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Paradise Kiss

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Paradise Kiss is a 12 episode long anime, based on the 5-volume manga with the same name by Ai Yazawa, produced by Aniplex and Studio Madhouse and directed by Osamu Kobayashi and Nobuteru Yuki, the character designer and animation director for the opening sequence. It was licensed for release in North America by Geneon Entertainment. (Wikipedia)

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This anime centers a lot around fashion as the main character Yukari Hayasaka, soon renamed Caroline, is recruited as a model by George Koizumi a talented and budding fashion designer, and his crew including Miwako Sakurada, Arashi Nagase and the transvestite Daisuke Yamamoto, renamed Isabella. Though most of the clothes seen in the anime follow Yazawa’s designs from the manga quite faithfully, Kobayashi still hired a professional fashion designer, Atsuro Tayama, to adapt the designs to the real world and to the current fashion.

Because of its artistic theme, the art of the anime remains very modern and quite different to the typical anime style. The characters are a lot more 3-dimensional and realistic though their movements are very slow and purposefully delayed. This gives the anime a constant feeling of unreality. Furthermore, music is also very important in this anime, using artists such as Franz Ferdinand for the ending theme song, and the voice actor for Arashi, Shunsuke Mizutani, a member of the band The Baby’s, who play most of the music for the anime. The use of animation here is to accentuate the artistic feel of the story. Paradise Kiss is composed of many artistic elements, such as fashion, music, drawing, and film.

There are also references to other animes such as Lupin III, by Miyazaki in the ending theme where George is drawn with the same style as Lupin. Also in this ending theme is another reference to an image of Marylin Monroe. These references along with the aesthetic quality of the images puts a focus on the theme of beauty.

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Music

Shunsuke Mizutani is a musician and in Paradise Kiss he portrays the voice of the singer of a band called The Baby's. This band actually exists and they provide most of the music for this anime.

The introductions theme song is by Tommy February6 and is called Lonely in Gorgeous. The ending song is by a better known band, Franz Ferdinand, called Do You Want To.

Opening Scene

The opening scene was directed by Nobuteru Yuki, who has worked on Cardcaptor Sakura, The Movie 2: The Sealed Card, Escaflowne, and other known animes.

This segment is apart from the rest of the anime entirely, both in form and in story. It seems to be a compilation of pictures form everyday life in Tokyo, with drawn on characters.

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