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Kohii



Joined: 12 Nov 2010
Posts: 428

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:38 pm Reply with quote
I thought the art for Oreimo was very fitting. A very moe-some style for an overly moe-saturated series.
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4621
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:22 am Reply with quote
Eh, I always though Paradise Kiss's characters were highly realistic. Then again I go to an art school with cross dressers and punks and wannabe fashion designers, the majority of which are just rich kids in the school cause they feel like it... but that's just me maybe... and it isn't uncommon for when the fashion design/costume design kids have a final/project show they go through the school looking for models. Heck, back to the characters in art school, we had a Lolita who graduated just last year.

Are some of the portrayals in the manga downright ridiculous? Sure, no one is as rich or famous or blatantly going to be the next big thing at my school, but everyone in art school is a drama queen or a quirky character, and a lot of us come from creative families. If there's one thing I as an art student always bought, it was Paradise Kiss's portrayal of an art school and collaboration studios (though no one I know has an awesome basement bar).

And the whole "following creative dreams = good, taking college exams = bad," rang true to me in terms of life. I just don't think it ever equated to college exams exactly, so I think you got the message slightly wrong. When you pursue an art career/degree you get a LOT of negatives associated with it. It's not a guaranteed successful career path, it's a risk, etc etc, and can be a hard choice for a lot of parents to accept. Heck, I go to parties here in college town Boston and when people get on the subject of what they're studying in school people either find the fact that I'm studying for an art career amazing, or a joke because it's "art school".

But society aside (and that is why so many of us "creatives" rebel in clothing and hair styles), if you have parents that can happily accept it that's great, but then you have those parents that have their whole kid's life planned out all the way through college, and that's what I felt like Yukari's mother always was. It wasn't "following creative dreams = good, taking college exams = bad," it was do what the f%#k you want to do with your life cause it's your life and you only live once. Figure out what you want to do and jump in. I know from friends this issue is a regular thing in American culture, and Paradise Kiss just brought it to me as a reader in a Japanese culture setting which seems to be even harder on young students in some cases. I've sometimes had doubts about my career path choice, but when it comes down to it I f**###g love what I do, and doubt I'll ever regret it even when the student loans start coming to collect.

Paradise Kiss is the art school life, glamorized yes, but a heck of a lot more realistic than most portrayals (art school confidential = BS) and art school aside, a heck of a lot more realistic in terms of real life problems for a girl than 95% of shoujo manga. Ai Yazawa obviously pulled from a lot of personal experiences in terms of relationships and art school and friends, and it rings true to some of us girls. The manga has always been a popular read to pass around my school, and a number of the costume designers adore it to death.

And as a reader I totally fell for George. He just turns into an ass, but a lot of guys do.
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brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:42 am Reply with quote
I have to agree with littlegreenwolf on a lot of that.

I went to art school myself, and while Parakiss makes it seem more glamorous then it is, I don't think it is off the mark that far. The only titles I think did art school better was Ai Yazawa's Gokinjo Monogatari and Honey and Clover.

I even had a teacher who's who family was pretty damn successful. He was a pretty well know accomplished artist, his one son worked as a Sous Chef at Morimoto's (you know the one from Iron Chef?), and the other was in the FBI.

I even dated a guy who was pretty much George but far less fabulous. But lot of what George tells Yukari could of come from my ex's mouth also. I mean he is my ex so dating a guy like that in real life can be troublesome, but I think the portrayal works.

Quote:
"following creative dreams = good, taking college exams = bad"

I can see where you are coming from on this. Though, as someone who really struggled with how to deal with others expectations of what I was supposed to do in life, I felt I really understood.

Maybe part of it is, I've really the whole manga many times down and the further things the more realistic it gets. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows in the series.
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JesuOtaku
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 2830
Location: SoCal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:56 am Reply with quote
Those are good points, I was about to post something to that effect when the column went up, but I thought it'd be best to wait until other people addressed it. Who had for really reals been to an art school and didn't just have friends in them like I did. ^^;

I was more "fangirl-raising-annoyed-finger-to-say-"WELL-ACTUALLY~" over the supposed "George is perfect and I'm so in love with him at the drop of a hat" thing Carlo was sour on the manga for.

