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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on March 27, 2012
I actually watched the anime before reading the manga and I have to say, the anime doesn't do it justice. Even in the first three volumes, it has me sucked into the story. Kyoko is easy to relate to and would be a great friend in reality. She always keeps you guessing and you can't help but smile and hold the grudge she has with Sho along with her.
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on July 25, 2006
Skip Beat! is a wonderful, hilarious manga about fifteen-year old Mogami Kyoko, who is initially a sweet, devoted young girl who, upon his request, comes to Tokyo with her childhood friend, Fuwa Shou, to support him as he pursues his musical career. Kyoko has dreamed since she was a little girl that Shou was her prince, and that one day, he would marry her and she would be like a princess...

Until the day that Kyoko overhears him complaining about her - how boring, naive, and ugly she is, and a complete drag on his time. Rather than breaking into tears, Kyoko is disgusted and enraged, and declares that she'll have her revenge - and since by now, Shou really is a very popular star, she'll enact this vengeance by becoming a bigger star than *him*.

Kyoko is the reason this manga is so great: she's determined (she gives new meaning to the word), a hard worker, ambitious, and constantly trying to find out who she really is and who she wants to be. Plus, she makes and utilizes voodoo dolls - how can you not love her?

This volume covers Kyoko's very beginnings into the world of showbiz, and introduces Kyoko's likely love interest, the very popular (and wonderfully evil and yet so perfect) actor, Tsuruga Ren.

Nakamura Yoshiki (NOT Yoshiko, Amazon) is a great manga artist who won my heart with Tokyo Crazy Paradise, the series with which she really refined her drawing style. In any case, Skip Beat! is fully of great drawings, fantastic paneling, and the most hilarious dialogue. It's fresh, unique, and given to few of the typical shoujo cliches; I'd agree with another reviewer and state that Nakamura really raises the bar for shoujo.

As to how Viz did: they included some cultural notes that clarify what might be confusing for non-Japanese readers, which I was pleased with... but there's a WHOPPING BIG GRAMMATICAL ERROR in this book that I pitched a fit over. That said, it was only one (albeit a big one - it was even in bold), so the rest of the translation is done very well, and the packaging, in line with the rest of their Shoujo Beat line, is tidy with a regular gloss, if not as great as, say, Del Rey's XXXHolic packaging.

Highly recommended for anyone who loves great characters, humor, potential love triangles, and a flat-out wonderful series.
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on March 6, 2012
Please note that this review is about this particular edition, not the series itself. I adore Skip Beat, but I did not adore this edition. I was really excited for this item to come out. I've been meaning to collect the series volume by volume, but I have limited space on my bookshelf as well as limited funds. For the price listed on Amazon, this is a good purchase, but I wouldn't pay the list price. We don't have any bookstores nearby, so I was pretty unfamiliar with the 3-in-1 Editions from Viz, but figured they might be like the Ultimate Editions from Tokyopop in paperback format. However, this book feels very flimsy and the paper feels like newsprint. The first three volumes are reprinted faithfully in this one, but without the single volume covers. It reads like one continuous volume, which I guess isn't so bad, but I was expecting a little more out of the 3-in-1 Edition. If you're on a budget and without a lot of space to hold your manga, then this volume might be for you, but I think I'll just save up and buy each volume individually.
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on March 6, 2012
The 3 in 1 edition is great, especially with the price that Amazon is offering for it. The book is light weight and the pages also feel light which is good because it's easy to flip through. That was one of my concerns because I've read other 3 in 1 books that were hard to read because the pages weren't very flexible. I definitely recommend buying this edition especially if you are looking to collect the whole series (like me) but don't want to pay 10 dollars for each volume.
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on June 14, 2006
Kyoko Mogami is a modest and diligent girl. After graduating from middle school, she followed her childhood friend Sho Fuwa to Tokyo to help him with his pop star career in the hope that they have a joint future. She is working hard to support Sho's super star dream. But by accident she learns that Sho only brought her along because he didn't want to do any strenuous work and therefore needed a "servant". Kyoko decided to start her revenge project by joining the Show Biz. Hoping one day she will beat him in his own field.

I have read manga for so many years (over 10 years...), this is my favorite now. I have read the Chinese edition to Vol 12, and it's getting better and better. I wasn't that interested in the "super star love story" at the beginning. But, I was very curious why Skip Beat is so popular in Asia. So, I give it a try. It turned out to be a warm, loving story. Oh, and it's very funny. This manga has great story, and each character is well designed. Skip Beat trully raised my expectation for Shojo manga.
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on August 14, 2015
So, at this point I have read up to the current chapter that's been put out for Skip Beat. I've been reading this series and watching it for about six years now, I think, and I've enjoyed every moment of it. The thing about Skip Beat is that in some ways its a really different kind of shojo manga. A lot of shojos spend all their energy focusing on trying to force these two people together, or make a character choose between two guys or two girls... and yes, Skip Beat has some of that, but there is so much more in it too. You see, there's a real substance to both of the characters who are involved in the relationship. It takes a couple people who have a mutual hate for each other upon meeting, and as we see them both grow into better people, we also see their relationship grow and change as well. We also see their careers change and grow. Over time, they become real friends and really fall for each other actually. The more time that passes, the more they learn about each other, the more cemented that bond becomes. And what's great about this series is that it doesn't just focus on the problems of the main character or the male lead, it focuses on both of their problems (and they are very real issues, not just teenage worries blown out of proportion). They give each other the strength to overcome their demons.

