The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Paradise Kiss

Title: Paradise Kiss
Genre: Romance/Drama
Format: 5 Volumes
Mangaka: Ai Yazawa
Synopsis: Yukari is only thinking about school, getting a job and boys of course. She was certainly not thinking about being a model, specially when the people are asking are a bunch of wierdos, except for George, the handsome and manipulative guy that always gets what he wants one way or the other. And so the simple and quiet life that Yukari is used to ends and now her journey through paradise begins.

The Highlights
Realistic personalities that stand out on their own and from each other.
Art: Beautiful character design, excelent costume design no character is alike.
Plot: Real life love story in a very uncommon setting.
Drama: Will make you cry and suffer, have tissues ready.

It is undeniable that Paradise Kiss is one of the most popular series out there, and this can be easily attributed to the realistic personalities each character has, specially Yukari, she is easily one of the most developed characters I have ever read. While her story isn’t the most typical one, her reactions and thoughts are, making it surprisingly easy to empathize with her. While this whole ordeal can get tiresome at times the pacing and flow of the story sure make up for it.When things look like they couldn’t be any better, something happens, a fashion show, a photo shoot or even the simplest joke to break the ice, making what otherwise would have been a boring and repetitive story, a triumph. During said fashion shows or photo shoots is when we can truly admire the art work, suddenly the scene is flooded with detail and creative costumes that will undoubtedly keep you interested longer than usual. But while this only applies to character design, more specifically clothing, the same can’t be said about the backgrounds. Some are altered photographs of real locations and this alteration removes all detail the photographs could have had, besides being a bit distracting. And as for the hand drawn backgrounds, they are at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of detail when compared to the character designs.

Not everything is grand and marvelous in Paradise Kiss, besides the background art, the ending felt rushed and anti-climatic. And some important characters weren’t given as much time as they needed, like Isabella, quite probably one of the most intriguing characters and also one of the most neglected. Yukari on the other hand was the character that most progress but this can be boring and tedious at times. George is easy to hate, I did quite often, with his airs of superiority. While Yukari and George are the lead roles and they make the whole story work, they can also ruin it for you.

All things considered Paradise Kiss is certainly one of the most realistic mangas around, not because of the story, but of the characters. This realism maybe too much for some people to handle and others will love it for its pleasant read and interesting character interactions as well as the character designs. But others might hate it because of the somewhat tedious dialog and easy to hate lead characters. I recommend it to any one who likes realistic characters and situations in their stories.

The Rating: 9

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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