Paradise Kiss: Volume 1

Hawkeye

Yukari studies hard so she can get into a college her mother approves of when Entrance Exams roll around. But during all of her studying, following her mother’s drive and passion for education, she’s lost herself and has never really figured out what she wanted to do in life. The answer suddenly comes to her when she’s ambushed by a strange group of fashion students that want her to be the model in their school’s fashion competition.

imageParadise Kiss is a story about fashion, life, and romance. It revolves around Yukari, but also explores the hardships of the other characters as well as trials and tribulations of being a fashion student in a very competitive area.

It’s very rare that voice acting is so horrible that it overcomes my natural lazy state of not wanting to read what I’m watching. However, Paradise Kiss managed to make me turn on the Japanese dialog with English subtitles. The guy’s voices were beyond nasally and straight into prepubescent and the girls were just as bad. The Japanese voices however, were excellent. This is one that people should only watch in the original Japanese.

imageThe animation style was a bit strange. Throughout the episodes are pictures or video footage of real things. Like they went out into the city and actually recorded footage. Then over it they put animated elements like bugs or clocks. It was random and felt like the animators were just too lazy to draw up real background scenes for filler. Other than that the art was very good, it really showed the diverse styles in fashion as well as the different textures that fabric can take.

The extras were very good on this disc, which is good since this series gathered a large fan base in Japan and then an equally as large one with the manga release in the US for American fans. Some of the extras that were really of note were the Photo Shoot with Yu Yamada and the Press Conference.

This one took a whole disc to grow on me. After the first episode, I was so unimpressed I almost turned it off. The series picks up and the characters become more defined as the series goes, they grow and change, and that’s what has made this series popular along of course with the passion for fashion. This isn’t going to be an anime for anyone, even the hardened shoujo fans may have a bit of trouble getting into it just because of how off-beat from the normal it is. I’d recommend it for people who like both romance and fashion and don’t mind reading subtitles.

Entertainment: 7
It grew on me by the end of the disc, I’d watch volume 2.

Technical: 5
Good extras can’t make up for horrid voice acting.

Overall: 7

DVD Features: English, Japanese with English Subtitles, Wide Screen, Episodes 1-4

DVD Extras: Photo Shoot with Yu Yamada, Press Conference,TV Commercials, Geneon Previews

DVD-ROM Extra: TOKYOPOP Manga Preview

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