Wedding Peach Vol. #01 (also w/box) - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98/39.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Wedding Peach

Wedding Peach Vol. #01 (also w/box)

By Chris Beveridge     February 29, 2004
Release Date: March 09, 2004



What They Say
Love is on the run as the deliciously wicked Lady Raindevila conspires to rid the world of romance and love! However, armed with a mysterious ruby ring left by her mother, the unsuspecting Momoko finds herself caught in the middle of this cosmic battle. She's cute, she's sassy, and she's full of love! But will it be enough?

The Review!
Girls who turn into brides on demand. If that doesn't strike fear into most men, I don't know what will.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its English dubbed format. The show is getting close to its ten year anniversary, so it's not surprising that the track here is a pretty basic but good sounding stereo mix. There doesn't feel to be a huge amount of directionality across the forward soundstage but there are a few good moments during some of the combat sequences. Dialogue was clean and clear throughout the show and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing back in 1995, Wedding Peach's transfer is surprisingly clean and clear looking. Though I hadn't expected something bad looking, I was expecting something closer to Sailor Moon since the two have been tied together whenever one is talked about for so long. The transfer here is quite smooth and full of lots of great colors. Even better, aliasing is minimal and I'm hard pressed to find much cross coloration here. This really looks quite good across all six episodes on the dual layered disc, much better than I expected it to be.

Packaging:
For this review, we're looking at the box set edition with the bonus disc. The keepcase for the release is actually set to hold two DVDs, one on each side, to allow for not having a separate keepcase in the box edition taking up space. The cover artwork for this volume is really nice with a large shot of Momoko in her brides costume while she and the other two angels also float next to her in their other transformation outfit. There's a heck of a lot of pink here and a lot of white as well, but there's just something very appealing about it, right down to the wedding bells in the logo. The back cover provides a filmstrip running from top to bottom with small shots from the show throughout it. The summary gives the basic rundown of the premise and there's a good box listing the discs features and extras on the bonus disc. The bottom of the back cover provides a good summary of the technical features on the disc as well, breaking down the run time for both the main disc and the bonus disc also. Strangely, the bonus disc is listed as having the same runtime of 150 minutes. Since both DVDs are inside this case, there's no insert to include but there is a ?reversible' cover where there's an image of the trio of girls across the entire piece. It's not the same kind of reversible as other covers, but it's a cute image of them all together and smiling.

For the box set release of this show, it's full of pink. My god it's pink. Using a wraparound image, the main panels have images of Yuri and Hinagiku in their bridal outfits while the spine image is a big shot of Momoko in hers with a big smile. It's all quite cute and definitely lets you know exactly how the show is. The box set release is special for also being the only way to get that bonus disc of extras as well as a inflatable beach ball. I didn't inflate ours since it'd be crushed quickly by tiny hands, but from what we can tell it's quite pink itself with some character artwork all over it.

Menu:
The menu is very nicely done, laid out just like the back cover with a small filmstrip along one side with pink filtered clips from the show playing out to part of the music from the series. The main section of the menu has an image of Momoko obscured in the pink filter as well with clouds passing over her. Each episode can be jumped right to it from the main menu and the usual layout of languages and extras sit off somewhat awkwardly to the side. Access times are nice and fast and the layout looks great overall.

Extras:
The only extras included on the main disc itself are a clean opening and ending sequence.

The extras disc looks filled. There's a ten minute "Angel Robo" episode, amusingly numbered at 10,256, but is Japanese language only. This is really fun since it turns the show into something of a giant mech parody on both sides. The "Furil" promotional video is included, which runs about four minutes and features the voice actresses from the show singing and performing as well as just goofing around. The Japanese cast and staff interview section runs about twenty-five minutes, but we only skimmed that in a few places due to it being done after the first half of the series was complete, so there's a big spoiler warning right from the start.

