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Dark Breath
Chapter 188.png
Character/s in the cover Kyoko Mogami
Volume 31
Arc Dark Breath arc
Chapter Guide
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ACT.187 ACT.189

Dark Breath is the 188th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.


Kyoko thinks back to Ren telling to Bo the Chicken about not being able be close to anyone. Now that she knows more about him she thinks maybe someone close to Ren died and he was responsible. At work Ren is happy and flirty. Yashiro wonders what emotion he is repressing. In the break room Kijima sends an email to Kyoko about his lunch, having gotten her address at a party.

Kyoko is super excited: a colorful pretty email! All she usually gets are dull replies from Kanae. Yashiro realizes Kijima has altered his approach to pursuing Kyoko. But surely Kyoko would never flirt back...then he sees her inadvertently flirtatious reply email. Meanwhile, Sho says he is going to school.

Chapter Summary

During her lunch break at school, Kyoko remembers Ren specifically adding "no matter where I am" when he told Bo about not being able to afford getting close to anyone. After observing his behavior while dealing with becoming Cain Heel/BJ, Kyoko decides that his self-reproach and the landmine trigger of being called a killer may add up to someone from Ren's past having died and that Ren blames himself for it.

Around the corner, Mimori spies on Kyoko and isn't happy about it.

On set at a coffee commercial, Yashiro observes Ren unhappily. While Ren is performing just fine, backstage he is acting falsely: smiling and laughing disingenuously, needlessly stealing the hearts of the female crew. Yashiro knows that Ren does stupid things when he's around Kyoko a lot, like eating breakfast twice or scraping his Porsche against a wall [1]. So he thought that after essentially having to live with Kyoko Ren would be so happy that he wouldn't be able to hide it.

Yet Ren is behaving exactly the way he does when he's suppressing emotions he doesn't want others to notice. This means that something must have happened between him and Kyoko. Yashiro can't ask Kyoko about it, since she "took off like a stray cat with a fish in her mouth." Ren's smile means that Yashiro can't ask him about it either, because he won't get an answer. He can only wonder if Ren's alright.

Kijima is also part of this commercial shoot. In the break room, he offers Ren some of the sweets he had his manager go fetch, but Ren declines. They briefly discuss childhood eating habits before Kijima lets drop that he especially ordered a new kind of sweet so that if it's good he has an excuse to email Kyoko. Ren and Yashiro both go very still, not that Kijima notices.

Ren casually asks Kijima when he exchanged email addresses with Kyoko. Kijima answers that it was at the end of the Dark Moon after party, when Kyoko, Momose, and Ohara were all talking together. Yashiro remembers specifically that this was when Ren was surrounded by female crew members trying to drag him off to yet another after party.

"I thought she wouldn't tell me," Kijima continues while composing his text message, "because she protects herself like she's from another era. But when I told her I'd already exchanged email addresses with Ms. Ohara and Itsumi she gave me hers without hesitating." Kijima doesn't see Yashiro grabbing hold of his hair in frustration over Kyoko's naiveté because he's finishing the message. "Done." [2]

Still at lunch, Kyoko hears the alert for an incoming message come from her phone and worries something might be wrong if Moko is contacting her first. Her eyes grow wide when she sees that it's from Kijima. It's full of cute graphics, which makes Kyoko excited because she's never received one like that before. Moko's emails are always simple and short, and she told Kyoko she can't stand receiving one with emoticons and gifs. Kyoko is excited to finally be able to send one like that, but stops herself since Kijima is her senior, even if his personality encourages joking around.

Yashiro reasons to himself that Kyoko must have only given Kijima her email because Momose and Ohara had given theirs. She's a nice girl who must've thought Kijima was only being polite, since he'd asked her third. She'd also thought his asking her out at the party was just a joke. Despite being attentive to her during the public wrap party, Kijima hadn't gotten close to her at the after party—though Ren was there to protect her. Kyoko's not used to being directly hit on, so she may have let her guard down... Yashiro finally pieces together what Kijima said about Kyoko protecting herself like she's from another era and realized that Kijima had simply changed tactics.

Yashiro stares at Ren, wondering why he doesn't look angry, since he probably already figured out what Kijima is up to. Yashiro relaxes, too, thinking Kyoko wouldn't respond. She's Love Me member #1 after all.

Kijima gets a response, and both Ren and Yashiro cease to be relaxed. Kijima is chuckling to himself, declaring he got a pretty good response from Kyoko with his first email to her. "She's decorated her email, so that's proof she's interested in me."[3]

"So she decorates her emails," Ren comments, playing it cool. "How? I'm curious, because I've never received one from her."

Yashiro knows that Ren doesn't even have Kyoko's email address. Kijima expresses surprise that Kyoko and Ren don't email each other since they seem close enough to. Falling for the bait, Kijima reveals that Kyoko only put in one decoration and shows the message to Ren. Yashiro comes running over.

The only decoration in Kyoko's email is a sparkly all-caps of the word LOVE, declaring how much she likes green tea mixed with red bean sweets.[4]

Her word choice sucks! Yashiro screams in his head. He watches Ren while Kijima obliviously teases that Kyoko must trust him quite a lot if she doesn't even send emails to Ren. Ren is no longer smiling.

An incoming text message wakes Sho up from a midday nap. He gets up and puts on his coat to head out. Shoko expresses surprise, since he has somewhere to be in the evening it's unlike him to go somewhere. She asks him where he's going. Sho stops and turns his head. "School," he answers.

Characters in Order of Appearance

Characters in Order of Appearance
  1. Ren Tsuruga *Kyoko's recollections
  2. Kyoko Mogami as Bo the Chicken *Kyoko's recollections
  3. Kyoko Mogami
  4. Students at Performing Arts High School
  5. Mimori Nanokura
  6. Ren Tsuruga
  7. Coffee Commercial Costars
  8. Coffee Commercial Staff
  9. Hidehito Kijima
  10. Hidehito Kijima's Manager
  11. Airi Oohara *Kijima's Musings
  12. Itsumi Momose *Kijima's Musings
  13. Kanae Kotonami *Kyoko's Memories
  14. Sho Fuwa
  15. Shoko Aki


  1. Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 12, Chapter 67, Page 389
  2. Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 31, Chapter 188, Page 168
  3. Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 31, Chapter 188, Page 177
  4. Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 31, Chapter 188, Page 178


Volume 31 Navigation
Chapter 183
Chapter 183
Chapter 184
Chapter 184
Chapter 185
Chapter 185
Chapter 186
Chapter 186
Chapter 187
Chapter 187
Chapter 188
Chapter 188

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