Ohisashiburi desu ne? I realize it’s been months since the last episode. What was originally meant to be 52 episodes has not barely even touched half. Really sorry about this guys. I guess I was too focused on watching and reading that I totally forgot (okay I was lazy) about blogging. I will try to work harder. Anyway, here’s a list of the materials for episode 12.
Manga: Paradise Kiss
Drama: Paradise Kiss the Movie
Music: Kiyoharu’s Ryusei (whole album review)
First up is manga. In today’s manga feature, we have Paradise Kiss. I really enjoyed this manga. I read it in a day. Although I was really busy with work, I still finished ParaKiss. I was initially interested in this because of the movie. The movie featured the actor Osamu Mukai (George) whose acting I really enjoy. This manga is created by Ai Yazawa.
The story centers around Yukari, a high school girl who has followed all of her parent’s wishes to study hard. Whenever she misses a perfect score or a high grade, her mother becomes really disappointed (and that becomes her complex). One day, she was invited by Paradise Kiss, a group of four seniors at the Yaza Arts School to be their model for the senior’s recital. They’re actually student designers!
As Yukari agrees to it, she discovers what she wants in life. The love story centers around Yukari and George Koizumi, the main designer of ParaKiss. Yukari finds George attractive and mysterious and so she develops feelings for him. George finds Yukari troublesome and mysterious as well, and he develops feelings for her.
Although I liked the manga a lot because of its intricate design and superb story line, I was really bummed with the ending. I watched the movie first and was expecting the same story line with the happy ending. The ending is quite sad although I do think that it’s closer to what would’ve happened in real life.
THE VERDICT: I recommend this manga to people who like shoujo mangas. I also recommend it to those who like really well-detailed graphics. I don’t recommend this to innocent people who are unaware of the word SEX in this world. There are many obscene scenes and there’s even a scene of a girl’s first time. (I was quite shocked myself, since I don’t read ecchi).
Next up is Chihayafuru. I really really like this anime! I am quite impatient with on-going anime, but this one had one season done. I’ll do a review on the second season once it airs on January 2013!
The story is about karuta, a Japanese game about one hundred poems. Now, not knowing the Japanese culture is quite disadvantageous for watchers of this anime, but I still liked it nonetheless. The poems are by a hundred poets and they are traditional poems memorized by elementary school children. In karuta, the parts of the poems are written on cards and placed down. The aim is to outrun the opponent in touching the card when the first verse of the poem is read.
The story centers around Chihaya. When she was young, she discovered a classmate, Arata, who had the makings of a karuta master. After playing the game with him, she became passionate about playing karuta as well. Arata moved to Fukui and at the death of his grandfather (a karuta master himself), Arata stopped playing.
Chihaya wanted to convince Arata to play again so she takes childhood friend (and a rival of Arata for Chihaya’s affection) Taichi to form a karuta club in their school. They go through several competitions with the other members.
The graphics are extremely nice (+ there’s Arata who wear glasses [i’m sort of a megane fangirl]). I really like the cute scenes as well. I was disappointed with the hanging ending, but since there’s a second season, I’ll have to wait for the results. As of press time, the manga version is on-going.
THE VERDICT: I highly recommend this manga if you want to learn more about traditional games in Japan. It’s not boring and the romantic element to the story is sorta exciting. I don’t normally like sports-related anime, but Chihayafuru is so addicting, I finished the 25 episodes in 2 (working) days.
Up next is Paradise Kiss the Movie. I discussed the manga, so might as well discuss where my ParaKiss addiction began.
The movie is totally different from the manga. It has the same basic story line of Yukari being obsessed with studies and being recruited by ParaKiss to model for the senior recital. There were many parts however that were changed.
Primarily, this movie could’ve been viewed by any teenager or even a kid, while the manga has an R-18 restriction due to the sensitive scenes. The movie, however, had very little of this.
I don’t think they made an absolutely bad choice for casting. However, there were several actors in the movie I didn’t like.
George was played by Osamu Mukai (Nodame Cantabile, BECK, Hanamizuki, Hotaru no Hikari 2). Although an extremely talented actor whose charms always capture my heart, I think he was too weakly casted. I imagined George to be quite handsome – someone who would have a blank expression and still look great (TOP of Big Bang [KPOP] comes to mind) and Osamu Mukai looks really charming only when he smiles (or smirks).
Yukari was played by Keiko Kitagawa. I think out of the whole cast, she was the only one who matched Yukari’s character. Hiroyuki Tokumori was played by Yusuke Yamamoto (Tamaki-sama in Ouran). Didn’t like it. Tokumori was really tall (which Yusuke lacked) and handsome. The biggest failure in casting is probably Miwako. In the manga, she has pink hair and she’s sort of a loli. Aya Omasa (Yamato Nadeshiko SH, Mei-chan no Shitsuji, Renai Neet) is really tall and she’s not a cute loli at all. Besides these, I think every other cast was spot on.
THE VERDICT: I liked the movie a lot. I watched it before reading the manga and because the story is really nice, I was convinced to read. I really like the happy ending as well, although as I said earlier, the manga had a more realistic ending. But then, bad casting director.
Last on this episode is Kiyoharu. If you guys didn’t know, Kiyoharu is a Jrock singer. I first encountered him in the soundtrack for Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge anime. He had some really nice songs for the anime. My favorite is “Carnation”.
My favorite in the single is Ryusei. The whole single itself (three songs) is really nice and it’s nice to listen to when you want a lighter mood.
THE VERDICT: Kiyoharu-sama is the best! I recommend his songs. If you like J-rock with a bit of a mellow factor, be sure to listen to Kiyoharu-sama!~
That’s it for this episode. Be sure to check out the Otaku page for a full list of episodes. I will be back again soon. I promise.
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