Refreshingly Different From The Main Stream Anime...
Jackie Almasy | 01/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first learned of this anime through the featured section in "Newtype Magazine" December Edition as I bought it on a whim. I normally don't like buying magazines over seven dollars so when this anime magazine popped into my view, I gave in and bought it. While reading through it, I came upon the anime recommendation for Paradise Kiss. At first, I was skeptic, very skeptic but eventually after finding it for twenty dollars at BestBuy, I gave into temptation and bought the first volume. After watching only one episode, I admit I was strangely hooked.
Based on the manga "Paradise Kiss" by Ai Yazawa, the story focuses on two very different people: Yukari, an eighteen year old high school student and George, a fashion student hoping to get his name out into the world. The typical shojo, it would seem to the naked eye of an anime fan. However, the story tackles many culturally challenged issues of todays world ranging from bi-sexual, cross dressing, and teenagers facing life altering decisions.
The themes of cultural placement and striving against the values of a world are ever present in the characters presented in the first volume. The characters themselves sadly are a tad two dimensional for most of the episodes and the sudden turn around in Yukari's attitude had me baffled.
The music however is very nicely in tuned with the moments of the anime and offer youan escape into a world of romance and rebelious teenagers. The opening song "Lonely in Gorgeous" offers the viewer a funky escape into a colorful world led by the female vocalist, Tommy february. J-Pop does not get any funkier than this while its partner, "Do You Want To" closes with a bang. Performed by the popular band Franz Ferdinand, the notes stay true to the rock bands style of transpiring messages.
All in all, Paradise Kiss is at least worth a look. This different anime stands aside from the main stream anime known to the world and deserves some recognition. I'd say rent it first before buying it but that of course, is entirely up to you reader."
A. Carpenter | USA FL | 01/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Addicting... its definitely different from your typical anime, but a damn good change as far as im concerned! The music is really catchy, and the animation quality and character design is really great. I think the characters are wonderfully depicted. It doesnt have a complicated plot, so its easy to just watch and enjoy! Visually pleasing. Very well done! George is yummy eye-candy, for those of you that like bishounen!
Cant wait for Vol. 2. Id give it ********** 10 stars if I could!"
Anime works hard to live up to the manga
T. Bailey | The Edge of this World | 04/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished the first DVD and I'm a little upset at little annoying things that may not bother a casual viewer, but may upset a fan.
This series has held a special place in my heart for the past four years and when I heard that hey wre making an anime, I quickly picked up the first two volumes at MTAC. After having viewed the first one, I can safely say that I'm more than a little disappointed in the English dub. It's choppy, poorly edited and the voices don't match many of the characters as they should. Isaballa sounds like a woman, and not even a woman with a fairly deep voice, but like a woman that many many men, even transexual ones would have a hard time pulling off.
I'm not particularily fond of the transitional sequences with the flowers as go betweens, it takes that viewer out of the story for just a bit and expects them to pick back up. Then animation is also inconsistant and can go from smooth and flawless, to choppy and almost nonsensical.
However, I blame most of the animation problems on Ai Yazawa'a drawing style being difficult to recreate and animate. It looks beautiful on paper, but moving around and in full color, it looses a lot of it's impact.
If you are a real fan, this will be something you'll want to pick up because the story line and continuity are fairly good and the stylization makes an enormous attempt to capture some of that magic that is Paradise Kiss, but if little things such as that which I have mentioned above will get to you, then I suggest you borrow or rent this and then make a decision."
It's a love story, only it's not
Nichole Bellow | Louisiana | 03/05/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Paradise Kiss, based on the ten volume manga series by Ai Yazawa, is two things: a story about finding oneself and a love story; only it's not.
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."