Chapter 7 begins with Yukari going Tokumori to get tea, and (unbeknownst to him), reunite with Miwako. As they head to the cafe, George passes by them, and doesn’t say anything. Yukari doesn’t know what to think of this, and spends a page just trying to figure out why George ignored her.
Some of Paradise Kiss has gotten better since I’ve gotten older, but not this scene. Yukari over-analyzes George’s non-reaction to her as only a teenage girl can. I would know. I used to do it, too. What might have been relatable to me ten years ago is now just annoying, and it makes me glad that I’ve matured beyond that mentality. Well, mostly.
Tokumori notices Yukari acting weird, and asks her if something’s wrong. This leads to a discussion about school and their futures, and Yukari learns that Tokumori has the same doubts that she does. Yukari is surprised by this, and her reflections confirm my suspicions that this is actually the first real conversation she’s had with him.
This is a strike against Yukari in my book. Through this read-through, I found that I liked her because she had her own doubts, along with a fairly cynical attitude that often matches mine. But idealizing someone without even trying to talk to them, this “love from afar”, just seems so immature.
When Yukari and Tokumori meet Miwako at the cafe, the two childhood friends are reunited in…a very awkward fashion. Yukari hadn’t warned either of them that the other would be there, wanting it to be a surprise. She hadn’t taken into consideration that Tokumori may have had feelings towards Miwako when they were younger, but that Miwako had chosen Arashi over him.
Yukari makes her escape from the awkward situation, leaving Tokumori and Miwako by themselves to catch up together. She decides to head, of all places, to the Paradise Kiss studio. There she runs into George, who tells her he didn’t greet her because he was jealous of seeing Yukari with another guy.
At this point, I’m sure that Yukari’s attraction to George is largely because she’s the only guy she’d been able to speak candidly with so far. Arashi is nothing but rude to her, and her relationship with Tokumori is distant at best. He also balances Yukari out in some aspects. He has passion and drive, whereas she is full of doubt and uncertainty. In fact, that’s the key difference between Yukari and the Yazawa Arts students: Yukari doesn’t know where she wants to go, but they know exactly what they want in their futures.
The end of this chapter marks the beginning of a possible relationship with George, but it feels rather superficial. This is maybe the fourth time we’ve seen Yukari and George talk to on another, and most of those conversations have been about modeling for the fashion show. He treats her more as a vehicle to showcase his work than as a person.
I’m trying to find the right words to explain just why I don’t like George, but I think what bothers me most about him is his sense of entitlement. Apart from his conversation with Yukari at the library – which he planned – he’s largely indifferent to her. Yet, he admits he was jealous of seeing her with someone else, a classmate who Yukari was well within her rights to be with. Additionally, he asks Yukari, almost mockingly, if she’s falling in love with him. Since the chapter ends there, we don’t see Yukari’s response other than some nervousness, and we don’t know if George will reciprocate a confession of feelings…or if he’s just trying to get under Yukari’s skin.