Will Skip Beat! Ever Become An Anime? Yes!

In Hot Black Suits

So! As long as I can remember, there has always been one persistent question, stubbornly haunting Skip Beat’s dedicated group of fans: “Will Skip Beat! ever become an Anime?” The resounding answer is: Yes!  The Baka-Updates Manga Forum, The Scrumptious Anime Blog, and A Geek By Any Other Name have quoted Moon Phase as the source, and yes, it has been VERIFIED that there will be a Skip Beat! Anime!

Like with anything else that I love that becomes an adaptation, I’m anxious, but still tentatively excited to see the result.  I cannot, for the life of me, imagine an exceptionally well-done adaptation of the Manga because Skip Beat! is so incredibly hilarious and serious all at the same time, that it’s hard to believe it can be done!

There’s also a Taiwanese Drama adaptation that’s in the works and I can’t seem to raise my hopes for that one, either.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I really want it to be as well executed as Nodame Cantible (the Japanese Drama), but I don’t expect it to fall any where near that quality.  It’s really sad; I really like Nodame Cantible for its balanced combination of story-telling, humor, acting, and depth, so much so, that I can’t really imagine anything else captivating me like it did.

Well, we shall see.  As always, the Skip Beat! Fans are torn into several parties over this issue.  You can see the love-hate relatonship at the Baka-Updates Manga Forum and the Skip Beat! Yahoo! Mailing List as well =) I get the gist of both sides, but it’s fun to watch people get riled up over something that’s definitely going to happen =)

Anyway!  There’s no doubt that the Anime is coming!  I can only cross my fingers and hope that it really takes my breath away when it gets here.  Listed below are the people and studio that have slated to work on this project:

Director: Kiyoko Sayama (Pretear, Princess Tutu, and Vampire Knight)
Studio: HAL Film Maker (Princess Tutu, Pretear, and Boys Be)
Series Composition: Sekijima Mayori (Angel Sanctuary, Clamp School, Petite Cossette)

And if anyone is interested, here’s a link to the Skip Beat! Drama CD, where you can hear a voice actress playing Kyoko, and you can dig around YouTube for some more clips yourself–I know there’s one of Ren somewhere!  I have no idea whether they’ll be the same voice actors for the Anime… but, hopefully, we’ll find out soon.  In the Manga, there’s an author’s section where Nakamura-sensei really gushes over the Drama CD and how she feels so bad for the voice actress playing Kyoko’s part because Kyoko’s so insane! =D I’m glad the humor’s not lost on her. I’ll see if I can find it and I’ll add an excerpt from the book.

Thanks to Golden Meliades for the heads up =)

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Character Analysis: Tsuruga Ren

Vectorized Image, Tsuruga RenAs I continue working through the final draft of “Second Chance” (Chapter Two), I find myself being perpetually bombarded by certain elements in the story that I successfully ignored the first time around.  Unfortunately, the more that I try to make story seem more cohesive and faithful to the canon, the more difficult writing this FanFic becomes.  If you’ve taken a good look at the Scene Index from my previous post, you’ve seen that most of my trouble spots are in the scenes with Tsuruga Ren.  He’s probably the main reason why I’m having such a hard time finishing up this chapter and posting it.

Every writer will tell you that writing is just like everything else: there are good days, and there are bad days.  Some days you write a lot, and some days, you’re lucky if you get in a good sentence or two.  About a week ago, I set aside 5 hours just to work on “Second Chance,” and I ended up writing only two paragraphs, both of which I trimmed down to one good sentence later on that day.  It was really frustrating to only have written two meager paragraphs, but thankfully, on the very next day, I was rewarded with churning out a good six pages from the rest of that scene.

I find it ironic that the trouble with Ren is that he is such a wonderfully complex character, filled with flaws and odd compulsions while remaining so deceitfully charming and heartbreakingly aloof, that I want to keep him just the way he is.  Like how he, as an actor, has to put himself in his character’s shoes and creatively imagine how best to portray his role in Skip Beat! the manga, I have to constantly put myself in his character and imagine how he would move, and breathe, and act, and speak.

The scene that I’m working on now is a one of the crucial scenes to “Second Chance,” so I want to get it right the first time around.  A lot of the other scenes build off of this scene, so I’m having a difficult time moving on without finishing this one.  In this scene, Ren does a lot of lashing out, in his cool, calm, deattached way that we see a lot of in the beginning of the manga.

In “Second Chance,” he’s someone that’s supposedly approachable and very amiable, but upon meeting him, his charming facade leaves the visitor delighted and pleased, yet unable to impose his or her presence on him for long.  Although he is someone that’s constantly working and incredibly busy, the visitor assumes this even before the assumption is verified.  Not only does he distance himself from others, the people around him automatically distance themselves before they give him the opportunity to be otherwise.  That is why, as the story develops and he realizes his feelings for Mogami Kyoko, we, as the reader, are pleasantly shocked but delightfully happy when every new development between these two characters soften his false charade and reveal more of who he is at the core.  However, he is still the harsh and unyielding Tsuruga Ren that is married to his vocation, no matter what she may do to his heart.

