Manga Monday: Lonely in Gorgeous

Published on August 3rd, 2009

Manga comes in many different varieties and caters for many different people. This particular manga proves that you don’t have to have a manga 40 books long and an anime that spans 10years to create something with impact and something that you can fall in love with.

Paradise Kiss is only 5 books and 12 episodes long. It is by my favourite artist Ai Yazawa and become so popular it was translated into at least 10 different languages. The anime has some amazing music; the opening is called ‘lonely in gorgeous’ and the ended is by Franz Ferdinand.

The story is about fashion *cue eye roll* and is defiantly a book aimed at girls or at least romantics. It follows the story of a boring high school student who is convinced by students at a local fashion school to model for them in the end of 3400-1year show.

So yes, it is about fashion and the struggle the friends go through to create something beautiful but more than that, the story focucs on the female lead character, Yukari “Caroline” Hayasaka, as she meets the lead designer, Jōji “George” Koizumi and inevitably falls for him. The romance leads Caroline to question her life, her values and who she is. The story is sweet yet not sickly and not over powering. It feels mature and not sickly sweet. Ai Yazawa manages to write a love story that doesn’t feel generic. It isn’t over complicated and drawn out with 10+ books of ‘will they won’t they’ crap. It is the perfect book for a female friend or girlfriend who may or may not like anime and manga.

The artwork itself is also absolutely gorgeous. What else would be expected from Ai Yazawa? The beautiful styling is also reflected fantastically in the anime. It is all obvious of the manga style but again it isn’t generic.

I think manga like paradise kiss will always be my favourite. It hasn’t taken me years to collect or afford the whole series. I feel I can pick it up when ever I want, I can watch the anime a million times over and the whole thing hasn’t been spoiled by over weight cosplayers (naruto). This manga feels like your special little secrete, like some amazing indie band you just discovered. It feels like a little diamond in my collection.

Hollie ‘ likes to buy shoes Pheonix’ Bennett
hollie@comicimpact.com