Peach Girl Vol. #4 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Peach Girl

Peach Girl Vol. #4

By Chris Beveridge     August 17, 2007
Release Date: August 21, 2007


Peach Girl Vol. #4
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
While looks can be deceiving, Momo Adachi's no stranger to deception. She knows well there's two sides to every story... When Momo gets to the bottom of things, she's surprised to discover Kairi already there. The reformed playboy has been the one person by her side every step of the way. With realization, Momo's ready to relax into his embrace... But will her luck in love (or lack thereof) prove true?

And while Sae seems to have grown tired of Toji at long last, her new target may be even more trouble than she is. As Sae discovers what it's like on the other side of a lie, Momo's unearthing a few skeletons of her own.

Contains episodes 14-17.

The Review!
The relationships are all over the map as events in the past and present collide across multiple pairings.

Audio:
The series is presented in the two standard languages, both of which are done in a decent if unimpressive 224 kbps encoding. Neither track really features much in the way of dialogue placement and with it being a very dialogue driven show this gives it something of a flat feeling. The full sounding mixes carry it all well enough and there aren't any issues with it technically but it doesn't deliver all that much in terms of actual presentation. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2005, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Similar to a slew of other recent FUNimation series, the main area that's problematic here once again is the opening and closing sequences. While I don't believe more bits will fix every problem, the two areas here could certainly use a few more in order to smooth out problem areas that have break-up and heavy aliasing going on. The main show itself comes across well, mostly due to it being filled with lots of bright solid colors and not a lot of high energy animation for the most part. Some aliasing does show up throughout, typically during various camera pans, and there seems to be some edge cross coloration going on here and there. With the way the show looks I had initially thought it might have been from several years before 2005.

Packaging:
Using artwork that was either from a rental version or elsewhere, the main cover is an interesting version of Momo with her hair down and something of a dark look to her expression which is in sharp contrast to all the bright colorss. There's simply no mistaking what kind of series this is by the covers. Similar to a lot of Japanese releases, there is a good deal of white space around the characters. Add in the pink logo and heart around the volume number and it'd be easy to imagine this showing up at any number of women's accessories stores in malls across the country. It simply has a really good vibe to it that's positive. The back cover keeps to the general color scheme but introduces more soft colors through the various shots The summary covers the basics of the plot and the characters and there's a good listing of the discs features and total number of episodes. The technical grid of course is far too small to be useful at a quick glance as is most of the other production information crammed above it. As usual, no insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The main menu takes a shot from within the show that doesn't exactly give anything away but isn't the best image to use. With the character artwork and the generally vivid colors, it's a really solid piece even with the slightly less than rousing instrumental music tied to it. Though it's just a static piece, it shines quite a lot here and does a great job in selling it to the viewer as something fun to watch. Access times are nice and fast and navigation isn't much of an issue with the layout chosen. As usual, we had to go with manual language selections both due to angle issues and because the full subtitle track is listed as Japanese.

Extras:
The extras are a touch lighter for this volume but still enjoyable. In addition to the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences, an interview with the Japanese voice actor for Kairi is included which runs just over ten minutes long.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Peach Girl brings out another four episodes of pure angst and drama but this time turns the tables a bit so that Momo is the one who comes across as naïve and innocent. For all her complaining about Toji being suckered by Sae and her stories, she falls rather quickly for the tales spread by Ryo even as Kairi tells her to beware.

The four episodes for this volume have a focus mainly on Kairi's brother Ryo. Casually mentioned in the past, Ryo gets fleshed out a fair bit here as a programmer for a game company who doesn't exude what you would call anything like a nerdy look. He's a rather suave and good looking guy which makes it very easy to believe that he's stolen pretty much all of Kairi's girlfriends and interests over the years. It's very easy to see why Kairi is doing his best to keep them apart but circumstances seem to keep pushing them together after their first meeting. Circumstances that are being manipulated, albeit casually, by Ryo as he has strange ulterior motives.

Though Kairi keeps telling Momo that it was all about Ryo stealing his girlfriends, Ryo paints a far different picture. Yet even with all her experiences with Sae, Momo just can't see through what Ryo is saying to realize that he's exactly like her except older and a fair bit slicker. Ryo is almost a carbon copy of Sae in most other ways in what he does to get closer to Momo. It's hard to tell whether he's really serious about it or just trying to mess things up for his younger brother. Taking one of Kairi's calls, he even pretends to be Kairi for a bit in order to set up a date with her while also painting Kairi as being uninterested and uncaring. If Sae has a few more years of manipulation in her and she actually matures a bit, it's very easy to see her becoming like him.

The main angle of this set of episodes is the ramifications of Ryo's meddling in Kairi and Momo's relationship. Kairi is obviously concerned about what his brother is doing but it reveals an underlying issue in his relationship with Momo as we find that his past is much more involved than he led on. Momo has believed there to be something in his past with Morika based on a picture she's see, but it's actually Misao from the school that it's of. Everything in his past is tied together through this, including his first meeting with Momo as a result of things, and it just sets the stage for the remainder of the series as Momo now has to approach the entire relationship from a different angle.

Not quite as strong overall however is the subplot that runs along about Sae. She's always been conniving and looking out for number one and that's led her down some unseemly paths. Learning about Ryo has made her fall head over heel for him, even more so since she believes that Momo is pursuing him. She goes so far as to toss Toji to the side and becomes attached to Ryo at the hip. Ryo seems to see a lot of himself in her however and is going about using her as much as he can while toying with her at the same time. The job he gets her to earn some extra cash for summer vacation leads to a similar situation that Momo herself was in. This is something that seems to happen to Sae every now and again but she never seems to really learn any lessons from it. Even when she becomes humble it doesn't take long before she's back to her old tricks, unhappy and unloved as always.

In Summary:
Though in a lot of ways this is more of the same, Peach Girl has a good deal of growth and exposition to it as Kairi is examined. The angst and drama is just as high and ridiculous as before, leaving you wanting to smack all of them, but they're teenaged kids in love. It's expected. Momo gets to see things from the other side this time around and she actually has to be aggressive in the relationship with Kairi if she really wants to save it. Though it may be a guilty pleasure, Peach Girl simply provides a good number of laughs, eye-rolling and general hilarity as it plays out. It's not exactly over the top but it just goes so far in making trouble for all the couples that you just want to see how much worse it can get for them.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Closing,Voice Actor Interview

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 480p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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