January 24, 2017

Free Talk: Skip Beat [Chapter 244]

This is based on the English scanlation. So, the producer is going to give Kyouko another chance to show her Momiji or else, it will be a permanent bye-bye for her. Hm...I’m not so sure why the two actresses are so shocked about it when it isn’t some outrageous request or different from previous ones. I guess it is because she has to surpass everyone else in their performance for this part of the audition. <- they are belittling her.

And, perhaps, they are also shocked that Mr-So-Strict-Producer, who would ‘fire’ any people going for an audition, just for not being ‘dressed’ rather dyed the right hair color for the role, would actually give Kyouko another chance. Even if Kimiko is furious for other reasons, it is indeed kind of unfair that Kyouko was given a chance when others don’t.

But then, as mentioned by the lead actor, it isn’t always when someone actually returned. It was a plus that Koga is interested in it which also perked up Kuresaki’s interest and seeing how prepared Kyouko is that she even brought her own weapons. In the end, Kyouko also got nothing to lose and if she manages to impress them, then it’s great.

If not, better luck next time. Though I’m not sure about ‘nothing to lose’ since this is a producer whom I presume to be of high caliber. If Kyouko fails in it, she might not be able to get into other dramas/movies produced by Kuresaki due to the bad impression this had cause.

Well, based on everyone who is watching the audition, Kyouko obviously beat them all with her portrayal. Almost everyone including Kimiko and Erika were belittling Kyouko but they are obviously impressed with how she runs in front. She is also quite in character for she won’t act unless Shizuma ordered her to.

Kyouko’s blocking of Kuresaki’s sword then immediate counterattack is pretty cool. He didn’t even have a chance to swing his katana back. I like the style for even if she is a ‘ninja’, she is pretty much like a ‘samurai’ because based on that pose on how she is going to ‘kill’ him. That is pretty much seppuku style = behead and disembowelment. Actually, if this is real, Momiji would had just kill him as her answer to his question =P

Well, that went well but we have another obstacle before Kyouko can go to the next part of the audition. Contrary to what Kimiko thought, being internet savvy has its advantages and this is where Jouji can help her. He is going to use Kuresaki’s strict rigidness regarding qualifications to disqualify Kyouko.

Kyouko is obviously at a loss over this one. It is like rules are rules, we only take people from the acting department and not the talent department. Kyouko is also pretty much a ‘nobody’ with only two acting projects under her belt. Not only that, most of them don’t recognize her in both projects except for Koga.

Here’s more about this talent thing. From wiki, ‘Tarento (タレント?) are celebrities who regularly appear on mass media in Japan, especially television. It has a connotation of "famous for being famous. Being a "celebrity," includes the understanding that the fame of a Tarento may or may not be based upon specific accomplishments and abilities.’ Since that was Kyouko’s priority at the start, it isn’t a surprise that she went to this department.

It is also mentioned, ‘While it is very common for tarento to appear in serious Japanese television drama or movies, they are distinguished from mainstream actors by the fact that, where an actor might go on variety television to advertise their latest venture, tarento often appear on variety shows with no apparent promotional agenda outside of a personal one.’

Kyouko isn’t really known as a talent because she is doing that as Bou. Interestingly, if ever Ren finds out about this audition and about Kyouko being a ‘talent’ is a problem, would it make him ask in what work is she in as a talent? =P Nevertheless, it was also said in wiki that ‘However, their work achieves social prominence (and all the associated benefits), and a successful tarento career can be the launching point for a career as movie actor or even political figure.’

So, that is what Kyouko is aiming for now since she had realized her love and talent for acting but perhaps, she still won’t let go of her Bou and isn’t that well-known yet. Hm...would this make her change department later on? The bias against talent is obvious if you look at Chiori’s reaction to comedian talents and variety shows, iirc. For serious filmmakers and performers, I guess talents aren’t that serious in acting.

I researched a bit on production in Japan and why the producer is ‘king’. According to this article about why Japanese films aren’t good lately, even if I’m not sure if it applies to dramas, one of the reason is the “Seisaku Inkai Hoshiki” or Production Committee System.

It is ‘a panel of corporate investors who play a large role in the making of the film in order to minimize the risk to their investment.’ So, that can partly explain why they/Kuresaki would insist on an actress rather than on a talent. Hehe, perhaps, he got a talent before who failed to deliver. And, I guess this is also partly the reason why they have this second audition.

Nevertheless, it is important to at least have some way of changing Kuresaki’s insistence on this. Perhaps there is some loophole or whatever. Because, as mentioned again in the article, ‘in Japan people seldom know the director of the movies they watch...

...In American or British cinema, viewers often chose a movie solely—or at least partly—on the reputation of the person directing it, but in Japan, aside from old-school names like Miyazaki or Miike, you’d be hard-pressed to find a director whose name alone would sell tickets. In many cases, current directors are merely a “puppet” of the Production Committee.’

So, everything really lies on convincing Kuresaki to somehow change his mind or again, a loophole that he isn’t exactly changing his mind but somehow, this is a very special exception. We don’t know if Yashiro know about this rule that he’ll provide another way out for Kyouko here. Still, somehow, I think Erika will also do something rather than just being the ‘poor bullied girl wallowing over her loss’ in this arc.

