Living in Atlanta for three years helped to dispel many myths (no, the Tara Plantation has never been real and no, there aren’t any peach trees to be found in Atlanta) and reinforce a few stereotypes (yes, southern folk are hospitable and yes, itâ€™s called the Dirty South for a reason). I miss the humid summer nights, live oaks, the curious ability of kudzu to engulf anything within a couple of weeks if not tamed and the steady stream of pleasant surprises. Coming across Oxford Comics was one of those pleasant surprises, and it still has my vote for best comic book shop. Through the ownerâ€™s well-organized, comprehensive inventory I stumbled onto many wonderful finds, like the fashion manga, Paradise Kiss.
Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss Volume 4, Los Angeles, Tokyo: Tokyopop, 2003. The cast of characters from left: Arashi, George, Isabella and Miwako - caged is “the heroine”, Yukari
Originally published with the English translation in 2002, Ai Yazawaâ€™s Paradise Kiss centers around fashion model Yukari and George, Isabella, Arashi and Miwako of the Paradise Kiss atelier. Yazawaâ€™s unique style and romantic, youthful storyline make this manga one of my favorites.
Miwako from Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss Volume 3, Los Angeles, Tokyo: Tokyopop, 2002.
Miwako and Yukari from ParaKiss Volume 4, Los Angeles, Tokyo: Tokyopop, 2003.
Miwako from ParaKiss Volume 2, Los Angeles, Tokyo: Tokyopop, 2002.
Yukari from ParaKiss Volume 1, Los Angeles, Tokyo: Tokyopop, 2002.
In 2005 the Paradise Kiss anime debuted in Japan and ran for 12 episodes. It has recently been licensed by a US anime company. Here is a translated sample from the first episode, which includes the catchy opening theme song: