Paradise Kiss: Yukari

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…


22 thoughts on “Paradise Kiss: Yukari

  1. Maaan, I didn’t know they made it into a live-action. Was kinda familiar w the manga, knew there was an anime… but this news is for me. The art (of the manga) wasn’t very eye catching but the unique personalities and story was brilliant.

    I’ll be anticipating on how the real live actor will portray Yukari. It looks a bit tough.

    • The movie was released in Japan last year. I don’t usually watch live-action movie but this one’s not bad. I’m looking forward to watch the anime and will also find time to read the manga. They are rather short in both media so it should be fine. Since I’m used to the art style, it shouldn’t be much a problem for me. =)

      I don’t know how 2D Yukari is unfortunately. Otherwise, I can tell you if it’s a job well done >.<

  2. Damn. I only watch the anime. Not so sure if i’ll watch the live action but I have to say that the anime was good. Very unique, sexy and fashionable. I enjoyed watching it and it was one of the first anime I watch on Animax. I think girls will like this more, compared to a guy. I definitely recommend you to watch this if you have some space for new animes.

  3. Am I missing much when I’m not watching live-action stuff?, I have been trying (Kamen Rider is enough I guess :P) I’m am slightly familiar with the anime, the mange caught my eyes at least once. Well, putting things aside congrats with Tourney, I hope you do good as well next time.

    • I don’t think you miss much. At least, I don’t feel like I miss anything if I don’t watch the live-action of certain titles. So don’t worry too much there eh?

      Thank you. =)

  4. I haven’t heard of Paradise kiss to be honest, but it would be interesting to see the anime and the movie in direct comparison. Japanese shows or movies aside from anime with real actors can also be nice. I recently watched a “j-drama” like my friend calls it, about a man who wants to become a good cook. It was quite good even though the setup looked a little like a soap opera.

    • It’s one of the most popular works of Yazawa Ai. I came to know Paradise Kiss because I’m a fan of her other work, NANA.

      Yeaps, that’s my goal for watching the anime – to compare the stories. So far, Nodame Cantabile is the only title that have good adaptations across the different media. By the way, what’s the title of that “j-drama”? Sounds interesting, hehe. I’m always interested in movies that involve cooking >.<

  5. I’ve never heard of Paradise Kiss; it sounds interesting. I find a lot of stories about struggling to find out what you want to do in life are good, probably because I’m in that stage right now.

    • I suppose it’s also because character development is something interesting to watch. There’s a sense of achievement (even though it’s not us in the series) when a character succeed in whatever he/she is doing and found a place in life/society.

  6. I would be interested in checking out the live-action adaptation, but I find it hard to believe it would be as good as the anime. The anime series was VERY good, and I would recommend easily.

  7. I’ve heard about the ParaKiss live action last year but then I forgot about it until now. I watched the anime and I kinda liked it. I’d like to see how Keiko Kitagawa, the actress who played “Caroline” did in the movie. If you’ve seen Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, she’s the girl mechanic there ^^

    • Really? I didn’t realize she’s the girl mechanic! I think she did a pretty a good in the movie. At least I know I don’t mind watching her other movies.

      The one that caught my attention is Igarashi Shunji, the guy who portrayed Isabella. He’s very girly in that movie. That’s really good. >.<

  8. Pingback: Thoughts on Kuroi Jukai | World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko

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