|Character/s in the cover||N/A (Kyoko Mogami and Ren Tsuruga)|
|Arc||Dark Moon arc|
Climax Concerto is the 75th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Kyoko is still trying to figure out the smile on Ren's face, for it's one he has shown to her from time to time. If the smile means hate, then it wouldn't fit in this scene between Katsuki and Mizuki. Kyoko concludes that he must not hate her as much as she thought.
On stage, the acting test is still going. Katsuki asks Mizuki to play something on the piano, anything she likes for she rarely gets a chance to touch the piano. Itsumi seems to hesitate, the other actors watching presume it's because Itsumi can only play a little as well as the fact that Mizuki isn't allowed to play the piano at home.
Itsumi is actually angry at Ren, for she can't play anything except "Neko Funjatta" and he knows this. She thinks he is deliberately putting her on the spot because she tried to upset his improvising. Katsuki sends her an understanding expression and covers for Itsumi in character by reassuring her to not to worry if the people of the house see for he will tell them he asked her. Itsumi is puzzled at this statement then remembers that Mizuki isn't allowed to touch the piano. She is relieved she doesn't know any other tunes, otherwise she would have played something to cover being flustered, and that would have been out of character as Mizuki. Still silent she realizes this was the reason that Ren was able to ask her to "play anything" because he knew Mizuki certainly wouldn't choose "Neko Funjatta" to play for Katsuki. Katsuki presumes by her silence that Mizuki is still afraid to play so he offers to play with her. He starts moving towards the piano whilst smoothly stripping of his suit jacket and rolling up his shirt sleeves. Everyone, particularly Itsumi, is shocked at this statement, even Yashiro.
The crew discusses that Ren has been taking piano lessons for Katsuki because the previous actor in his part had played the piano himself, but is he really that far along? Ogata is amazed at the idea that Ren might play Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu," the melody that Katsuki usually plays in the drama. Itsumi is flustered and aghast at the idea that Ren might be about to play Chopin because she knows she can't play a melody as complicated as that. She thinks again that Ren is deliberately being mean to her.
Everyone watches closely eagerly anticipating what's coming, as Katsuki stands over the piano and breathes in, then starts to play. In contrast to the professional aura that he strikes at the piano, Katsuki begins to play a very poor "Neko Funjatta." Everyone blinks and gapes as the simple melody flows out from the piano instead of a masterpiece. Katsuki smiles invitingly at Mizuki, who should be tempted both by the opportunity to play the piano and to do so with her crush. Itsumi plays "Neko Funjatta" correctly and the discord with Ren's poor playing is tangible until Ren slowly smooths it out by copying Itsumi's finger movements and they begin playing in sync. The playing is like an echo of their earlier scene together; dissonant but gradually merging together. Lory smiles at the scene, understanding Ren's aim.
Katsuki challenges Mizuki with a reward of special piano access at school, but first she has to catch up to him. Itsumi doesn't understand what he means until Ren begins to play "Neko Funjatta" faster and faster. She is amazed at the innocent expression Ren gives her. Laughing joyfully, she joins in and has fun trying to catch up to him. Ogata is struck at this beautiful interplay of Mizuki and Katsuki, having never thought of including a scene of the two of them flirting with music. The playful and potent symbolism for the characters touches everyone watching, including Lory. Mizuki finally gives up. Kyoko watches with trepidation as Lory makes lots of funny expressions while listening to the playful exchange between Katsuki and Mizuki.
Characters in Order of Appearance