They're not play-acting. A dispute turns ugly on set.

Kyouko Mogami as Setsu Heel.I rarely write about manga, but Skip Beat seems to be the exception. Although some chapters in the past have concerned themselves with light-weight, humorous side tales, the story keeps coming back to some darker, serious themes. I mentioned before that I admire that Skip Beat tries, in its own way, to present the lives of professionals. Of course another reason is that the heroine, Kyouko Mogumi, keeps being cast in bad girl roles, and looks great doing them. I also mentioned that Skip Beat deals at times with something we might call meta-acting. The current arc, including the most recent chapter (#179), feature the darker themes, meta-acting, and, of course, Kyouko plays naughty. For those who might be familiar with the anime, but aren’t current with the manga, here is a little taste of where things stand.
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In chapter 158 of Skip Beat, Kyoko’s street test for her new look is a little too effective. I generally don’t write about manga, but there is something about Skip Beat that appeals to me. Sure it’s shoujo, so there is the comedy and the romance, but it is also a story about someone trying to do her job. Now her job (talent in an actors management company) has unusually glamorous aspects, and insane challenges. A lot of it is plain ridiculous. But in the end, she gives it her all because she is pursuing a career.

For some reason, the anime and manga aimed at boys and men that gets translated into English never addresses this aspect of our existence. Oh, sure, if the job is piloting a giant robot to save the world from aliens, or if the male lead is a spy with super powers, we get to see some workplace drama. Actually, after the break, I’ll list the non-shoujo anime, that I know of, that shows a real (non-sports) workplace. I came up with only 5, and some of these don’t really address the workplace in a credible way, and at least one is arguably shoujo.

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