|Arc||A Lotus in the Mud arc|
Howling Ambition is the 236th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
In the past, Kyoko makes a long overdue call to the Fuwas. She apologizes profusely to Yayoi Fuwa even banging her head as she goes to instinctively dive into a dogeza. For despite being in their care for so long she selfishly ran away with Sho. Kyoko fears that they won't forgive her but on the contrary Yayoi tells her that it is them who should be apologizing to her. It is obvious that their son was the one who got her caught up in his runaway scheme and then irresponsibly lost contact with her after reaching Tokyo. Yayoi says she needs to give her lazy son a good spanking! This causes Kyoko to smirk in delight at the image this brings to mind. Yayoi explains that they had planned to come visit and bring Kyoko home. Yayoi makes it clear that Kyoko has a home with them at Fuwa Inn and that if she ever does want to come back she will be welcome. Kyoko thinks that when Sho discarded her she seriously thought about doing so. Yayoi continues saying that Saena told her that she had asked for the freedom to do as she wished and that Kyoko now had something she wanted to do so staying Tokyo would make it easier for her to accomplish it. Kyoko is stunned and asks if she spoke to Saena which Yayoi did. She asks Kyoko if she also spoke to Saena about many things which Kyoko confirms. Yayoi tells Kyoko she has to leave for she's in the middle of her job. Kyoko apologizes again for she meant the call to be a quick one. Yayoi tells her it's fine and that they will talk more when they visit on the 22nd. She and her will have a nice long chat over some tea when they come for Yayoi also wants to hear more about Kyoko's dreams.
Kyoko wonders if she is allowed to discuss her goals and career ambitions without incurring the wrath of "that person" (Saena). She recalls Saena's wrath vividly, telling her not to reveal the details of her job due to its embarrassing and disgraceful nature. Kyoko stares at her closed phone pensively as she recalls Yayoi telling her that they were intending to come to Tokyo to bring her back home. She thinks that if this had happened a year ago she probably would not have been able to hold onto her ambitions against Sho's mother and would have left Tokyo. Being able to stay led to her revenge becoming a separate thing to her love of acting. Because she wanted to mystify that man (Ren) with her acting. Not that those feelings were totally pure she muses. She recalls Yayoi saying that Sho had told them many times that he "wasn't seeing Kyoko anymore! I don't know where she is!" Kyoko doesn't know how long Sho's been telling this to his parents but perhaps in a way he was protecting her for she finally found something that brings her to life. Her own dream and future.
Further in the past, Sho and Kyoko are children. Sho knows that Kyoko is a people pleaser but wonders if she has a dream of her own or something she wants to be when she grows up. Kyoko is too embarrassed to share it so Sho blackmails her into doing so by stating that she knows his so isn't that unfair? She's still hesitant so Sho tells her he won't be friends with her anymore and not to talk to him as he goes back to playing his video-game. Frantic she agrees to tell him. Blushing deeply she tells him she dreams to be Sho's future bride. Sho is disgusted for he hates girls who say stuff like that. In his mind he thinks that she's aiming to become the wife of a popular musician for the fame and money. Rather hypocritically he insults her and tells her off for wanting him to take care of her lifestyle which obviously devastates Kyoko.
Kyoko is delivering her signature shin kick to Sho. Sho is reeling in pain. Shoko is gasping in shock. Kyoko is moving forward determined whilst reflecting that Sho's always been like that but his attitude just got worse and worse. And she's sick of it. For he is the one who doesn't have anything that really defines him, just an empty shell of a human being!
Sho tries to grind out a question past the pain in his leg. Not even a warning?! What the hell is she doing?
Kyoko throws the question back at him. Sho screeches that it was she who kicked him! For a second time too! Kyoko muses that it would be out of character for her to NOT kick him and she came all this way just to see him so he should be grateful. Sho refuses to be and demands she get off his foot which she has been stepping on this whole time for his shoes are expensive. Kyoko scolds him to stop acting like a man-child which cause Sho to gape. He fails as a rich boy if he gets worked up over a pair of shoes. To be honest he is a failure as a human in general so he should really let her scold him all she wants for Okami-san is coming on the 22nd. Sho is pissed and ready to snap however all his steam is drained away when his mother is mentioned. Kyoko informs him that she spoke with Yayoi today and she also met with "that person" and had a talk. Sho knows her well enough that he can decrypt "that person" to mean Saena and is positively flabbergasted at the huge hurdle that Kyoko has overcome after recalling her bad state only days ago. Kyoko tells Sho that Yayoi and "that person" understand her thus she declares to him she will not be going home to Kyoto until she fulfills her dreams and ambitions. Kyoko stares into Sho's face who looks stunned at her announcement. She knows that if he hadn't lied to her she would not be here today as the person she is able to say these things so boldly. Although the words he said to her may have been in jest they resonated within her.
