Skip Beat: Anime vs. Drama
I wanted to write about one of my favourites, both as an anime and as a drama. Before writing this I took some time to refresh my memory by re-watching the anime for the 3rd time and the drama for the 2nd time as it has been a while. Ok, Ok. Who am I kidding? I may have taken notes, but re-watching was pure enjoyment for me. In fact, I often had to make myself stop and write something down so I could at least call it work. I hope you all enjoy and find some useful information.
Skip Beat is based on a manga by Yoshiki Nakamura and is about a girl who has spent her whole life doing things for others, never giving a thought to herself and what she wants. She ran away from home with the boy she loved and worked to support him so that he could become a music star. However, she was betrayed by him and vows to get revenge by becoming a star in the show biz industry. As she works her way up through the industry she meets and befriends many people, finds herself, and realises her new found love of acting may be worth more to her than getting revenge. She finds that it just may be possible for her broken heart to heal and that she could love again.
The drama went a little further in the story line and I wish the anime had too. The anime really left me hanging, more so than the drama. There are also a lot of little extra scenes in the drama, but I felt they really gave new life to the story. Skip Beat is filled with a lot of comedy and a little bit of romance. No matter how many times I watch, I get sucked in and find myself laughing, crying and yelling with anger. Though I would have liked to see more focus on romance, both the anime and drama were lacking for me on that front. There are rumours of a second season coming in 2014, but I don’t really have high hopes for it actually happening.
Kyoko and Gong Xi (Ivy Chen) are almost exactly alike. Both are full of energy, rage, loneliness and resentment, but with a hidden bit of kindness. The character often reminds me of a puppy, seeking love and attention, even if she doesn't like it. After the betrayal she decides to join LME, begging her way into getting an audition. She fails after the second round becomes the first member of the new Love Me Section.
The differences I found most noticeable would have to be in appearance. In the Anime, she cuts and dyes her hair very short and is pretty unrecognisable. In the drama, there is no colour change and its chin length. To be honest, she doesn't look much different from her ponytailed long brown hair. I felt like they could have done a little more to make her look slightly different. I found that Kyoko seemed a little sadder and angry, while I felt Gong Xi more outgoing and happy at times.
Ren/Lian (Siwon) is LME’s top actor. He is known for being gentle and kind and is very professional when it comes to acting. Meeting Kyoko/Gong Xi brings out his true self, though he keeps his fake polite persona in front of everyone else and is very cold and rude to her. As the story goes on he finds his coldness letting go and he falls in love with her. Of course, though, he denies the feelings, not only to his manager but to himself. Towards the end, he does admit it to himself, which helps him overcome his problems getting into his Dark Moon character.
The anime is very closed off about Ren’s past and very little is revealed. My favourite part in the whole drama so happens to be a part with Lian in it. All you girls who have seen the drama, you know what I am talking about ;) Siwon in a swimsuit is to die for! KYAAA! Ok, ok crazy fangirl mode: off. While Ren seemed more stone-faced, Lian's emotions seemed to show even though he tried to hide it and I thought this version was cuter.
Sho/ Shang (Donghae) is K/G’s childhood friend. He is a selfish, egotistical playboy. He tricked K/G into running away with him so that he could pursue his dream, using her as a housekeeper and nothing more. After he finds out K/G has entered show biz though, you see a different side of him. He is very jealous and claims that she is still his and will always be his. Sho/Shang is very jealous of R/L and considers him his biggest rival.
There really isn't much difference between S/S in the anime or in the drama. I felt like Donghae performed his role perfectly though he seemed more charming, and I would have even liked a couple more scenes with him in it. In the anime, however, I could have done with less Sho scenes. His arrogance and selfishness got on my nerves and I absolutely hated the character there.
Kanae/ Qin (Bianca Bai) is an extremely talented actress but was also missing love. She is the second member of the Love Me Section. When we first meet her, she is selfish and at first look, seemingly a villain in the story. We know next to nothing about her in the anime, but the drama brings out more character development with Qin. After K/Q and K/G work together in the audition for a soda commercial they become best friends. I felt like their relationship was so much deeper in the drama, and I never hated Qin, though I hated Kanae in the beginning.
Yashiro/ Du Jin (King Chin) is R/L’s manager and he is first seen as a serious character in the beginning of the anime, but very quickly turns into a comedic character, as without gloves on, anything electronic breaks within ten seconds. This isn’t the case In the drama, however, his phone case is yellow with a corded phone handset. Because of this phone, he carries around, I feel like he is one of the cutest characters I’ve ever seen, making him one of my top favourite characters of all the dramas I have seen. I would love at least 10 of him!
President Lory/Lou Li is the President of LME and is very much the Father Figure of the story. He is Flamboyant, and is well known for being flashy and can be somewhat childlike at times. In the anime, he was always dressed in Arabic clothing. The drama showed a wider variety of clothes during his scenes. Not much is really known about the president other than he is Marie’s grandfather. A couple of years ago, when I watched the anime for the first time, I did a facepalm at Lory’s opening scene: his flashy clothing made me think he was a little crazy.
Maria/Maria (Frances Wu) is the granddaughter of President L, who has lost her mother due to a plane crash at a young age, and believes it is her fault her mother died. She also believes her father hates her because of it. K/G though manages to convince Maria that it was not her fault and that she should reconcile with her father. She is the only character to have the same name in both the drama and the anime. I would have loved more of Maria in the story because she was so adorable. Frances did a wonderful job acting her part. Children in dramas always amaze me and I hope to see more of her in future dramas.
Director Ogata/Xu Fang (Chang Shao-Huai) is the director of the remake of Dark Moon, the drama that both R/L and K/G star in. In the anime, he is a cry baby and is seen as a very weak character. In the drama, Xu Fang frequently suffers from panic attacks because of the pressure he is under as his father is the original Dark Moon’s director. His wish is to create a Dark Moon that is greater than his father's. Though he does not appear until the last few episodes of both, I felt like he was a very important character that really helped wrap up the show.
MY FEELINGS ON THE TWO:
Both the anime and the drama make it into my top ten list for anime and drama, but if I had to choose one over the other I would have to go with the drama. It is a close call but I feel like the drama was slightly better, possibly because it is just easier for me to relate to live action than it is to relate to an anime. The anime was slightly more over dramatic as most animes usually are, while I felt the drama was more on the crazy comical side. I would have loved a little more romance in the anime/drama, but as both are open ended there is a possibility of another season. Until then, I will have to be satisfied with the manga.
I really loved all the music in the drama and a few songs that stuck out to me were: Solo - Super Junior, Wait - A-Lin and the Soda Commercial song, if anyone knows what it is called, please let me know. The music in the anime is also good, though I don't feel like it stuck with me.
The drama was supposed to start in 2008 starring Jerry Yan (Meteor Garden) and Ariel Lin (It Started With a Kiss) and Joe Chang (The Rose) but due to a script re-write and a change in production, the project was put off indefinitely. It resumed filming in 2011 with Super Junior members Siwon and Donghae. Ivy Chen (The Family) was cast only a month before filming began.
Siwon and Donghae filmed most of their scenes in Korean. Their voices were dubbed for the show. Siwon's lines were dubbed by Xie Kun Da on episodes 1 and 2 and Nylon Chen for the rest. Donghae's lines were dubbed by Darren, an ex-member of Energy.