|Off to a Good Start!|
|Character/s in the cover||Kyoko Mogami, Ren Tsuruga and Sho Fuwa|
Off to a Good Start! is the 100th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Dark Moon ratings are up and Kyoko and Director Ogata are celebrating the possibility of them becoming more sucessful than the original Tsukigomori. Kyoko is also excited to be starting a new role, Natsu, but soon realizes that separating herself from Mio's dark image might be harder than she first thought...
Ren is also starting a new role as a serial killer, BJ (Black Jack), utilizing the new skills he learnt whilst acting as Katsuki. He is told that they are not going to announce that Ren is acting in this film in order to shroud the character of BJ in mystery.
Kyoko, Ogata, and the assistant director look at a billboard which shows the latest Dark Moon episode almost hit a 40% viewer rating. Kyoko gushes that she heard even 30% is good nowadays. Kyoko continues to gush about making Dark Moon more successful than Tsukigomori when Ogata reminds her that she needs to get ready for the first meeting for her new drama. After she runs off, Ogata and the assistant director voice their mutual worries that Kyoko could've been negatively branded for playing such an unlikeable character as Mio. Ogata comments that Kyoko's already becoming a real actress because she was pleased people fell for her acting by disliking Mio so much.
Kyoko sheds her Mio costume and makeup and cheers herself on in the mirror. "Well, Kyoko! Let's go create a new me!"
Ren is dramatically playing with cigarettes and a fake gun, successfully cementing his ability for a director and producers to play the character of a merciless, evil killer named BJ. The director confesses he first though Ren would be perfect for the role after seeing his Katsuki in Dark Moon.
The director, Konoe, confesses his ambition to shock Japan with this movie, and that he wants to start trying to achieve that by making BJ's character more important than the name of the lead actor. He suggests keeping Ren's identity a secret. Ren's intrigued enough to immediately agree, but Yashiro doesn't like the idea.
Alone in the car, Ren laughs it off as a fun prank, but Yashiro insists that he accepted the role on Ren's behave because he thought it would enable him to take the Ren Tsuruga name into new frontiers. Ren reminds him that there's going to be buzz around the movie no matter what. He also believes that his own acting can increase that buzz, and that it's a role worth doing. Yashiro tries to get a word in edgewise, but Ren won't let him. He engages in double speak, one aloud to Yashiro and one in his mind.
To Yashiro, Ren says that he'll find it easier to act anonymously, because unlike Katsuki, BJ is all darkness. If people make a fuss about him in the role beforehand, he feels he won't be able to concentrate. In his own mind, Ren fears that he'll become too afraid to let loose his darkness for the part if people know it's him.
Yashiro remembers that it took Ren 3 days to decide to accept the role, and he backs down.
Suspicious, he asks Ren if he smokes in secret, since he didn't choke at all during the role play. When Ren denies, Yashiro declares he must've been a smoker who quit at age 18. Ren corrects him and says it was 17. Also, he used to play with this parents' model gun collection when he was a kid .
Kyoko is making her goodbyes after the first Box "R" meeting, when she is stopped by the director, Kazutoyo Anna. He tells her not to think too hard about her role as Natsu, and to just play it like she did Mio—only without the high class dignity, Mio as a regular school girl.
This makes Kyoko thoughtful, but before she can think it through her phone rings. There's no caller ID, but when she answers it's Sawara. He wants her to swing by the agency the next day to discuss three job offers that came in for her. Kyoko is very excited and hopes to take on a second role while filming Natsu part-time. She daydreams about playing a fairy, but pauses when she realizes the daydream is too much like Corn. She confidence is shaken because she thinks so highly of him.
Kyoko remembers the comforting assurance she received from Ren about Corn and wonders why she believed it and felt so relieved when there was no proof. Was it special powers, like an energy or a fragrance? Ren did smell really nice... and she was warm in his arms... very comfortable, too...
Kyoko freaks at the direction her thoughts have taken and the feeling accompanying them. She hopes no one saw her looking so stupid. She rants about the dangers of "Tsuruga Therapy"—she feels at ease, but the after-effects linger too long and take away her ability to think. Humans degenerate if their brains stop thinking, and she is young with a promising future. She can't regress now! She stomps her way home, reminding herself to use her brains and think about work.
The next day, however, brings disappointment that all the job offers are for bullies. Sawara compliments her success, fairly unheard of in such a newcomer. He's genuinely proud of her. Her lack of enthusiasm about it disappoints him, and he thinks she'll never graduate from the Love Me section if her attitude is like this. Kyoko points out that it's not that she's uncaring; she's very pleased that people liked her work. Sawara pats her encouragingly, and sends her home with the three roles to look over and choose from.
Alone again, Kyoko sadly wonders if it's overambitious to want roles that are different from Mio.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Disclaimer: Playing with guns does not give you great acting skills, but can cause serious injury. Ren's teasing of Yashiro is not to be taken as career advice.
Character popularity poll, in honor of 100 chapters.