Paradise Kiss, Vol. 1
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It is bittersweet, but it's worth it, believe me.
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. I have seen literally over 100 anime series, so I started getting really picky with the shoujo I choose to watch, because I was sick of the flat stereotypical characters and storylines. Paradise Kiss has such well-written characters, they feel much more like real people, similar to favorite characters we see on TV. It goes against what we think of as shoujo so much that I would even show this series to a guy.
The number one thing I appreciate about Paradise Kiss is the fact that it has a Transgendered character. Trans people are really under-represented in media, and only now in 2015 are people starting to actually talk about it. Isabelle is a man wearing women's clothes, and that George is bi. In the first episode, that fact is mentioned, and then dropped again. We get to know Isabelle as a person, along with every other character, without it getting thrown in our faces over and over again that she is trans. The fact that George is bi also throws in a level of relationship insecurity for Caroline, because not only does she worry about the other girls, but the guys too! However, it is never presented as making George any less attractive or desirable. It is SO incredibly refreshing, and you just do not see that in American media.
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. Even when he's loving toward Yukari, you get the idea that George might just turn wonder off for a quickie after Yukari falls asleep.
The George/Yukari relationship, which will surely give a few people deja vu, and cause memories of their co-dependent, unhealthy, and deeply sexual college romance to resurface, is not this anime's only issue. (Yurkai's quick life changes can be forgiven, as they only had twelve episodes to work with.) The other problem with this anime is the editing. It's too choppy in some places, which may annoy fans. The animation is interesting, however. It seems fresh and something that will catch on in more animes.
At the end of the day, Paradise Kiss is a decent anime. It has its problems, but it is a treat for fans of the manga and the genera as a whole.