans know the truth, but…

      Oh dear, Kyoko would be lowest on the “rich list”, she actually owes money! But iirc, actually only information on the really big earners among actors is published. I think legally, the production companies have to report “big costs” like hiring a “big name” lead actor, whereas supporting actors might not be a “big cost” even as a group.

      Well, Kyoko does have a ‘no more Miss Nice Girl’/angry mode, but she’s assertive/(self-)protective, not evil, unlike her villain characters, who bully innocent heroic characters. But most of the ‘good girl’ roles available seem to be for characters who are very slow to anger = the “cheerful Cinderella” type. Fairly like Kyoko’s real personality, but not like her past performances. Maybe she’ll be offered a ‘mostly good girl’ role first? = a good girl who gets angry and behaves badly sometimes. (A bit like Kanae’s real personality ^^) That’s kind of a “best friend” role, not heroine, but still not villain.

      Ah, interesting. There is a phrase a little like that in English, “a rose blooming on a dunghill”.
      “Lotus in the Mire” seems like more of an action story, maybe? But I don’t know if that makes the romance so unimportant. After all, the women are “action girls”. …Also, I was reading about the 47 ronin, and I got the impression that samurai/ronin fights were life-and-death for the families/staff, as well. Because the enemy would kill your family/household after defeating you, unless they were well hidden. Also, it seems that wives of (senior?) samurai/ronin were also expected to commit suicide if their husbands were “disgraced” as warriors, but not if the husband divorced the wife before the disgrace (not like modern divorce, but still recognized).

    8. Thanks for the info ^^ So, the teachers got paid or it is volunteer work with animals-kind of thing? I mean, since they are 'living on donation'. I guess Japanese are generous ^^ Though, I'm referring to the abandoned dogs that seems to be an expensive breed. Adopted or injection?

      I see.

      Hm..perhaps, in more open-minded people? I'm thinking maybe, it isn't about it cannot be done or expensive but 'being traditionalist' so would want the theater as it is with minor/no distractions due to equipment etc. True, if it is just a small/medium theater, usually it isn't needed. Oh, I just recall that they do have those opera glasses =P


      Ah, perhaps, it is a bit different if it is Asian? If we were to say SB is like real life, it is more unlikely they'll make a mistake due to very few Asians manage to become popular in mainstream. Sometimes, the surname/name is a giveaway. Still, I wonder why Ren's father has to change his stage name or Kuu is his real name. In the official Chinese, they translate that as Cool though =P

      Lol, I was thinking later on, she'll be in the 'rich list' ^^ I see. Out of curiosity, I checked the richest celebrities of Japan, it is composed mostly of singers.

      Hm..another side character role? I guess that can help make others see that she can be seen in such a role. Also, perhaps, acting a 'good girl' is no challenge since that is basically what she is = just be herself. =P

      Oh, there's also such a saying.

      Is that so. Well, the ones I read in fiction about ronin, they are mostly single ^^; I checked a bit and found only the wife doing the same, according to wiki:
      Female ritual suicide, known as Jigai, was practiced by the wives of samurai who have committed seppuku or brought dishonor.

      Some women belonging to samurai families committed suicide by cutting the arteries of the neck with one stroke, using a knife such as a tantō or kaiken. The main purpose was to achieve a quick and certain death in order to avoid capture.

      Women were carefully taught jigai as children. Before committing suicide, a woman would often tie her knees together so her body would be found in a dignified pose, despite the convulsions of death.

      Jigai, however, does not refer exclusively to this particular mode of suicide. Jigai was often done to preserve one's honor if a military defeat was imminent, so as to prevent rape.

      Invading armies would often enter homes to find the lady of the house seated alone, facing away from the door. On approaching her, they would find that she had ended her life long before they reached her.

      - - -

      So, perhaps, more than just being killed, I think to be dishonored by being raped might force the wives to do that. Well, losing to the enemy. 'Disgrace'/losing honor is a big thing in Japan. The rest of the household, probably except for retainers who'll might also commit suicide, might want to consider escaping earlier on if possible.

    9. Volunteer work, iirc. Yep ^^
      Ah, I think most abandoned expensive-breed dogs got adopted within the time limit, not killed.

      Probably tradition stops many people. But many of those traditions are from the past when opera and plays were mass entertainment, no competition from film and TV. And they were just “background music” to some people in the past. I have read books from the past where characters talked a lot during operas, etc. … Ah, opera glasses ^^ Probably these days, people would want the show live-streamed to their electronic devices, though ^^;

      Well, the general pattern seems to be that casual viewers assume an actor new on the scene belongs to the country/community producing the largest number of well-known actors with matching looks and/or accent. With her hotelier (ryokan) standard English, possibly Kyoko could be mistaken for an ‘ABC’/American-born Chinese actress.
      I googled “Mogami” to check whether it’s a giveaway, and lol, most hits are for a Japanese company that produces MUSIC cables! Material Sho probably uses ^^; ...That’s rather a twisted sense of humor the SB writer has.
      Iirc, Kuu is Ren’s father’s real name, and Ren is partly named after him in his real name, Kuon. Kuu’s stage name was Shuuhei something? I don’t think that would work in English media. Sounds like “shoe”. Not sexy.
      “Cool”, heh heh! I guess that’s one of the meanings of Kuu? The official translations can make mistakes, though. I recently read the official English volume 37, and they called Toudou “Fujimichi”. Copying the scanlators’ work (* ̄m ̄)

      Singers, oh dear ^^;. Are they multilingual, like opera singers/Latin language superstars like Shakira? I’d be amused if Kyoko turns out to be correct after all, that outperforming Sho at schoolwork (in this case, languages) will pay off in the entertainment industry.

      Very true.

      It’s just natural fertilizer, I guess ^^;

      Horrible. Sounds like it’s to prevent ‘war crimes’, basically? Rape, torture…^^;
      Gives me a new perspective on “Berserk” = lot of horrors avoided by suicide in Japanese culture, hence the European setting. Also on Kyoko’s refusal to allow any stain on the reputation of her character Mio due to Reino’s stalking and manhandling her in costume – which prevents her reporting Reino and giving him the criminal record he deserves.