Kyoko's face darkens for she thought she might be able to manage a good job or something nice like that but she can't do it thus she continually kicks Sho and stamps on his shoe. As soon as she sees his face she just loses control. Besides there are no statute of limitations for a maiden's lips! Sho is protesting at the sudden onslaught on assaults especially those aimed at his shoes. Kyoko tells him to stop being a man-child they probably only cost ¥80,000. Sho says he is not a child anymore for they are at least 5 times that amount. Kyoko immediately shrinks back from the shoes appalled at their outrageous price of ¥400,000 and judging them more valuable than her maiden lips. Sho examines his shoe and is irritated to see its bent out of shape. A person like Kyoko who can't get lead roles and lingers in supporting roles would of course be too scared to touch fine goods such as this. Kyoko is annoyed for his insult hits a sore spot. Kyoko tells him that she would never want such stupidly expensive shoes that a stupid person like him would stupidly like. Sho protests at all the stupids and thinks she just sounds like a sore loser. Kyoko then proceeds to throw down her challenge again, that she will continue to climb higher and she's already decided on her next step. So keep laughing on that perch of his while he still can for before long she will be stepping on his head from above! Both of them swap determined smiles. Sho takes her up on the challenge however can't get started on his monologue for Kyoko is already leaving. Thanking a perplexed Shoko for hearing her unreasonable request with her back to a raging Sho who demands she listen to him even running out of the room to yell after her. Kyoko thinks that is a cliche loser-like reaction. Shoko calms him down telling him his teriyaki chicken sandwich is here so eat it while it's still hot. She inwardly shakes her head at him thinking that whenever he fights with Kyoko he becomes like an elementary school boy and they can't have the fans seeing this. Both Sho and Kyoko smile as they walk away recalling her declaration that she will be staying until she fulfills her dreams and ambitions. On the topic of her achieving her dreams Kyoko opens her phone to text someone who may help her do so.
Chiori is being interviewed for a piece in a magazine. Ishikawa, the interviewer, asks if Chiori has a goal or dream either personal or professional. Chiori says she would like to be able think of any role as part of her soul and become an actress that she can earnestly love. Inwardly she thinks of how she was not able to do this with 'Yumika'. Ishikawa is impressed at the answer and how different it is. She repeats the explanation regarding what the Love Me Section is but gets it completely wrong Chiori thinks it would be frustrating to correct her so doesn't bother. Kyoko hurries over apologizing for being late however she's not they just started early. Kyoko and Ishikawa introduce themselves then Ishikawa asks if she might get some pictures of them. Honami and Yuka both peek out to see what they are up to. Honami wonders what interview they are doing. Yuka thinks one of the staff from This Show Will Really Make You Feel Good introduced Chiori to it. She can't remember the name of the magazine but the article corner features unique and unusual people or groups from many different areas of showbiz. Honami agrees that the two of them are definitely unique especially Chiori who is an actress but features in This Show Will Really Make You Feel Good and is member of the mysterious Love Me Section. Yuka chimes in that Kyoko too plays Mio and is also a member of the Love Me Section. They are both silent for a second. Honami thinks its strange but she doesn't feel jealous of them. Yuka seconds that.
Kyoko, Chiori and Ishikawa are wrapping up the interview. Ishikawa requests if she could have some photos of them in their stage costumes however it can wait until after the drama. Chiori and Kyoko walk to Box "R" set together and Chiori thanks for Kyoko accompanying her in the interview despite there being no prestige. Kyoko says she didn't mind and she couldn't ignore it if it was related to This Show Will Really Make You Feel Good. Apparently Chiori tried to decline the interview but once Ishikawa heard she was part of Love Me she was even more eager to interview them. Kyoko brushes this off and hopes that it will give the drama some more publicity since they are only on the second episode. Both she and Chiori's expressions darken for it's not likely as the article was making fun of them. Kyoko hopes it won't find "that person's" ears and becomes a bit frazzled when she envisions her wrath. Chiori tells Kyoko that it was the first time she had heard her goals regarding acting. Kyoko becomes embarrassed having said such overambitious things in front of her. Chiori thinks for some else she would have said it was overambitious but for Kyoko she might be able to make it happen. She recalls the interview when Kyoko tells Ishikawa her dream with a determined expression.
Kyoko confides to Chiori that for the next few auditions she is actually feeling very confident. She recalls Ren visiting her at Darumaya and knows that she probably understands the role of Momiji and her feelings better than anyone else. She can definitely portray Momiji. The more she ruminates on this, the more determined she is to get the role for she doesn't want any one else to have her.
Whilst on a break during filming, Kanae receives a text from Kyoko causing her to let out a confused 'huh?' Hiou asks her what's wrong, did she get an annoying text or something? Kanae stares at the phone obviously debating what to do about it. She gives Hiou a reluctant side glance who is guzzling down soda. Leaning over she stares at him until he starts to blush then says his name. Hiou stammers what is it? She says she has a big favor she needs to ask him as she shows him Kyoko's text. Kyoko is doing everything she can to stand out in the audition for Momiji including unashamedly asking for lessons from Hiou's grandfather, Kotetsu Uesugi, a well-known martial artist who is also teaching Kanae.
Kyoko repeats the line Sho said to her with a slight variation.
Kyoko films a scene with Natsu and Kaori clearly outnumbered and it looks like, with everyone against her. This is presumably the final scene. Director Anna looks on with a very satisfied expression and Ishikawa also watches looking amazed.
- ¥80,000 is approximately $800 USD. ¥400,000 is approximately $4000 USD.
Characters in Order of Appearance