Paradise Kiss

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Paradise Kiss
Paradise kiss vol 1.jpg
Cover of Volume 1 of Paradise Kiss
GenreComing-of-age,[1] romance[2]
Written byAi Yazawa
Published byShodensha
English publisher
English magazineSmile
Original run19992003
Anime television series
Directed byOsamu Kobayashi
Produced byKōji Yamamoto (Fuji TV)
Masao Maruyama
Ryō Oyama
Tetsuya Watanabe
Yōko Matsuzaki (Fuji TV)
Yukihiro Itō (Fuji TV)
Written byOsamu Kobayashi
Music byNarasaki
The Babys
Licensed by
Original networkFuji TV (Noitamina)
English network
Original run October 13, 2005 December 29, 2005
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Live-action film

Paradise Kiss, also abbreviated to ParaKiss, is a josei manga series written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa.[3] It appeared as a serial in the Japanese fashion magazine Zipper. Shodensha collected the chapters into five volumes. The series has also been adapted into a 12-episode anime series, produced by Aniplex and Studio Madhouse, and aired in Japan on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block and on the anime television network Animax, which broadcast the series worldwide, including in Japan, Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia.

The comic and the anime have become popular both domestically and internationally. They have been translated and dubbed or subtitled in many languages, including Vietnamese, Chinese (Taiwan), Korean, Finnish, French, Italian, Polish, Thai, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese (Hong Kong) and English. The English version was published by Vertical, Inc.

Paradise Kiss occurs in the same universe as Yazawa's previous work, Neighborhood Story, which has not yet been published in English. However, Paradise Kiss is a stand-alone story, as only three supporting characters from Neighborhood Story have major roles.