This is the Tsuruga Ren that I am enamored with and am trying to portray.  I remember that there was a review on the FF.net page that criticized my use of his character; that he wasn’t dark and unforgiving enough.  To be honest, I think that might also be a reason why I’m struggling to get his personality down.  And, to be fair (or biased), I don’t feel that my Ren was entirely off in Chapter One, because the Ren that we know beyond Skip Beat! Volume 10 has been revealed to be a very gentle, kind, and protective man–but only to Kyoko (and Maria).  But, the review reminds me constantly that he is still Ren; still harsh and unyielding.

Well, that’s enough for pent up frustration.  I got stuck writing the rest of this scene so I started to blog and rant.  Then I wrote on LiveJournal and somehow decided to make a wallpaper for the LJ Skip Beat! community and thought about submitting it to AnimePaper.net to get some papers LOL but I haven’t decided what to do with it yet.  I have an idea, but it’ll take some time before I can actually implement it well.  You can see that I started a vector of one of his better profile pictures, but it still needs some work.  I liked the clean lines in black and white, but if I color the rest of the picture, I’ll have to mess around with some textures and brushes before I can really enjoy this picture.  But you guys can have at it.  Enjoy it while you can, friends, because if I start writing, you might not get to see the finished wall until after I publish Chapter Two =) Some sacrifices have to be made, right?

Oh, do be a sweetheart: if you use it, please link back and credit =) It’s always nice to have new visitors and new comments.  And yes, I have an account on AnimePaper.net.  You can friend me, if you’d like.

Cheers,
LyL

Critical Update, June 11, 2008

Dear Readers,

The sudden onslaught of FanFiction comments have inspired me to write this general update to answer the questions: “Where the hell have you been?” and “What the **** happened to updating soon?” Personally, I wish I could say something super interesting like, “I’m moving to Australia!” but unfortunately, that is not the case. Although–Hello!–How cool would that be?!

The sad truth is: I have been working on “Second Chance”–a lot. That is, a lot more than I should be working on it. I really need to just churn out the remaining sections of this chapter, and then the rest of the story (five chapters total!) and move on with my creative writing. For your benefit, the following is the updated section list of Chapter Two.

1 Seiji & Lory: Final Call (Status: Third Draft/Complete)
2 Kanae & Kyoko: Disappointment (Status: Second Draft/Complete)
3 Yashiro: Decisions, Decisions (Status: Third Draft/Complete)
4 Seiji & Sho: The Contract (Status: Third Draft/Complete)
5 Seiji & Kanae: That’s What She Said (Status: Third Draft/Complete)
6 Seiji & Kyoko: Writing Angst (Status: Second Draft/Incomplete)
7 Kyoko: Lingering Moment (Status: Second Draft/Incomplete)
8 Kyoko & Maria: Just Today (Status: Third Draft/Complete)
9 Ren & Yuji: Real Men (Status: Second Draft/Complete)
10 Ren & Kyoko: Flight or Fight (Status: Second Draft/Incomplete)
11 Kyoko & Ren: One to Ten (Status: Second Draft/Incomplete)
11 Yokiko & Lory: Overcoming (Status: First Draft/Incomplete)
12 Kyoko & Ren: In Revenge (Status: Unwritten/Incomplete)
13 Kyoko & Seiji: This is Goodbye (Status: Unwritten/Incomplete)

As you can see, I’ve re-written some sections up to three times (Sad!) and there’s really only two sections left unwritten. The re-write for all of Ren and Kyoko’s sections are driving me mad!

That’s all for updates.

Beta Readers Unite!

To be honest, I don’t use a lot of the features on FanFiction.net, but I have to admit, some of them are pretty nifty. They created a section for “Beta Readers,” where writers can sign up to be Betas (editors, really) if they meet the minimum requirement of 5 published stories, and you can pick a Beta based on the section that they registered for. It’s genius! I mean, there’s a definite charm in being able to “scope out” your potential beta, see what they like, what they’ve written, and then ask them to be a Beta-reader based on your preferences with relatively little fear of rejection–I mean, they’re volunteering, for pete’s sake!

(I have to admit, though, I am a little skeptical about those writers who’ve written over 50 stories >.> How much time and care did you really put into writing if you can churn out so many? On the flip side, if you can do that and produce some really great stories, then: Wow. I’m jealous. I’m having hard enough of a time finishing one story, much less able to hammer out three other ones. No, I’m not bitter. Much.)

Well, the point of this post is that I’ve been very productive lately. I’ve been happier with my writing style than I have been in months, and there’s just a handful of sections that I need to revise/write before I can publish.* While I’m working on that, I’d like to have two betas (or up to five, if people are willing) to catch any mistakes in canon, spelling, grammar, translation, and general style of writing.

If you have any experience in being a Beta reader and you wouldn’t mind giving me a healthy chunk of your time, I’d be grateful for your editing prowess. Mind you, I’m not trying to be picky, but I’m not looking for people who are going nuts over my half-year-plus hiatus, looking to read whatever they can. I’m looking for genuine help, advice, and a pair of critical eyes. It would also help a lot of you know how to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature.

I don’t know how many people take FanFiction as seriously as I’ve been taking it, but I genuinely do believe that writing “Second Chance” has really given me an opportunity to become a better writer. Hopefully, it shows in chapter two! Let me know if you’re interested, via email or comment. You can also find me on the LJ Skip Beat! Community.

* I’m determined to publish soon. I refuse to be the FanFiction writer that takes over a year to update, and I refuse to drop this story. I’m going to finish this one, dangit!