JMovie review: Paradise Kiss

Title: Paradise Kiss Release date: 6/4/11 Genre: Romantic Drama Cast: Kitagawa Keiko, Mukai Osamu, Yamamoto Yusuke, Igarashi Shunji, Kaku Kento, Omasa Aya Plot: Despite studying as hard as she can, Hayasaka Yukari (Kitagawa) doesn't so as well at school as her mother would like. One day, she is asked to model for a group of student fashion designers. Torn between what she is supposed to do and what she wants to do, the "Paradise Kiss" designers somehow manage to help her find her way in life. What is good: Mukai did an awfully good job as Koizumi. What is bad: Yamamoto's Tokumori role seemed unnecessary. Letter rating: B

I've never read the Paradise Kiss manga. Nor have I watched the anime. However, I heard good things about the series and, since I like Kitagawa Keiko, I decided to give it a try.

Hayasaka (nicknamed "Caroline") is an interesting character. She goes from a life where she is forced into doing things her mother wants to a life where she does the things she wants. Watching her grow as she is pushed into maturity by Koizumi (nicknamed "George") is a lot like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. Of course, this isn't overlooked. There are butterflies everywhere.

Luckily, both Kitagawa and Mukai do an amazing job as the lead characters. My only peeve is that Yamamoto's character is listed as a main character, yet little is done with him. He is there in the beginning as Hayasaka's love interest but then it disappointingly goes nowhere. His character could have been cut from the film with no real consequence.

As a whole, I enjoyed the movie. It was a nice story and it does make me want to watch the anime. (Sorry, I don't read a lot of manga.) I just wish there was a little more meat to the story.