Yukari "Caroline" Hayasaka (早坂紫, Hayasaka Yukari)
Voiced by: Yu Yamada (Japanese); Julie Ann Taylor (English)
Portrayed by: Keiko Kitagawa, Sea Kumada (childhood)
Yukari is a beautiful but arrogant high school senior that studies dutifully for her university entrance exams. She cannot find meaning in her straight-laced life of exams and feels that she has not truly lived at all. As a student at a prestigious high school, she begins with a snobbish attitude towards the fashion design students, looking down on them for being so radically different. After she is scouted by Arashi and "kidnapped" by Isabella to the Atelier, her attitude towards them begins to change to one of admiration for the students' passion and courage to be themselves. Her intense relationship with George pushes her to pursue her own identity, continuing to encourage her to assert herself despite the fact that she feels he is a cold and manipulative man. The members of ParaKiss support her as she discovers new depths to her own ambitions by embarking on a professional fashion career, including the experience of being represented by an agency. She is often inexplicably referred to as "Caroline" or "Carrie" by the members of Paradise. In the manga, she eventually marries Hiroyuki after George leaves to pursue fashion design in Paris. In the anime, she marries an unnamed boyfriend assumed to be Hiroyuki. In the live-action film, she rejects Hiroyuki and finds George again while on a modelling job in New York.
Jōji "George" Koizumi (小泉譲二, Koizumi Jōji)
Voiced by: Kenji Hamada (Japanese); Patrick Seitz (English)
Portrayed by: Osamu Mukai
George is a senior at Yazagaku fashion school with a gift for fashion design, particularly in haute couture. Although his personality can appear cold, he lives like a hedonist and has extravagant ideas on everything, most of which are not accepted by the mainstream. George is bisexual and explains himself as an "equal opportunity lover". He refers to Yukari as both his muse and a tease. He wishes for her to become an independent woman that makes her own decisions and takes responsibility for them. His appearance is loosely based on Brian Slade of Velvet Goldmine, several references to the film are made by him in the manga. Yukari humorously questions if he is actually an alien because of his distinctive blue hair and eyes. The lifestyle that he lives is that of a wealthy young bachelor; he lives in a high-end loft and drives a vintage Jaguar. This lifestyle and his tuition are both paid for by George's wealthy father, but because his mother was merely a mistress, he rarely sees him. His mother often complains that despite his ill will towards his father, he looks and acts just like him. In the end, he's sad to leave Yukari behind but goes with Isabella to Paris to pursue fashion design.
Miwako Sakurada (櫻田実和子, Sakurada Miwako)
Voiced by: Marika Matsumoto (Japanese); Melissa Fahn (English)
Portrayed by: Aya Omasa
Miwako is the bubbly, pink-haired student of Yazagaku who works with George to run their brand, Paradise Kiss. She is the younger sister of the Happy Berry brand's creator/president, Mikako Kouda, who is the protagonist in Ai Yazawa's Gokinjo Monogatari work, and feels pressure to live up to her success. Miwako tends to act in a rather childlike manner, both in her Lolita style dress and unique vocabulary. She carries around a jar of konpeito candy that makes her feel better by reminding her of how she is loved. Because of her cute personality, she is adored by many of the characters and becomes Yukari's closest friend, even offering her a place to stay when she needs it. Unbeknownst to Yukari, Miwako was a childhood friend of Hiroyuki and his first love.
Arashi Nagase (永瀬嵐, Nagase Arashi)
Voiced by: Shunsuke Mizutani (Japanese); Derek Stephen Prince (English)
Portrayed by: Kento Kaku
Arashi is a student of Yazagaku with a taste for punk style and alternative music. With his distressed jeans and safety pin piercings, Yukari flees when he tries to scout her in the streets of Tokyo. George enjoys harassing the serious-minded punk. Miwako reassures her that though Arashi looks intimidating, he is very kind. He is Miwako's childhood friend turned boyfriend, and this was the cause of the split in friendship between Miwako and Hiroyuki, having told Miwako that she could no longer see him anymore. Arashi despises being compared to Hiroyuki for any reason as he secretly believes himself to be inferior to the clean-cut prodigy. He even breaks Miwako's phone when he realizes she is texting Hiroyuki. By the end of the manga, Hiroyuki and Miwako help him to get over his inferiority complex, and the three childhood friends attend a New Year's celebration together. When the members of ParaKiss engage in outrageous behavior, Arashi is usually the voice of reason. He is the one that talks most directly to Yukari about her decision to drop out of school. He is the son of a musician, Risa Kanzaki, who is a good friend of Mikako Kouda. (Both characters appear in Gokinjo Monogatari.) Arashi and Miwako eventually marry and have a daughter who looks much like Arashi (whom Hiroyuki believes would look cuter if she had looked like Miwako instead).
Isabella Yamamoto (山本イサベラ, Yamamoto Isabera)
Voiced by: Chiharu Suzuka (Japanese); Mari Devon (English)
Portrayed by: Shunji Igarashi
Isabella is the mother figure to the members of ParaKiss. This tall Yazagaku student is the epitome of high class and femininity. Isabella was born into a wealthy family and was the inspiration for George's very first dress during childhood, becoming his first client. She often had the habit of taking every piece of clothing that he finished. As a child, she had always wanted gorgeous dresses, and George was the one that fulfilled her wish. Isabella provides a source of support to Yukari when she needs it the most, whether it be regarding her relationship with George or choice to abandon her studies. Isabella is a transgender woman and she is mortified when anyone refers to her as her birth name.
Hiroyuki Tokumori (徳森浩行, Tokumori Hiroyuki)
Voiced by: Noriyuki Uchino (Japanese); Johnny Yong Bosch (English)
Portrayed by: Yusuke Yamamoto
Yukari's classmate, an intelligent and handsome prodigy who is the object of Yukari's affections at the beginning of the story. Hiroyuki was once in love with Miwako, but Arashi forbade her from seeing him. He gives advice to Arashi on how to come to terms with his feelings for Miwako and his past actions and soon after the three of them mend their friendship. Hiroyuki is at the top of his class and aspires to become a physician. He eventually falls for Yukari, and foolishly assumed that a girl like her would never show interest in him. In the manga, Hiroyuki expresses his frustration at always being second-best in anything but academics, referring to Miwako choosing Arashi and to Yukari being in love with George, stating that he loves studying just because he can control the outcome. Son of Gokinjo Monogatari character, Hiroaki Tokumori ("Toku-chan").
Kaori Asō (麻生香, Asō Kaori)
Voiced by: Miho Saiki (Japanese); Dorothy Elias-Fahn (English)
Portrayed by: Natsuki Kato
A former Yazagaku student who is now studying abroad on a scholarship received as the previous winner of the junior Grand Prize. She is noted for her talent and incredible determination. She has romantic feelings for her old friend George, but knows that he is not the type to make a woman happy. According to George's conversation with Yukari, Kaori is the only woman George cannot court and it is hinted that he harbors unique feelings toward her, whether merely those of admiration or romance.
Alice Yamaguchi (山口アリス, Yamaguchi Arisu)
Voiced by: Rumi Shishido (Japanese); Stephanie Sheh (English)
Miwako's sister. She is in third grade, and just as perky as Miwako. In the anime, she only makes a brief appearance. Alice has the same eyes as Tsutomu.



