Wedding Peach Season 2 Complete Collection (of 2) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, November 16, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
What They Say
Don't look now, but there's a new girl in town! The Love Angels play cupid as they try to hook their friends Akiko and Tajima up on a double-date with Momoko and Yosuke! But the fire devil Igneous has other plans and unleashes a devil-wolf on our unsuspecting heroes. And as if fighting the devils wasn't hard enough, Momoko's got some new competition for Yosuke's love from the new transfer student... and boy is she jealous! Will she finally admit her true feelings? And who's that dressing up as Wedding Peach? Have the secret identities of the Love Angels finally been discovered?
The three Love Angels finally become a foursome, but not without some difficult trials.
For review purposes, 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 is a sturdy chipboard box, in keeping with the rest of ADV's thinpak series. As with the first collection, the background is a starry blue, with images of the Love Angels on the covers. One side features the three main Love Angels striking a pose, the other side has Momoko and Yosuke embracing as the other Love Angels celebrate behind them. However, showing Yosuke in his demon form seems to be a bit of a spoiler to me. The covers of the thinpak cases conforms closely to the singles release, featuring a frame around the cover image and lots of pastel colors. The discs are screentoned with line art of various characters. It's all well done and stops just short of clubbing you over the head with the shoujo-ness of it all.
The menus are similar in design to the back covers. Episode numbers and titles are listed down the left side of the cover, next to a film strip of screen caps, with character art on the right. Menus are easy to navigate and quick to load, with no transition animation.
As with the rest of ADV's thinpak collections, there are no extras. Previews for other ADV series are on the first disc only.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
First, a quick summary of the first season. Momoko is a junior high girl with an amazingly thick head of pink hair. She's a spirited and lively girl who lives with her widower father. She's in the newspaper club with her two best friends. Yuri is a sophisticated and beautiful young woman and Hinagiku is a spunky and athletic girl with a head of short green hair. The three of them are in love with Yanagiba, the captain of the school's soccer team. Over the course of the first season, Momoko slowly starts to develop feelings for Yanagiba's best friend and teammate Yosuke. The only problem is that Yosuke is constantly teasing Momoko, calling her Momo-Pi among other things. This all sounds like your typical junior high romance story, if it weren't for the fact that Momoko, Yuri and Hinagiku are the three Love Angels, helping the goddess Aphrodite protect Heaven from invading hordes of demons intent on wiping love from the face of Heaven and Earth. When they call on the powers of the Saint Something Four (as in "Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue"), Momoko, Yuri and Hinagiku transform into Wedding Peach, Angel Lily and Angel Daisy respectively and battle the demons that are trying to steal the Saint Something Four for themselves. In times of great danger, they are sometimes assisted by Limone, a handsome blonde angel who wields a sword in their defense. Their great adversary is Queen Raindevila of the Demon World, who was once rejected by an angel, and that humiliation has fueled her hatred of both angels and all people in love, and is at the heart of the ongoing war between Heaven and the Demon World.
The first season ended in the middle of a story arc. Hinagiku's childhood friend Takuro is a very intelligent but insecure young man. The devil Igneous uses that insecurity to take up residence inside his body and offer him success at sports and the arts to help him win the heart of Momoko, in exchange for his soul. The first three episodes of the second season end the Igneous storyline, as well as introducing a new adversay, Potamos. She's the cutest little devil in existence (or at least she thinks she is.) Takuro must struggle between finding the true identities of the Love Angels for Igneous, while trying to protect them from him at the same time. That leads to one of the funnier episodes of the whole series, when he takes on Wedding Peach's wedding dress to distract Potamos.
When Igneous is defeated, Potamos is tasked by Queen Raindevila with finding the last remaining piece of the Saint Something Four and defeating the Love Angels. To do that, she takes on a human form and attends the same school as Momoko, Yuri and Hinagiku. Things go from bad to worse as Potamos falls in love with Yosuke and becomes the soccer team's manager so she can get closer to him. Meanwhile, the true identity of Limone is revealed as the soccer team captain, the dreamboat Yanagiba. More than that, it's revealed that Yuri is the incarnation of an angel that Limone fell in love with many years ago, but she fell in battle with the demons. Now reunited, Limone/Yanagiba and Yuri start dating, ending the ongoing battle between the three girls to win his heart.
