Paradise Kiss (パラダイス・キス Paradaisu kisu)

Education is your core, your foundation to succeed. That is how education was instilled in our minds. But, what if one day, a different opportunity landed right in front of your footstep? What will you do? Will you grab it? Will you see it as a calling? Will you fight for it? Hmm… lemme think about it too. XD

Facts:

  • Paradise Kiss is a Japanese film released in June 04, 2011 under Warner Bros.
  • Based on a manga written and illustrated by Yazawa Ai which was first released in 1999 and ended in 2003.
  • Paradise Kiss the manga was made into an anime which began airing in October 10, 2005.

Casts:

  • Keiko Kitagawa – Yukari “ Caroline” Hayasaka
  • Osamu Mukai – Jouji “ George” Koizumi
  • Yusuke Yamamoto – Hiroyuki Tokumori
  • Shunji Igarashi – Isabella
  • Kento Kaku – Arashi Nagase
  • Aya Omasa – Miwako Sakurada

Recap:

Warning: Spoiler alert! I discussed the movie almost in its entirety. XD

We opened up with Yukari narrating about a “dangerous-looking alley” which was referred as their studio by someone she knew and how she described her life as a student. She described how she took her first entrance exam at age 5 and failed it miserably as she thought that her mother would abandon her on the street. Yukari then decided on that day forward to study harder than anybody else and even qualified for a top high school. Yukari described her high school life as it was like as if she was freed but lamented on how her mother focused on her little brother.

    

Like anybody who is in high school, Yukari had her first love. Meet Tokumori, Yukari’s first love and classmate. Yukari’s love for Tokumori had been ongoing for three years and had remained unrequited as Tokumori doesn’t seem to notice her.

    

Yukari even tried to take a picture of Tokumori on her mobile phone while he is playing in the open field but Tokumori catches her which made her embarrassed. Yay! But as luck as you may call it, Tokumori told her to take a picture of them together instead, enough to send our heroine to cloud nine. LOL. Yukari then walked happily on the street staring at their picture together.

    

While walking on the street, Yukari was approached by Arashi. Looking at him with piercings, tattoo, and odd clothes, Yukari became afraid and ran as fast as she could with Arashi running after her but bad luck as it is, Yukari tripped and landed on the arms of cross-dresser Isabella and subsequently fainted.

    

Isabella and Arashi bring Yukari to their studio where Yukari meet Miwako who informed her that they are students of Yazawa Academy of Arts. Arashi explained that he was only trying to scout her as model and was not hitting on her. Yukari then starts throwing harsh words which made Arashi flared up as he felt insulted with what Yukari had said.

    

   

George suddenly showed up with a dress in tow while Yukari and Arashi are in an argument. Seeing George for the first time, Yukari ran off! Afraid? Maybe.

    

The following day, Yukari asked Tokumori if he ever met someone who is scary and mutter to herself that she had that feeling right after she met George.

    

George paid Yukari a visit but upon seeing George, Yukari, as afraid that she is, tried to cover up her face but George was able to spot her on. George apologized to her for what Arashi did. George asked for her name and her giggling classmates blurt out Yuakri’s name and asked if George is her boyfriend. Afraid that Tokumori might misunderstand, Yukari flatly denied it and told Tokumori that George is not her boyfriend. Yukari pushed George away but George grabs her hand and takes her with him, leaving her classmates in shock and dazed.

    

    

George brings Yukari for a ride and Yukari screamed asking for help. George told Yukari to cut it out as she got in the car on her own. Well you got the ride of your life Yukari. Haha. George brings Yukari to Yazademy. Yukari then started observing the school and was taken aback by students who are wearing fashionable clothes, a female student who was wearing a dress with no undies on, and with a couple who is making out in broad daylight. XD

    

George brings Yukari to Kisaragi, their teacher and asked him to give Yukari a hairstyle make-over. George told Yukari that it’s a sorry haircut and explained to Yukari how important it is to have a nice hair. Yukari protested but one look from George shut her mouth.

    

Yukari then saw George rival, Kaori, and Kisaragi described them as the genius versus the hardworker. Kisaragi also points out to her describing Kaori’s model as pretty. I admit she is pretty. 🙂

    

Yukari then goes to school with her new do and was asked by her classmates that she skipped classes just for a make-over. I admit, it looks good on her. Tokumori even praised her new hair which made her smile wide.

    

Isabella then came to look for Yukari in school. Why do I get this feeling that this prestigious school of her had loose security? C’mon! Outsiders can just step in and out if they wanted to? Lols. Apologizing to Yukari, Isabella informed Yukari that George sent him to bring Yukari over. Who is becoming idiot in here? Doesn’t want to do modeling but always go with them.

    

    

Why does Osamu still look manly while looking over a fabric? Hahah.  It turned out that George wanted Yukari over to check on what kind of fabric would suit her. They wrapped Yukari with fabrics and comment as it doesn’t look good on her. George then put on a yellow colored fabric and everybody commented that it suits her well. George ordered the three to work it on now which made Arashi and Miwako complained even asking Isabella to help them to reason out but Isabella suggested adding up Tassel. ( A bunch of loose threads or cords bound at one end and hanging free at the other, used as an ornament on curtains or clothing)

    

George who was so engrossed in his thoughts began sketching and voila, he was able to draw a nice end product.

    

Meanwhile, Yukari was being scolded by her teacher due to the fact that outsiders went inside their school. Hello! Basically, isn’t it your fault that those outsiders were able to go inside your premises? Why blame it on my poor Yukari? Bald ass teacher assumed that they are the reasons why her grades are failing and warned her to be mindful of the people she is associating herself with. Bald ass teacher even commented that they are not good influences. Dejected as she is, Yukari and Tokumori in the rooftop had a conversation. Tokumori lamented on how Yukari was getting used on being bawled at. Yukari sarcastically said thanks and uttered that it would be enough if the person that she like is with her. Oh yes! Tokumori she is trying to convey her feelings to you. Tokumori, as insensitive as he could be was not able to pick up on the hints. Changing topics, Yukari stated that why it is the more she get bawled, the more she wanted to hang out with the Yazademy students.

    

Yukari then peeked into the dangerous alley and made her way in, only to get the shock of her life with the sight of Miwako and Arashi making out in the studio. LOL. Isabella came with groceries at hand and Yukari warned him not to go inside. Miwako then come out with her bossom exposed and told Yukari that it is okay and she can come in now. Isabella casually buttoned up Miwako’s shirt and scolded her. Miwako reasoned out to blame it on Arashi and explained to Yukari that as a girlfriend it’s her duty to tamed Arashi’s sex drive. Miwako even described how she do it which made Arashi commands her to shut up. LOLS.

Miwako started getting Yukari’s measurement. Yukari commented on how George had this innocent smile. Mianhe I have to SS those smiles. Yukari asked Miwako what is Paradise Kiss and Miwako answered that it is the brand name that the four of them set up and explained that she wanted the four of them to stay together after graduating. They even have test clothes out in consignment stores as they dreamed on being a top brand someday.

    

Miwako showed George Yukari’s measurement. As George started to read it, Yukari grabbed the notes from George hands calling him a pervert. LOL. George explained that he needs the measurement for the dress. But since Yukari doesn’t want George to see her measurement, George decided for Yukari to try on the dress which perfectly fits her. Miwako commented that the dress fits perfectly even if it’s for George’s muse. Yukari asked them what a muse is to which Isabella responded that every designer needs a muse describing it as that one perfect woman.

While driving on George’s car, Yukari began asking George about the muse but decided to drop the subject. Yukari then asked if George was ever slapped by her mother and commented that her mother would hit her if he got non-satisfactory grades, or if she talked back, or if she was not able to hold her chop sticks right. Yukari then explained that a child who grew up like that was afraid of getting hit and would never developed courage. Yukari then narrated on how she failed her test once and we see the flashbacks of her and her mother walking under the snow. Yukari lamented on how she thought her mother would leave her on the snow which maybe the reason why all her life, studying is the only thing she knew and had avoided responsibility. George then changed route which sends Yukari in panic asking George where he is taking her to which George responded that he will bring her to a hotel.

Seriously this hotel room is creepy to me.

George asked Yukari if she would want to take a shower. Yukari realized what is going to happen opened the door and tried to leave but George was fast enough and brings her to the bed. Dude is this some way of forcing yourself to a girl? Yukari tried to break free from George but George ordered her to lie still.

George: Is it someone else’s fault that you walked in here? Like is it your mother’s fault you lack guts and our fault that you came back? Now you’re saying no so you can blame this on me? What do you want to do? I want a model not a puppet. We’ll just do it once for the books. Keep still.

Yukari: Do it then. I hate you. That dress of yours means nothing to me! My will is in this trumpy school uniform of one of the best schools in the country. Do you know how hard I had to work just to wear it? I’m proud of it and I don’t see why I should take attitude from you.

Yukari then get up and said that she would do the modeling for George before leaving the hotel. Really the harsh way of making Yukari realize of what she would want to do eh.

