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Sorry I haven't been posting reviews this week, work has been crazy. Anyway, without further ado, our first josei review!
Title: Paradise Kiss
Genres: Josei, Romance
Author/Artist: Yazawa Ai (NANA!)
Publication: Zipper (Shodensha)
Start Date: 2000
End Date: 2002?
Number of volumes at review: 5
Number of volumes read by reviewer: 5
General Overview: Hayasaka Yukari is a driven high school senior, determined to get into a top college and generally succeed at life. However, her life is changed forever by a run-in with a group of fashion design students who ask her to be their model for an upcoming fashion show. The leader of the group, the brilliant and enigmatic George, helps her slowly realize that her life up until now has been empty. What will she choose to fill it with from here on out?
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
The character design is fairly flawed, but the overall score remains high because of the incredible artwork and design for the clothes. They called in a fashion designer to tweak the looks before publication, and amazingly he changed almost nothing. The rest of the art is well done if not outstanding.
Semi-predictable and standard. There are a few neat twists here and there, but if you're familiar with josei, very little here is new. Execution-wise however, the story is very well told.
George and Isabella are truly inspired characters, well written and interesting. Yukari's development is also well done, if a bit predicatable. Miwako and Arashi are a lot of fun, and are big fan favorites.
"Being true to yourself" is of course the main theme, but the author doesn't hesitate to contradict it if it makes for a "dramatic" plot point... yeah, not very fond of the themes in this one.
It gets extra points for the fashion motif, and the characters are fairly original. However the plot itself isn't anything to write home about.
It's worth a read, especially if you're one of those people that enjoys "Project Runway" (and I admit that it's a guilty pleasure of mine). Even if you're not, the fashion side is a lot more interesting than you would think. As a side note, this manga is a semi-sequel to Gokinjo Monogatari, as several of the characters make cameos in here. You definitely can read ParaKiss first though.
Good review Mooncrow ^^ I agree with you on almost everything. The only thing that I might change is taking the overall up to a 7.5 or even an 8 because I really enjoyed the ending of Paradise Kiss (although I know some people didn't).
Wow...you read Paradise Kiss too!!
Agreed with almost everything you said, though plot wise, it's actually kind of different from her usual story telling and i'll give it higher points. And George and Isabella are totally original, typical of those in the fashion industry who tends to be a flamboyant and outlandish. Yazawa-sensei actually protrays them very well here. ^^