      Do you think the horrible danger to wives and kids is why most ronin in stories you’ve read are single, or is it just simpler that way for adventure stories? What age was the audience meant to be?

    10. Indeed. Still, there are such people. Something like of 'high breeding'/'cultured' yet rigid against change. Ah..talked a lot during operas..interesting. I usually just see either interested or sleeping through it =P

      Ah, but live-streamed is still very different from live in that place especially if it is a musical. After watching a few LIVEs, I realized that the really good singers really sound different LIVE. It is in a way, more moving/powerful-something. If it is on CD or TV, it is like so-so but LIVE, hehe, it was such an eye opener for me.

      Really? Still, the name is a giveaway. Though you make me wonder is a Chinese speaking English the same with a Japanese speaking English. ^^; Hehe, I think that's just a coincidence about Mogami. =P

      Anyway, Chinese surnames are usually just one syllable like tan, go, chan, etc. Japanese is more than one since their surnames are made of two characters/kanji instead of one for Chinese. Also, Chinese celebrities except from the ones in China, iirc, have English names. For example, Jacky Chan is Cheng Long in Chinese which means 'become dragon' or Bruce Lee is Lee Xiao Long which mean 'small dragon'. =P

      Lol, true about Kuu's stage name.

      Really? ^^; That was my translation, too. Without the raws, I just type the kanji in a Jap-English online dict and the ONLY name that comes out is Fujimichi.

      No. It's Jpop. I knew a few on the list since they were very popular at a certain time though I'm surprised that they are still there now. It seems that they are diversifying to like modelling, producing music, etc. I think Japanese people's English is quite bad compared to Chinese, again, as long as not in China. I recall that Japanese can likely read it rather than speak it.

      I think so. Knowing English is a major plus because there would be no language barrier.

      It seems so. I haven't read Berserk. ^^;

      Perhaps, it is both. The ones I read are usually aimed for elementary/high school boys. Though, if it is for older ones, there might be married ones though most likely still 'single' like wife died tragically, etc. Now that I think of it, that is one reason why one of the ronin I read was 'single'.

      Anyway, for the plot, it is usually ronin wandering around and meeting someone/helping girl then the story starts from there and possible romance. I'm not sure how the story will go if he is still married..and well, ronin are usually wandering around because of not having any master/not tied down to any relationships. <- the impression I have.

      So, this Lotus in the Mud is a bit queer since he had a female sidekick-type of companion which will form the love triangle. Perhaps, it is like, I will follow you no matter what since you are still my master even after everything that had happened. <- formal reason but of course, the real reason is love. ^^

    11. I've checked a bit on what does a ronin does, according to wiki:

      According to the Bushido Shoshinshu (the Code of the Samurai), a samurai was supposed to commit seppuku (also "hara kiri" — ritual suicide) upon the loss of his master. One who chose not to honor the code was "on his own" and was meant to suffer great shame. The undesirability of rōnin status was mainly a discrimination imposed by other samurai and by daimyo, the feudal lords.

      During the Edo period, with the shogunate's rigid class system and laws, the number of rōnin greatly increased. Confiscation of fiefs during the rule of the third Tokugawa shogun Iemitsu resulted in an especially large increase of rōnin.

      During previous ages, samurai were able to move between masters and even between occupations. They would also marry between classes. However, during the Edo period, samurai were restricted, and were — above all — forbidden to become employed by another master without their previous master's permission.

      Because the former samurai could not legally take up a new trade, or because of pride were loath to do so, many rōnin looked for other ways to make a living with their swords.

      Those rōnin who desired steady, legal employment became mercenaries that guarded trade caravans, or bodyguards for wealthy merchants. Many other rōnin became criminals, operating as bandits and highwaymen, or joining organized crime in towns and cities.

      Rōnin were known to operate, or serve as hired muscle for, gangs that ran gambling rings, brothels, protection rackets, and other similar activities. Many were petty thieves and muggers. The criminal segment gave the rōnin of the Edo period a persistent reputation of disgrace, with the image of thugs, bullies, cutthroats, and wandering vagrants.

      - - -

      So, ronin was a 'bad image' unless you are the lead of a certain story =P Perhaps, something like how delinquents/gangs are portrayed. 'Bad guys with a good heart'. ^^ I think that is the reason for the mud in the title.

    12. Yes, there are the rigid ‘high art’ people. There are some signs of change, though. For instance, in recent years, the male lead in Shakespeare plays (and film) has been switched for a woman a few times. It’s just too sexist to have so few main female roles. Not accepted nowadays.
      Heh, very deep sleepers! It almost seemed that opera was used to create more comfortable social situations. It made talking optional. Listening to the opera was also optional, so you could have a good conversation – or avoid a bad one, by showing strong interest in the opera (genuine interest or not).

      Have heard, and sometimes felt, things like that. Live is more vibrant, ‘warmer’ sound? But if I like it a lot, I want to “re-read” it, so it’s often the CD/recording that leaves the strongest impression on me.

      Well, the first impression usually doesn’t include the actor’s real/stage name. Also, I’d suspect many English-speakers don’t know enough about Asia not to confuse Korean, Japanese, etc and Chinese full names, instead of seeing clear patterns in surnames.
      People who have learnt similar English (e.g. standard American English = “Hollywood” accent) from an early age to a high level sound similar (= Kyoko, probably). People who have learnt middle-level English later will sound different, their accent more influenced by their native languages.

      I wonder, since the Mogami River HAS been mentioned…

      Ah, iirc, I read once that an official English given name is added to traditional names in, I think it was in Hong Kong?

      Heh, heh.

      Ah, it doesn’t get dictionary hits because it’s an odd combination of characters. Unusual. But the furigana for “Toudou” did appear in the raws a little after his appearance, iirc. And it’s written in English on his business card in the Volume 39 omake.

      Jpop… Is Visual Kei included, or is it that more sparkly stuff?
      I think a lot of Chinese Diaspora were tradespeople? And English has been the language of international business for a while.
      Still, it’s odd for the “study hard” cultures back in original countries not to produce more functional English. English spelling can be quite misleading about sound, so to read more often than you listen to recordings would make you speak badly…

      …Sounds promising ^^. Later, the touch-typing hurdle?