Another thing that makes this manga/anime series great is the fact that they don't only rely on each other. It shows that each of them have a network of friends that they are close to and can confide in. Each of these friends has a unique personality, and we understand them all. They even have their own issues, which can become minor details driving the story forward. I've never read a shojo series that spent so much of its time making us understand and fall in love with supporting characters. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever read a manga where the leading male love interest had a best friend who was both single and completely uninterested in making the female lead his own lover, while shipping his best friend together with her (and when I say he ships them together, I mean he SHIPS. THEM. TOGETHER.). Equally astonishing is the fact that Kyoko also has a best friend that likes to ship her with Ren--even though she's much quieter about it. In fact, I believe anyone who knows them and cares about them, kind of ships them together. But let me just say how also uncommon it is in any manga for several women to appear socially reserved and still likable. Normally they're chatterboxes, crazed gossipers, or spend all their efforts on trying to steal the attention of any man that moves. Anyone who reads manga regularly can probably relate to this. When it comes to this, Skip Beat is a breath of fresh air.

Now, Skip Beat has its own variety of over-the-top issues that occur, but you're dealing with a bunch of people in the entertainment industry (including a bunch of actors), so a little bit of insanity is expected. This series definitely is pretty long, and it isn't finished yet, so you will need to summon some patience if you start reading this series from the beginning. I can say, though, it's all worth it.

This edition is basically the beginning of Kyoko's step into the entertainment industry, and also how she meets and deals with Ren in the beginning. It's also the setup for what drives her throughout the entire series. If you don't have a good laugh at some point during this volume, you have no soul.
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on March 26, 2013
This series is truly wonderful, at least up to end of volume 6 (2nd 3in1), where I am. Probably my favourite manga.

Heartwarming and heartbreaking, but mostly uplifting and often funny. Intelligent yet accessible. Surface subject on entertainment industry, but never superficial, cheap, or lowest common denominator. Shojo (girl/young woman) manga marketed to, and appropriate for girls, but appreciated by any age & gender. Makes me smile, laugh, sometimes think(!), occasionally cry.

Shocking how few reviews for such a great work, at this 3-in-1 page, and the 1-at-a-time: Skip Beat! Vol. 1
Reviews at that link are more focused on the series than the printing.

I can't compare manufacturing quality without seeing the other English edition(s? some manga pub in AU/NZ.)
This one is black and white on paper that feels cheap and flimsy, with a decent color cover and good binding. Even this paper is adequate for many readings. A popular library copy obviously much used based on cover wear was missing no pages, nor torn out parts of pages, and had no ink worn off, but had perhaps 3 or 4 rips throughout. Binding still sturdy. I seldom find rips in library books, but worse, rarely will find poorly bound books, including manga, with missing pages, and other pages or sections ready to fall out.
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on August 25, 2015
This manga series is an all around great drama for everyone! Skip Beat is not your typical shōjo because:

There are no helpless characters. The mangaka didn't throw anyone under the bus in order to make the story-telling easier, which is a common theme in shōjo manga. Since the characters are individually driven, an equal amount of attention is placed on their individual and professional growth rather than completely focusing on romantic attachments, and that makes it an all around good drama with many comedic elements.

The characters are colorful and three dimensional, each with their own non-superficial flaws and closet-skeletons. Even the side characters are also carefully developed, and all experience growth during the story. The twisted bits make them very relatable even while we enjoy the far-fetched premise of the story, which makes it fun.

The mangaka (author/artist) weaves several types of humor into the story at just the right places. The humor connects the dramatic elements of the story and makes seamless transitions between panels, in addition to giving us further insight into the characters' minds. I regularly laugh out loud while reading the series, even after multiple times.

There's a bit of mild fan service for both preferences, but none of it is pointless. All around it's well-drawn and balanced. The mangaka has mastered drawing facial nuance of expression as the series matured and it /really/ makes the manga function in the setting she chose for it. Her use of aura illustration is funny and helps too. She doesn't waste space to avoid drawing details, and so she's also mastered effective use of focus in panels.

As someone who's rarely drawn to the shōjo genre, I can say that this is becoming one of the best series I've read so far. It is certainly my favorite in the genre.
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on April 14, 2016
I have been reading this series since 2005. I adore the characters, plot, and comedic/romantic tones that it carries. The three volume combination is such a great money saver for me as I have been waiting to own this series for a loooong time now. The quality of the pages are thinner but that doesn't deter away from the art or contrast quality. Please continue with the series 3-in-1 and Yoshiki Nakamura, continue your wonderful work!
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on December 19, 2015
I mostly bought this manga cause I really wanted to see what all the type was about. So far so good.

For those interested in the manga, this is a cheaper alternative.
The only thing you should be warned about is that the pages of the book are extremely thin, at times I felt like I could rip them in one move. So just be careful when reading. Also, don't bother reading them in direct sunlight/artificial light. As I've mentioned before, pages are really thin so artwork tends to blend together when reading in very bright locations.
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