Paradise Kiss is written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa who is also the writer of NANA. It was first published in 1999 and ran till 2003. There is a 12 episode anime based on it and a live action movie. The manga is a josei, meaning it is aimed at older woman and girls. Were as shojo is aimed at young girls and woman.
First things first Yazawa is an amazing artist. She has a very distinct style that is just beautiful. The way she does eyes are just gorgeous. This style can be seen through all of her work. If you like it I highly recommend reading her other work, just so you can look at how pretty her art is. On that note she also does a great job with clothing. Since, this is a manga all about fashion, that is a big plus. Even though all the clothes are a bit over the top. They are drawn in such a way that I want them all.
The main thing that I like about this manga is that it’s realistic. It takes a whirral wind high school relationship and tells it realistically. The two main characters George and Caroline like each other and they have a beep impact on each other. But, they end up together. Their lives pull them in two separate directions. They understand this and even though it’s sad and they don’t want to break up, they do. They don’t some how find a way to be together. Their relationship ends. That is very realistic and I like that. In so many mangas characters stay together, when through the whole thing, they should not be together in reality. Or, it takes forever for people to get together. This one they get together, have their relationship, and then go their separate ways.
At some points I did find the manga to be a little two self aware. Such as Isabel telling George not to have sex were the readers can see them. Or, Caroline holding Zipper magazine (the magazine were Paradise Kiss was first published) and the rest of the cast talking about it. Or, Isabel, Miwako, and Arashi knowing they are side characters. This works for a parity manga or a comedy. Also, doing it every once in a while or in just the extras. But, it happened almost every chapter. It just took me out of the story.
If you want a realistic love story and fashion or making clothes, this is the
manga for you. If you don’t want to see sex then don’t read this. There is sex and nakedness you do see boobs. It is not enough though that you think “oh wow there are BOOBs in this manga.”
Photo Credit:Paradise Kiss, Ai Yazawa, Zipper, Vertical, Inc.