Paradise Kiss, Part 1 (Paperback)
Yukari is a spirited high school senior in the process of studying for her college entrance exams. Sadly the prospect of subjecting herself to a meaningless dull life leaves her feeling depressed about the future. In a bout of frustration, Yukari begins to ignore her courses and she begins to hang out with a group of fashion design students. But what Yukari doesn't know is that this circle is known as Paradise Kiss, and they are run by a pair of young designers already making their mark on the Asian scene. Furthermore, while her life is going to soon change, it will not be due to the elite political or commerce based future her family may have hoped for, instead her life may eventually be set in a world of high fashion, with her strutting down the catwalk as the face of Asian fashion.
About the Author
Ai Yazawa is the creator of many popular manga titles, including "Tenshi Nanka Janai" ("I'm No Angel") and "Gokinjo Monogatari" ("Neighborhood Story"). Another series, "Kagen no Tsuki" ("Last Quarter"), was made into a live-action movie and released in late 2004. American readers were introduced to Yazawa's stylish and sexy storytelling in 2002 when her title "Paradise Kiss" was translated into English.
"Nana" has become the all-time best selling shojo title from Japanese publishing giant, Shueisha. Cumulative sales from the first 12 graphic novels have sold more than 22 million copies and the series even garnered a Shogakukan Manga Award in the Girls' category in 2003. A live-action "Nana" movie is scheduled to hit Japanese theaters in the fall of 2005.
"Admittedly, the premise of Paradise Kiss sounds like an improbable schoolyard fantasy but the emotions are real. That message of individualism is also clear to see in Ai Yazawa's art style, which freely diverges from "normal manga" and instead takes its cue from the worlds of high fashion and counterculture. Highly original character designs, along with opulent surroundings and elaborate design elements, add up to a unique aesthetic experience." - Anime News Network's, "Right Turn Only"
"Pure soap opera, with riveting characters, this was most people’s introduction to Yazawa in North America back in the Tokyopop days, and paved the way for Nana to be an even bigger hit. Glad to see Vertical putting [Paradise Kiss] back in print so it can get the attention it deserves." - Manga Bookshelf