Written by Ai Yazawa, the chapters of Paradise Kiss appeared as a serial in the Japanese fashion magazine Zipper from 1999 to 2003.[2]

Tokyopop licensed Paradise Kiss for an English-language release in North America and serialized it in its manga magazine Smile. After Tokyopop's dissolving in 2011, New York based publishers Vertical, Inc. acquired the rights to the property with plans on releasing the series in a three-volume A5 sized set with new covers, color plates and newly commissioned translation set for Fall 2012.[4] Madman Entertainment distributes the series in Australia and New Zealand.[5] The series is also licensed in France by Kana,[6] in Poland by Waneko[7] and in Russia by Comics Factory.[8]

No. Original release date Original ISBN North American release date North American ISBN
01 April 7, 20004-396-76219-4September 25, 2012978-1935654711
Yukari is a spirited high school senior in the process of studying for her college entrance exams. Sadly the prospect of subjecting herself to a meaningless dull life leaves her feeling depressed about the future. In a bout of frustration, Yukari begins to ignore her courses and she begins to hang out with a group of fashion design students. But what Yukari doesn't know is that this circle is known as Paradise Kiss, and they are run by a pair of young designers already making their mark on the Asian scene. Furthermore, while her life is going to soon change, it will not be due to the elite political or commerce based future her family may have hoped for, instead her life may eventually be set in a world of high fashion, with her strutting down the catwalk as the face of Asian fashion![9]
02 January 30, 20014-396-76240-2December 11, 2012978-1935654728
A lot seems to be happening the life of Paradise Kiss’s enthusiastic heroine Yukari Hayasaka in this second volume. For starters, both her modeling career and her relationship with the enigmatic pretty boy George begin to take off. One day she's a normal high school girl, the next she stops attending classes and gets scouted by a modeling agency. Yukari thinks she has it all, now that she has George and the rest of her new friends at the atelier. However, what will happen when she realizes that maybe her love with George isn’t all that she fantasized it would be, and that she can’t run from her real life forever? [10]
03 November 5, 20014-396-76259-3March 5, 2013978-1935654735
In this third volume of Paradise Kiss, Yukari has only days before she has to take to the catwalk as the teen-aged members of ParaKiss head towards graduation. George is now making a name for himself by winning awards in the real world of high fashion. So there is a real threat of London or Paris calling to poach him from Tokyo, essentially taking him away from Yukari. So what will be the future of this circle of friends? Yukari has hopes of continuing her education while still dabbling in modelling. She would hope to have George by her side, but with him spending more time designing on his own than with the group it appears as if he will be choosing work over love...for once.[11]
04 July 5, 20024-396-76276-3
05 August 29, 20034-396-76308-5


Produced by Fuji TV, Aniplex, Dentsu, Shodensha and Madhouse, the Paradise Kiss anime series began airing on October 10, 2005. It was directed by Osamu Kobayashi, who also wrote the series scripts. Nobuteru Yūki served as character designer and chief animation director, while noted fashion creator Atsurō Tayama designed the outfits and THE BABYS and Narasaki (of Coaltar of the Deepers) composed the music. The anime was licensed for release in North America by Geneon Entertainment. On July 3, 2008, Geneon and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon will still retain the license, Funimation Entertainment will assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Paradise Kiss was one of several titles involved in the deal.[12]

The opening theme song is "Lonely in Gorgeous" by Tomoko Kawase (as alter ego Tommy february6). The ending theme features Franz Ferdinand's hit song "Do You Want To". Both songs appear on the Paradise Kiss Original Soundtrack released on December 21, 2005.


In an interview in the January, 2007 issue of Newtype USA, director Kobayashi revealed many of the personal decisions which went into restructuring the manga into a television series.[13] Wanting to avoid straying too far from the source material without approval, Kobayashi worked closely with Ai Yazawa on the new interpretations of the characters. In many instances, Yazawa was concerned that taking the original material straight would distract casual viewers or worse drive them away. Chief among these concerns was the handling of George's bisexual nature and interest in sadomasochism. Yazawa agreed that the dialogue should reflect this, but that actual onscreen depictions (as can be found in the original manga) were to be avoided. However, Kobayashi felt this was not being entirely true to the character, so he included a few hints of this side of George in the final episode. In another instance of modification, this time brought by Kobayashi, the character design of Arashi was modified to suit a scruffier, less slick appearance. "I wanted to make him look like Lupin the 3rd... sort of slouching and walking around with his hands in his pockets," Kobayashi explained. In agreement with the director, Yazawa went for the change.

One area Yazawa and Kobayashi did not agree on was the casting of Shunsuke Mizutani as Arashi. The fact that he was not a professional voice actor, but rather a musician, was the cause of this debate. Kobayashi had wanted a more natural performance that did not sound like the typical voice acting found in anime. "Yazawa and I even had a few rows because of that," Kobayashi explains. "But after she'd seen about three episodes, she finally admitted that Mizutani's voice is a great match, and I was able to relax."