Hm, from the looks of it, there will be a series of audition for the role. Do auditions usually happen in just one day or in different days? I think they will definitely have an audition with the other chosen actors/actresses. Something like, checking the chemistry with the other performers? If it is so, Kyouko can easily impress them when she works with Kanae unless there is another rule there about they shouldn’t know each other personally ^^;

Somehow, I think Kyouko will still surpass this obstacle about being not qualified because she is a talent. The question is how. Because, I think it definitely has to be exposed that Kimiko was up to no good and ‘sabotage’ Erika. It is too easy for Kimiko to just get away with that. She got to have a ‘payback’ more than just getting angry that Kyouko getting a chance to get in the audition.


  1. Hi Kat!

    Jouji's 'attack' on Kyouko being under the talent section was really unexpected. But I can see how desperate he is in trying to oust this potential candidate in getting the Momiji role. I hope Koga can help Kyouko by persuading Mr-So-Strict-Producer! I am starting to like Koga, hope he becomes a good friend to Kyouko apart from Kanae!

    1. Hiyo, Valentine ^^

      Indeed. Yup, and actually, that's quick thinking on his part.


  2. Thanks for doing the Skip Beat summary. Your research on Tarento and the production system was helpful for me to better understand the problems Kyoko is facing. Can't wait to see how she overcomes her obstacles and kick Kimiko's butt!

    1. Thanks for reading, yumichan3557 ^-^

      Glad to hear that ^^

      Yup ^^

  3. Argh! I hope someone will speak up for her. Or, perhaps she will have something to say herself! Maybe this super strict guy saw how much better prepared she was than the other official "actresses" and will make another exception!

    As for Kyouko being in the talent section, I think she has to earn her way into the actors section. She often hopes she will be regarded as an "actress" one day.

    By the way, is Kanae in the actress section, or is she a talent as well? I can't remember.

    1. Indeed, squeaker. I forgot to mention about the possibility of the third judge. One/uncle is against it, Koga is pro so to break the tie, it has to be that other third judge if the producer's hands are tied regarding that.

      Indeed, he already saw but then, it is also his policy/perhaps, the rules of the production/audition that it will only be for actresses. I'm not sure if another exception would be too favorable for Kyouko. I mean, Kimiko might spread word about it to make the others think that Kyouko is like her in some way = using some unfair advantage to get roles even if Kyouko had the talent to back it up.

      She will be soon, definitely.

      Kanae is in the actress section which is under Matsushima. ^^

  4. I can't help but think her work in Dark Moon and Box R should be enough to show she's an actress, no matter what section LME has her in. Love Me is kind of special, anyway. All it's members are talented actresses (with issues). I wonder how she's going to get out of this situation, too, but she has a resume/CV. She's acted and she's shown that she can do very different-feeling characters. Ahhh, the months between new chapters are so long....

    1. It should, Tohru13 so the uncle is going through the loophole that it has to be someone from the actress division. I think that for Matsushima to advice that to Kyouko, it goes to show that it is a 'rule'.


  5. OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG! I'm loving this arc so much! Much health and prosperity to Nakamura-sensei and the team that translates! And Tatsukida! Yay!!! I'm such a masochist! I've been reading this since 2005-06...... The waiting.... OMG! The waiting! I wanna see how this turns out! >.< Erica is definitely gonna learn something with Kyoko's perseverance and humbleness. No wonder she's a Love Me member! s2

    1. Indeed, Fernanda ^-^

      Lol...yup. We are all are.

      Yup ^^ And, perhaps, learning to picking herself up after a setback like when Kyouko was 'booted out' once but she came back ^^

      Ya, and not just that, the no. 1 LM member =P

  6. Thank you for your analysis with research findings!

    Regarding the auditions, maybe it is set up as a series depending on how many pass the first round with the goal to finish in one day. However, with the pleasant surprise Kyouko is giving the "powers that be", perhaps it will spill over to another day...?

    Regarding the grand dilemma~she and Yashiro did have some downtime wherein she prepared, so I am interested to see the flashbacks of what he'd discussed with her. He is such a strategist, so he may have prepped her for attacks like this. Otherwise, Kyouko has her very clever/witty moments, so she may make up some half-baked truth about that aspect of the company's webpage scheduled to be updated very soon.

    No quote? I really like how you tie those in so appropriately. Either way, it has been a good read. Thank you! =)

    Be blessed!

    Best regards,

    1. Thanks for reading, may ^-^

      Possible. Thinking about it, the first audition is quite short so I guess they ought to be able to finish all the girls in the morning.

      Based on her reaction, she doesn't know about it nor was prep by Yashiro about it. Hm...even if it is that, I think she'll be in deeper trouble if the uncle called up LME to verify it. She'll be caught lying and that won't be good for her reputation.

      Ah, no quote because those are for summaries and not for comments post. ^^; Thanks ^^

      Thank you ^-^

  7. Hello, Kat! Thanks for doing the research!

    Well, if you remember Moko-san her audition took days and they're stillauditioning. With the Momiji audition they're probably rushing it to get ready in time. According to Kimiko's manager there is this test and the reaction test. Kuresaki told Kimiko to stand by and wait in the waiting room until they are finished setting up the next test. So, I assume this audition the'll be wrapping up in a day because the Chidori auditions are coming to a close as well. As for Kimiko, she really needs an attitude adjustment. Even if there is a twist in the story and Kimiko didn't cause or "purposely" cause Erika's accident, she needs to be dealt with. Blaming others because she didn't perform well and wanting her uncle provide her inside information. Someone told me nepotism in Japan isn't rare occurance but that girl is already messed up in the head and has a short fuse. Maybe she or Erika will join the love me section next. I had imagined that Kyoko punished Kimiko over the accident by telling her she can't use her family's connections like that anymore and act with her own power. In a way Kimiko would benefit from that so people won't say she only got the part because of her family. Like that one dude said to Hiou. I imagine Kyoko will threaten her with this because if she really did push Erika then she needs a real punishment so it won't happen again. Either she goes with Kyoko's demands the two I mentioned before, the love me section (with lory's approval) and not using her family connection. If not she will go to jail and ruin her fsmily's reputation. Though, I imagine Kyoko will try to keep this quiet because a huge scandal like that will affect the production as well. Those are my theories.

