Yotsuba&!, Pluto, Lone Wolf & Cub, 20th Century Boys, Solanin.
It’s been a very Manga few months in my world.
I’ve read Manga for a few years, Lone Wolf was one of the first series I ever started buying back when I picked up the comics habit, but I’ve been very choosy, sticking to creators that I love and not venturing much further until enough buzz is generated in my earshot around a particular book, hence the full-on Urasawa love affair of this summer.
Ai Yazawa is totally different in that I’d never come across a single word about her before I picked up Paradise Kiss. ParaKiss leapt of the shelves at me, like very few books ever have, and one flick through volume 1 sold me hard enough to pick up the first 3 books instantly.
It’s a pretty big deal for me to take a chance on parting with cash on something I haven’t already looked into already, and that goes double for Manga.
David Uzumeri suggested I blog some more, so I’m going to re-read ParaKiss this weekend. Whether I post as I go, or wait and do a larger piece early next week (or forget the whole thing) remains to be seen.
To start off here’s a brief piece I wrote for a review thread on Barbelith, back on the 17th July, 2007:
Not a new release, but I picked up the first three volumes of Paradise Kisstoday. I just finished the first book and have ordered the final two.
It’s a “fashion manga” about Yukari, a simple girl, with a simple crush on a simple guy who want’s nothing more than to do well on her exams and make her parents happy. That is until she’s “kidnapped” by the members of the Paradise Kiss design studio, a bunch of art students who want her to model their final project.
The character designs are really strong, punky Arashi, Loli-doll Miwako, towering transvestite Isabella, and proud bi-sexual head-designer, George. It takes all of ten pages and they’re all complete people in your head.
So far the plot has dealt with Yukari:
1.becoming dissilusioned with study after finally meeting people doing what they want, and being excited about it.
2.Falling head of heels in love with George, and out of it with her school boy crush (who is in love with Miwako, who is in a relationship with Arashi (And in love with school boy crush))
3.Agonising over whether or not to take the modelling job, she’s doing badly enough at school as it is.
It doesn’t sound special, but everything happens with such incredible pace, with an amazingly refreshing sense of humour, that you can’t help but be swept along. I haven’t been so caught up in a book for so long, I even let out an “Oh No!” when Yukari realises that George has read her student pass, which contains a picture of her (almost) forgotten crush.
I really dislike re-reading old things I’ve written…
If I don’t find anything interesting to say about ParaKiss or I do and enjoy myself, I’ll probably blog a little about Lone Wolf and Solanin (Which I re-read this very afternoon.)