First Impressions: Paradise Kiss Part 1 – Ai Yazawa

Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa, also know for her josei series Nana, was first published by TokyoPop here in North America. But it’s been out of print for a while, and now we’re getting a really beautiful version of the series from publisher Vertical. Here are my impression of the series after viewing the first volume.

Synopsis from Publisher: Yukari Hayasaka is a studious, straight-laced high school senior, racing towards college exams yet with no real sense of purpose in her life. One day she’s kidnapped by a troupe of fashion design students and whisked away to their lounge-like atelier. There they ask her to be their model for their school fashion show. At first she resists, scornful of the odd-looking design students, until George, the lead designer, uses his wiles to join them while forcing Yukari to take a good, hard look at her life.
Yukari's Intoxication of George

Yukari’s Intoxication of George

Impressions: This first installment of Yukari’s introduction to the fashion design world doesn’t disappoint. Finding a passion for something beyond her high school studies, including deeper emotions beyond an idealized crush, Yukari’s journey of self-discovery shows to be a promising one. Discovering new friendships and maturing into new relationships makes this protagonist one teens can easily relate with. Ai Yazawa’s art style lends a realistic and sophisticated touch to the series. Gorgeous fashion designs as well as iconic characters make Paradise Kiss a pleasure to behold.

Heart of Manga Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Don’t miss this first installment of a treasured josei series brought back to us in beautiful new pages from Vertical.

Review copy provided by publisher.

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