    1. Thanks for reading, Brittany ^-^

      Oh, they were? I thought she already got the role.

      Yup. Hm...somehow I think that it was kind of 'natural' for the family to help her since they are agreeing to it and it is already kind of public knowledge so the producer won't tell much to the uncle or made him not to. I would think that they had spoiled Kimiko that she now feels entitled to be helped by any relative...perhaps, in any roles she wanted. She doesn't seem to mind either if others say that. Kyouko might have do something more serious to make her stop doing it.

      Speaking of family connection, Kimiko seems the type who'll use it if she needs/wants to. I would assume that the family is kind of influential so can we be sure that she won't use her family to deal with Kyouko? She isn't exactly like Erika in terms of popularity and status.

      I don't think it will become newsworthy full blown scandal since that is messy. Most likely hush hush. I don't have any theories yet but somehow, I think if ever Kyouko will 'go after' Kimiko, it is because of what she'll do to her rather than what she did to Erika. Perhaps, caught in the act of trying to pull that again?

  8. Hello Kat !
    Thank you so much for this review and for the information you give us regarding Japanese culture ! It really helps understanding better the chapter. When i read it, i didn't really get the difference between "talent' and"acting" division. I didn't even remember that Kyoko wasn't officially an actor since most of her job were acting ones. I thought her department was "Love me" haha

    1. Hiyo, tachiin ^^

      Thanks for reading ^-^


      Indeed, it is mostly acting ones...well, two and one talent one as Bou and I guess that commercial before? In a way, it is but the jobs she get are from the talent department.

  9. Hi, Kat ... thanks for translating ....

    Well.. I think I am the only one here that is extremely happy for a new chapter and extremely sad as well ... even though this arc is really interesting ... why ... why ... why ... was it so short? Really I was hoping for a really great development, but it seems that she will probably get a shot to compete again ... and than it will show them competing one against another ... and so ... maaannnnn ... I want to see her in the character, working in this project ... not this ... snif ... I am so sad! I want more Kyoko and Ren 's moments ... Come on!!!

    Anyway, thanks again KAt.

    1. Thanks for reading, Sindicato ^-^

      Ah yes. Well, after a long time, I'm pretty much getting used to it =P

      True but still, it kept us wanting to read the next one ^^ Soon...soon...like after a few more months if we are lucky =P


  10. I kind of think she'll be offered a role as a stunt double, since she is good at those things but Kimiko is the preferred candidate (and they look similar)

    Also, thank you for looking up all of that cultural context!

    1. Hm...that's possible, Jules if they want one. <- have the budget for it when things are already delayed which is costing money already.

      You're welcome ^^

  11. Hello Kat! I wait always for your comments (≧▽≦) Thnks!
    About Ren not knowing she's in talent department, I don't think so. He does know she's under Sawara-san orders and he being the chief of the talent department, I've always supposed Ren it's quite aware of her being a talent. What do you think? :O

    1. Thanks for reading, andrea ^-^

      Opps, that's right but I guess it never occurred to him what was her job as a talent ^^ He must have assumed that it was just that commercial and the other breaks were acting. Iirc before Yashiro became her manager, Kyouko is getting other offers but she isn't sure if she'll take non-acting projects.

      So, most likely, this arc will help Kyouko determine if she'll say as a talent or shift to becoming an actress.

  12. Thank you, Kat, for the commentary and especially for the background on the industry. Clarifies matters a lot ^^. …In other countries, I think it’s more common for aspiring entertainers to spend time in “light entertainment” early in their career, but later progress to ‘high art’ roles, among other projects. Not everyone makes it as far as “the heights”, but for those who do, “starting small”/“starting at the bottom” seems more like the rule, rather than the exception – whereas it seems to be more exceptional in Japan, from your explanation. (I didn’t really understand the English scanlation comparisons – to reality stars, etc – because I’m not a fan of that.)

    I was still a bit puzzled on some points…
    That insult against “talentos” which was translated as “clueless”, I wondered whether the characters in the word were significant? It was hanpamono (半端者) = half-fraction-person. That reminded me of the expression “jack of all trades, master of none”.
    I found it disturbing in another way, the way variety show work/‘TV presenting’ was considered to be ‘not acting’ and a reason for rejection. Kyoko’s regular spot as Bo on a variety show seems to be a major source of regular income for her – especially now she’s waitressing a lot less. With that, Kyoko can support herself and pay her study debt in instalments. Compare that to corporate princesses like Erika or Kimiko, who can afford to keep their hands clean – nothing but prestige roles for them, even early in their careers. So it looks like the producer’s prejudice against talentos gives wealthy candidates from established families an unfair advantage – one less direct than open nepotism, and possibly unintentional.

