Yay! I’m finally doing a review on this. My first Josei anime as well as manga. I’ve been living in the world of shoujo until I met Paradise Kiss. Well, Paradise Kiss is a really good first-time josei anime, in my opinion.
Paradise Kiss follows a high school girl named Yukari, who is currently studying hard for her college entrance exams to get into her desired college as well as not to disappoint her mother. However, she wasn’t really born a genius – academics doesn’t seem to be her thing. She never really understood what she wanted to do with her life, or what she wanted to pursue. One day, she was approached by a group of students from Yazagaku Fashion School, and they asked her to be the model for their upcoming fashion show!?
Wait, Yukari’s studying for her college entrance exams, so how is she supposed to model for their fashion show? She needs to focus on her exams now, or she might just disappoint her mother. At first, Yukari declined the request for her to be the model of the show, thinking that the fashion show was nothing important and the group of students were making clothes “for fun”. Good thing Miwako and Arashi managed to bring across the point that the fashion show was really important for them, and they weren’t making clothes “for fun” – they were dead serious about it. They even have a brand named ParaKiss.
Miwako and Arashi’s a really cute couple in the anime too. Even with the little focus on their relationship, I like them a lot! Despite their looks, Miwako’s actually rather mature, and Arashi’s actually rather immature at times especially when it comes to matters regarding Miwako. But everything strikes a splendid balance, even when it comes to the couple’s dressing – Miwako’s all lolita and Arashi’s all punk-like.
Yukari now knows that these students had a passion in their lives (no I don’t mean this in the dirty way if you were looking at the picture above), they had something they wanted in their lives, while she did not at all. She considers being a model in their fashion show, after knowing the weight of it. Well, how could she possibly, ever, say “no” when a handsome young man from the group that didn’t show up earlier, comes and apologises for the behaviour of his friends, and asks her, politely, whether she’d like to model for their show?
Meet George Koizumi. A pity he wasn’t with Arashi and the rest when they first asked Yukari to be their model for the show. I bet if George was there, Yukari might’ve just eagerly nodded her head almost instantly when he asks that very question.Blue hair? What’s George anyway, an alien? It’s extremely humourous how Yukari would always reference him to aliens. Well, you don’t see blue-haired guys everyday, don’t you. Such a gorgeous man is currently entering her life (…and her thoughts?). How can she resist his murderous advances?
Before she knew of such a beautiful life form’s exsistence, she’s actually had a crush on a classmate, Tokumori, for a really long time, thinking that she’s experiencing unrequited love because a smart and handsome student like him will never set his eyes on an average girl like Yukari. Will Yukari continue to love Tokumori the same way even after meeting the ever stunning George? Will her feelings waver? Come to think of it, Tokumori’s really ordinary when compared to someone like George. But I wouldn’t say he’s not handsome. 😛
Oh, and I forgot to mention a little special character called Isabella. (S)he’s not focused on much during the anime, but (s)he’s special in the way that, yep, you guessed it, (s)he’s a male that cross dresses as a female. Isabella’s actually really pretty, despite being born a boy. Argh, I shall just refer to Isabella as a “he”. He actually likes dressing up as a girl, and this was actually triggered by George when both George and Isabella were kids. Isabella takes up the motherly role in the group, providing Yukari with advice and encouragement when she needs it.
The story deals with Yukari making decisions on her own, pursuing what she truly wants to, and discovering her priorities in her life. She matures as the story continues to unfold, and she’ll go through new experiences that will teach her life lessons. It also deals with how she handles the important relationships with her family, lover and friends. Along the way, sacrifices has to be made… What will Yukari choose in the end? It’s all up to her now, there’s no need for her to be wandering around aimlessly in life anymore.
We’re also introduced to the world of fashion in Paradise Kiss. I must say that Paradise Kiss is actually a really, really stylish anime. I mean, just look at the art. The story line isn’t bizarre, it’s actually really realistic. Everything just screams “style” in the anime, from the dressing all the way to the music. For someone that spends most of her time burying herself in shoujo, this was definitely an eye-opener for me. Everything was just so different in many ways, but I embraced this change with open arms. 🙂
There’s a live action movie for Paradise Kiss. Again, it’s always advisable to watch the anime/read the manga before watching live actions or else it takes away all the fun. The live action was alright, I guess, but I didn’t really feel that the characters were brought out strong enough, relationships felt a little weak, especially the romance that didn’t feel romantic. What’s romance if it isn’t romantic? I make no sense. But I hope you get what I mean. The friendship between the characters also felt pretty loose, I mean, Yukari and Miwako are supposed to be really really close, but it just felt like Miwako was just an ordinary friend.
Oh, they changed the ending, you know.
They changed the ending!? How could they! The reason why I loved Paradise Kiss so much was because they tied up the anime so well with the conclusive ending, and I’ve never actually felt so satisfied when an anime ends. Of course I’d want more of Paradise Kiss, but when it ended, it didn’t leave me hanging or anything. Loose ends felt like they were knotted up neatly.
Anyway, if you’ve enjoyed Paradise Kiss, you should definitely check out the live action movie. Don’t have too high expectations though. Storyline and movie aside, the characters don’t even look anything like their anime counterparts in terms of dressing and hairstyle. I mean maybe they just adapted the storyline, but I like it when we feel like the anime’s been really brought out into real life. Maybe my demands are a little high, but shouldn’t the fashion be brought out a little more, since Paradise Kiss is all about fashion?
But actually anyone would look weird with blue hair and blue eyes. Gah I’m just an unsatisfied fangirl. Ignore the unreasonable me. At least let Yukari have straight, black hair… Is it that hard? Oh and, Miwako doesn’t have pink hair, but I guess that’s alright too (actually it isn’t, but I shan’t be greedy). Arashi didn’t exactly have blonde hair, but brown was alright.
All in all, be sure to check out Paradise Kiss! If you’re new to Josei, Paradise Kiss could jumpstart you into the world of Josei. Whee!