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December 15, 2010

Bento Bako Lite: Skip Beat! 22 & Vampire Knight 11

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Written by: Kristin
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Another double feature today! This time it’s a double dose of shoujo. Both titles are published by Viz Media on their Shojo Beat line.

Title: Skip Beat!
Author: Yoshiki Nakamura
Volume: Volume 22 (ongoing), $9.99
Vintage: 2009 by Hakusensha in Japan, December 7, 2010 by Viz Media
Genre: Comedy, romance

Previously: Kyoko traveled to the big city, following her true love as he embarked on a journey to become a top selling recording artist. Unfortunately, as Sho rocketed in his career, Kyoko became less of the girlfriend she was hoping to be, and more of a live-in maid. Eventually she found out the truth, and vowed revenge against Sho for breaking her heart and wasting her time. She would become a famous actress and beat him on his own turf. Kyoko’s first big break was a starring role of the drama Dark Moon, a co-starring role with her senior and acting mentor Ren Tsuruga. Her success as the vicious, bullying Mio on Dark Moon led to a starring role in a new drama, where she plays the leader of a group of high school girls named Natsu. The director wanted Kyoko to just “play Mio,” and Kyoko began to get concerned about getting stuck in a single role. Unable to get into her character, she turns to Ren’s father for help with developing a new character. As Natsu starts to take form, Kyoko needs an extra push to make Natsu her own, and goes to Ren’s place for some special training.

Picking up from the end of volume 21, Kyoko meets Ren outside his home. Kyoko quickly springs her request on him – she wants Ren to teach her how to walk like a model. With special care, Ren teaches her in such a way that he knows she’ll quickly grasp onto, and Kyoko’s walking like a top model in no time. When she shows up to work the following day, no one on the set even recognizes her. Unfortunately, some of her co-stars have decided to cause her trouble, and tamper with her costume. When Kyoko shows up on set, channeling a brand new Natsu, everyone is taken by surprise. Through Natsu, Kyoko both confronts the pranksters and convinces the director to accept the transformation. Only Chiori, whose plan to have Kyoko get in trouble with the director by altering his vision, remains against her. Her irritation isn’t helped when the director now finds fault with her character and asks for an immediate change. Chiori, haunted by an accident in her past and a character she has never been able to shed, is both baffled and furious than a newcomer like Kyoko could do overnight what she’s been struggling with her entire life. How far will she go to ruin Kyoko? Another fantastic, warm-fuzzy inducing volume. Things are still progressing at a slow, but amazingly steady pace. Which is both annoying, because things move so slowly, and pleasant, as I never want it to end.

Title: Vampire Knight
Author: Matsuri Hino
Volume: Volume 11 (ongoing), $9.99
Vintage: 2009 by Hakusensha in Japan, December 7, 2010 by Viz Media
Genre: Romance, drama

If you’re not keeping up with Vampire Knight, or if you plan to get into the series in the future, then I suggest you stop here. I’m going to mention one or two major spoilers, changes that occur in the story around the eighth volume which alter the course of the series. I rather enjoy the series, but it can get crazy from time to time, and it’s far from being any sort of feminist manifesto. If you’ve read and enjoyed any of Hino’s other titles, then you’ll probably enjoy this one, too. If you like your shoujo smutty, dark, and romantic, then you’ll like this one.

Previously: The last couple volumes have been pretty hectic. Kaname awakened Yuki to the sealed memories of her past, and released the magical bond that kept her vampire instincts in check. Rido, newly revived by Kaname, led his vampire minions to attack Cross Academy, but was brought down by both Zero and Yuki. Meanwhile, Kaname disappeared and slaughtered the Vampire Senate, while Headmaster Cross battled the corrupt Hunter Society. Once everything was over, Kaname returned to collect Yuki, to take her away to some place safe.

The vampires are lost and confused now that Kaname has vanished with Yuki. Ichijo is being held by Sara Shirabuki, who saved him after his battle with his father, and now demands that he tell her everything he knows about Kaname. Rima and Senri set out to search for him, as the others search for Kaname. Kaname takes Yuki through an underground passage to the house where her family once lived. Safe from those angered by Kaname’s actions, Yuki remains shut away in the castle for an entire year, while Kaname works behind the scenes to unite the vampires. Though she is happy to be with Kaname, Yuki still struggles with her feelings for Zero, which have remained and now torment her. She also goes through the difficult task of adjusting to life as a vampire, when she lived as a human for so many years. Back at Cross Academy, Zero continues as a student and a vampire hunter, channeling his anger and blood lust into an obsessive drive to constantly hunt down vampires. As things begin to fall into place, Kaname sets up a meeting with the Hunter Society and plans a vampire ball to get a feel for which vampires will stand beside him. Zero is made a guard for the party, but his partner is a former student of his own master, Kaito. Kaito is approached by Yuki’s friend, Sayori, and offers to sneak her into the vampire gathering. Yuki’s debut into vampire society, a gathering of on edge vampires and hunters, and a lone human girl. Things are close to boiling over. Can Kaname and Yuki carry such large burdens? Things are moving…and getting a little weird. If ever Yuki embodied the doll she appears as in the end credits of the first anime season, it’s now. Locked away in the castle by Kaname for her protection, pampered by her brother and fiancé, dressed up for display, paraded in front of the other vampires. It will be nice when she takes control of things for herself again. Lots of things are going on in the background as the vampires recover from Kaname’s rampage, and the Hunter Society rebuilds itself at the hands of Headmaster Cross and Yagari, who want to make Zero the Society’s president in the future. The entire world is changing.

Kris
kristin@comicattack.net
@girlg33k_Kris

Review copy of Vampire Knight volume 11 provided by Viz Media.

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7 Comments


  1. Billy

    I stopped reading because of your disclaimer. I really want to get into this series someday.



  2. […] Girl’s Familiar Diversions) Carlo Santos on vol. 9 of Real (Anime News Network) Kristin on vol. 22 of Skip Beat and vol. 11 of Vampire Knight (Comic Attack) Connie on vol. 5 of Sugarholic (Slightly Biased […]



  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin Bomba, Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: New #manga reviews: Skip Beat 22 & Vampire Knight 11 from @Viz_Media http://comicattack.net/2010/12/bblsb22vk11/ […]



  4. I agree Billy, because of Kris my reading “to get” list has grown significantly 🙂



  5. Heh, that makes me very happy to hear that. 🙂 I enjoy spreading the manga love.



  6. […] Skip Beat! volume 23, by Yoshiki Nakamura. “Chiori’s rage threatens the whole production when she lashes out and hurts Kyoko. Kyoko is used to overcoming obstacles, and she uses her injury as an excuse to push Chiori into exploring her acting. Will focusing on the dark side of her character bring it all rushing back?!” From Viz Media, April 2011, $9.99. […]



  7. […] [Volume 11 review.] […]



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