    I can’t really imagine loyal, gracious Kyoko distancing herself from the talento division or even Love Me unless she can show appreciation for assistance from management, colleagues, etc at the same time. Her development has taken her in the direction of specializing in acting, but I’m sure she’d give credit to Sawara, Lory, etc for giving her key opportunities to develop her skills. …Or maybe it’s a “the best defense is attack” situation and she’s supposed to tap into her warrior character and make a challenge: “take back the insult to my division, or I’ll fight you”…?

    Also, there was one thing mistranslated in English that I still didn’t understand in the Spanish translation because I don’t know the historical background. When playing Momiji, Kyoko says she has no intention of adopting (literally, inheriting) her father’s nickname, “Kamaitachi”. The word translated as nickname is azana (字). I’m assuming it’s important that Kyoko’s Momiji does not reveal her father’s real name? (Contrary to the impression given in the English translation.) She did not even reveal the nickname (whereas Kimiko’s Momiji did), Kuresaki’s character already knew it. …I don’t fully understand this, though. If it was a supernatural story, I’d get it – real names have to be hidden because, unlike nicknames, they can be used in cursing spells – but I’m not familiar enough with spy/warrior stories (too much blood for me) to understand how exactly secret identities are useful. I guess for use during infiltration? Denying the opponent of advance information on fighting style? (eg Kuresaki recognized Momiji’s fighting style as similar to “Kamaitachi”, but only after he lost the fight). …I thought you might know more details, since iirc you have read samurai era stories.

    1. You're welcome, Zozo ^-^ I do think it is like that. First to make a name while honing one's talents by making appearances though it helps if one has a certain talent on something/physical attribute. Then, if one wants to concentrate on acting, go to workshops.

      I think it is more of the 'rule'. I did notice that in Jdramas, before, in most cases, the ones cast as the lead are idols or part of a boy group. So, I think that is why the producer didn't watch Box'R because iirc, the lead is like that. There are no serious actresses and the story is most likely, ah, entertainment purposes.

      Most likely, it is like that. In Japanese, the word is much harsher than clueless but rather, blockhead/halfwit according to online dictionaries. Then, if you recall that female lead in Box'R and the other 'celebrities' that Kanae and Chiori scorn, it really fits how actresses view talents. So, it would be like, you got this role just because you're cute/popular. In a way, talents can be like that, jack of all trades but master of none.

      That's right but it does make me wonder if the producer had worked with talents and had really bad experiences with them so he refuses to work with any talents. I mean, look at how difficult that audition was for actresses, so given the prejudice and well, Kyouko is most likely an exception, most talents would be like how they were viewed.

      I would think that the producer is more into experience and dedication to the craft. As for those two, I would think those two are also exceptions. I mean, are there a lot of actresses coming from wealthy/established families? It is most likely that there will be more unqualified talents so the 'rule' is used to immediately disqualify them/not worth the time to be auditioned. What do you think?

      At that situation, attack isn't good given the situation. Well, if it is Kyouko wanting to get the role. As Momiji, it's possible but that part of the audition, I think is over since they are now talking about qualification to be still in the audition.

      I think Kyouko is already thinking about staying or not. Iirc, while Sawara mentioned about Kyouko being offered non-acting jobs and she isn't sure whether to accept or not. So, this arc might force Kyouko to switch if acting is what she wants.

      I didn't get that impression. It is more like, her Momiji doesn't want to inherit the name/alias of her father even if she did, most likely inherit his fighting techniques. The Chinese is, 'Don't use that name to call me for I don't plan on also inheriting my father's alias.' So, I thought she wanted to make her own name? Or, her father was some sort of traitor hence she doesn't want that name associated with her.

      What you mentioned are also possible. Ninjas are spies and tend to be good in disguises. But of course, I'm not sure if they are known for fighting techniques like in fiction but samurais' fighting styles are indeed known. If this is a real movie-type, she would have said those lines after she killed him =P

      According to wiki, 'the functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination and guerrilla warfare. Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed "dishonorable" and "beneath" the samurai-caste, who observed strict rules about honor and combat.' But here, it seems like Momiji is more of the lead's bodyguard/servant. ^^;

      So, I'll go back to my theory about his father being some sort of traitor and perhaps, it might have contributed to making the lead into a ronin?

    2. Agreed, it seems that way. Come to think of it, it’s easier for me when TV presenters or comedians (talentos, in Japanese terms) turn into actors than when “small-time” actors move on to bigger and better things, because often, in the case of actors, the character they were playing before (in a small-time drama/serial/soap/whatever) gets killed off. And these actors are often quite young, so the character dies young, as well. Very sad.

      You mean, entertainers/pop star/idols becoming lead actors is the rule? It sounds like it, for Jdramas in general. I wonder about the historical and martial arts genre series and movies, though. I’ve seen older, grizzled guys or girls on the DVD covers sometimes.
      True, Kanae thinks that “Marumi” (Rumi Maruyama), the lead/protagonist of “Box R” is “a complete amateur” – and even though she considers Kyoko, playing the antagonist, to be joint lead (and outshining the official lead), Kyoko is technically a talento. But I found – double-checking the official translation in other places – that, according to the entertainment news and reviews site Saena used to read about Kyoko, Box R’s cast included talentos and actresses. Chiori for one – she is an actress, officially, and the top earner at her tiny agency. And certainly “Box R” is not high-status/“high art” – it seems it was written as a “star vehicle” for Marumi – but still Kyoko’s lead antagonist role is respectable enough to be listed in her record.
      (By the way, I started to wonder whether a reason Sho’s music video was (iirc) not in the record was that Kyoko’s costars in the video would be considered “non-actors”/not professional: musician Sho, “cheesecake” model Mimori)

      Hmm… When I think back, those ‘celebrities’, they were not only cute/popular types in real life/public persona, they seemed to get roles as cute/popular characters: the romantic lead, the good girl (versus sneaky bullies). Pretty simple roles, which would lead to suspicions the stars have a limited acting range. And it must frustrate the versatile ‘real’ actors who could play protagonist or antagonist, their perception that many “good girl” roles go to the “sweetheart” candidate with the cute/popular factor, not the most skilled candidate.