      Oh, I suppose that’s an odd combination, Skip Beat versus Berserk? ^^;… Both have narcissist villains, though. That said, Sho doesn’t *literally* turn into a demon. Much less violence that way, yay!

      I see. Thanks, that makes things clearer. The situation is basically “no future”. <<What stupid government policy, not letting all these dangerous men learn a different job. Definitely ‘muddy waters’.

      Maybe Lotus in the Mud is different because it’s also (more?) aimed at women? Because there are two women wanting the same man, like in Dark Moon, in which iirc, the male lead, Ren, was supposed to attract a lot of the viewers by making female viewers swoon at his repressed romantic feelings.

    13. Somewhat confused, recent years = male lead played by woman then, 'not accepted nowadays'. ^^;

      An alibi huh. But I guess, they are talking in hush tones, right? Or, the performers just ignore them?

      Something like that. It makes me think wow, s/he is really good. I mean, you'll really know that person's voice has this 'power' something that moves you. Well, for me, compared to just listening at the TV or CD. Perhaps, something like seeing a tourist site in person compared to looking at picture of it. I see.

      Hehe, I was thinking of that. Most people won't be able to distinguish if not exposed to it. If it is based on first impression based on appearance, it can be hard. ^^

      Ah, perhaps, it depends on how Mogami is written. In the jap-english dict, it can be written in kanji 5 different ways. Kyouko's means 'most+above'

      Hong Kong probably since it used to be under the UK. But, some others that have English names are from Taiwan and Singapore. I'm not sure though if it is also 'official'. For example, here in the Philippines, Filipino-Chinese usually have an unofficial Chinese name which isn't really used for transactions or anything but I guess being Chinese, one has to have a Chinese name. I wonder if Chinese in other countries like US or Europe have them, too.

      I see. Hm..I don't think I have read that one yet.

      Nope, typical jpop. The songs that I know are the typical catchy songs that one can dance to or ballads.

      I think so. Perhaps, it is more on a nationalistic thing, too? I mean why learn a foreign language unless it is necessary like study or work abroad. I think all English movies in Japan are re-dubbed/subtitled. I think even Japanese presidents would just rely on an interpreter.


      Not really. I always heard of it but never got to read or know what it is about except it's shounen. =P Reading variety of genre is good, well, I do that since a certain type can get boring in a while.

      No problem. Perhaps, they want to keep them 'loyal' or else.

      Thinking about it, this is a tv drama, right? So, yes, probably aimed at women. I kept on assuming that it is a movie ^^; Lol, good point though it would be nice if it is for his acting. ^^ Still, for him to decline and they didn't seem to hold an audition for the male lead.

      I would think that the female roles can help up and coming actresses have a breakthrough. Perhaps, that is why Kimiko is desperate either role. Assuming she now wants to be famous compared to how laid back/practically unknown she was before.

    14. Ah, sorry it was unclear ^^; In chronological order = most of the best roles in Shakespeare are for men, (because women weren’t allowed in act in England at the time the plays were written, so women’s roles had to be played by young men/boys in falsetto). Shakespeare plays are still popular, but it is now unacceptable to have all the best roles go to men, so they switch the gender and produce “Queen Lear” etc.

      Talking reasonably quietly. The music and singing wasn’t rock-concert volume, but it was loud enough that you could only talk to the people sitting beside you.

      With singers, I only think they’re really good if they write their songs. Not completely fair of me, but part of musical talent is genetic, even if the rest is hard work.

      It doesn’t help that casting isn’t always “accurate” about origins. Bruce Lee cast as a Japanese martial artist. Greek actors cast as Middle-Eastern…

      The Mogami river is also ‘most+above’ (‘best’). “Best” is a surname in English as well, but it also reminds me of the actor surnamed “Highmore”. The music cable company seems to have been taken over by Americans, so I can’t find the original kanji for it.

      Interesting. Judging by your Ookami Heika summary, that’s a little like being royalty, with only people very close to you using your ‘personal’ name. Except that for normal people, it’s an unofficial name, a secret known to few, not taboo to say like an official royal name.

      As far as I know, it’s not scanlated in English, only Spanish, the Vol 39 omake. It includes the visit to Katagiri that I thought would happen in upcoming chapters ^^;

      Ah, music that would work in commercials? Good way to make money.

      Critics call that being ‘monocultural’ ^^; …Also, some functional English is useful for being a tourist. I get the impression that’s reasonably popular with Japanese people. Not as much as when Japan was the ‘Asian tiger’ economy, iirc, but still it seems to be traditional to go to a tropical location sometimes on holiday and it’s rather expected for honeymoons. ->That must have made Guam an extra-romantic location for the Japanese readers =P

      It’s ironic, the genre variety, because I actually look for the stories with the same topics/tropes/subject keywords ^^; …It’s very annoying to me when I find something like Seigi no Mikata, with an incomplete scanlation – and without furigana in the raws, because it’s josei.

      There may be multiple rounds of auditions for the male lead role, like for the “Chidori” role. In that case, maybe a special late entry into the second round is not impossible. I’m not making any bets, though ^^;

      Possible. I wonder whether her family is putting pressure on her. It must be embarrassing to the family if Kimiko can only get minor roles on tv. Kimiko herself may prefer ‘other’ acting activities (the activities in Kyoko’s vague suspicions).

    15. I see.


      I think most people think that way. ^^ Hm..when you say write = music, lyrics or both?

      Yup. I think that is why there is some uproar if a certain role is portrayed by the wrong race.

      I see. I think it is most commonly written that way. The music cable might want their company name to mean that - literally Mogami.

      True. Of course, if you study in Chinese schools, it will be known. I mean, there are Chinese classes so during the exams or roll call, they'll call you by the Chinese name. But then, it is usually limited to that and family. Unless you want it publicized in some other Chinese-related stuff.

      Is that so. ^^

      Possible. There is one that made it to a popular game, Kingdom Hearts. And, these girls are quite pretty and fashionable that they can diverse to other stuff like fashion. ^^

      Hm..though, they would usually go on tours, right? But then, perhaps, the young people should more or less know more English. ^^ Ah, but in such tropical places, one doesn't really need to interact much with the locals, right?