Admittedly: Yukari is obsessed with him because he's confident and hot and pays attention to her...which is absolutely reason enough for someone of her age and background to be obsessed with someone. Laughing As for their relationship? Oh. Oooooh it's just *beautiful* in how brutally honest and realistically developed it is. Note: I only saw the anime. But I've been told it's pretty much exactly like the manga, and it certainly felt that way.

Let's just leave it at "Your perceptions of George and his relationship with Yukari are *real* far off base, based on first volume alone" and "Goddamn is it one of the best written 'high school romances' I've ever seen in anime." Very much more josei than shojo. George is so far from perfect that [SPOILERS.] He is the "perfect shojo stereotype" as actualized in the real world and the results are...well, less than fairytale-y.
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Snomaster1



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 1060

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:58 pm Reply with quote
I read "Genisken:Second Season" and I found it interesting. I found Susanna Hopkins,the oddball American transfer student to be well...an oddball. I felt her to be very weird. Funny but weird. If it had been me in that situation,I'd have wore traditional Japanese clothing to the meeting of the anime club. What do you guys think of that?
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4621
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:09 pm Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
Let's just leave it at "Your perceptions of George and his relationship with Yukari are *real* far off base, based on first volume alone" and "Goddamn is it one of the best written 'high school romances' I've ever seen in anime." Very much more josei than shojo. George is so far from perfect that [SPOILERS.] He is the "perfect shojo stereotype" as actualized in the real world and the results are...well, less than fairytale-y.


This completely. Ai Yazawa is loved by shoujo readers because she's pretty much as real as it gets in terms of relationships. You don't think a girl can outright drool over a guy they just met? It happens. It's called sexual attraction, and we try to hide it, especially if it turns out the guy is a douche, but there are these things called hormones... but either way, Ai Yazawa doesn't portray these fictional, idealistic relationships shoujo manga is infamous for portraying. Her characters have depth, but it seems like this may be your first introduction to Yazawa, or at least with Paradise Kiss, so I think you'll be pleasantly convinced of it in late volumes. But I think you're the review is just assuming something is there that isn't. George and Yukari's relationship is far from cliche'. As an introduction it's just how creatures work - we're attracted to things with ideal genetic traits, and for Yukari George just happens to have the whole list of them at their first introduction. Their relationship is NOT typical shoujo manga formulaic fodder.

And I'm still going through the negatives of the review and just thinking Santos doesn't get it. Propaganda? Portrayal of the decision between doing what you want with your life versus being simple? Everything in the atelier is glamorous and cool. Is this seriously a critic about studios? A studio is a creative layer - as designers you surround yourself with things that inspire you. Since creatives strive to create, and those things can later become what society deems as glamorous and cool, of course the things they surround themselves with are going to be the crème de la crème of what they want to be like. An animation fan for instance would probably thing an animation/illustrator studio is the coolest thing ever because of all the toys/art they have around. Have you ever seen Glen Keane's studio space? It's freaking animation heaven. Why would Paradise Kiss's studio be anything less. What do you expect a studio to be? Plain white walls with minimalistic tables? There's a reason why these people are not in a cubicle environment.

Yukari comes from a typical Japanese home where culture emphasizes minimalistic values and color. This was Yukari's first introduction to people who live outside of the typical expectations of Japanese society, whether they're art students or not. Of course she's going to be attracted to it, especially when she just wants some place to get away from her Tiger Mom and studies.

I'm just not seeing how any of Paradise Kiss is unrealistic. Sure George is a rich son with spoiler[a model mother] but really when you think about it their art school is in Tokyo of all places, so is that really so unrealistic? The most elite art schools are in major cities, and typically only the very rich, and the very talented can get in (on scholarship).

And teachers? A good art school employs anyone they can who are actively in the business. Art Spiegelman of Maus for instance taught for years at SVA in NYC. My own school features an animation staff full of former Disney and Cartoon Network employees. Fashion focused schools are no different.