In relation to the clothing design, despite Tayama's involvement with all of George's outfits, most of the clothing was left largely as originally depicted in the manga. Director Kobayashi had specifically requested a real designer to work on the project, and Tayama's role on the production had originally been conceived as reworking the designs to fit better with the real world, but much to everyone's surprise, the original manga designs by Ai Yazawa were already quite good. So, Tayama mostly was involved in updating the clothes to suit the very latest hot trends, and touching up the designs to make them look and behave realistically when animated. He also provided cloth samples and photographs with all of his illustrations to aid the animators with getting the textures right. Besides George's outfits, the majority of clothing for the other characters was designed by art director and stylist Asami Kiyokawa. After the rough designs were completed, texture artist Yoshikazu Suehiro drew all of the textures and lace by hand, and then scanned them into the computer and digitally applied them as textures during the animation coloring process.

Episode list[edit]

No. Title Directed by Original airdate[14]
Transcription: "Atorie" (Japanese: アトリエ)
Osamu KobayashiOctober 13, 2005 (2005-10-13)
Transcription: "Iruminēshon" (Japanese: イルミネーション)
Motonobu HoriOctober 20, 2005 (2005-10-20)
03"kiss"Osamu KobayashiOctober 27, 2005 (2005-10-27)
Transcription: "Jōji" (Japanese: ジョージ)
Mitsuyuki MasuharaNovember 3, 2005 (2005-11-03)
05"MOTHER"Kenichi IshikuraNovember 10, 2005 (2005-11-10)
06"NEW WORLD"Shigetaka IkedaNovember 17, 2005 (2005-11-17)
Transcription: "Chō" (Japanese: )
Norihiko NagahamaNovember 24, 2005 (2005-11-24)
(Japanese: 徳森)
Motonobu HoriDecember 1, 2005 (2005-12-01)
Transcription: "Dezainā" (Japanese: デザイナー)
Yūichi TanakaDecember 8, 2005 (2005-12-08)
Transcription: "Bara" (Japanese: 薔薇)
Mitsuyuki MasuharaDecember 15, 2005 (2005-12-15)
Transcription: "Sutēji" (Japanese: ステージ)
Osamu KobayashiDecember 22, 2005 (2005-12-22)
Transcription: "Mirai" (Japanese: 未来)
Osamu KobayashiDecember 29, 2005 (2005-12-29)

Live-action film[edit]

Together with the Japanese production company IMJ, Fox International produced a live-action, Japanese-language film based on Paradise Kiss; The film has an estimated budget of US$3–4 million.[2]

The live-action film features Keiko Kitagawa as Yukari Hayasaka and Osamu Mukai as George. Other cast members are Natsuki Katō as Kaori Aso, Aya Ōmasa as Miwako Sakurada, Kento Kaku as Arashi Nagase, Shunji Igarashi as Isabella Yamamoto, and Yūsuke Yamamoto as Tokumori Hiroyuki.

The film was released in Japan in June 2011.[15] It featured the songs 'HELLO' and 'YOU' by YUI.


Melissa Sternenberg of THEM Anime Reviews called the character designs and animation "fresh and appealing" with the closing and opening sequences "some of the best of the Fall 2005 season," and praised the animation and artwork, especially the fashion designs.[16] However, she felt the series went wrong in cramming the story into 12 episodes, saying 26 episodes would have been better, and said that she disliked the main characters. However, she said that the sentimentality of ParaKiss seems to "accurately reflect the real fashion world".

Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network had a more positive view, saying that apart from the established characters, the show's true star is the "costume design" which is shown in much detail, with a "delicate balancing of realism with drama."[17] He says that the treatment of this series is "unusually thoughtful," and says the series is "about being young...having dreams...[and] romance," telling the reality of those processes, saying the series will subtly change you. He called the series a "refreshingly mature story" but said it is not for "those in search of reassuring escapism".


  1. ^ "Anime in America: The Best (And Worst) Of 2007". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Fox in talks for live-action Japanese Paradise Kiss film". Anime News Network. 2009-05-17. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  3. ^ Gramuglia, Anthony (January 10, 2021). "Josei Is Anime & Manga's Most Underserved Demographic". CBR. Archived from the original on January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  4. ^ "Vertical Adds Ai Yazawa's Paradise Kiss Manga". Anime News Network. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Paradise Kiss (Manga)". Madman Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  6. ^ "Paradise Kiss" (in French). Kana. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  7. ^ Kazik-chan (3 January 2008). "Paradise Kiss". (in Polish). Małgorzata Kaczarowska. 938. ISSN 1898-8296. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Comic books index" (in Russian). Comics Factory. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America" (Press release). Anime News Network. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  13. ^ "Newtype USA / Issues / January 2007" (Press release). Newtype USA. January 2007. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  14. ^ "パラダイスキス バックナンバー" (in Japanese). Fuji TV.
  15. ^ "Paradise Kiss Live-Action Official Website". Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  16. ^ Sternenberg, Melissa (2004). "Paradise Kiss [Review]". THEM Anime Reviews. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  17. ^ Kimlinger, Carl (May 7, 2007). "Paradise Kiss DVD 2 + 3 [Review]". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on March 29, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2021.

General references[edit]

External links[edit]