      Is that so. True, it can be frustrating. It is one reason why I decided to learn Chinese to read Chinese scanlation. Though lately, there are times when I feel that they aren't that enthusiastic anymore unlike before. ^^; Perhaps real life 'ate' them up.


      I'm thinking along that line.


    16. Song-writing must be some sort of hard work. Ideally, writing both music and lyrics. But music or lyrics, or even rearrangement (eg in jazz, electronica, or classical) is okay. Anything creative.

      Mm, confusing ^^; The story writers must get furious.

      Because Mogami = ‘best’? …It’s definitely not geography, anyway. The river is somewhere in Yamagata, but the company was based in Nagano in the past.

      Oh. Is it common to study in Chinese schools?

      Ah, nice ^^ …Fashion, like modelling?

      Guided tours are expensive, so probably not for most people. In areas popular with Japanese tourists, some staff will speak a little Japanese. E.g. Hawaii. So not much English needed, I agree. Except if something goes wrong…

      I see. Possibly ^^; It’s a lot of work. I know of some scanlation groups who wait for the latest volume to be released (in Japanese) in ebook form, because then they don’t have to do any scanning. I only buy ebooks myself, but I can’t read them very well yet, especially the josei and seinen.

      There was a mention of a family like that in the omake. Toudou was warned that he would be disowned by his family if he did not pass the bar exam within 3 attempts. (So he failed deliberately twice, just to have the thrill of having only one last chance.)

    17. I see. I think it is. Sometimes, I wonder how to work on a 'vacuum' or at least, try as much as possible to make it one's own or else, someone started saying that certain parts of the song are plagiarized. ^^; Hm..though I usually hear it in the US and they seem to be fond of suing someone.

      Not sure if the story writers would be furious. Usually, it is the fans = if adapted from a certain well-known form of work. The producers and others might say that it is for 'creativity'. Perhaps, like the Shakespeare theater you mentioned, reverse gender.

      Definitely not. Anyway, that is if that is the mangaka's intention. For example, it might just be a random name/used because of its meaning. Mogami is a common surname, I think.

      If you are Filipino-Chinese, yes. Something like an exclusive school so that you'll interact with the same race. Perhaps, if possible, marry the same race. It is usually only up to high school. For college, any will do. I guess it is similar to being rich. I'm not sure if it is the same with other races though.

      Yes. And since they're fashionable, other brands/own would collaborate like make them wear certain outfits which other people will buy. ^^

      Indeed. Hm..thinking about it, I wonder how many Japanese actually travel abroad. From manga, it is usually just domestically with the compulsory school field trips.

      Ah, so that's the reason why they wait for the volume. True, those tend to be more difficult. I think shoujo is the easiest to read especially since there are no terms. It is very basic.

      Lol. Really. Thrill seeker huh. In a way, I guess he has a lot of confidence ^^

    18. True. Apparently, there are no new tunes to play, especially on the instruments most popular in pop music. Though I also hear that the jazz era artists played everything, and their work was plagiarized by the pop artists later ^^; Only the rich artists can sue. …The US? Reminds me of the Al Yankovich song “I’ll Sue Ya” =P

      Well, Ursula Le Guin was furious, but her books are well-known = it was unlikely the non-matching adaptation would attract new fans, more likely it would annoy the existing fans.
      ‘Creativity’ sounds like an excuse, when producers are supposed to select something suitable for adaptation = probably not something they think needs big alterations, alterations guaranteed to annoy fans of the original work. A bit different with classics, because few people are big fans of the culture of the past, problematic culture because it’s sexist, etc. = a “fixit” version is more natural/modern.

      Well, the meaning matches. Saena being ‘best’ in her class, and demanding Kyoko get the ‘best’ test scores = 100%. …I don’t expect the Mogami music cable company in the US to be important to the plot, but I think it could make a good joke. It’s something Kyoko and Ren might discover on a visit to the US in the future, for instance, from a colleague who is a musician-turned-actor (similar to Ruriko’s career). Funny for them to imagine their reactions if they had discovered it in the past (rage; jealousy).

      Hmm… Is that a language-based type of school? Because that would be different, even for exclusive schools. Most private schools are religious, but they don’t teach ancestors’ languages. Say, Catholic schools teach Italian, even though most students’ origins are Irish, Hispanic etc. Presbyterian schools totally don’t teach Scottish Gaelic. I think only Jewish schools (yeshiva) teach religion AND Hebrew language.

      I see. Appearance is very important, then ^^;. No wonder the “Love Me” uniform in “Skip Beat” has such an impact! …It’s not unusual to have such a thing in your career in other countries - eg many actors began in children’s television.

      Ah, I wasn’t sure. But it seems to be about 1.5 million a year. ->


      Yes… =P

    19. Hm...but weren't some relatively unknown artists [to me] suing the rich and popular artists? I hear it often in the showbiz news from the US and there is one who admitted that he did plagiarized. I read there was one who sued Justin Bieber:

      Justin Bieber is reportedly being sued by Casey Dienel - aka White Hinterland - for their hit song 'Sorry'.She said the track is too similar to 'Ring The Bell' from her 2014 album Baby.The 31-year-old American singer has accused Bieber of ripping off the "unique characteristics of the female vocal".

      So, is that plagiarism?

      True. I was thinking of the popular movies these days about comic heroes. The ones that deviate from how/what race they should be annoyed the fans.

      Indeed. Perhaps, it is also because they want to cast someone 'known' in contrast to an 'unknown' who fits the character.

      I see.

      Not really. It is more like Chinese language is part of the curriculum like 1-3 subjects depending on the school. <- note that most graduates are still poor in speaking Chinese since they just memorize and forget later on; I think like how the Japanese are with their English =P

      Aside from that, these schools are usually religious, too like Catholic or Christianity that isn't Catholic. So, there is also one subject for religion. It's not exactly the ancestor's language but more on the language of the race.

      For the locals, I think it is the same. Depending on the province, they probably also teach their local dialect, the national language and English. That is because they don't recognize the national language since it is based on a certain local dialect. Hehe, it is somewhat of a pride/clan thing. So, when the president speaks either the national language or purely English, someone is complaining =P


      I also checked but is there data how many go for domestic tourism? I read somewhere that Japanese tend to patronize their own so I assumed that there is more domestic. And, the ones who usually travel are probably honeymooners, rich and retired people = because the rest would be very busy with their work/school life.