And families that are creative sometimes produce creatively inclined kids that tend to follow in their footsteps, it's not uncommon. Glen Keane's dad was the creator of The Family Circus, he became Disney's head animator and character designer, he just retired from Disney this past year, but not before completing Tangled with his own daughter as one of the head concept artists. This stuff happens on famous levels and not so famous. My mom paints and is a potter. I paint and draw. My brother is a musician. Only time can tell if you're able to make a living off these things.
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 1679

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:46 pm Reply with quote
I'd heard a lot of negative things regarding the second coming of Genshiken, but thanks to this review I'm thinking I'll have to give it a chance.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 759

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:15 pm Reply with quote
I hope Hato improves as a character in the next Genshiken volume, because I admit to not being clear on Hato's gender identity. It would've been just fine if he really was someone who identified as being a girl in boy's body--but then later says (to the very group that was accepting him/her as he/she is) he started dressing in drag as a habit, his interest in Yaoi is more of a study thing, and insists he isn't gay and whatever confusion is a result of some kind of personality disorder. If someone understands this better than me then great, but I'm not sure what Shimoku was trying to write with him/her. Again, hopefully it'll flesh out more in future volumes.

Regardless, it's more Genshiken, and everything that was good about it is still good now. The biggest plus for me is Yajima, a genuine plain-janish girl at the cast forefront, the kind of which I've been waiting for a while. Ohno never really counted, since it always felt like Shimoku felt the need to compensate for her plainness by giving her big breasts, which I never thought was necessary. That's my personal highlight, anyway.
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partially



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 312
Location: Oz

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:53 pm Reply with quote
For those interested the import review this time – Pippira Note – is actually available in english through JManga. I assume this is known since you mention it is available online for $4.99. But you could take note of where it is available. Wink
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4136
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:43 pm Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
Note: I only saw the anime. But I've been told it's pretty much exactly like the manga, and it certainly felt that way.


The anime and the manga are near identical ... until the last volume, where the anime makes some very odd decisions about excluding things, in particular spoiler[the identity of Yukari's fiance being clearly revealed as Hiroyuki].

I definitely have always found Ai Yazawa's strength to be in writing realistic characters and situations. I'll admit, I'm much more strongly attached to NANA but I think Parakiss does a pretty good job of it too. That said, it has been awhile since I watched the anime/read this particular volume so I don't recall how strong a beginning it is.

I do agree that the emotional elements are definitely the biggest strength of Yazawa's writing and keep even the craziest of moments grounded. I just don't feel like there were that many of said moments in Parakiss.

Oh, also the whole "following creative dreams = good, taking college exams = bad" is definitely not the message I got. The idea is following your own dreams. Yukari is pushing herself to crazy extents because of her mother, not because of any personal ambition she has for herself. Which is why that path isn't right for her ... but we'll see that for Hiroyuki, it is the right one.
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Roxas4ever



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:23 pm Reply with quote
Fairy Cube was my first Kaori Yuki manga, and I haven't stopped reading her stuff since <3
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maaya



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 976

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:24 pm Reply with quote
I agree, Ai Yazawa is one of the best shojo (and overall manga) authors I know. She never just tells a simple story nor a simple message. Others have said it already, "following creative dreams = good, taking college exams = bad" is not what Paradise Kiss is about. Not going to spoil anything, but I'm sure you'll soon enough agree with that if you continue reading. Since you rated volume 1 so highly already, you'll love the later volumes.

By the way, I thought the live action movie adaption pretty much messed up the series, because they exactly went for the cliched story the original work avoided.
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superdry



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 1309

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:58 pm Reply with quote
I assume the title of this week column was taken from the Space Jam theme by Quad City DJs.

Kohii wrote:
I thought the art for Oreimo was very fitting. A very moe-some style for an overly moe-saturated series.


Compared to the light novel artwork...it's pretty meh especially the character designs (mostly Kirino)

Unfortunately spoiler[the manga stops at volume 4 and that's it for now since a side-story manga took over it's monthly spot in Dengeki G's Magazine].
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