Third-year high school student Yukari Hayasaka has no time for frivolous things. She needs to study hard and attend cram school so she can do well on her university exams. She doesn't care which university she gets into; she just wants to leave the town she's grown bored of. Too bad her parents have other opinions on the subject.
One day, while Yukari is walking down the street, a guy with multiple piercings and bleached hair flags her down. Suspicious of the stranger, she tries to get away from him but fails and ultimately ends up meeting his friends: a group of third-year fashion design students at a prestigious art school. They want her to be their model for their final project, but Yukari thinks it will only get in the way of her studies. But the more she gets to know them, the more she grows to admire the way they go after their dreams. Will modeling for this eccentric group of would-be fashion designers give Yukari a much-needed push to strive for her own goals? And what about her attraction to the group's leader, George Koizumi? Can a relationship between them work? Watch Paradise Kiss to find out!
Please read my review before pressing that nothelpful button
Cool is what rules in this anime. Everything in the artwork, characters, attitude, and even the story just emanates cool and they even do it with an attitude. As you already know it's about a girl named Yukari thats not to sure about her future. Just by a chance encounter on the street gets discovered by the most unsuitable of characters.
Story - (Outstanding)
The story is a typical love drama, but the setting, characters, and personalities are what make this completely different from the rest of group. It takes a more realistic approach toward drama. Something you'd see
out of a prime time drama show on TV would be more comparable than any other anime. They take life and their hardships and don't really "anime coat" it. Things like arguing, love, and brainstorming are done with a minimum of two people, its never one sided. When i mean 'anime-coating,' i mean like areguments are hardly ever one sided, both persons actually prove a good point. Love is also a good point, it actually gets some resolve and doesn't stay in "should i confess to him" anime-limbo. But already, I'm saying a bit much but since the anime is a short and fast 12 episodes, it makes sense for it not to drag such emotions like love and friendship. It defintely has the feel of a western drama instead of an anime drama.
Art - (Outstanding)
The art work is also something that surprised me. Like any average viewer, they'd get wierded out if they start seeing their anime characters with proportionate body parts (i.e. normal sized eyes, mouth, and even a nose). Once the shock of adjusting to the art style, this is easily one of the best looking show's i have ever layed eyes on. It's also centered around pop-culture and style, so everything they wear is completely trendy and detailed. From safety pins as piercings, hair stylings, makeup, and even clothing are displayed with insane detail. At any one time, you can count all the earrings on one characters ear, or how many necklaces one is wearing, and even the type of fabric is on their scarf. Every character actually dresses different every episode and thats quite a refreshing take as opposed to the same-school-clothes-everyday-look of other dramas. My favorite part of the show (and what you should notice) is how they manage to make Yukari even more beautiful than before every episode. You'll notice the subtle changes in not her clothing but her attitude and demeanor as well.
On occasion, some anime are only able to survive with great artwork and have a horrible storyline but this manages to have both an outstanding artwork and story. On top of that having to put real world product placement (Jaguar, Benz, Sony, Zipper, etc) just increases the detail tenfold.
Sound - (Outstanding)
The sound effects are nothing spectacular but you will notice one thing. There is a rather large lack of it. And that is how it should be in a drama. Nothing should interfere with the drama unfolding on the screen. So all that you're left with is the top notch, tear jerking, believable voice acting and environmental sound effects. The music is placed very skillfully as well. For the most part, they'll be played on jukeboxes, radios, and the like. And they're actual j-pop songs playing instead of just instrumentals. And speaking of j-pop, the OP was just perfect for for the show, as it had the feel of a Madonna-ish song which gave it a 'glamorous' feeling to set you in the mood of watching it. And the ED song by Franz Ferdinad is just pure fun. Especially how they manage to blend it with the end of the episode to the credits and don't just do a quick cut to the credits like normal.
Character - (Outstanding)
The characters are something to believe as well. Once all the characters are through with the introductions you will notice one thing right away. They are all so carefree and believable. I even had a nostalgic feeling seeing how the characters would talk amongst each other and just enjoyed the moment. Of course it doesn't the story doesn't stray too far away from Yukari since she is the star of this show. They all play their role so believably I can't help but have this feeling of amazement that there ARE anime that can pull off such intriguing drama.