      Probably if talentos are the way they are viewed (= limited acting range), they would not apply for the role. The person managing the talento would predict that their written application would be rejected based on their work record and stop the process before it started. Many talentos would not attracted to such a ‘gloomy’ role, anyway.
      Beyond that, it seems rather unprofessional to eliminate a handful of “finalist” candidates based on hair color or “division” (talento versus actor) while neglecting to share data on work record (Koga’s knowledge of Kyoko’s second antagonist role, which is not a repeat performance of the first). So it’s quite probable there are “personal” reasons for Kuresaki, as you speculate = past trauma connected to talentos.

      Probably most aspiring actors will not come from a family as wealthy/established as Erika’s or Kimiko’s, as you say. A better example of the problem I’m thinking about is the group of girls who challenged Kyoko to an acting test during the “Maria backstory” arc. Iirc, they were acting students supported by their parents. They did not consider themselves wealthy - they had to “manage on the limited funds their parents were able to give them”, or something like that. And yet they are in a better situation than Kyoko and Sho were, when they arrived in Tokyo = no parental support. Or Kanae = huge, poor family. Kids who are able to study full-time are privileged compared to kids who must take non-acting jobs (‘private acting’, in Kanae’s case) to pay for their studies and living expenses. It seems unfair to penalize people in that situation for taking non-acting jobs – as this producer penalizes them, with his blanket ban on talentos.

    3. The situation reminds me of something I read about American journalists, early in their careers. Apprentice journalists work as interns = low pay, no job security. This stops young people whose parents can’t house/support them during the internship from entering the profession.

      Ah, I assumed it was like a duel = a delay between challenge and fight. In that case, Kyoko would be just speaking, briefly, not demanding extra time for a fight. Like a verbal “reaction test”, not a continuation of the martial arts + verbal test which is over.

      I can’t really tell. Need more detail. And the way the author leaves room for surprises… Iirc, the non-acting job Kyoko was being offered while Sawara explained the problem to Yashiro was a role in a commercial = the kind of work every class of entertainer does, talentos, actors, models… So I’m not sure the situation would be very different from what Sawara said (“Kyoko can’t refuse all non-acting jobs”) even if/(once) Kyoko was/(is) classified as an actress; she would still need a manager to help her be selective about commercials, etc.

      So it could be the alias that is important. I see. Kind of personal for Kyoko and very bad vibes, considering that Kyoko’s real life father was known by an alias.

      Whoa! After she killed him? Hardcore ^^;

      Possible. Is disgrace or a stain on the family name usually deserved in these stories? Because in adventure and some detective stories, usually the “good guy” family members were framed or trapped, and the victim or other family members eventually manage to clear the family name.

    4. Hm...how come it is easier for you? Because it is already stuck in the mind that 'young actor' died? Thinking about it, I think it is also good to be well rounded to have all sorts of projects, and not just be stuck in a certain thing. The opposite of jack of all trades. Being popular isn't 'fixed' so when the projects in acting aren't that many, it will help to diversify.

      Of course, it is different when they start very young. I think preteen tend to have a hard time finding projects since they are neither kid or adult. In our place, they are usually stuck in preteen drama types or sometimes fantasy ones that are designed to tell moral lessons to kids. Only a few manages to breakthrough and make a successful acting career afterwards = placed in primetime dramas or movies.

      Yes. Most are from certain idol groups and they will at times sing the theme song. For those, they would most likely get real actors/actresses. Thinking about it, Jdramas are mostly just 10 episodes so talents will most likely get away with doing that on the side while they aren't doing other projects. If it is a very long drama, they might most likely get professional ones.

      I think it is like this, if it is a drama/movie just for popularity/profit, then hire the talents. If you want something that will win international awards and something that isn't 'light theme', go for professional ones. In a way, I think it is the same here. If it is movies that they'll try to compete in international competitions, they won't get 'talent-types'. Is it the same there?

      True. And perhaps, for the producer here, having just one talent in the cast means that kid isn't worthy for him to watch it. I cannot blame him because in a way, a talent like Rumi can pull down the whole series unless her acting is what is actually 'asked' for in the series. I remember cringing in this Taiwanese drama based on a manga. They have singers doing the roles. They are practically just reciting the lines ^^;;

      Hm...I don't think a role in a music video warrants to be listed in one's 'achievements'. Unless the CM was listed. I would think that they usually don't mention very small roles. Being Bou is probably not listed, too, right?

      That is true. I think it would be hard for them to 'go out of the stereotype' especially if one is an idol. There is an 'image' they have to protect, right? Most of the time, they won't be cast as villains. The ones who are would most likely be the 'actor/actress'. Actually, they might even say that it is fun to play the villain since it is more complex/versatile in case the villain is both good-bad. Whereas a lead would be just the 'good girl' being bullied..kind of boring and typical. Ah, no need for professional type of acting skills.

