So this was an unintentional find, because I was actually just trying to find a way to watch the anime or read the manga versions. I was lucky enough to find a free version of this with decent quality. So if anyone isn’t familiar with Paradise Kiss, it is a HUGELY popular series in Japan and internationally. It’s very reminiscent of cult classic films, as well as retro and very sexy.
The premise is about Yukari, a diligent high school student, who is struggling to make the grades to get into her colleges of choice. Japan is very well-known for their level of education, but it can be an insanely stressful journey for students, even young ones. One day, her life is changed when she is ‘scouted’ to be a model for a group of students who go to an Arts school. She’s really not sure about this, because her entire life has been about passing one exam after another to get into good schools, but she finds herself drawn to the oddball and free-spirited group. This group of four gathers at their own studio, Paradise Kiss, with their fearless leader, George, a somewhat egocentric, over-confident, but somewhat justified, genius designer. They need Yukari to be their model for their last big show at their school so that they can prove George’s genius.
Anyway, the story in and of itself has so many good parts. I mean, it really can be classified as a classic. The feel of it, the characters, the emotions, just really fantastic.
The movie, on the other hand, fails to capture the art of the story, but it’s hard to capture something like that with real people. The movie was a great homage to the manga and anime; and while it may not have been quite up to par with the nit and grit of the originals it was a great watch. It was sort of like the Nana live-action vs. the anime. A good movie, but the original will always be the best.
Since it was a feature length film it rushed over a lot of the little key points and many parts were left feeling disjointed and barren of emotion. All in all, a good film. A good watch, but the originals will always be the best.