    20. Ah, I see. I guess I haven’t read much about it recently.

      In that case, probably it would be copyright theft if Bieber was an advertiser instead of a singer, because the most memorable notes are the same. But songs are longer than commercials, so the similarity has to be stronger = a number of key notes, pitch, etc. I’m not sure if the similarity is strong enough, not a musical expert.

      “Superhero” comics? I see. The comics are so old that the original writers/creators would be dead. Comics are also expensive – or, at least, they were in the past, so most of the fans would be “new” fans. People who watch the TV shows and the films, buy some merc (toys, clothes) = numerous recent fans -> outnumber people who bought or borrowed many of the hundreds/thousands of the comics.
      When it comes to pop culture “blockbusters”, with TV, film, books, toys and all, I prefer something a bit newer. Something with a multi-racial cast, or at least non-human characters with multi-racial voice artists. That way the merc makes a better gift.

      Interesting. In my experience, it was the other way around with learners of “heritage languages”. I could spell better than them, but they could speak better. But I guess it’s different with Roman-letter languages, and when ancestors were more recent immigrants than the Chinese Diaspora (generations ago), ...and it’s all completely different for people who are part of a living regional culture.

      The rough statistic seems to be that international tourists were only 10% of tourists earlier this century. Another trend is that the Japanese are taking shorter trips now = day-trips, overnight stays, and long weekends.

    21. Ya...I actually don't know if can pass as a coincidence. I mean, isn't it possible to have certain notes resemble a certain song of someone else? I do wonder if they get a music expert in court or they have special courts for that.

      Not really. The creator of most Marvel characters is very much alive. He even play a guest in some of the movies. I guess it is some casting in some movies which the fans do not like. The recent one is Dr. Strange. There is suppose to be an old Chinese looking man as the mentor but they changed it to a Western woman. It supposedly somewhat Asian but from the trailer, there is nothing Asian about it.

      For US comics, I noticed the writers are always different. Same characters in a somewhat same world but in a different story unlike in manga, it is yours alone and of course, there is an ending. For example, Batman seems 'childish' before but now, it is so dark and gothic definitely not for kids. I think even Superman lately.

      I do get what you mean. Sometimes, I don't watch the anime adaptation of a manga because it is just the same as the anime especially shoujo like I know this is what this character will do and then this one will say this. ^^;

      I think it is a bit risky, too since it will turn off the 'base fans' = bad publicity. Something like it isn't a film adaptation, it is totally not like the original. Of course, the problem might not be just the casting, there is also the story, how it is done, directing, etc. ^^;; It is also possible that if what makes the base fans like a certain series isn't there anymore, is there still a high possibility for non-fans to like it? Hehe, obviously, that is more than problems with the casting. =P

      I see.

      Ah, for stress relief? Well, for those kind of trips, it is definitely just domestic.


    22. Well, apparently it’s 8 notes in the Bieber case. Repeated a lot. The Verve lost copyright of an entire song over 7 notes sampled from the Rolling Stones and repeated a lot. After asking permission. In a much more complex song, with very different lyrics from the 'inspiration' song.
      They get expert opinions from musicologists before court. Probably they’ll come to an agreement based on what is most likely to happen in court. They don’t have special courts, iirc. In fact, copyright is universal jurisdiction, so in theory they could go to ANY court in the world (any civil court, at least).

      Ah, I see. That is similar to what happened to Ursula Le Guin’s characters, ‘whitewashing’. Objectionable.

      That’s true about stories getting more gothic, but some kids watch them anyway ^^;

      I see. Similarly, for me it’s definitely more exciting to try out anime adaptations of Japanese novels = not predictable.
      Yes, live action may split fans for many reasons. For me, slapstick violence looks uglier live. There also seems to be more sentimentality in live action, including “slow” sequences of silence where characters just change their facial expressions. That style is not my favorite at all.

      Well, it is stress relief, but Japanese people also seemed to be allocated less long holidays, but more short breaks around public holidays.

    23. the one who sued can get compensation over that kind of case. Hm...even if it was possibly a coincidence.

      I see. True, I thought afterwards that it doesn't always happen so there shouldn't be any special courts, ^^;

      Ah. So, it's the same.

      Yup, it is more aimed at adults or perhaps, who were kids when such comics are very popular/they've read it.

      Ah, for the drama effect ^^ I'm not into slapstick violence especially the type that kept on repeating like the 3 Stooges show before. For others, it is funny though. ^^;

      I see.

    24. Yes. It is becoming quite like scientific discoveries. The one who publishes first is the “owner”.

      Maybe. I have read series of novels like that. They got more violent as the readers got older. But once they are all published, the readers of the early-teenagers first novel could go on and read the more violent ones in the series within a year. More easily, in fact, than the older readers who are now workers, not students.

      I do like slapstick, but constant slapstick is not to my liking, either.

    25. Indeed...and probably helps if it is copyrighted. ^^

      I see. So, that's hoping the current generation would read the previous 'tame' series or they are just writing more for the original fans as they grow up? Honestly, I would think that way because there are so many fads, etc in every generation so it isn't really 'fool proof' that what was famous before would be liked by most of the new generation. There are exceptions of say, Pokemon? Since it is 'morphing' in some way =P

      True. Usually, in those kind of scenes, I start to feel sorry for the 'victim'. ^^;;

    26. Yes.

      Writers want maximum sales, so probably they do want to sell their entire series as soon as they can, and to as many generations as possible. Even if the series gets more violent. And it seems this is accepted. I even read some books from my elementary school library like that, though most books were tamer, and violence was common in books for teenagers. More generally… from what I have read about the ‘nihilistic’ trend in youth-market media (dystopian fiction, including danger and violence, well-deserved distrust in authority figures, etc.), it is more like a long-term cultural shift than a fad: started around the 1980s, still quite popular.

      Agreed. With an exception for ‘victims’ of slapstick who are determined villains. If they keep trying to do bad things, I don’t mind if bad things/accidents keep happening to them.