      Yup. That's probably why Sawara didn't mention it to Kyouko. Ya, so, Kyouko is kind of an exception. Actually, wasn't her original motive was because Kanae is in this drama? And, she thought she'll be protecting Kanae? She did falter a bit when she learned the real story.

      True. I'm not sure about the hair color though. That in itself is a test on how much research and 'readiness' one is for the role. It can be viewed as ah, you didn't dye your hair black which means you didn't research, you're not that serious about this role that you didn't bother to dye it, and stuff like that. The division thing is the one that made me think that he had 'personal' reasons for it.

      True. But well, he's the producer. That's how it is in life actually. If he was Kimiko's uncle, he can even actually use such bans and preferences to make Kimiko the one who will be chosen. Lol, I'm thinking of how government bids here are rigged. They keep on nitpicking over the possible winning bids so that the one will be chosen would be the one they are in cahoots with ^^;

    5. Since he seems to be a decent and intelligent type, I think he knows that he is limiting his choices when he only wants actors. Actually, Kanae and those girls won't have a problem since they would most likely be in the acting division. And, I assume that they already have a lot of acting experience under their belt to keep the drama's shooting going smoothly without too many takes especially with the audition making it sure that it is the best of the crop. Iirc, a delayed project usually cause money so that accident and re-audition is already costing them.

      I see. Here, most would dissuade children before in going to the entertainment business because it doesn't provide a steady income especially since it is based on popularity and there are a lot of competition. These days, everyone wants to be an idol, part of a dance group, etc. Lol, maybe that's way there are many doing karaoke so that they can join singing contests =P Well-to-do usually won't go into show business. It is the poor or people who had ties/relatives in showbiz who do.

      By the way, isn't it a coincidence that the audition seems biased towards the wealthy and/or have connections? And, they happen to be talented in it? Unless, you are saying that with their wealth, they can afford acting schools, etc so have a higher chance of getting that role? Still, the issue is basically, it is because Kyouko is in the 'wrong' division. Something like, we want aged 18-20 and you're 21 next week. Ah, is that a correct comparison? ^^;

      I see. Perhaps, it is better to give a convincing explanation/loophole to the 'rule' so that she'll still be in.


      Oh...didn't think of that. I assumed she is only answering it based on the story but then, it might not be in the story since Kimiko answered differently. So, that means, in the story, how Momiji views her father is up to the reader's interpretation?

      Yup. In some scenes, it is mentioned then swiftly kill the person so that he couldn't tell others.

      The disgrace can be...like turning traitors for some reason, perhaps caught, tortured and spit out some important information, not obeying the leader, changing loyalties. Of course, there are frame type. In most cases, that would be revenge aside from clearing the name. From what Momiji said, it seems that she is convinced that her father is infamous that she doesn't want to be associated by that name.

    6. It’s easier because TV presenters and comedians’ persona on variety shows/etc are something like “recurring characters”. Even the people who do some acting projects will probably make a comeback as a comedian/presenter/whatever. But if an actor leaves a series, the character is lost, and future storylines have to be altered suddenly = sad and often bad for the series. Career changes with no loss are easier for the audience.
      Yes, it’s better to be an all-rounder if you can = master all/many trades. But you’ll be a “jack of all trades, master of none
      if you fail. …Hmm, kid/adolescent actors…Actually, in some cases I’ve known them to switch to working “behind the camera” as grownups = become producers or something like that.

      One thing is the same – short series = convenient for entertainers with acting as a sideline. But here it’s more usual for a singer or TV presenter to get a supporting role in a drama or movie. Getting a lead role is exceptional, and tends to happen only to ‘idols’ with a long history of popularity and proven acting skill – eg performances in musicals, comedy shows, etc. Probably because makers of decent-quality ‘scripted drama’ (TV, film – but not reality TV) can get “cultural product” funding from the government = even ‘light-ish’ dramas/movies are full of actors and ‘local flavor’.

      Granted, the producer doesn’t have time to watch Box R. But he does have time to read a review and/or ask for another professional opinion. … I see. Unpleasant ^^; Very different than Box R, though. Rumi’s role is perfect for her – probably created that way by the writers. The character is very naïve – realistic for Rumi –, the bullies are very sneaky,… and even the turnaround where Rumi unmasks and defeats the bullies at the end isn’t *too* demanding, considering that Rumi has a lot of practice at acting before shooting those final scenes; and she’s quite self-confident and friendly, so that matches okay with her fictional character defending herself and uniting others against bullying.

      Iirc, the CM is listed. The CM director was one of the best in that sector of showbiz, which would make the CM role more prestigious. I don’t think Bou was listed.

      True. The antagonist roles were especially complex/hard work in Box R, where the director expected the antagonist actors to improvise dramatic bullying scenes = not just acting, but instant scriptwriting.

      Iirc, Sawara didn’t know about the replacement audition. I assumed the original dates were bad timing for Kyoko, like Ren, and that’s why Sawara didn’t prep her to audition, but she would also have been underqualified at the time of the first audition – no time to fit in the extra martial arts training she did before the replacement audition.

      Changing hair color for an audition also seems extreme to me, based on Jelly Woods’ worries about dyeing Ren’s hair different colors frequently.

      To be continued...

