3.681 out of 5 from 77 votes
Keito Aoyama was a famous child actress until a traumatic event occurred, causing her to retire early. Afterwards, she refused to attend school and successfully shut out all of the people around her. Now, Keito has chosen to spend her days alone, until one day she meets a man who takes her to El Liston, a free school for people like Keito who don't fit in anywhere else. As Keito attempts to overcome her past, she learns to confide in others and befriends Rei, Kouichi, and Momiji. Will her friends be able to help her in this new stage of her life at El Liston, or is it already too late for Keito to start over?
Similar premise in both: girl who used to be a child model/actor quit her career after a traumatizing event where she was replaced with someone else. Afterwards, she became withdrawn until one day, she gets spotted by a guy who leads her to reboot her career. Both manga have a subtle romance and follow the girl as she regains her career while fighting stagefright.
Very similar in tone and characters! The girl is a shy, glasses-wearing person who cheers on her friend. Her friend is one of the top models and has a cool aura but he is actually a geeky person in private. A picture of them together is seen and his company decides to take the girl on as a new model. The girl must combat her shyness to stay in the model biz and the guy must learn to be less overprotective/dependant on the girl while hiding his true geeky self. In both manga, the guy's old self wore the exact same nerd glasses with swirls! The female protagonists of both manga have the same hairstyle when they model. In Mishounen Produce, the girl puts her hair in braids when she's not modeling. There's some model biz rivalry in here too with an affable rival who finds the girl interesting and sometimes offers job opportunities (that may be traps!) for our main duo.
*SPOILER* Both end with the "lovers part because one has to train abroad" cliche that we all hate.
Yukari Hayasaka is a serious student who is held to high expectations by her overbearing mother. Excelling at her studies used to be her life's focus until one day she meets a group of fashion students who decide Yukari would be the perfect model for their latest design. While Yukari resists at first, she slowly comes to love this group of people who are living a life so different from her own. She also develops feelings for the lead designer, George Koizumi, and becomes close friends with Miwako Sakurada, her boyfriend Arashi Nagase, and Daisuke "Isabella" Yamamoto. Having these new friends in her life inspires Yukari to stop living her life the way her mother wants; so she strikes out on her own instead, determined to find what will make her happy.
There is a similar theme of expressing one's self through fashion and modeling which the protagonists in both Film Girl and Paradise Kiss struggle to do. Both protagonists have a budding romance with the guy who introduced them to modeling. In both Film Girl and Paradise Kiss, the girl has to deal with a disapproving parent who wants her to study rather than model. The ending is similar too.
*SPOILER* The girl and the guy have to part ways because the guy is leaving for Paris to continue his training in modeling/fashion while the girl stays behind in Japan to further build her career. However, in one of the manga, they separate with the promise of reuniting once they've both achieved success in their careers and in the other manga, they've broken up because of the separation. However, the break up is a positive change for the girl. *END SPOILER*
Paradise Kiss has much more drama and deals with the issues such as parental disapproval and choosing between career and love in a more serious way than Film Girl. Film Girl is more lighthearted and doesn't make the romance as prominent a focus as Paradise Kiss. In Paradise Kiss, the romance is a source of drama too and the characters clash with each other. I loved both for their stories, characters and the beautiful high fashion clothing the models in these stories wear.
Even the names of these manga are similar! Film Girl and Plastic Girl are both about an aspiring female model who has the weakness of being nervous in front of the camera sometimes. The protagonist of Plastic Girl is lively and outgoing when she's not in front of the camera. The protagonist of Film Girl is a shy, reserved person who becomes more confident when she can act like a different person under the spotlight. In both, the love interest turns out to be a model too. Recommended for anyone who wants a fluffy short read under 10 chapters.