銀座ネオンパラダイス | Neon Ginza Paradise
Mangaka: Unohana (ウノハナ)
Aoi reunites with his old friend Takahiko, who was sent to war. Takahiko’s family ran a kimono business for generations, but he was a selfish womanizer and they disowned him. His charisma made it hard to hate him though, and he and Aoi spent a night together… Afterward, Aoi feels alive again, but although they’re living together, Takahiko won’t touch him…… A love story set in the late-40s unfolds!!
I skimmed through this a few years back and swore that I would get back to this one day to relish at Takahiko and Aoi’s feels.
May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!
Neutral (¯ . ¯٥)
Neon Ginza Paradise was okay.
I’ve read the raws some few years ago and it tugged at my heartstrings, what’s with childhood friends and unrequited love story, all rolled into one. Add the side angst because the characters couldn’t seem to be true to their selves and just skirted around the topic altogether.
I guess the re-read kinda ruined the whole feels ride. I remember being quite taken in by the angst the first time I read this. I so wanted the two to be together and I still do. They are my favorite type of pairing, the charming but reckless light haired guy, and the serious and dark haired one.
But the time between my first read and my re-read meant that I’ve seen a lot of other pairings who talk things down. They try to understand their partners and sort their issues themselves. Unlike here, where Aoi and Takahiko seem to depend on Takahiko’s manager, Sayuri, to explain their sides to the readers. Yep, to the readers. Not to their lover.
For instance, the scene where Aoi discovered Takahiko’s feelings by talking to Sayuri. He also tried to understand by talking to her. I was bummed out because it could have been a great grand confession, something Aoi deserved after years of hurting and waiting for Takahiko.
At the beginning of the series, there was a flashback of how everything started. These were okay at first until they became jarring. Bits and pieces of it leaked through the present time without any warning that I had to pause to make sure of the timeline.
Positive ♡(｡- ω -)
If there was one thing that I absolutely adore, it had to be the title! I really loved its connection to Takahiko and Aoi. Most of their best and most cherished memories happened in that brightly-lit Ginza.
Neutral (¯ . ¯٥)
I loved Aoi and Takahiko. I really do. It’s just that they spend most of their time wallowing in confusion than sitting down and talking things out. It could have been a lot better than waiting and guessing for the other’s feelings.
Like the thing with Aoi’s boss where they had a fight. They obviously have to discuss things but they chose to storm off together. After Aoi let the steam off on Sayuri (yet again), they just went back to flirting and everything was swept under the rug.
Neutral (¯ . ¯٥)
The art is okay. Though as I’ve mentioned above, it would have been better for the flashback panels to have darker lines or just anything that would make it look different from the present time. So there’s some sort of a warning that tells the readers that it’s a recalling of a past event.
I kept on remembering C.S. Pacat’s words while reading Neon Ginza Paradise:
Liking a book is often not only a matter of personal taste, but of the exact moment in time that you read it: the book I read and loved at fifteen I might hate at thirty, and vice versa. – Goodreads
I loved this the first time I’ve read it.
But the re-read made me realize of all the things that could have been better, like the pacing and characterization. On the other hand, I also thought that there’s only so much a mangaka could do in a single volume.
✭ Highlights ✭
I adore their Ginza dates! It was drawn as if they were the brightest light in the sea of neon lights.
Available at Renta and MANGA.CLUB