    7. I see. Hm..I guess you're talking about long series? Perhaps, one that has a lot of seasons. Ah, don't they have contracts for that? Most of the time, I think they will stay within the TV series especially if it is a popular one. The one I can think of wherein they replace actors/actresses quitting in the sequels are comic based movies like Superman, Batman, Spiderman ^^;;

      I think they'll have the same problem if the actor/actress suddenly died. That is when the series will indeed have drastic changes regarding the plot.

      That's right. Master of none...so in the end, I think it depends on what's your motive. Popularity and money or refining your craft which you love.

      I see. Hm..that's a good job opportunity.

      Indeed. I see so they would aim more for quality because of that.

      Ah, I think rather than doesn't have time to watch, he won't even bother watching it or even ask others about it. I can imagine him like Kanae and others cringing over Rumi's acting through the series. ^^;; And, iirc, the ratings aren't that good so if he's the snotty type, which he seems to be, he really won't bother about it.

      Ah, but if you think about the plot, it is 'childish' isn't it? Naive lead character actually managing to 'defeat' the sneaky bullies. For someone who is into realistic scenes, who'll even check out hair color for the character, what type of weapon a ninja has, how ninja moves and reacts. It's too meticulous and realistic but in a way, fits Kyouko who is into that. I think that's the type of person this producer is. He is just way too serious. ^^;;

      It was. Interesting though because it is just a CM. ^^; And, her work for Shou's music video? No mention?

      Yup. I recall here locally, it is a big issue when there is a slapping scene. The poor lead tend to have swollen cheeks/got hit too hard ^^;

      True. I would assume that it wasn't made known to his department because it is the talent division. Again, aside from bad timing, Kyouko would already be disqualified due to her 'classification'.

      Indeed. But then, not all producers are like this one. =P Hehe, it is a role someone is very desperate to get. The other auctioneers probably knows about this producer so, some came prepared.

    8. Continued…
      About the bias towards the wealthy (or lower middle-class at minimum)… “With their wealth, they can afford acting schools, etc” is exactly what I’m saying. I thought, since it was mentioned in such strong terms back in the Maria backstory arc – Kyoko and Kanae called LME “an enemy of commoners/not-so-wealthy” because the LME acting school fees were so expensive – maybe that issue will make a reappearance. It still seems relevant to the difference between actress and talento at this stage of their career. Kyoko has a regular income from the variety show (talento work) = can pay back her school fee debt for sure, whereas Kanae’s projects are a bit irregular = it depends whether the series she is in is renewed for a new season, or whether she wins at audition. (And Chiori – not knowing what it was – was very jealous of Kyoko’s having any regular TV job in addition to Box R.) I think “working in light entertainment pays for acting school” would be a solid argument. A possible loophole to the anti-talento rule.

      Possible. I assumed Kyoko’s performance is consistent with the (back?)story because the producer accepted her performance as “equal or better” than the other candidates = Kimiko’s answer was less exact. Maybe, under pressure, Kimiko remembered the less-detailed manga version better than the text? But then, maybe there wouldn’t be much detail in the text on Momiji’s personal history, since she’s only a supporting character, and none of the parents seem to appear = probably dead, like Chidori’s family. But there are sure to be negative feelings of some kind – the loss in status of the family they serve must have been stressful, whatever the servant family’s level of involvement. Not a situation where a position can be routinely and proudly inherited.

      I see. So that’s why Koga as Shidzuma tells Momiji to desist – she’s about to kill the challenger she defeated ^^;

      I see. Hmm… It seems that Momiji’s father was reasonably successful as a ninja = he is only known by an alias, not his real name. Maybe Momiji wants to be more successful = restore the family name and not become known by an alias – probably by killing all challengers who fought her father? …Actually, isn’t it really about restoring Shidzuma’s family name = Momiji’s real family name doesn’t matter? Momiji’s family are just retainers, she seems to be the last of her name, as a retainer she’s to lowly to marry and have her husband adopt HER name – and anyway she’s in love with Shidzuma, so she’s not planning for successor retainers to come from her family line at all.

    9. Yes, long series/a lot of seasons. … Well, iirc the production company/the network only agrees to produce one season at a time, usually, so contracts with actors are the same = only a six-month/year commitment per contract. …Come to think of it, sometimes when an actor leaves, they replace the actor, but keep the character, eg Darrin in “Bewitched”.
      Yep, “priorities”.
      True ^^

      Probably, but it’s not very thorough of him.
      Hmm…there are no external indications that Rumi’s role is beyond her limits/outside her acting range. Iirc, Chiori was hoping for better ratings (for the first episode?) and Chiori is demanding/exacting like Kanae, she wouldn’t expect that if Rumi’s acting was below expectations. The TV show reviewer says nothing negative about Rumi.

      Well…it’s realistic in one way. One of bullies’ favorite strategies/mind games is ‘playing the victim’ + framing someone else, aka ‘reverse victim and offender’ (from DARVO). But it backfires with a naïve/innocent person, a person who visibly has no skill at lying or manipulation, because others – especially previous victims – will trust the accused (the innocent victim), not the accuser (the bully). That dynamic is at work in the ‘rumors’ arc of “Kimi ni Todoke” (with other complications – communication problems).

      Iirc, no mention of Sho’s music video.


      Possible. Kyoko also didn’t want more antagonist roles = already had more job offers than she could fit in her schedule for antagonist roles. But as you mentioned earlier, it’s worth making the sacrifice to act alongside Kanae ^^

      True ^^;

    10. I see. Good point.

      Ah, did Kyouko read the novel? I thought she read the manga version ^^; Or, perhaps, both? Hm...is it really just a supporting character? I would think that the Momiji role is equal to the lead that they'll even bother to have it auditioned. If not, it seems 'equal' enough for Kimiko to try to sabotage Erika.

