Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Paradise Kiss The Complete Series Box Set |
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod Inc Release Date: 07/07/2009 Run time: 300 minutes
Love & Realism
Aion | England | 08/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Realism, drama and romance. Those are some of the qualities normally required for me to respect and give a story a high rating. Paradise Kiss has a mix of all three.
In a nutshell, Paradise Kiss is a story of growth. Over the course of 12 episodes, a high school girl, Yukari, transforms from a normal girl feeling pressured into studying only to impress her parent; transforming into an independent woman who follows her own heart. An encounter with George, an overconfident and handsome fashion designer and head of a small group called Paradise Kiss from a fashion design school, leads her down the path of modeling and love.
I expected fashion to be the main focus of the series after reading a description of the story, but the fashion stuff barely featured outside of costume changes and a few key plot points. It was always in the background, never being more important than the characters. So, if you are worried, fear not: characterization was clearly the priority of the author, and I am glad that was the case since fashion and me do not go together so well. Nearly all of the story focused on the love/hate relationship of George and Yukari.
Throughout the story, George is blunt to the point of being insulting, and he has no problem telling Yukari things such as how he hates women who blame others for their problems (after she blamed her parent for pushing her), or informing her that she was an idiot for putting sleeping with him above her dream. While he was usually right and said what he did out of caring for her, his needlessly confrontational attitude made him a hard guy to understand at times.
Despite my problems with George's 'bad boy' personality, I do think their relationship, including how the two end up, was handled in a very realistic and mature manner. Never did I feel I was looking in on the actions of fake individuals; I could imagine the same events playing out in real life. Their relationship came across so realistically that watching them made me a little watery eyed a few times. After watching numerous anime stories involving plain, generic leads getting it on with soulless female characters, watching Paradise Kiss was a breath of fresh air.
It was also nice seeing an anime relationship not require the male to chase after the female. It was far more equal in Paradise Kiss, with Yukari doing most of the chasing because of George's attitude. She even had to basically beg him to sleep with her after he picked up on her obvious hints but failed to take the easy openings she gave him, instead opting to make her do the work. I give major plus points for the story very rarely coming across as fake.
I only have a few negative comments about the story/characters. The first is that the relationship of George and Yukari seemed to move too fast at first, with George getting jealous after seeing Yukari out with another man, going on to ignore her... even though he had only known her for a few days. The other negative point is that the supporting cast did not get enough time. For example, I wanted to see more than Arashi and Miwako (members of Paradise Kiss) fight and have sex every now and then. Neither of the problems were severe enough to ruin the series for me, and I doubt most others would be troubled by what bugged me.
In terms of the video and audio aspects, the series is very impressive. The art looks wonderful, it being both realistic and stylish, the eyes in particular looking lovely, and the animation is up to the usual Madhouse standard. The soundtrack is a solid one, too, including an excellent opening and a few memorable pieces. As for the voice acting, the English dub is excellent, with all of the cast sounding natural.
All in all, Paradise Kiss is something either gender can enjoy. Going into it, I was a little concerned, worrying that I would not be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of it because of my gender, but I was able to get into it right from the get-go. If you are tired of all the silly, over the top anime in existence, I suggest you give this a try. If in doubt, do not avoid one the best anime out there just because you are not female.