Paradise Kiss – 01
Hayasaki Yukari is a very stressed senior in high school. While walking along a busy street one day, she is chased by a blonde man with several piercings on his face. When she tries to run away, she bumps into and faints in front of an odd-looking woman. She wakes up to an angel with pink hair who explains that they want her to model in a fashion show. Yukari turns them down, saying that she’s very busy. Arashi, the heavily pierced blonde, gets angry at her, so she leaves. Miwako, the pink haired girl, yells to her an apology, calling her Caroline because she doesn’t know her real name. Caroline runs off, but Miwako picks up her dropped student ID and gives it to George, who arrives later and gets filled in on the situation. The next day, Yukari is fretting about having lost her ID, which has a picture of a guy (Tokumori) in it. George finds her at the school gates and gets her to ride with him by mentioning the ID. They arrive at the Yazawa school where Miwako and George take Yukari to a hair and makeup artist. One Yukari’s been made over, they go back to the Paradise Kiss hideout and Miwako gives her a dress to try. While she’s putting it on, Miwako tells her about their brand Paradise Kiss. George draws the designs, Isabella works with the patterns, and Miwako and Arashi handle the sewing. Their ultimate goal is to be able to sell the clothes that they make. After Miwako presents a dressed up Yukari to the group, Yukari apologizes for not understanding them and Arashi apologizes back for blowing up at her. George gives her back the student ID, but, with a serious look on his face, he asks her to be their model.
OP: 「♥Lonely in Gorgeous♥」 by Tommy february6
ED: 「DO YOU WANT TO」 by Franz Ferdinand
I really liked the song by Tommy february6 when I first heard it on the trailer. Having heard the TV size version now, my feelings really haven’t changed. The interesting thing is that Tommy heavenly6 did a song on the LOVE for NANA album. (Tommy heavenly6 and Tommy february6 are both names for Kawase Tomoko) Does Yazawa Ai have an affinity for her music? The ending song is by Franz Ferdinand, one of the only times I’ve ever seen a Western band do a song for an anime. Granted, this isn’t exactly a new song (released earlier this year), but it’s good all the same.
The first episode of the long awaited Paradise Kiss is finally here!
To be honest, I am not overwhelmed or under-whelmed. I came in with very high expectations, and most of those have been met. All the characters look and sound more or less like I thought they would, with the exception of Arashi. That exception seems to be because the animated version’s Arashi has a smaller forehead and eyes that don’t look as sharp as they do in the manga. The other thing I noticed is that they chose a female voice actress for Isabella. I guess that’s fairly easy to pull off as I can’t remember a time in the manga where she doesn’t look like that (minus the flashback later in the story). This won’t bother me at all as long as they don’t completely omit her tiny bit of story.
The animation and direction caught my eye right away. It’s been know that ParaKiss would be directed by Kobayashi Osamu, who also directed Beck, and his style seems subtlety apparent to me in this first episode. The two series also share the same animation director, Uehara Shinichi. Those aren’t bad things, just as long as this series doesn’t run out of budget by the end of the show. But I do find those scene transitions (flowers and puppets) very weird. The chibi/round-headed scenes will also take some getting used to.
I’m very happy that they followed Yazawa Ai’s manga relatively faithfully. The first episode covers the first two chapters at a good pace. MOON PHASE lists the series as 12 episodes long, so I can only assume that they’re going to start covering more than two per week since there are 48 total chapters of the manga. Oh man, I’m already thinking about how this’ll all end and we’re just beginning.
So there’s no question that I will be following this series. I’ve been hooked to Yazawa Ai works and I’ll continue to be…