Peach Girl Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C+

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: Revelation Films
  • MSRP: 15.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Peach Girl

Peach Girl Vol. #3

By Bryan Morton     January 02, 2008
Release Date: November 19, 2007

Peach Girl Vol. #3
© Revelation Films

What They Say
Field trips and flings from the past! Now that Sae's been exposed for what she really is, things look like they should calm down for just a bit. But when a silly prank goes too far, the stakes in this game rise ever higher. And when the wild card is played, it looks like Sae has the winning hand.

When times turn bleak, friends become invaluable. Luckily for Momo, Kairi has proven to be just that - a true friend. Whether it's hiking, homeroom, or just a shoulder to cry on, Kairi always seems to there when Momo needs him most. But when ghosts from his past begin to haunt the present, will it jeopardize the one thing that Momo has come to depend on? Next stop: heartache!

Episodes Comprise
10 - Peach Crisis
11 - The Unbearable Breakup
12 - The Peach Flower, Blossomed?
13 - Shock! An Ex-Girlfriend Barges In!

The Review!
The love rivalry between Sae and Momo continues to get nastier, while Sae plays her trump card – one that looks to win her the man she wants. But can she hold together a relationship with a boyfriend who doesn’t love her? And can Momo find love somewhere else? If nothing else, expect complications…

Audio is presented in English and Japanese 2.0 stereo – I listened to the Japanese track for this review, and you’d wonder in places why they even bothered with the second channel. Peach Girl is very heavy on the dialogue, which is firmly anchored to the centre channel, leaving the show sounding decidedly on the flat side. The opening and closing songs do make use of the available channels and sound a bit better, but that’s pretty much it as far as directionality is concerned. There were no obvious encoding problems.

Video comes in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect, and looks very good. The show makes extensive use of strong, bright colours and a simple animation style. The end result is a clean picture, with nothing in the way of obvious encoding problems.

No packaging was provided with our review copy.

As a little teaser for events of this volume, the menu this time around centres on an image of Momo and Kairi kissing. The OP plays throughout, and options for scene selection, language setup & extras are provided. With direct access to episodes from the main menu being almost standard these days, it’s a shame this disc doesn’t feature that, but otherwise these are perfectly serviceable & easy to use menus.

This volume provides another short VA interview, this time with Toji’s Japanese VA, and the usual creditless opening and closing songs.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Kairi's looking to take revenge on Sae for her mistreatment of Momo, and comes up with a scheme to do just that: by setting Sae up with a casting session for a rather dubious movie. Just to scare her, of course - but when he tells Momo what he's done, Momo's not happy and goes to rescue Sae. The girl just doesn't learn - and Sae's more angered at her rescue than grateful, believing that Toji and Momo were in on Kairi's plan, and from there her scheming just goes to a whole new level. Momo may have cut all contact with her after her last plan went awry, but Sae's aware that there's more than one way to skin a cat. Later, Momo gets to have a quality day out with Toji as they belatedly celebrate her birthday with a theme-park date - but all through the day, Toji's worried that Sae will go through with her threat to publish compromising photos of Sae and Jigoro. Is there nothing Sae won't lower herself to..?

My biggest issue with the previous volumes of Peach Girl were that it simply got too mean in places – I'm all for teenage angst, but there were moments where this series got downright nasty. Imagine my surprise, then, when this volume managed to raise the bar in the nastiness stakes, to the point where there were some scenes that just made me cringe, and really weren't entertaining to watch.

You see, Momo really doesn't deserve any of the bad things that happen to her in this series, and yet the story takes a perverse pleasure in constantly finding some new misfortune to heap on the poor girl. Any sign of impending happiness? Can't have that, here's a new plan by Sae to put a stop to that – or perhaps even a new rival, as two has to be better than one, right? Uh, no – not really. The one carrot that I'd held onto, over all the nastiness going on, was that at some point Momo would wreak her revenge and teach Sae a valuable lesson, but it's becoming ever clearer that Momo's just too nice to do that – and faced with another three volumes of more of the same, I have to say I'm not really looking forward to it.

This time out Sae resorts to blackmail to force Toji to break up with Momo and start dating her – a strange choice, as there surely can't be anything more awkward than spending large amounts of time with someone who positively hates you, but in Sae's case the desire to score points over Momo seems to override that issue. That leads to a series of scenes where Momo has to watch them fawning over each other, and has to deal with Toji's increasingly mean ways of trying to push her away – on one level, he's trying to be nice and protect her reputation, but the way he goes about it portrays him as someone who has a particularly nasty side to him.

Things don't get any better as the disc goes on, either. There are some moments of brief happiness for Momo, but each time they're brought to an abrupt end, and you can't help but feel sorry for her. You end up wanting good things to happen to her, to give her something to show her that life's not just a constant stream of heartache inflicted by others, but there's really no sign of that happening at the moment. With three volumes left to go, there is time for that to happen yet – but part of me has a sinking feeling that it's not going to happen, at least until very late in the series.

In summary:
Peach Girl has a great cast, but the rivalries are overplayed to such an extent that it's just become an exercise in how mean and nasty people can be to Momo – and she's just too sweet to do unto others as they've been doing unto her. The sheer level of meanness makes this volume a chore to watch, and with no end to it in sight I fear for how the rest of the series will turn out. That's a real shame, too – if the conniving and scheming had been toned down a bit, these episodes would have played out pretty much the same but have been far more enjoyable. As it is, Peach Girl is flawed – try before you buy.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Interview with Toji’s Japanese VA,Creditless Opening & Closing Sequences

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.


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