Yakuri was lost in deep thoughts making Tokumori worried for her. Tokumori questioned her if anything was wrong and asked if they should skip class. Man surely you know how to skip classes too? XD. Tokumori uttered how he is sick of studying too. Tokumori asked her if she wanted to go somewhere but Yukari stated that she don’t want it to be her fault if Tokumori failed. Tokumori countered that it is her fault that he is confined in the classroom.

    

Miwako then heard a phone ringing and went to get it. Arashi warned her not to answer it but too late Miwako already opened Yukari’s mobile and her smile fade away upon seeing Yukari’s wallpaper. Hmm…. do I foresee a rivalry in here?

Yukari then informed Tokumori that she still got something to do. When Yukari was about to leave, her face changes upon the sight of someone and tried to hide at the back of Tokumori. It was George. George passed by and doesn’t seem to notice Yukari but Tokumori wasn’t able to got a hold of himself and openly asked if he is the reason why Yukari is upset commanding him to leave Yukari alone or deal with him if George will not do it . Are you her knight in shining armor? Miwako then arrived and now we know that Miwako and Tokumori knew each other.

Miwako filled in Yukari that when Arashi saw Yukari wearing the uniform, Arashi knew that Yukari and Tokumori were attending the same school. We now get to see the flashback and Tokumori narrates as to how the three of them were besties since childhood days and parted ways when tokumori decided to go to Seiei and Miwako and Arashi to Yazademy. Arashi asked Tokumori head on if she liked Miwako to which Tokumori replied yes. Arashi then asked Tokumori to make a promise between men to never leave Miwako and the one who leave first loses and the one who stays will marry her. Can you give Miwako her option too? Tokumori explained that they went to different schools and his family moved to a different place. Miwako then became the girlfriend of Arashi and Arashi prevented Miwako from meeting Tokumori. Arashi had some insecurities issues in here heh! Miwako abide by Arashi’s order and informed Tokumori that she is Arashi’s girlfriend and don’t come to see her anymore. Argh! Heartbreak!

Tokumori then knew that Yakuri was modeling for George and Miwako invited Tokumori for their show. Yukari in her thought now understands why her love for Tokumori was unrequited for three years, not because Tokumori was insensitive but because he was already in-love with someone else.

    

Yukari’s mother goes to her room and tells her that her teacher called stating that Yukari’s grades are failing and that Yukari could miss out even on the second choice of school. Insensitive mom told her that she hired a private tutor as her exams are getting near. Tutor in high school? Yeah right?! Yukari with a worried look asked if that means she will study without a break or day off and explained that she get something to do as well. Yukari informed her mom that she will do a fashion show and requested to cancel the tutor. Yukari told her mom that she wanted to quit cram school and that she can study after the show. The not so pleased mother slapped Yukari and ordered her to go straight to home after school.

Yukari runs away from home and went to the ParaKiss studio. Miwako and Isabella told her that she would need like a place to stay and a job because she’ll need money. Arashi being logical commands Yukari to go home and apologize to her mother to which Yukari refused. George then stepped in telling everybody that he would support Yukari’s decision but if Yukari die and go to hell then it’s not their problem anymore. How nice of you George!!!! *fuming *. George offered her his spare room in his house. Yay! Our OTP in the same house? OH-EM-GEE! Miwako started to worry about Yukari living in George house but Isabella assures her that George is a gentleman.

George had some unexpected visitor, his parents who criticize George being a designer. Seriously I hate his parents. They don’t know how to act one. We get to know George background as he relates to Yukari that he is a son of a rich man and his mistress.

    

On her first day as a runaway child, Yukari began looking for a job but oddly enough, jobs posted in the classified ads required someone who is at least a high school graduate. Tsk tsk… George then asks Kisaragi for a job for Yukari. Guess what the job is? Modeling!

Yukari was called out for the pictorial but she gets nervous and called George informing him that she can’t do it and that she is leaving. George having the different way of encouraging Yukari tells Yukari that if she leaves and made him and Kisaragi look bad then he will be the one to guide her on her road to hell. Scary! George sweet talk Yukari and tell her that she can do it as the girl that they found had so much glamour than a professional model which is enough to boost Yukari’s confidence. The pictorial goes through and Yukari was even praised by her co-workers.

George commented on how Yukari went to the photo shoot wearing her uniform but Yukari said that it made her feel confident. George continued that there’s a lot that she can wear aside from her uniform and showed her the room full of all of his creations, clothes that he had made since he was 5 years old. George told Yukari that all of it has his memories and that he wants someone special to wear them one day.