    27. Ah, so it is idealistic to think that writers want to write to make their stories known/share with others. =P So, they would write what the readers wanted in contrast to what they want? Or, perhaps a balance between the two.

      Hm...that's interesting. It makes me wonder how much of it influenced them in real life.

      Lol. Really. For me, it's still no good. I watched Looney Tunes before and I'm starting to feel sorry for some of the villains like the Coyote. ^^;

    28. Maybe it is ^^; I think it depends on the writer. I know of one instance where a writer won a literary prize and then said when he was interviewed that his ‘inspiration’ for writing books was the need to make money. The horrified interviewer was expecting a more idealistic reason ^^;
      In the case of Young Adult literature, I think only bestsellers have mainly teenage buyers – the standard book is mostly sold to schools for their libraries. So you get historical novels and books about modern families, etc. So it’s even worse than writing ‘what readers want’, many times they're writing ‘what adults want young people to believe’ (* ̄m ̄) …I always preferred to be cautious about that. = Read newspapers, or watch debate shows and documentaries. Not trust a random adult to tell the whole truth just because they can tell an exciting story.

      Influenced…Hmm. Since fiction is partly a reflection of realities in the first place, it would be hard to tell what shaped young people’s thinking the most. Corruption etc in the news, cartoons, or books?

      Ah. I see. I also got tired of watching villains get crushed to a pulp like that. Still not very sorry for them, but I don’t want to watch their ‘punishment’. …Something gentler is better. Like being dive-bombed by Kyoko’s demons, or Care-Bear-Stared at = blasted with beams of brainwashing ‘peace and light’ rays =P.

    29. Lol, I see. The writer is pretty frank. ^^

      Oh...I read something about that before. I think it is about a TV show but in a negative way like, the adults are writing teen stories and the teens couldn't quite relate because teen life isn't really like that. Of course, if it is historical and stuff, presumably fiction, teens might believe the fiction. ^^;

      We have a bit of issue like that right now. There is a certain 'dark period in history' being whitewashed by its supporters through social media. And, the teens and gullible believed it. It doesn't help that history books don't teach much about that lately. ^^;;

      I'm thinking more on violence. Like these days, younger people are getting more tolerant in some way regarding deaths and violence. Like, it isn't such a big deal.

      Hehe, is that so.

    30. Yes, brutally frank ^^;

      Yes, it is that kind of thing. Actually, what you say reminded me of a particular type of story, a type that some writers of ‘what adults want young people to believe’ were specialists at: the timeslip novel.
      I was suspicious of some timeslip books early on as a kid because many of them also give off ‘written by a stepparent’ vibes. The structure is this: a modern kid has a modern problem (eg, divorced parents plus a new stepparent the kid is not attached to). The kid (accidentally?) time-travels to a period where people have bigger problems. The kid returns to modern times with a better opinion of their living conditions. A very convenient ending/moral for the adults.
      Books actually written in the past that are still popular tend to be more honest about kids’ lives and families. The kind of writers whose work gets turned into TV dramas: the Brontës, Gaskell, Dickens, L M Montgomery. They don’t write as if kid characters are overestimating problems.

      Interesting. Maybe it’s a problem if there isn’t a drama set in that period – or a documentary with re-enactments? …That was the kind of thing that got my attention when I was younger. Simple history textbooks with many pictures, also.

      Tolerant of violence and death… Hmm… I suppose young people are more ‘at risk’ than past generations – rising youth suicide and youth homelessness. Economic problems. Addiction. Deaths in drugs wars. And the highest rate of bad attitude is among teenagers, that’s when sexism, racism and homophobia peaks. …But outside the teenage years, more young people have progressive attitudes than older people. High acceptance of minority sexualities, feminism, etc. There was more tolerance in the past for public violence against women (eg gang rape) and gay men (gay-bashing), but tolerance for that is very low in younger generations.
      ‘Private’ violence is actually worse, apparently, even in the Nordic/Scandinavian countries supposed to be the safest in the world. An older lady said that in her generation, a beaten-up wife could apply for a new public housing apartment to rent and she would get one fast, but nowadays the waiting time is so long that you would die from the beatings first. …That kind of thing would not give young people much hope for the future…

      Yep ^^

    31. I see. That is indeed convenient. More like having a 'forced' moral lesson. It makes me think that it is aimed at younger readers...below high school.

      Hm...are they still popular with younger people? Here, I don't think they read that anymore. I'm familiar with a couple of the authors. I didn't really read the novels but there was this 'summaries of novels for book reports' book before and I just read the synopsis of the stories there =P

      There were this thin hardbound small books on such novels before too aimed for kids which I read like Tale of Two Cities, What Katy Did, etc. Nowadays, I don't see any such books anymore in bookstores aimed for children. There are still the classic novels section though.

      There was a documentary and this kind of 'movie' about it but after 30 years, the youngsters don't seem to know. They believe what the supporters wrote about the 'good side' about it on the internet. The supporters said just move on and forget about it. Of course, the victims aren't going to let it slide away like that.

      Nowadays, it is a 'battle' on whether to let the dictator be buried at the cemetery for heroes. Some argue no because he isn't a hero and he even faked his WW2 medals. The others say, still he is the president before. Anyway, that's the debate.

      I see. I just notice that my very young relatives in elementary used to easily say 'kill/die' at parents/someone whom they are irritated with. Of course, it might just be an expression...still, it doesn't seem right. Though as you mentioned, as they grow up, they tend to a bit mellow down..or they are no longer watching/copying whatever taught them to say that. ^^;

    32. Exactly. ...Yes, I think so – that kind of books were in the elementary school library = younger readers.

      I see. That's right, to be more specific, it is the stories/adaptation and not the original book/reading that is popular. The CGI ‘Christmas Carol’. The musical version of ‘Oliver Twist’. The screen ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Story Girl’.

