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Paradise Kiss, Vol. 1

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Dec 19, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Based on the manga by Ai Yazawa, the shojo (girl's) series Paradise Kiss (2005) mixes fashion, romance, and teenage rebellion. Yukari Hayasaka is a hard-working student whose parents insist she prepare for college. When she meets four students from the Yazawa School of Design who want her to model their clothes in the school fashion show, she falls for George, the talented, bisexual star designer. Paradise Kiss suggests Project Runway re-imagined by the creators of Fancy Lala. The priggish Yukari does a 180-degree personality switch in record time, skipping cram school and lying to her mother. Just what she sees in the arrogant, orchidaceous George is never made clear. The animation is extremely limited and instead of playing scenes to their conclusion, director Osamu Kobayashi keeps cutting to images of flowers or stuffed animals. The story progresses at a leaden pace, despite the choppy editing, and the result is soap opera slush. (Rated 16 and older: sexual situations, risqué humor, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Yong Bosch, Sam Carr, Mari Devon, Jasmine Dias, Dorothy Elias-Fahn
  • Writers: Ai Yazawa
  • Producers: Koji Yamamoto, Masao Maruyama, Ryo Ôyama, Tetsuya Watanabe, Yoko Matsusaki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: December 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000I2KRVW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,863 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paradise Kiss, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Paradise Kiss, based on the ten volume manga series by Ai Yazawa, is two things: a story about finding oneself and a love story; only it's not.

The series is described as "shojo," which means it is aimed at girls. Usually these stories focus on a "normal school girl," and Paradise Kiss is no different. It starts off by introducing us to Yukari Hayasaka. Yukari is pretty (but, doesn't know it), hard-working at school (but has little time for a social life), has a crush on a good-looking classmate (who hardly seems to notice her), and desperately trying to please her overbearing mother. In short, Yukari is the perfect heroine for a dramatic shojo series. Only . . . she's not so perfect.

It turns out that Yukari wants to find herself and secretly wishes to rebel against her mother. And, she gets the chance when she's swept up into the world of Paradise Kiss - a group of fashion-students, who wish to use Yukari for their model. The group is an odd mix, which Yukari can't help but be attracted to. There's Arashi, who looks like he stepped out of a Sex Pistols cover band, his girlfriend Miwako, who looks (and acts) like an underage doll, and the beautiful and kind Isabella. Then, there's the leader, George.

George is bisexual, into kinky sex (the anime down plays this), cool, collected, harsh, and apparently Yukari's dream guy. Yes, staying true to the genre, Yukari quickly develops feelings for the aloof George. For his part, George seems to feel the same way. And, maybe that's where the story goes wrong.

There's nothing wrong with a couple falling for one another quickly. Hey, this is shojo and the anime is only twelve episodes long. The problem is: You can never quite figure out if George really cares about Yukari.
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I first learned of this anime through the featured section in "Newtype Magazine" December Edition as I bought it on a whim. I normally don't like buying magazines over seven dollars so when this anime magazine popped into my view, I gave in and bought it. While reading through it, I came upon the anime recommendation for Paradise Kiss. At first, I was skeptic, very skeptic but eventually after finding it for twenty dollars at BestBuy, I gave into temptation and bought the first volume. After watching only one episode, I admit I was strangely hooked.

Based on the manga "Paradise Kiss" by Ai Yazawa, the story focuses on two very different people: Yukari, an eighteen year old high school student and George, a fashion student hoping to get his name out into the world. The typical shojo, it would seem to the naked eye of an anime fan. However, the story tackles many culturally challenged issues of todays world ranging from bi-sexual, cross dressing, and teenagers facing life altering decisions.

The themes of cultural placement and striving against the values of a world are ever present in the characters presented in the first volume. The characters themselves sadly are a tad two dimensional for most of the episodes and the sudden turn around in Yukari's attitude had me baffled.

The music however is very nicely in tuned with the moments of the anime and offer youan escape into a world of romance and rebelious teenagers. The opening song "Lonely in Gorgeous" offers the viewer a funky escape into a colorful world led by the female vocalist, Tommy february. J-Pop does not get any funkier than this while its partner, "Do You Want To" closes with a bang. Performed by the popular band Franz Ferdinand, the notes stay true to the rock bands style of transpiring messages.
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The latest reviews of Paradise Kiss anime were back in 2007, so I decided to write about it from a 2015 perspective. Besides the early 2000's style cell phones, I truly think the story and themes of Paradise Kiss are timeless, and this series is perfect for people who are in their late teens/early 20's.

I first read the Paradise Kiss manga when I was 14, and I only got through the first volume. I was a really sheltered kid, and some of what they talked about made me shocked and uncomfortable, especially since I had been shown so much Knight-in-Shining-Armor type of romances. For that reason, I don't think you should show this to younger kids...but then again, I was a late bloomer, and I'm sure there are other 14 year olds out there who are much cooler than me. By the time I was 17, I would have loved this. I'm 25 now, I am actually really into fashion, and I sew. I've always loved anime, so I decided to re-visit Paradise Kiss.

Since I have never finished the manga series, I am able to judge the show as a whole without any kind of favoritism. Like all manga/anime couples, the anime usually leaves out finer details that there just isn't time for, but that is not a reason to dislike it. If anything, it just encourages me to go out and buy the manga to get more of these characters I have fallen in love with.

It is SO GOOD. I could not stop myself from binge-watching all 12 episodes. I try to accumulate a mental list in my head of anime to show people who have never seen anime before, and I definitely think this belongs on it. The story is purely realistic. No magical animals or super powers that may make a non-otaku cringe.

This is shoujo, but it goes against so much of what we see repeated over and over again in anime romance.
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