    

George had another set of visitor and Yukari was nervous that could it be his parents again. Turned out it’s Kaori with her team. George asked Kaori if she got a job and one of Kaori’s friends answered that Kaori is going to do designs for Filange but Kaori blurted out that George was more of a lucky person because he is going to Paris. Yukari asks George how he knew the team of Kaori. George answered that he had slept with the three girls but not with Kaori. Yukari utter that she will keep an eye on Kaori. Hey Yukari, is George already your man? Hahaha… Kaori asks her team if they wanted to see a room full of beautiful dresses. Is she talking about that room that George showed to Yukari previously? Uh-oh. Is Kaori special to him as well? :(.

    

Kaori walked towards the room but Yukari pulls her and bring her to her room instead. Yukari started interrogating Kaori about her relationship with George. Getting jealous? Are you beginning to like George Yukari? XD Kaori asked Yukari if she’s jealous and assured her that she doesn’t have her eye on George for what she wanted was to fulfill her dream and not let George beat her. Kaori then give Yukari an advice.

Kaori: Are you okay? Modeling is more than just walking in a dress.

    

While Isabella, Miwako, and Arashi was almost finish with the dress that they are going to use for the show, George announced that he have something else in mind. How I pity those three. ㄲㄲ

George father then showed up in Yazademy and meet up with Kisaragi. George father asks Kisaragi’s opinion about George future. Kisaragi opined that George will be crushed when he goes pro. Uh-oh why do I feel that this is not good.

    

    

The following day, the four designer’s faces were like it’s the end of the world for them. It so happens that the ParaKiss merchandise were returned from the consignment stores as it is not selling. Yukari asked Miwako about it and Miwako explained that ParaKiss might be dissolved because of what had happened. Yukari then asked George if the four of them will part ways and George explains that it was the deal and that he is going to Paris once the fashion show ends. Yukari feeling dejected as she can be take a look at the ParaKiss merchandise. It left me wondering if it is George’s father doing that the clothes were pulled out? Hmm…

The four of them become very busy working on the dress although you can see in their faces of what they are going through.

Day of the rehearsal, George was mad as hell as Yukari wasn’t able to do a proper catwalk during the rehearsal. Yukari left the room to practice. I really can’t believe it that she walked that way, like she is one of a stupid fool.

    

Showtime. Tokumori is on his way to attend the fashion show and who is this? Well… well… who else do we got? Surprise! It is Yukari’s mother.

    

On the other hand, Yukari feeling sorry, apologized to George for not taking the fashion show seriously. George feeling the pressure and disappointment can’t control his anger.

    

Yukari starts to cry and Isabella tell her how hard it was to live in a boy’s body when he is a girl inside. Isabella encourages Yukari and relates to her how George gave her his first hand made dress which made him feel that he was reborn. Isabella went on to say that beautiful clothes gave people courage and confidence.

Fashion show starts and we see Kaori’s team.

George asked for Yukari’s left hand and put on the butterfly ring with a blue and black ensemble. George tell Yukari that he wish that she could be a butterfly.

George: You don’t have to walk straight. Sway or turn if you like as long as it’s your own walk. Walk on your own feet.

Yukari: Maybe I’m not the best but I’ll walk like no one else. I’ll be so in their face. They’ll get jealous. I’ll take everyone in this hall up to paradise.

    

    

Yukari’s moment.

George’s expression.

Miwako, Arashi, and Isabella.

Yukari’s mother.

    

George’s Parents.

Tokumori.

    

After Yukari finished her turn, she asks George if she did walk alright but before George could answer, they hear the cheering of the crowd. George then enveloped Yukari in a back hug and kisses her. Ok ok another make out fest. Geez!

    

However, it is Kaori’s team who got the first place and George’s team landed on the second spot. All of them can’t help but be sad. Even George’s father was disappointed and told George’s mother that who would want to see his own child to lose.

    

Yukari meet her mom and thanked her for coming. Yukari’s mother asks her to come home and promise her that she will not run her life anymore. Yay! Nice to see the two of them reconcile.Yukari then packs her things and left a note for George thanking him for everything.

    

On her way home, Yukari sees George and George asks her to have dinner with him but Yukari had a prior appointment with Tokumoi. George commented that how Yukari could go on a date wearing those clothes. George then helped Yukari shop for clothes and chose make up. Yukari was not pleased with it and left George.

George ran after her and she rants on why George picked clothes for her when she is going on a date with another guy. Yukari asks George why he kissed her. She informed George that she wanted to be a model and asked George if she can do it. George tells her that she can but he’ll not be around to hold her hand. The two parted ways and said goodbye to each other. Yukari went on to her date with Tokumori.

Isabella asks George if he really would go to Paris, leaving the girl he love? George answers him that it is the logical thing to do.

