Paradise Kiss Live Action Movie

Yesterday tokyohive posted that Ai Yazawa’s manga series Paradise Kiss will be getting its very own live action movie (originally reported in Zipper magazine). It has already had an anime release (which didn’t get too great of reviews and which I could not watch beyond the first episode) not too long ago and now we get to see a live action – who knew Paradise Kiss was that popular?

Ai Yazawa’s Nana movies did relatively well (the 2nd one doing not nearly as good as the first, which is no surprise as sequels usually never live up to the original). But I do wonder how well Paradise Kiss will translate into a movie… Unlike Nana, Paradise Kiss is a short five volume series, so cramming its plot into a 1 1/2 – 2 hour movie shouldn’t be too problematic as everything revolves around preparing for a graduation fashion show and the relationships of this band of friends. Now, I wonder if the setting will be set in high school like the manga or if they will go the route more often seen where high school manga is translated into the college/adult worlds?

For those not familiar with the manga or anime, Paradise Kiss follows the life of high schooler Yukari whose life is a bland, boring stalemate. She has a crush on fellow classmate Tokunori (who used to be friends with Arashi and Miwako – what a small world, ne?), but can’t bring herself to confess, and her mother pressures her to study for college. Yukari is in a prominent high school, but has to study hard for the grades she gets. Our protagonist Yukari is just not certain what she wants to do with her life, she is just blindly following the path placed before her regardless of whether or not it actually makes her happy. Then she meets these strange teens (Gothic Lolita Miwako, grunge king Arashi, drag queen Isabella, and the arresting George) who introduce her to a world of fashion and modeling where Yukari transforms into “Caroline” – the model for George and the gang’s Paradise Kiss line that they are working on for their graduation fashion show. Being with George and everyone else helps Yukari begin to realize just what she wants from life and it is a far cry from what her mother expects.

Mukai Osamu (Hotaru no Hikari 2, Mei-chan no Shitsuji, Atashinchi no Danshi) has been announced to be playing George and Kitagawa Keiko (Hitsudan Hostess, Mop Girl, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon) will take on the role of Yukari. Also announced as being cast (but not which roles they will undertake), are Yamamoto Yusuke (Tumbling, Rinne no Ame), Igarashi Shunji (Nakanai to Kimeta Hi), Kaku Kento, Oomasa Aya (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, Mei-chan no Shitsuji), and Kato Natsuki.

I will admit to owning the manga, but even though I do like it, I am very dissatisfied with it’s ending and certain aspects of the plot. But the ending, I suppose, really showcases a more realistic end versus the fairy tale ones that can be seen more often than not. I really wonder how Ai Yazawa’s zany characters will be brought to life. Will the end result be so over-the-top it will make the movie unbearable? I will definitely have to check it out for the cast alone, but hold no high hopes on it necessarily being a good movie, though I admit to be presently surprised in Nana (though kind of letdown in regards to Nana 2).

2 comments

  • I actually think the ParaKiss ending (in the anime/manga) was done well. It wasn’t spoiled by the overly cheesy happy ending. An ending that was a bit sad and left things a bit open was good. But that might just be me, I think many good movies are spoiled with badly made happy endings.

    • That is true. I was a bit disappointed with the pairing at the end, but I was happy that it was a manga that showcased something very realistic. Caroline didn’t become a huge star, the members of ParaKiss struggled to become what they really wanted. It was real and not overly dramatic or sappy. Wonder what will happen in the movie?

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