Paradise Kiss is a Manga that was written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa. It’s original debut was 1999 in Japan. In North America it’s debut was 2002. This is a shoujo manga with a slight twist. It revolves around the idea of being together and apart all at once. At the same time, it portrays stylish characters who aren’t sure which direction they are headed in. The one thing they are all sure about is that they want to get there together.
Personally, I love this manga because I read it and am constantly reminded of all the crazy stuff people do in high school. I had my share of wicked fun with some good friends and have never had any regrets. This manga is one of the liveliest shoujo mangas I’ve read, which is another reason to love it. This manga is also short, which I thought was great. It is only five volumes long and the story goes full circle.
My favorite thing about this manga is the endless supply of awkward moments. They are the epitome of being a teen and trying to do something or avoid something. These moments add authenticity to this manga. I am pretty sure most teens weren’t going to a vocational school for beauty and fashion but the point is still clear: Life is not black and white. Colors aren’t the spice of life, they are life.
The main character is Yukari aka Caroline who is dealing with the idea of who she is supposed to be and who she wants to be. In a crazy twist she finds herself more grounded as she starts to realize that decisions aren’t always right or wrong. They are all ours to make. She later takes it upon herself to be more assertive in her life and relationships. This especially true for her relationship with Joji aka George.
George is an eccentric, handsome, and extremely charismatic man who chooses to live however he wants. At least, it looks that way. The true reason George lives as he does is quite sad. It’s only mentioned a few times but it is more important than anything else when trying to figure him out. I won’t tell you his reasons, but I’ll say this: We love the worst parts of ourselves more than the better ones. George seems to truly believe this and it creates many of the issues he faces in Paradise Kiss.
The other characters are the amazing Miwako, the hardcore Arashi, and the lovely Isabella. Each puts in their well meaning two cents every time something must be resolved. They are good friends to Yukari and George, as well as peers/coworkers for Paradise Kiss. Arashi and Miwako are lovers and Isabella is just something else all together.
Overall, I enjoyed the full bodied and able characters. Especially Arashi and Miwako. I think Paradise Kiss is a fantastic story to read when you want to be surprised and titillated. If I had a star rating system from 1 to 5, it would get a 5. Read it and Enjoy it. If you want to find out a bit more follow this link to the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradise_Kiss.
Thanks for reading!!