      I had one of those simplified/shortened ‘classics for kids’ books. It annoyed me because I thought it was the whole story, not a shorter version. When I was a young kid, mostly my parents bought the classic novels and skipped parts or explained the words while they were reading to me. I also watched film versions first, which helped when I started to read alone.
      It’s surprising that classic novels still sell. Many of them are available for free on

      I see. It is a more high-stakes situation with a former dictator, but it reminds me a little of the fight over Margaret Thatcher getting a state funeral, when she was a bit dictatorial, unsympathetic to the poor, and hated by many. Her opponents got revenge by running a campaign on social media suggesting that people buy the music single “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead”, and send that song towards the top of the charts the week Thatcher died. A successful campaign =P

      I see. There are expressions like that in English, eg ‘drop dead’, but they don’t seem to be fashionable (‘hate’ is the word kids prefer for expressing anger). In fact, the person I know who makes the most colorful death threats is a great-grandparent. Threats to cook people to death, or remove body parts, etc ^^;
      My theory is that if people get a ‘life is cheap’ message when they are young, unless the person is flexible, it may change their attitudes permanently, even if living conditions improve. I think everyday realities, especially face-to-face interactions, give the strongest messages, not video games, music, or other media.

    33. Christmas Carol, I first saw it as a cartoon. Then, there's the Muppets' version =P The last two aren't popular/known here.

      True. I suddenly recalled that there are even comic versions. That's were I read Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Dracula. That's not available anymore.

      Is that so. Interesting. But, she got the state funeral, right?

      Lol, is that so. Since you mentioned of great-grandparent, our current president is already around 70+ yet that's how he talks in public like kill this and that + a lot of expletives. Some say that it is because of the generation before and people should be more 'civilized' these days. Of course, if one is president and saying that kind of stuff, should that be taken seriously/literally or that is just his way to drive a point? =P where do they get that message when they're young? Environment or news? I think media/games, etc do influence a bit, somehow.

    34. I think I saw the Muppet version first ^^ There is also an animal cartoon version of Oliver Twist, but my family enjoys music more. The live action versions of ‘Anne’ and Avonlea stories are not so popular because the screenwriters made changes to reduce the number of characters and made the fans angry. Apparently, the manga and anime is better, but I haven’t seen it.

      Interesting. I read Shakespeare plays as comics as a kid – Othello, Macbeth. They were complete, not shortened, though. … I have heard that some epics were getting adapted into comics – eg Beowulf, also The Three Kingdoms(?). It’s strange that short ‘classic’ comics are not sold now, but huge ones are!

      Technically, it was a ‘ceremonial’ funeral, not a state funeral. But basically, it was the same as a state funeral, except that the government didn’t pay for everything.

      I see. Some people call that kind of politician an ‘attack dog’. Apparently, in the past mostly they were assistants to leaders but never became leader because a (verbal) thirst for blood and a foul mouth isn’t ‘statesman-/stateswoman-like’. But in recent decades, ‘attack dogs’ have been party leaders or even presidents. Sarkozy in France, for instance. …It kind of reminds me of a fact a friend told me in high school: apparently, the seating in parliament was to designed in the old days to keep different parties at a safe distance from each other; and safe = a little more than a sword length ^^;

      From what I have read about the legal cases where musicians/media were accused of being a bad influence on young people, it was generally decided that the environment was the major influence. Eg learning difficulties, unsupportive home and school and poor employment opportunities, not the heavy metal musicians accused (Judas Priest case). …Also, where artists are not accused, but are threatened/victims of stalkers or assassins, it tends to be clear that it’s something in the stalker’s past that has inspired him/her to be threatening and obsessive. Stalkers often target artists who have not been famous for very long and also, the more ‘positive thinking’ type of artists.
      I agree that media/games have some influence, but it doesn’t seem that their influence is decisive/big.

  3. I have been following Skip Beat for so long now, some time it is easy to loose track, to catch and understand what is going on :-) But your page is a very nice place for all the catching up and discussions. Thanks a lot Kat, for that, and for the chapter summary.

    /Quynh (I am glad to be one of the first to comment too).

    1. Glad to hear that, Quynh ^^

      Thanks for reading ^-^

  4. Thanks as always Kat!

    I was actually wondering about something.. Yashiro talked with Sawara about having a surprise for Ren right? I might be getting my hopes up but what if it's the male lead role of Kyoko's drama?
    That would be awesome!

    And Yashiro as a cupid is nothing new, though he often teases Ren about it!

    1. You're welcome, Riri ^-^

      I actually thought that it is about he got his driver's license. But then, that is possible. It would indeed by awesome ^^

      True, but if he knows Kyouko's feeling for Ren. That would make things more fun ^^

  5. The one thing I'm wondering about with Yashiro being Kyoko's manager... Will he find out about her job as the chicken? :P

    1. Oh...that's possible. ^^ Didn't thought of that.

  6. Thank you Kat! It was already scanned and translated on mangafox but I find your summary/translation smoother and easier to digest. :)

    1. You're welcome and thanks for reading, imortal173 ^-^

  7. Thank you Kat for the wonderful summary. Can't wait what kind of news will surprise Ren. I hope it's about Kyouko! No matter what your summary will make us understand more about the story!
    Thank you so much Kat.

    1. Thanks for reading, hazellhassan ^-^

      Hopefully though I have low expectations since I only thought that it is about getting his driver's license. ^^;

      Glad to hear that and you're welcome ^^

  8. Thanks so much for the summary kat. I was looking forward for your comment after the summary because there are things that i didnt notice and i'll only think about it after reading thru your comment. For example i didnt notice that kyoko is typing using 2 finger only. If you think about it she's not used to cellphone of course she wont be also used to computer base on how she lived before. Plus I never thought kimiko didnt update her blog at all. Hahaha! I thought she is bragging at that time. I know that this is totally unrelated but maybe she will be love me member #4.

    I hope there will be a great progress by having yashiro as her temp manager. Progress in kyoko and ren romance will be thin but will never know since yashiro is a very capable manager hahahaha!

    Anyway, I really like yashiro character specially whenever he act a young girl squealling and all. Though i dont get tired to his serious look (which is soooo sexy!!!)

    1. Thanks for reading, paula ^-^

      True. Thinking about it, I was thinking if she doesn't know how to use a typewriter but then, common people probably has no need for it and would prefer handwritten reports like for school.

