Wedding Peach Season 1 Complete Collection (of 2) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2006
What They Say
Love is on the run as the deliciously wicked Lady Raindevila conspires to rid the world of romance and ldove. But out of the chaos springs an unlikely hero-a young schoolgirl named Momoko. Armed with a mysterious ruby ring, Momoko and her two best friends, battle devils, save marriages, and still find time to go to shcool and chase boys!
Junior high girls fight hate-filled demons with love while wearing wedding dresses. What could possibly go wrong?
For review purposes, and also because I just like it that way, I listened to this series in its English dubbed format. The show is more than 10 years old now, so the sound is fairly basic, but it’s still strong. Battle sequences are especially well done, with sound flowing well from speaker to speaker. Dialogue was quite clear and I had no problems with drop outs or distortion.
For a show of this age, the colors still look great, with a nice vibrant tone. The transfer is very nice, with nearly no aliasing or cross-coloration. If it weren’t for the lack of 3D computer graphics, you’d never guess at its age.
The box thankfully avoids the “It’s a magical girl show so we have to paint it pink with a roller or people won’t get it” mentality. Blue is the dominant color. The front cover features Angels Peach, Lily and Daisy in their mini-skirted battle uniforms (and you’ve got to love the idea of battle uniforms that feature miniskirts) striking poses. The back cover is more of the same, but also showing them in their wedding dresses in the background. Apparently Momoko is the only one who will wear white on her wedding day, which is great news for fans of Yuri and Hinagiku. The front cover of each volume features a picture inside a frame. The first three volumes have one of the Love Angels, the fourth has the three of them, and the final one has the devil Igneus. The back covers use screencaps on a filmstrip, and a blurb to describe the contents. Episode numbers and titles are listed on each volume. The discs themselves use a single pastel color and line art of the love angels. Oddly enough, Yuri isn’t one of them. The overall design is basic but effective, cute, but not aggressively so.
The menus are similar in design to the back covers. Episode numbers and titles are listed down the left side of the screen, with character art next to it. Menus are easy to navigate and quick to load, with no transition animation.
As with nearly all of ADV’s thinpak sets, the only extras are previews, available on the first disc only.
(Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers) Momoko is a cheerful young girl with the biggest head of pink hair I have ever seen in anime. She’s a student at Saint Hanazono Middle School and a member of the newspaper club with her friends Yuri, a statuesque beauty with long flowing hair and a graceful demeanor, and Hinagiku, an energetic girl with short green hair and a tomboyish personality. Their favorite pastime is pining after Yanagiba, the captain of the school’s soccer team, and dream-boat extraordinaire. Getting in Momoko’s way is Yosuke, the soccer team’s goalie and Yanagiba’s best friend. His constant teasing of Momoko drives her mad, but it’s also clear he’s got more than teasing on his mind.
In the first volume, Momoko discovers she has the power to transform into Wedding Peach, working for the goddess Aphrodite. Helping the girls and serving as a bridge between the girls and Aphrodite is Limone, a handsome young man who appears from a golden staircase to assist and encourage the girls when they need it most. Four powerful magic items called the Saint Something Four have been spread out over Earth, and the evil Raindevila is attempting to capture them all. When Momoko turns into Wedding Peach, complete with full wedding dress and a bouquet that shoots a love wave, she finds herself fighting Pluie, a minion of Raindevila. He uses small demons to fight for him, but Wedding Peach is able to transform one of them, Jama-P, into her friend and mascot. Soon, Yuri is enlisted into the fight, becoming Angel Lily, and then Hinagiku discovers she’s able to transform into Angel Daisy. All those wedding dresses get in the way of fighting the baddies, but thankfully, they can do a further transformation what turns their dresses into mini-skirted battle uniforms, handy for the demon-chasing girl-on-the-go.
In the second volume, Pluie throws a bunch of different demons at them, including one that makes girls eat too much and get fat. Pluie also tries to drive a wedge into the girl’s friendship, but to no avail.
The third volume finds Pluie kidnapping Yosuke right when things start getting interesting between him and Momoko. The three girls are forced to enter Pluie’s hideout to rescue him, using Jama-P as a guide.
Volume 4 brings summertime and a new villain, Sandora, who can control fire. He uses his own trio of girls to try to defeat the girls and discover the location of the Saint Something Four. Fortunately, the girls are finding the different pieces of the Saint Something Four first, and using them to help power up their attacks. The final volume has a new villain with a new tactic. The devil Igneous takes control of a young genius student named Takuro who has a crush on Momoko, and forces him to sell his soul to him and do his bidding.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first put Wedding Peach into my DVD player. My first thought at seeing Momoko was “That’s an awful lot of pink hair.” But I found it to be a surprisingly enjoyable show. The three story arcs in 27 episodes kept it from being too repetitive, and the antics of the girls fighting for Captain Yanagiba’s attentions never got too annoying. The struggle of Momoko to balance her love of Yanagiba with her growing feelings for Yosuke was well-done and never overplayed. Another thing that helped was that the main cast never got too big. It gave more time to learn about and sympathize with the main characters. Even Jama-P was a fun character, since he was often the only voice of reason among the squealing girls. The English dub from ADV’s recently closed Monster Island studio in Austin Texas features some hilarious performances from Larissa Wolcott as Momoko, as well as Heather Kafka as Hinagiku and Carla Witt as Yuri. Brian Jepson as Captain Yanagiba and Gray Haddock as Yosuke are very well cast in their roles. The rest of the cast is mostly quite good, with only a couple of clinkers in the “devil-of-the-week” roles. These five discs contain the first season’s 27 episodes and ends on a bit of a whimper, but with another box scheduled for release soon, the rest of the show will not be long in coming. I look forward to it.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: TV PG
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 675
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Wedding Peach