Enjoyment - (Outstanding)
This show is unlike any other drama anime I have seen to date (top right). Rather, its more comparable to things like the likes of Greys Anatomy, the O.C., or even Party of Five. If you like or enjoy shows such as that I highly recommend giving this eye candy of an anime a try. I even found this A LOT better than Lovely Complex. Don't be fooled by the artwork if you find it a turnoff, its one of the best anime drama's I've ever seen.
Xinil said it best: "it's for a mature audience. It doesn't cater to narutards"
...thats the truth
Looking for a quick 12 episode show to watch? Paradise Kiss is just for you. Sure, it\'s a little more for the "Shojo" audience, but it has plenty of stuff to keep any guy entertained. So, what\'d I think about it?
Meet Caroline, the girl who doesn\'t really know what she\'s doing with her life. She happens upon a group of college students that need her to be their fashion model. Interesting premise, and doesn\'t sound too farfetched from what might happen in real life. Good ending that actually makes some sense too.
A little funny looking at times, but the art is definitely nice. Sexy looking
females. Thumbs up from me.
Awesome opening (freakin\' awesome) and great ending theme (U.S. band). Can\'t see how you wouldn\'t like the music throughout the anime.
Caroline x George are definitely my favorite characters. Great personalities from each of them and the story really makes you understand why they are the way they are.
Enjoyable, quick, and happy. 12 episodes of some laughter and some teary scenes.
Basically, you can\'t go wrong with this anime. If you\'re into romance (not some angst crap though), and you like non-stupid anime, check this out.
So there are very few anime in this world that can satisfy you completely. They give you everything you want and then some delivered in a neatly wrapped box with a bow. This anime does nothing but deliver from the very first episode up until the last few seconds of the series. But let me be frank; If you're looking for a cutesy series that sugar coats all of its drama in anime cliches then get out and don't let the door hit you on your way out. This anime is not for you! With that said let's move on.
Paradise Kiss accomplishes so many things
in just 12 episodes that it can almost leave you thirsting for more but deep down you know that there can be no more. The story itself is the centerpiece of everything and drives itself forward with meaningful interactions and tense drama that thickens the plot as it unfolds. What is most notable about the series is it's realistic approach to drama and how it refuses to sugar coat things and drag out emotions across all 12 episodes. If I recall the main characters quickly start their relationship by about the 2nd or 3rd episode. This anime may seem impatient, but in reality it's just not going to wait around for the fun to start. The show steps into deep waters and treads where most others would not. It goes much farther than I had anticipated and shows how much its characters develop over the course of the series.
The main character goes from being this tense study bug to being a care-free fashion model. Her transformation isn't this instantaneous change that happens at 15 minutes into episode 6 or something; but rather it takes place over time. The first thing that happens is a hair cut. I actually commented out loud as I was watching and said "she actually doesn't look all THAT pretty here..." But I stuck it out and to my surprise she seemed to get prettier every episode. Her style changed, her hair changed, her personality blossomed into something new and exciting, and she becomes someone who is definitely worth watching.
The show tackles a handful of sub plots but doesn't loose control of them or allow them to impede on the main story's progress. the majority of the side characters have stories of their own and are all expertly told in a very short amount of time. In some cases characters stories aren't discussed in the show but rather in the manga and there's even a scene where a character tells you that you can "read more about him" in a particular manga.
The art and sound weave together to create this tapestry of pop-art that seamlessly mixes with the characters. The opening and closing theme were chosen so expertly and serve only to set the mood for the show. The ending theme is even mixed in with the last 10-15 seconds of the show so that it seamlessly transitions into the credits.
This anime is quite possibly the most enjoyable anime I've ever seen with an ending that didn't disappoint. Instead of having this storybook happily ever after ending you are quickly faced with reality. Sure the characters kind of succeeded in what they were trying to do, but reality has to set in at some point and the show reminds us that we live in the real world. The ending however does tie up any and all loose ends and leaves almost nothing to the imagination. It also doesn't leave room for a second season so there's no chance of a spin-off brought on by money grubbing producers. Never have I been faced with an anime that literally left me in a daze after its credits rolled on episode 12.
