Skip Beat! 6 by Yoshiki Nakamura: A

From the back cover:
Ren’s manager Yashiro comes down with a nasty cold in the middle of an important shoot, and dares Kyoko to take over his job! Of course Kyoko accepts, but she’s in way over her head with a pack of new responsibilities and the scorn of everyone who thinks she’s doing a bad job. But the more time Ren spends with Kyoko the more he sees her kind and gentle side. Will all her hassles be worth his change of heart?

Though there’ll always be a fond place in my heart for volume 4 and its chicken-suited hijinks, this volume has usurped its place as my most favorite thus far.

The rich girl from the last volume made one last appearance, trying to injure Moko so she could not appear in the commercial. She was unsuccessful, however, and I was happy to see the girls actually complete filming without something happening to mess it up. Playing the part of a high school student made Kyoko wistful for what she didn’t have, and it didn’t go unnoticed by the president of her agency. To top it all off, Moko ended up writing Kyoko something really sweet in the stamp book in which she collects points for her Love Me Section jobs.

And in addition to all of that goodness, there was lots and lots of great interaction between Kyoko and Ren. I pretty much loved every scene they were in together, from talking about Sho Fuwa in the car, to Kyoko helping nurse Ren’s cold, to them rehearsing lines together at the end. Along the way, more of Ren’s memories of meeting Kyoko as a child were revealed, and they each made some realizations about the other, though each still believes the other hates them.

I can’t remember another manga that made me genuinely happy that two characters had finally become friends or another heroine whom I cheered on so whole-heartedly. Skip Beat! really is something special.

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