Right after George left for Paris, Yukari received a parcel containing a key and a map. Yukari ran off to the place and overwhelmed at the sight of George collection. George left her all of his creations. Yukari cried as she remembered how George wanted the clothes to be worn by that someone special. Tears falling down my face as well. *sniff

    

Three years later, Yukari have become a professional model. Tokumori staring at Yukari’s billboards blurts out how he said he loved Yukari but Yukari dumped her. Tokumori’s friend hears this and asks Tokumori. Of course, Tokumori frantically said that he was kidding. Haha. Afraid of creating ruckus and gossips huh?

    

In a voice over, Yukari said it is not fun walking alone as she wanted to see George again. Yukari then went to New York for a photo shoot. After the photo shoot, Yukari decided to spend her remaining hours in New York strolling. Rain starts to pour and Yukari ran to find a place where she can take shelter. Yukari came across broadway where she saw a poster with a butterfly on a cloth. Instinct as you may call it Yukari started reading the production staff list. Yukari then find what she is looking for. Her instincts were right as the custome designer is George. Yukari meet Isabella and Isabella provided her the address of George’s studio. Oh YES!

Yukari made her way to the studio but George is not inside. George’s studio is somewhat the same as what he had in Japan. Wind started to blow which send George’s sketches flying outside. A man stops and picks up the sketch on the ground. Yukari closes the window and started to pick up the sketches when she knocks up a pile of magazine and guess what did she saw.

George came and the two of them embrace and kiss.

The end.

My Thoughts with the Leads:

The first time I saw Keiko Kitagawa I had mistaken her for an American due to her facial features. :). As for Osamu Mukai, as what had Koala described in her blog A Koala’s Playground:

“Bad boy. Bad bad boy. Osamu gives off such bad boy vibes that should you meet him at a bar and he decides to turn on his megawatt charm, you’ll wonder thirty minutes later where your panties went. I adore him as an actor, but would never think about bringing him home to meet the parents. He is such a scene stealer onscreen, always making any role memorable and unique.”

These two have this chemistry and I would want to see them on-screen together again. Drama and movie gods hear me. Jebal!

My Thoughts  with the Movie:

If you want a feel good movie with no big angst and dramas then this one is for you. Paradise Kiss is so light that I was able to finish it in one go. (Yeah, I admit! I’m one hell of a person who sucks at watching melodrama and climax. XD) Plus, I fell in love with the flamboyant clothes wishing silently for them to send me one.  Teehee. While I know some don’t really like this live adaptation, forgive me, but I am really hungry for happeee ending. XD

Paradise Kiss made my heart flutter for the first 45 minutes, gets shattered for the following 15 minutes, and get back into pieces for the remaining minutes of the movie. Watching it made me reminisce the feeling of being in love. It was sweet to watch how George supported Yukari and made her realize the things that she really wanted to do and I felt like I was swept off my feet when George left all of his creations to Yukari proving to her that she is that one special person who is worthy of receiving all of those precious creations. On the other hand, Yukari’s self-realization of standing on her feet and following the path that would make her happy was ten fingers up for me. It was not an easy path but kudos to her. Yay!

It was nice to see how Yukari’s mom transformed from “I’m your mother, I know what is right for you!” to “I’m your mother who will support you.” Although it took years for her to realize it. Sudden rebellion could change things? Hmm… (Mom, I’m not thinking of doing this okay? :P) With regard to the conflicts in George’s family, well I do understand why George treats his parents that way. His parents especially his mom doesn’t know how to act one. He was maybe born that way but they could have raised him in an environment full of love. As I see it, George father would want to get closer to his son but were doing things the wrong way. You can see it the way he acted when George group landed second place in the presentation.  It would be great if things between George and his parents were ironed out (but getting into deep details about this would eat up the airtime right? Keke)

Isabella, Arashi, and Miwako serves as the catalyst of this movie. I love, love, love how Isabella was so supportive of George and Yukari, the quirkiness of Miwako, and the hot-tempered but softy Arashi.

Personally, I like Paradise Kiss the movie rather than the manga for the main reason that who would want your female lead to get married to another guy? It’s like seeing the leads fall in love then fall apart. (I’m talking to you morbid Korean drama!) However, I feel like the ending was abrupt. Eventhough the movie was able to show us how George really like Yukari, I would want to know what happened in his stay in Paris, his explanation as to why he did not go back to Japan but settled in the US, and why he did not even go back for Yukari. It was really odd for me that he kept himself updated with Yukari’s activities but never had the initiative to contact her. Oh well, should I really be complaining? At least I got our OTP together in the end. O.o

By the way, is there any news about the sequel? It wouldn’t hurt to have another dose of OTP sweetness right? :p

[Credits: A Koala’s Playground, Wikipedia, The Free Dictionary]

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