So I ended up taking a bit of a break from looking at manga for a couple of weeks, but now the MCM London Comic Con is done I’ll be getting back into it. I will be looking some of the manga I picked up from there. Once I’ve done that, I’ll return to looking at Bleach once more.
Now, however, it is the third and final volume of Kosuke Fujishima’s Paradise Residence that I will be turning my attention to.
There are a total of eight ‘episodes’ in this volume of the manga, starting with episode 14. Paradise Residence reaches its conclusion in its twenty-first episode.
Save the dorm!
Summer comes to an end, and the residents of Kikka Academy’s Dormitory One are looking forward to a new semester of fun and adventure. With the change of seasons also comes plans to renovate the dormitory, but when the school’s chairwoman falls ill and is temporarily replaced, those plans and the future of Dormitory One find themselves in jeopardy. Takanashi, Misawa, and the rest of the girls are not going to take things sitting down, and they formulate a plan to rescue their beloved dorm. But can they put together the resources to pull it off, and can they outwit the conniving deputy chairperson behind it all?
That was the blurb, and with that out the way, let’s take a look at the first episode of volume 3. It is episode 14: ‘All Their Adventures’. Whilst Hatsune is out playing tennis, Suzuka goes out on an adventure.
Hatsune and Suzuka are reunited later on, with the latter exhausted and starving. Hatsune, Suzuka and Tachiarai take a bath together, but Suzuka ends up falling asleep during. She wakes up in her bad later on, and finds that Hatsune had prepared some onigiri for her. By the end of the episode, Suzuka has acquired a two-wheel license for up to mid-size motorcycles – and is revealed to be a license-getting maniac.
Up next is episode 15, ‘Homecoming’. Suzuka ends up staying over at Hatsune’s house during the Obon holiday. It’s the first time Suzuka has ever met Hatsune’s family, so she’s a little nervous about it. It doesn’t take long for Suzuka to get used to them, and by the end of the episode, it seems that all of the Takanashis want to marry Suzuka – yep, even Hatsune’s mother.
Episode 16 follows that, and it is called ‘Shift Change’. Suzuka is allowed to borrow a motorcycle, so both she and Hatsune go out for a ride together – it is Suzuka’s first time riding on public streets. Despite making a mistake that shakes her up, Suzuka is keen to continue riding – it is an adventure, after all. One that she happy to share with Hatsune.
It’s back to school for Hatsune in episode 17, ‘Goddess’. Of course, she ends up running late, but she gets a little help from the board chairwoman. Though Hatsune avoids being late, she hadn’t done her homework.
Ominato (AKA Minchin-sensei) discusses renovating Dormitory One with the board chairwoman. However, the chairwoman collapses.
This brings the arrival of the deputy chairwoman – the daughter of the chairwoman. She thinks Dormitory One should be rebuilt instead of just renovated and insists on tearing it down.
Whilst Hatsune is fretting over her homework with Suzuka by her side, they overhear Ominato having a conversation with one of the other girls.
Episode 18 is ‘The Dorm One Breeze’, in which the news about Dormitory One being torn down is told to the girls. Ominato says she can’t oppose the deputy chairwoman’s decision, but she encourages the girls to not acquiesce to power. After the conversation, the girls start discussing plans to save their beloved dormitory.
The deputy chairwoman is invited to take a look at Dormitory One, and is almost knocked out by ‘lady-killer’ Tachiarai’s greeting. Despite their best efforts, they are unable to persuade the deputy chairwoman to change her mind.
In episode 19, it comes down to ‘The Final Option!!’. The Dorm One girls collect signatures opposing the demolition of their dorm, whilst the deputy chairwoman reads up on the history of Kikka Academy.
The girls are able to collect 512 signatures, but when it comes to the matter of money they are beat. The girls of Dorm One discuss alternative options – ideally they’d need something financially advantageous.
The girls even go to Dormitory Two for help – even Hatsune bows her head in seeking their aid.
‘Dorm Festival Eve!’ is the title of episode 20. Suzuka does some research into Matsuri Itami – the deputy chairwoman – and discovers a social media account.
The girls continue to work on their plan to save Dormitory One, even asking for Ominato’s help. They intend to have a dorm festival, and want everyone to get involved.
Their plans are put into motion, and the day of the dismantling arrives.
Bringing the story of Paradise Residence to a close is the 21st and final episode, ‘Kikka Dormitory One’.
The deputy chairwoman arrives with a construction company ready to dismantle Dormitory One. The Dorm One girls welcome them to the Kikka Dormitory One’s Dorm Festival – and this is where they find out if all their effort will pay off. If you want to know whether it did or not, then you’re going to have to read the manga yourself.
Not much at the end of this volume, just the typical translation notes. That wraps up Paradise Residence, and I have to say it was a fairly enjoyable read. I doubt it will do much to convert those who don’t enjoy slice-of-life comedy series, but there’s plenty here for fans of that genre to like.
I also like how the third volume introduces a little drama concerning Dormitory One – most of the other stuff was typical inconsequential slice-of-life stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy that kind of thing, but seeing all the girls band together and even put aside differences with rivals makes for an interesting last few chapters. This gives the characters, and story, something to focus on for its denouement.
There’s also some fairly light yuri subtext present – which I guess is something of a given, considering its setting. I do like the relationship that Hatsune and Suzuka share – whether it be Suzuka missing Hatsune when she’s absent, or Hatsune pretty much admitting she would marry Suzuka given the chance.
There’s also Tachiarai, who is acknowledged as a ‘lady-killer’. Actually, since I’m talking about other characters, I’m a little sad that British exchange student Stephanie didn’t get to do too much. If anything, her role was mostly fanservice – which is a shame, because I’m a big fan of seeing British characters in anime. Being British myself, I always like seeing how that’s interpreted by other cultures.
I guess the rest of the supporting cast isn’t too bad, either, though some stick more firmly in the mind than others.
There’s a fair amount of fanservice to be found in Paradise Residence, as well. Whilst Stephanie is probably the character who most contributes to this, we do get bath scenes featuring multiple girls, and we do have a beach ‘episode’ in which the bikinis come out. I’ve never been particularly bothered by fanservice, but if it is something that puts you off than Paradise Residence won’t be for you.
Overall, Kosuke Fujishima’s Paradise Residence probably won’t convert those who aren’t into the slice-of-life genre. However, if you like your ‘cute girls doing cute things’ to be a little more mature-looking than typical, this series will be right up your street. In my opinion, I reckon Paradise Residence is a pretty solid read.