Overall this anime is a masterpiece in its own genre. It masterfully and skillfully tells a straight forward, but complex story complete with sub plots, exciting drama, and cool music to boot. I also liked that characters didn't spend 10 minutes arguing in tense situations. Example: man is holding a gun pointing it at another character(lets call him teppei kun). Teppei kun gives this long monologue about his life and how he's always been alone and blah blah blah. In reality the guy would've just shot him for talking way too much.
ok. I've talked for far too long now. This anime is a masterpiece. Watch it!
Manga/Anime: Paradise Kiss was originally a manga created by Ai Yazawa (famous for Nana), and ran in the Japanese fashion magazine Zipper from the April 2000 issue to the March 2004 issue. Five volumes have been compiled, and all have been released, both in Japan, and Stateside from Tokyopop.
The anime was produced by Studio Madhouse (famous for Death Note, Paranoia Agent, and Devil May Cry, among others), directed by Osamu Kobayashi (who also directed Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad and Kimagure Orange Road), and ran on Japanese TV from October 13th, 2005 to December 29th, 2005. It has been licensed Stateside by
Geneon, and the third and final volume was released this April.
Story: The story centers around Yukari, a high school student who's basically been living for nothing but her mom's expectations, figuring out what she wants to do (professional modeling), by virtue of being recruited for a school fashion show by a group of designers who call themselves Paradise Kiss.
The story is WIN. Like Victorian Romance Emma, this show had me grinning like an idiot at least once every episode. This is one of the few shows where I've liked every main character straight off the bat. It's fun to watch all the relationships in this story play out, and to see Yukari deciding what she wants to do with her life and going after it.
At one point, there's a really convoluted love polygon going on, but then it splits into two triangles that kind of connect. But the relationships serve as nice counterpoints to each other, and they're filled with plenty of drama. In fact, there's a mirror to almost every major relationship between characters in this show, and it's really nice. It shows you how things could turn out, or what they could've been like. It's a nice touch.
I don't know how close this is to the manga, but I do know that Ai Yazawa worked pretty closely with Kobayashi on the adaptation, so I don't think people have too much to get worked up over.
WARNING: There is sex, there is nudity, there is a guy who dresses up and acts like a girl. If this makes you go 'EW!', don't watch this series.
Art: The art for this series can be summed up in two words: absolutely beautiful.
Really, though. Madhouse has a bit more realistic style than you see from other studios, and it really fits this series to a tee. The random SD that pops up is fun, too. And the colors they use for clothes and backgrounds tend to reflect atmospheres.
I'm giving the outfits a whole separate paragraph, because they deserve it. You can tell that Madhouse gave this series a big budget, because characters change outfits at least once an episode, usually even more. And the outfits were all designed by a professional, and you can tell. Every outfit that they use for this series is absolutely beautiful, and there are quite a few designs that I would buy, if they existed in real life.
Music: The OP and ED are â?¥. Tommy February 6's OP 'Lonely in Gorgeous' captures the mood of the show perfectly, and the ED... well, Franz Ferdinand's 'Do You Want To' is for the win, so I don't really care how it relates to the show. :D
Background music for the show is actually done more as ambient music (i.e. songs being played on a CD/ radio station), and it's a nice touch.
Length: Absolutely no complaints here. The show ambles along at its own pace, and it works very well. The actual climax of the series is the second to last episode, and the last episode is a wrap-up of sorts, similar to what happens in Gankutsuou.
Seiyuu: I recognize some of the seiyuu ' from where, I have no clue whatsoever. I can't access the site that I can cross-check the seiyuu with their other roles at the moment, so this section will be edited later on. However, like normal, no problems here.
Dub: N/A, haven't seen it just yet.
Overall: Excellently written, beautifully animated series, with plenty of drama and counterpoint, with a killer OST, too.