|And the Box was Opened|
|Character/s in the cover||Kyoko Mogami, Ren Tsuruga and Sho Fuwa|
|Original Release||February 22, 2002|
And the Box was Opened is the 1st chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Kyoko Mogami lives in a high-rise condominium with her childhood friend, Sho Fuwa. In order to support the both of them, she works at three jobs at once. On a certain day, she went and made a surprise visit to Sho until she overheard things that suddenly made her Pandora's Box unlock...
Everybody has inside a box closed by locks that can't be opened by the person itself, and so...
Kyoko Mogami is a young girl working at a fast food chain restaurant. She is relieved when her turn was switched to by another girl, who was late. Kyoko runs to the locker room worried because since she had to cover for the other girl, she is now going to be late for her next job.
But in the locker room, some of the other girls are talking about male idols, and one produces two giant life-size posters of a certain Sho. She says she got them when she bought the first press edition of his new single. Kyoko is horrified, she was in line for the whole night before the release, was the first customer, bought two copies and got no posters at all.
The other girls take pity on her and tell her that perhaps if she goes back to the shop and shows the receipts and explains what happened, they will give her the posters.
Faster than her own shadow, Kyoko is out of the room, on her bike, and pedaling like crazy.
Kyoko arrives to the store with her bicycle and "asks" for her posters to the terrorized salespersons. They explain because she was so early, they had had no time to explain about the poster campaign.
They only have left the one they used for the store, but Kyoko is very happy even if it's that one.
Kyoko’s next job is as a salesgirl in a traditional Japanese food shop, called Darumaya. The Taisho's wife tells a really exhausted Kyoko that she should have taken the day off, but Kyoko says she won't be able to pay the rent if she misses any day.
Taisho's wife wonders why a nice girl like Kyoko needs all that money, since she has the other jobs and also wonders why she is not going to high school. She asks her if she lives alone, but Kyoko avoids answering and instead daydreams about becoming a princess, because princess used to be dirty and ragged and full of work, but they became pretty when meeting their prince.
After work, Kyoko returns home and suddenly notices that the lights from her apartment are on. She runs inside and saw her prince charming, Sho standing on the apartment.
Kyoko is very happy, but admonishes her for lifting her voice so much. Kyoko is happy to see him and wonders if he is leaving already because he is grabbing some clothes.
He says he just came for some of his stuff, and complains that there is no beer left in the fridge and doubts her abilities as a "house keeper," even though Kyoko tells him that she didn't buy any because she doesn't drink it and lately she never knows when he will be home, as he never answers her calls to his cell phone. Kyoko thinks that because they have been friends since they were little, she is the only one who really knows how to make him happy.
Kyoko remembers the occasion while in middle school when she overheard Sho complaining about his parents wanting to put him in an arranged marriage with a girl he couldn't stand so she could continue with the family's business, an inn He later asked her to go with him to Tokyo because he wanted to pursue his dream of becoming an idol. She has been always very happy that she was the one only girl he chose for that!
While Sho and Kyoko watch TV as he eats a pudding she got for him, she tells him about the excitement from her co-workers, one of which changed from being a Ren fan to being his fan, which makes him way too happy.
On the TV there is a program, and Sho's supposed rival, Ren Tsuruga is introduced, to the obvious delight of the audience. It turns out that he is No.1 favorite for girls in their twenties, far above Sho. Even though Kyoko tries to tell Sho that he is probably too young for women in their 20s, as he is just 16, he leaves in anger anyway.
In the background, Ren says that his ideal of the perfect woman is somebody nice and homely. Kyoko curses Ren.
Next day, in a break from her fast food restaurant job, Kyoko tries to call Sho's cell phone, but it's again just on message mode.
She says she is sorry about the evening before and that even if other women think differently, he is still number one for her.
Kyoko is depressed about having to leave the message, but then decides to go give him some food, as she remembered today Sho is working in a nearby place.
When she arrives there, she is surprised that there are many people waiting for him, but she manages to sneak in because she is wearing her uniform and says it's a special delivery.
Once inside, as she runs looking for Sho, she overhears him repeating the message she just left. She then says that being number one for her is nothing to be proud of. Kyoko stares in shock.
Sho is talking with a pretty older woman, her manager, Shoko Aki. Shoko says he is being a little too hard on the girl, after all what Kyoko has done for him. He says that he doesn't care because he just brought her with him so she could take care of him, since he is too much above making housekeeping and average working.
He says that he asked Kyoko because she has always been like a housekeeper for him, always helping at his parents' inn and always being nice no matter how bad he treated her.
Shoko says that since he can now live on his earnings, why doesn't he let her go, and he agrees, saying he will send her back to Kyoto. A mini Sho devil approaches the locks in the box of Kyoko's heart.
He goes on while Kyoko has flashbacked to all these scenes, explaining that his parents never understood him and wanted to marry him to Kyoko, the girl he couldn't stand, who was plain and boring.The locks open one by one. Sho continues that after all, it's ok for her to sweat her life off into working all for his sake. Sho then says Shoko is so much more like his type and he has been spending most of his nights at her apartment under the pretext that she is his manager.
Kyoko throws the food box to them, and lets her be known. She says that it was him who brought her to Tokyo and he replies that only because it was convenient. Kyoko stumbles to a nearby sofa and starts making strangling noises.
Sho says “Geez, don't cry like that. “ while Kyoko turned her face up and reveals that she is actually laughing out loud.
The box in Kyoko’s heart is now opened.
Kyoko throws all the little angels that used to be her at Sho and yells at him that she is getting revenge on him for all the times he used her and all the times she couldn't do all the things she wanted because of him.
Sho laughs at her and tells her that he is now beyond her reach, and that the only way she could touch him is by entering the showbiz business, which of course is too high for an ordinary person like her.
Sho orders the security guards to throw her out.
But Kyoko is now set on her plans, and with her new freedom and a visit to a stylist. Kyoko is ready to go!
"Just you watch, Shotaro!"
Characters in Order of Appearance
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