You don’t know who you are….Is there a road already laid out for you? Is there someone planning it for you? Do you want to take that road?
Paradise Kiss tells a story of Hayasaka Yukari, an ordinary high school student and her adventures with a group of fashion design students from Yazawa Academy. It’s an exciting encounter, one that changed Yukari’s life forever.
Yukari doesn’t know what she wants. She’s only doing everything for the sake of approval from her mother. She studied earnestly to gain acceptance to popular schools to get recognition from her mother. She was sort of living her mother’s dream. In the end, she’s forced to decide if it’s a road she wants to take. I consider Yukari as lucky to have been scouted on the street for Paradise Kiss’ school project. If Arashi has not spotted her, she would not have seen the other path. Yukari would not dare to even dream about being a professional model.
Paradise Kiss offers a look into what life could be like if we’re only brave enough to take a step further into unfamiliarity. Yukari’s a classic example to what a lot of us are facing, feeling and experiencing. At the beginning, I thought it was rather odd to see her going along with the fashion students even though she has repeatedly said she doesn’t want to be their model. Tsundere? I don’t think so. Yukari’s at a stage in which she doesn’t know what she really wants. She’s getting sick and tired of her life and having met George, Isabella, Miwako and Arashi is a good distraction to her dilemmas. Some of us are also like that. We may be stuck in a loop of events we’re not sure if we really want and often found ourselves wondering why in the world are we still at it.
To see Yukari finally snapped under pressure from her mother and escaped is surprising. She seems to be the type of girl who plays safe. Seeing her defying orders from her mother and ran away from home is not something I thought I’ll see. Again, lucky for her, she has the members of Paradise Kiss to catch her back. George, particularly. In many ways, he has instill a character that was never present in Yukari. She slowly but eventually understands what she wants and why. Passion, true desire are some of the motivators for the team and all the other fashion design students. Yukari’s motivation for studying simply isn’t at the right place. She finally knew that. We’re often quick to envy other’s success and blame others/ourselves for our failures or simply cursing fate for not having a certain talent for something we want so badly. But hey, while we may have the passion for that certain something, did we actually work for it? Or if we did really work for it, is our hearts at the right place? Did we believe in ourselves?
Things went pretty well for Yukari at the end. She managed to become a professional model with her mother’s full support. Life seems a little too easy for her, everything just happens for her; nonetheless, her internal struggles to find herself, her character development are just some of things interesting to watch.
It’s not part of my plan to watch this live action movie but somebody somewhere wanted me to watch this and so I did. I’ve heard of Paradise Kiss before but never read the manga or seen the anime adaptation although I probably should. The fact that Paradise Kiss is another famous work of Yazawa Ai, the creator of NANA, a series which is stunning in its own unique way, should be enough to put that on my to-read and to-watch list.
I don’t know if the live action adaptation does the original story justice but the movie itself is pretty good…