      Usually, in cases like that, I would assume that the father did something really bad for Kyouko's Momiji to say that line. Ah...maybe, instead of traitor, it is failure to save/prevent the death of the boss. So, it is like a disgrace of some sort. Then, whether Shizuma got framed or whatever, Momiji is probably sore at her father for causing such a fate to her beloved. How's that? ^^

      Yes, most likely, she will.

      Maybe but I have so far not encountered such a scenario. I get the impression that ninja-s are more secretive being spies, assassins, etc so they will indeed most likely use an alias. It will be problematic if there's revenge and stuff.

      Samurai-s are more known using real name and deemed 'honorable' = face to face fights, that samurai code, etc. So, I would assume that Momiji doesn't want to use a 'tainted' alias?

      True. That happens. It also depends on the viewers if they'll still watch with a replaced character. ^^ It makes me wonder what they'll do with Star Wars ^^;

      Ya, though he's probably busy so just watch/know about series worthy to be watched/known.

      I see. So the problem would be the viewers' reception of the series? Though for me, it might be the same though. I couldn't watch through the first part of Cinderella with all that bullying. ^^; Or, any series with very long episodes/chapters of bullying.

      I see. Though I cannot quite imagine Natsume doing that ^^; Iirc, she uses her pawns for her dirty work. So, in that case, is it still possible for the victim to reverse the situation?

      Yup ^^

    11. Kyoko read both, but the manga was more vivid = easier to ‘picture’ the action scenes. …Well, I suppose all of the 3 people in the love triangle could be considered lead characters, but I was thinking more of the book, whose point-of-view is dominant there – probably not the character who loves from afar.

      Possible. The situation (backstory) is quite ambiguous at this point. I can’t tell whether Momiji is bitter about the loss in status itself (= blames the culprits, known or unknown) i.e. she hasn’t inherited a respectable retainer position, and she refuses to inherit an “undercover” alias that reveals a family history of operating outside the samurai code, OR whether she has a personal grudge because her family or Shizuma’s father failed to protect themselves (= she blames the victims as well or more than the culprits).

      Replacement, probably. But keep the original actress’s looks for toy design.

      You’re not the only viewer with that problem. It’s the reason why adaptation writers often alter Cinderella by making one of the “ugly sisters” a nice girl. That’s often done with pantomimes = versions for kids. Also in the film version with Drew Barrymore, “Ever After”. I prefer that version myself. …In TV dramas, though, if the “Skip Beat” storyline is realistic, bullying seems to be a popular theme in Japan. Eg, Based on the way the “Box R” director tells the antagonist actresses they will have to improvise/invent their techniques, because he wants something new = not shown on TV before.

      Not possible for one victim, but possible for an alliance of victims. Natsu loses all her pawns by the end = everyone but her best friend/equal Kaori deserts her. "Macbeth" style =P

    12. I see.

      True. It makes me think that it will end up ambiguous just like in Dark Moon, Box'R or etc.

      Ah yes, hairstyle and outfit ^^

      True. Though I do wonder if such things really happen in real life. How much is copied from fiction or vice versa.

      I see. That's the rooftop scene, right?

    13. Probably. A sketch will do unless that issue in the drama is relevant to the main storyline of the manga.

      It would figure =P

      The art imitates life, or life imitates art question. I see. I Googled and found this:

      “…I lived in Japan for a few years and while I was there, I taught in public junior high schools for a while. While I was at that job, I learned about this phenomenon in Japan known as kireru — which means “to cut” or “to snap.” It was, and still is, this phenomenon of young children, often under 14, committing violent acts for seemingly no reason. Kids who were otherwise well behaved, got good grades, didn’t make waves. There was a boy who beheaded a classmate in the next prefecture when I was there. He was the same age — seventh grade — as the kids I was teaching….Another aspect of this phenomenon that caught my attention was that it happened with female students, too. You think of kids “snapping” in western culture, and you think Columbine, et cetera. In the West, it’s always men. (And it’s usually guns, but that’s another conversation!) It became this question for me, as a person interacting with kids in Japan who were this age on a daily basis. What would make a kid do this? Why does this happen in Japan, a relatively crime-free and peaceful country, and nowhere else? And by nowhere else, I’m referring to the male/female ratio of violent outbursts, and the young age at which kireru attacks often happen.”

      Yep, the rooftop standoff finale.

    14. Sorry, for the delayed reply. I had missed it ^^;;

      Hm...'seemingly no reason'. Usually, if that is the case, one would say there's a mental illness of some sort. I would usually assume that it is usually about pent up emotions/stress.

      I see.

  13. I've been waiting and reading this Manga for years... God knows how long!! Ugh... Looks like this will be a long, long arc focusing on Kyoko. But I just want to see how this story ends now. I just can't wait anymore. I believe she'll get the role in this arc. I just hope there'll be Ren in this arc soon. When will be the next update???

    1. It does seem to be a long arc...depending on how long/many parts of the audition has. Then, after she gets the role, I think Ren ought to be back by then...from Guam =P

      I did notice that usually after Kyouko got the part, there is less focus on how she does the role. It is only bits and pieces and usually, that part has Ren.

      It will be on Feb 20th.