Peach Girl Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 15+
  • 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. #5

    July 25, 2008
Release Date: July 21, 2008


Peach Girl Vol. 5
© Revelation Films

Momo's love life is going round in circles – while Kairi can't make up his mind between her and Misao, Toji's hanging around and looking for a second chance.  Will Momo give Kairi the time he needs to work out his own mind, or will she fall back into Toji's arms..?

What They Say

Kisses and chaos! With the world in tailspin and her heart set on a crash course, Momo's out of options. So when Sae steps up offering advice and assistance, things must be dire indeed. A summer job and a break from the romance, Momo seeks answers in the solace and the surf.

Episodes Comprise
18 – A Summer Seduction
19 – The Emotional Puzzle
20 – One Stormy Night
21 – Continuous Love Storm Warnings!

The Review!
Audio:
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:
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.
 
Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
As a little teaser for events of this volume, the menu this time around centres on an image of Momo and Toji embracing. 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.

Extras:
Along with a creditless version of the opening sequence, this volume has a Peach Girl Sneak Peek – a 3-minute preview of the series – and 2 print ads for the original manga series.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
After catching Kairi stealing a kiss from a sleeping Misao, it's fair to say that Momo's not really sure what to do next.  She can't take her frustrations out on Misao - she didn't know what was happening - and she already knew that Kairi had feelings for her, but knowing is one thing - seeing is another, and Momo's beginning to think that maybe they should have broken up.  Inadvertently, Sae becomes her shoulder to cry on over the incident, and just for once gives surprisingly useful advice.  Meanwhile, Kairi's finally being honest with Misao about his feelings for her...

Anyone who expected Momo's love life to go smoothly once she settled on Kairi clearly hadn't been paying attention to the rest of the series – it didn't take long for Misao to become an issue, and now that issue comes to a head that pulls the "happy" couple apart almost as quickly as they got together.  A lot of the blame for that lies with Kairi, who clearly hasn't been as honest with Momo as he should have been – but after all is said and done, I'm still rooting for him to be the eventual "winner".  He's the lesser of two evils, though - both Toji (under Sae's urging) and Kairi (through his own lack of honesty) have treated poor Momo pretty shabbily, all told, and Momo would probably be better off without either of them.  Momo is, of course, the main focus of these episodes – the ups and downs of her relationships are fairly predictable, but there's a certain amount of enjoyment to be had from watching events play out, in a certain train-wreck kind of way.

While Momo's story keeps much the same tone that it’s had all series so far, though, Sae's becoming a far more likeable and, after seeing some of the things she's gone through in search of true love herself, far easier to sympathise with.  That process starts with her being Momo's shoulder to cry on when the situation with Kairi blows up – instead of using the situation for her own advantage, Sae seems to truly care about what Momo's going through.  Later scenes dealing with her relationship with Ryo also show that she has problems of her own when picking appropriate men, and seeing that play out is one of the highlights of the disc.

The only real problem is that we've seen most of this before.  Some of the situations are reversed, but at heart it's the same old story of interference, dishonesty and teenage hormones that we've already had four volumes of.  Having a decent cast of characters makes it easier to handle the repetition, but it does make it a bit of a chore to watch the disc – especially if you try to get through all four episodes in one sitting.  Break it up, though, and it becomes easier to enjoy the ride.

In summary:
Another volume of Peach Girl brings more of the same – but since that has been quite enjoyable so far, it's not such a bad thing here.  Certainly a lot of the frustration that I felt at Sae in the earlier volumes has gone, as she continues to become a much more rounded and likeable character.  If the previous volumes have caught your attention, then this should be equally enjoyable.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles, Peach Girl Sneak Peek, Original Manga Advertisements, Textless Opening Sequence.

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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