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Description: ukari is a typical high-school student who listens to her parents and attends school everyday. As she starts to question her way of life, she encounters a group of fashion design students who has a clothing label known as "Paradise Kiss". The group needs to find a model to showcase their designs in an up-coming fashion show and decides to pick Yukari instead. Initially, Yukari was reluctant to be associated with this seemingly eccentric group, but eventually, she realises that they are really nice people. Furthermore, their passion and enthusiasm to follow their ideals and dreams make Yukari realise that she has not been enjoying her life and this motivated her to pursue her own dreams.
As expected from Yazawa Ai-Brilliant Romantic Beautiful Anime
The year 2005 was a huge year for josei manga author Yazawa Ai. It is nearly impossible to walk around Tokyo and not see her artwork—on the cover of Cookie magazine, tankobon of Paradise Kiss on the shelves in your neighborhood 7-Eleven, her artwork on the boxes of Beauteen hair dye, not to mention a hit feature-length live-action film of her recent manga NANA.
The five-volume-squished-into-12-episode anime adaptation of Paradise Kiss had a lot of expectations to live up to. Fortunately I went into this anime series without any previous knowledge of the series, completely ignorant of the contents of the manga. The animation and character designs were fresh and appealing. The colors were soft and loyal to the typical shoujo fashion, and the backgrounds of Harajuku and the Yamanote line were excitingly realistic.
The opening and closing sequences were argueably some of the best of the Fall 2005 season, as far as music is concerned. Tommy February 6 lent her talents to the opening theme "Lonely in Gorgeous," which is a bittersweet, lonely pop number inspired by a scene towards the end of the series where Yukari finds herself left alone by George, surrounded by magically stunning garments all of his design.
Closing each episode was a song by British-pop band Franz Ferdinand, "Do You Want To," which has a 80s rock sound that, for a change, kept me watching the credits every time with keen attention.
The story follows a high school senior named Yukari, as she struggles to live up to her mother?s unrealistic expectations of her. Like a coat of armor without a soul, she lives her life from day to day, studying endlessly and working her way towards graduation; but something is missing from her life. After a chance encounter with Arashi, a pierced and eccentric art student, Yukari is thrust into the world of fashion design, and soon her shaky ambitions and dreams come crashing down around her. Faced with the option of becoming a model, our heroine must decide whether she will live the life her mother desires for her, or follow a new path.
First of all, the premise of Paradise Kiss is quite unique; how often have you seen an anime that focuses on the fashion design industry? Deeper than that, though, is a rich vein of character development that is unearthed from beginning to end. At the crux of the series is a relationship between the naive Yukari and the almost narcissistic George, who she can?t resist. He treats her badly, and she distrusts her own emotions, but yet they continue their dysfunctional dance. Other relationships are also showcased, and each contains similar melancholy themes. I?ll refrain from going into detail here, as I discuss this to some length in the characters section, below.
Paradise Kiss, like a handful of other series before it, portrays a very realistic look at adult relationships. In a typical anime, the climax of an entire 26 episodes is the moment when two characters, in a long term relationship, finally decide to kiss. I don?t know about you, but that?s a little too middle school for me. Paradise Kiss is also not shy about broaching the topic of sex, something which is rarely mentioned in non-hentai and non-ecchi anime. In general, seeing that the characters are acting like adults (as they are adults) makes the relationships and the emotions much more real and ultimately believable.
I personally loved the dynamics, flow, and content of the story. As a realistic drama, the relationships between the characters make Paradise Kiss definitely worth a viewing.
I found Paradise Kiss to be a wonderful blend of style, characters, and relationships. This definitely isn?t a happy-go-lucky series, and could be considered depressing. Nevertheless, I found its realistic look at relationships refreshing, and the character interactions emotionally engaging. Paradise Kiss probably isn?t for everybody, but I think it?s safe to say that if you watch a few episodes and find it interesting, it will probably be something you?ll enjoy, just like I did..