It has been so long since I’ve done an anime review. So recently I just completed an anime I have already watched but didn’t pay attention to in 2013. In 2013 I finished Paradise Kiss in one day but didn’t really pay much attention to it being very tired but my sister and her friend were watching it. So then I thought I should re-watch this anime and I’d like to say I have actually watched Paradise Kiss, I wouldn’t even classify the time I completed the series in 2013 as actually watching it considering I didn’t pay attention to what’s going on. So now here is my review.
The story follows Yukari Hayasaka a girl with no ambition in life, she is forced to study all the time although she doesn’t really want to do so. But one day some strange looking people ask her to be their model because as it turns out they have a school festival where they’ll be presenting a dress and Yukari is offered to be the one showing off the dress. Yukari at first rejects their offer but eventually becomes interested and this is where our story begins.
I have seen many romance animes and Paradise Kiss is probably one of the best ones I have seen. The story has great themes and I love seeing how it’s so realistic when dealing with love and the future of the characters. I really do wish the anime had more sub-plots considering there was only really one which was the relationship between Miwako, Arashi and Hiroyuki. This is a problem because the story focuses too much on the same two problems that the anime may feel slow and eventually become boring (which is not something that actually happened to me but is likely to happen to other viewers). But I still enjoyed everything in the story the show had to offer even if it did drag on a little bit. Also I really, really adore the anime ending, yes it’s a bit sad and didn’t end the way I wanted it to, it was still an amazing anime ending especially with what Yukari says as a voice-over in the last scene that really hit me.
I like all our characters. Yukari has some of the best character development I have seen in an anime. She starts off as a bit irresponsible and stuck-up but is someone who wants to discover who she truly is but eventually after seeing how passionate the people at the studio are about their work and being around George, Yukari becomes somebody with ambitions and becomes mature. George is the perfect match for Yukari, he is an excellent fashion-designer who is charismatic, cool and a gentlemen. Rather then growing as a character, it’s the impact he makes on Yukari that makes him a very likable character. He may come off as a know-it-all and critical but in the end he’s a caring guy who even though loves Yukari, lets her blossom into the person she truly is. I personally found myself crushing on him a little bit.
The other characters were Miwako, Arashi and Isabella. Miwako is a bubbly and really sweet character who is a good friend of Yukari, she has issues of her own with her relationships and this makes a more well-fleshed out character. Arashi is a typical punk-guy who is really a nice guy though a bit short-tempered. He is our voice-of-reason character (I by the way love these type of characters) which adds a bit of a comedic effect. Arashi is Miwako’s boyfriend and their relationship is probably my favorite in the show, he loves Miwako deeply but is very possessive over her which ends up hurting her but this comes from the fact Arashi loves Miwako too much to lose her. Finally Isabella, who is the mother figure of the show and I really wish we had more of her. She is there and we get a backstory but it is so late in the series that we can’t really grow an attachment to her. She is sweet and supportive but if we spent more time with her it would’ve made the show a lot better.
The animation is overall good but my problem is when they try to blend in real-life people in the anime. It look very weird and ridiculous that it just doesn’t work at all. The anime sometimes adds a very cartoony looking design (particularly in the ending theme) and it does work. But the animation is beautiful along with the character designs. I particularly love the design of Yukari from looking a bit plain to becoming very beautiful especially with the dress she wore.
The music was really good. I’m not a big fan of the opening, Lonely in Gorgeous, though it does suit the anime very well. However I love the ending song. It is an American song, Do You Want to by Franz Ferdinand and I know this is a somewhat popular English song outside of Paradise Kiss because my brother knew this song but does not watch anime. It fit Paradise Kiss and I can’t explain how it just does.
The Japanese voice acting is solid though I watched the anime in English. The English dub is good and if you’re a dub watcher, I recommend the dub. Yukari is voiced by Julie Ann Taylor who I know of from Please Teacher and Please Twins as Ichigo Morino. At first I didn’t like as much though it was still solid but as the anime went on I got use to it and I don’t mind it. George is voiced by Patrick Seitz and I know him from many animes but I’ll name one, he did Germany from Hetalia. Patrick Seitz is an excellent voice actor and George is one of his many excellent performances. I can’t imagine anyone else doing a better performance as George than Patrick Seitz, this is a near-perfect performance. Melissa Fahn does the voice of Miwako and you probably know her from Cowboy Bebop as Edward. She does a good job and it worked well as Miwako but her voice does get a bit high-pitched which does get annoying from time to time. Arashi is voiced by Derek Stephen Prince who also voiced Uryu Ishida from Bleach. Not the best performance but still well-done. Mari Devon does the voice of Isabella and I don’t know her from other anime. This is a very good performance and worked well with Isabella. Finally Johnny Yong Bosch does the voice of Hiroyuki and you should all know Johnny Yong Bosch and yes, this is a good performance, I actually didn’t know it was him till I read it online.
Grading (Music): B
Grading (Voice Acting): B
Overall Paradise Kiss is one of the best animes I have seen. It may drag on for a bit too long and Isabella needs to stand out more but this anime is really good. The romance is great, the story is interesting and its themes are well done. Also thank you Paradise Kiss for not having a shitty ending despite only being 12 episodes long when most animes get 26 episodes and still manage to end badly (particularly animes with a read-the-manga ending). So I grade this anime with a B. It is definitely worth watching. It was close to a B+ but that wouldn’t be right but even so Paradise Kiss is anime you must watch.
Obviously this anime would be recommended considering Ai Yazawa wrote the manga to both series. Like Nana, Paradise Kiss deals with dramatic yet realistic issues however Nana has more themes and stories and is much more bitter and mature. The style is similar and I mean by fashion. Both series are very heart-warming too just to put it out there.
Honey and Clover
Both animes deal with young students building relationships. Both have a very mature vibe and seem to attract the same demographic. It’s hard to explain why these two animes are so similar. They both have the same dramatic style and comedic taste (though Honey and Clover is more comedic).
Thank you for reading my reviews, till next time 🙂