Manga Review: Paradise Residence, vol. 1 / by Kosuke Fujishima

Paradise Residence Vol. 1Paradise Residence Vol. 1

by Kosuke Fujishima

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An a-typical seinen slice-of-life comedy about high school girls dorm residents. A-typical in that most of the jokes used in this book can be found in any comedy series about all-girls schools… But, they are all fun situations.

You may find this a bit frustrating if you’re looking for a “story”, or “character development”. This is complete situational comedy. Fujishima has taken his own stock characters, rebranded them, and thrown them into a relatively new location. It’s basically “You’re under arrest”, except the girls are students instead of cops. Each situation is resolved within a chapter making this an easy book to dip in and out of. Actually, you will probably enjoy this more if you take breaks between each chapter.

There are drawbacks to the episodic nature. It allows the author to publish works out of order, or to captalize on origin stories, compiling them at a later date. It appears that this has happened here, where some early situations are published later in the volume… a volume 0?

Art-wise, all I can really say is this is soooo Fujishima. This is not your typical art of modern manga. Especially not of manga featuring young girls whose target readership is men… Yes, there is some nudity (aka fan-service), but it serves a function as a mode for comedy and not so much for titillation. I’m usually put off by fan service, because it’s not targeted to me… this I didn’t mind so much.

Generally the character design is stark. Girls are drawn as girls with as realistic shapes as you can expect in comics. Rendering and shadowing is clean, but simple. And screen tone use is purposeful, but limited. The art still has the flavour of 90’s manga, which I really respond well to.

Overall. I enjoyed this title and would recommend it. If only to get a wider view of what manga is.

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