While on a winter vacation to a hot springs, the three girls finally meet the fourth Love Angel. She's Salvia, and she's out to destroy every demon in existence. She has no desire to cleanse them of their evil, like Momoko did with her faithful mascot and friend, the ex-demon Jama-P. Salvia just wants to slice them up with her sword. As quickly as she's found, she disappears again, leaving the girls wondering if they'll see her again. Meanwhile, there's a new teacher at school. He's incredibly strict and frowns on any public displays of affection, something our Love Angels don't like at all. He's actually a demon, sent by Raindevila to root out the Love Angels and destroy them. He's finally defeated when Limone sacrifices himself by throwing the two of them into Raindevila's Vortex of Destruction. But Yanagiba's still alive. He's lost all memories of being Limone, and of being in love with Yuri.
The girls find the true identity of Salvia. She's Scarlett Ohara, and she attends a very prestigious middle school nearby. We learn why she harbors such hatred for the devils, but they need to work together to use the full power of the Saint Something Four, something she's not willing to do. They're going to need that power, too. Two big developments happen at the same time. It turns out Momoko's mom isn't dead. She's Celeste, the sister of Aphrodite, which makes Momoko a half-angel. Celeste was lost on Earth 15 years ago after a fierce battle with a powerful demon and lost her memories. She married Momoko's father and Momoko was born. But then she regained her memories and had to leave. She didn't want to subject her family to the dangers of the demon's attacks, and felt a duty to return to heaven and protect it once again. But now that Momoko's become a Love Angel, she's returned to Earth to see her once again. On the other side of the battle, the demon Momoko's mother was battling all those years ago was also lost on Earth, lost his memories, fell in love and had a child. That son is Yosuke. His demon DNA is what was attracting Potamos to him all along. Now Momoko and Yosuke find themselves on opposite sides of the war between Heaven and Hell, but still in love with each other.
The final battle brings Raindevila herself down to Earth to fight the Love Angels. The four girls must figure out a way to free Raindevila from her hatred and anger if they're going to save Earth, Heaven, and even the Demon World.
The final disc is the four DX OVAs. One gets the feeling these were made for the male fans of Wedding Peach, since the fanservice factor is turned up several notches with swimsuits, pantyshots and much more revealing transformation sequences. It's several months after the final battle with Raindevila. Momoko and Yosuke are a happy couple, as are Yuri and Yanagiba. Even Hinagiku seems to be getting closer to her childhood friend Takuro. They've all lost all memories of the battles with the demons and of being Love Angels. Jama-P is still around, but he stays hidden with only Momoko's mom for companionship. But when the four girls all go to the beach for some relaxation (and not, coincidentally, plenty of opportunities for fanservice), they find a demon who has rejected the cease-fire and continues to fight. The girls are given back their memories of being Love Angels so they can fight this latest threat. The next episode focuses on Scarlett, as she and a rich businessman who looks an awful lot like Rhett Butler fall in love. But he has a secret that threatens to pull them apart. Then there is a group date on Christmas that has the three couples getting together. Everyone's fun date is interrupted by a surprise visit from Potamos, now living as a human. She may have been cleansed of her demonic hatred, but she's just as annoying and forceful as ever. Finally, the three girls exchange bodies with three cats on Valentine's Day, thanks to a demon who is trying to ruin the day for all the happy couples. Again, the fanservice is turned up as the bodies of the girls, inhabited by the minds of cats in heat, throw themselves at Yanagiba. Meanwhile, the Love Angels are stuck in the cat bodies with only Salvia (who, surprisingly, has a weakness for cats and absolutely adores them in their new bodies) to protect them.
Wedding Peach is a very silly show. I think that's why I like it so much. The second season delivered on the promise of the concept with great demons and an exciting finale. I was grinning from ear to ear as I watched it. The English dub was just as much fun. The main trio of Larissa Wolcott as Momoko, Heather Kafka as Hinagiku and Carla Witt as Yuri were all excellent. I also liked the work of Brian Jepson as Yanagiba/Limone, Gray Haddock as Yosuke and Josh Meyers as Takuro. The direction by Ron Berry was lively and spirited. For fans of the original Japanese dub, it's a powerhouse lineup of seiyuu. Plenty of A-List actors are in the show, from the leads of Kyoko Hikami, Yukana Nogami, Yuko Miyamura and Yuka Imai as the four Love Angels to Tomokazu Seki and Yuji Ueda as Yanagiba and Yosuke. Even the episodic and recurring characters bring in top-level talent like Takahito Koyasu and Mitsuishi Kotono. For fans of magical girl anime, this is a great series to pick up. ADV has done a fine job with its release.
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: A-
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: TV PG
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 700
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Wedding Peach