      In a way, Kyouko is very 'old fashioned' so it shouldn't be a surprise ^^


      Indeed, we can only hope so ^^

      Hehe, yup, diversity is good rather than being just a one-dimensional character ^^

  9. Yay! Thanks for the summary, Kat!! It cleared up a lot of dialogue that I found confusing in the English scanlation.

    Your idea that the drivers license is the surprise for Ren makes sense. When talking to Sawara, Yashiro mentions that he was able to get the work done before Ren returns... so it would make sense the work he's talking about was the training course he mentions to Kyouko later.

    I initially thought they might be talking about a role in the Lotus in the Mud, but when I think about it, it would be weird for them to say getting a role would be a "pleasant surprise" for an actor of Ren's status or caliber. Well, I'd still be happy if that turns out to be the case, though.

    I'm very excited at the possibility of Yashiro as Kyouko's manager! This is shaping up to be an interesting arc! Thanks again for doing the summary and adding your comments... always gives me lots of food for thought!! :)

    1. Thanks for reading, squeaker ^-^

      True, that's the first thing that came to mind.

      Perhaps, it can still be a surprise since Ren thought he won't get that role anymore. Then, perhaps, that is another reason why Yashiro decided to help Kyouko out so that she can really get that role. ^^

      Yup ^^

      Thanks for reading again ^-^

  10. Thanks for the summary as always!!<3 I've been following Skip Beat since it first came out and it pains me how slow the pacing is.. But your commentary and reading the comments are always entertaining! Can't wait for the next chapter!

    1. Thanks for reading and comment, Young Byeon ^-^

  11. Thanks so much for the summary kat.

  12. thanks kat, i feel great after reading ur summary , it was kind of my routine to read the chapter after ur summary, thanks a lot.

    1. You're welcome ^-^

      Thanks for the support ^^


  13. i used to feel frustrated that Kyouko always seems to misunderstand about what people are really feeling but now in these chapters with no interaction between her and Ren, I feel like it actually makes some kind of sense. It's a common trope of an innocent interaction with a guy(he's just being nice or has a good personality or whatever) causing the female character to think he likes her...when he would treat anyone like that. Ren has done such a good job of being widely known as a nice guy that Kyouko was actually being smart in not being sucked in by that. The real key is that she doesn't seem to realize that she is one of the few who has been allowed to see is dark and/or real sides. But again, it still seems reasonable since he hasn't said/done anything straight out if I'm remembering correctly.

    I like how she consciously tries to make sure her life isn't all about Ren. She does have acting talent so it will be interesting to see if she's allowed to finally demonstrate a wider type of role.

    1. True, scistarz. Of course, she wouldn't be like that if not because of what Shou did. After being fooled once, she doesn't want to go through that again.

      Ya, Ren tends to 'go around', too. I guess he couldn't because she might become wary of him due to her trauma yet if when he is hinting something/slip of the tongue, these days, Kyouko is acting deadpan about it. ^^; In a way, it's kind of complicated.

      Yup. Of course, if one is reading the series just for the romance, it would require more patience than usual.

  14. Oh yeah! I forgot! Thanks to submit the resume ! I LOVE YOU! I love to have this discussion with people that loves Skip beat as well! Bye! Love you AGAIN!

    1. Thanks for reading, Sindicato ^-^



  15. Kat , as usual thank you for your amazing job .
    Kyouko is so cute isn't she? She always becomes super happy with people's nice gestures , and her taste in things is so cute too ><
    I want to see what Ren is preparing for her and why he decided to delay it so much, and I really miss him
    I am also looking forward to how she will momiji and how she will as usual amaze everyone ^^

    Yashiro being a temp manager is really cool , and i feel , from the way he looked at kimiko on the computer screen , that he is wary of her for some reason and that he didn't tell everything he knows about her to kyouko , or that's what i feel , i also think part of the reason for being her manager is to protect her from that girl ? And to give her advices on her future career too
    Yeah that def reminds me of Ren with the bully situation and showbiz connections

    1. Thanks for reading, Balkis ^-^

      Yup ^^

      Indeed ^^ If he has something for her, what could it be? ^^

      Ya, her transformations are one of the exciting things to look forward to in this series ^^

      I thought so, too. Even if I'm not sure if he deliberately withheld information or perhaps, it is a gut feel as a manager that something is off.

      You, too ^^


  16. I'm so sad Ren didn't give her a return gift.... Do you suppose he doesn't intend to??

    1. Oh and thank you for your summary as always!!

    2. Not sure...though I think he'll 'give' it in some other way, perhaps? Not in an obvious way?

      Thanks for reading ^-^

  17. Thank you for your summary. I've only recently found your blog and enjoy your write ups. I am really happy that there is finally some acting again and a new role for Kyouko to work out. This is always the part I enjoy the most. I am not bothered by the little progress the relationship is making, I found the whole Guam Arc very contrived and, to be honest, can't stand Kuon. This love triangle Kuon-Kyouko-Ren is just weird. How can one be jealous of oneself?!
    I thought from a different spoiler or translation that Yashiro's offer of super manager was for 2 weeks. How quickly can one get a driver's license in Japan otherwise? I'd actually prefer a different permanent manager, just to spice things up a little. Maybe a cool woman to get Kyouko a more youthful image.

    1. Thanks for reading ^-^

      Hehe, is that so ^^ Well, it's kind of complicated. Perhaps, something of a split personality type especially since 'Ren' isn't the real Kuon.

      I think it depends on the one taking the exam. According to this gaijinpot blog:

      'Now, the practical test is neither intuitive nor easy, as blogger Kyle Von Lanken pointed out here. Out of the 20 or so that took the test that day, only 3 of us got our licenses. I attribute my success to extensively researching how to take the test. It really comes down to how well you take the test, not how well you can drive.'

      Be aware that potentially any problem could be grounds for failure, even if it may not be. I have heard stories of people being failed for seemingly small transgressions, like not checking for imaginary pedestrians or cats under the car prior to getting in the car or if you go the exact speed limit, they can get you for going over by a hair.

      I have also heard of people passing the test in spite of hitting curbs. While I can’t verify any of this, the internet is full of surprising failure and success stories that you can learn from. I erred on the side of caution and passed on the first try. It’s not impossible.'

      For now, I think it would depend. If the series is going to wrap up soon, I don't think a new permanent character is going to be introduced. If there would be a lot more acting arcs in Japan, then, it's possible that she'll have a permanent manager.