The original Japanese opening is presented here as well, complete with the lyrics along the bottom, which is always a nice touch. The clean opening and ending sequences are also presented here again. The English cast also get their own chance to shine here as there's a fifteen minute interview session with them as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Wedding Peach is a series that has caused laughter among fans for years just based on its name alone. Then if you actually tell them the premise you're usually guaranteed to cause them to fall to the floor laughing, providing their imagination hasn't already caused them to do that. Having heard about it myself for years, the ingrained image of it being what it likely is, a cash-in on the Sailor Moon concept, hasn't left me all that interested in the show. So I never paid it much mind nor read much more about it once it was licensed, since I'd like to be at least somewhat surprised.

And surprised I was.

The premise is simple. We're introduced to three junior high school girls, Momoko, Yuri and Hinagiku. They're all good friends and are bright cheerful upright students of the day. They're also like most girls who go to this particular junior high in that they're madly in love with the captain of the soccer team, Yanagiba. Their aspirations for love are routinely foiled by Yousuke though, the goalie who looks out for his captain and likely has something of an interest in one of the girls himself, since the old adage of a boy picking on a girl generally indicates some affection that's hard to display otherwise.

Momoko is our lead character though. Her tale is fairly typical for a lot of anime in that she lives alone with her father, Shouichirou, as her mother passed away some time ago. Her father is a competent and popular photographer, so he's often gone and about for lengths of time as well as being the perfect person that helps Momoko get to travel to new places. In the opening episode, we see Momoko trying on her mothers wedding dress and dreaming of the day she can get married only to have both her father and friends catch her. Her father realizes how much her mother she looks like while her friends think she's just over the top in things she does. But a piece of jewelry she keeps on from that tryout ends up changing things for her.

As expected, there's evil trying to do something to the world, and that comes in the form of Raindevila, the dark oppressive woman of elsewhere who wants to obliterate love and romance from the world. She uses her main henchmen, Pluie, to go to Earth and cause problems, such as getting lovers to attack each other, mothers and daughters to become enemies and so forth. But for every evil there's good, and for this it comes in the form of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. She ends up coming to Momoko via the ring and turns her into Wedding Peach, her warrior of love on the human plane. With someone like Momoko as the warrior of love and good, you can expect the villains to be fairly incompetent. And when her two best friends eventually become recruited to be Angels with her, each gaining their own bridal dresses and transformation abilities to the more sexy Greek styled combat uniforms, they get to start taking on stronger villains and dealing with more complex situations.

Well, as complex as all of this can really get. This is at its core a magical girl show and those have certain rules that they have to follow, and Wedding Peach follows them all so far. That isn't a slam against it at all however, as the show is very competently done. I'm finding it hard to put my finger on it exactly, but there's a certain charm to the show that won me over very quickly, especially in the English version. I haven't even touched the Japanese version. I think part of it is that it doesn't feel as dumbed down as I've come to expect a show like this since the only other one along these lines that we have is Sailor Moon. It doesn't look terribly much like that series and it doesn't play out quite the same either. Momoko's not the swiftest girl on the planet, but she's not Serena or Usagi. There's something charming in Momoko and her friends in how they compete but are close friends and how their friendship slowly changes as they realize they're all part of the Angels and don't have to hide things like that.

In Summary:
As I get older and my girls get older, I find myself looking for more shows that I can watch with them in English so that they can get more enjoyment out of it and actually connect with it more. Once they can read properly, the shift backwards will begin for their shows (as we're still mostly Japanese language track oriented), but for now when a show like Wedding Peach comes along, we watched it in English with them. With it being aimed at her age group and up, it's fascinating watching how easily she connects with it and finds humor in things that are obvious and some that aren't. I end up taking enjoyment in her enjoyment of the show. After all, if I can watch four years worth of Teletubbies, listening to dubs is a snap.

Wedding Peach is a surprisingly enjoyable show though. It plays to the strengths of the genre but goes over the top with the love concept by utilizing the bridal costumes. I think this is somewhat of an overkill in being used against the show though, because there is so much that is enjoyable here it gets vilified for the lesser evils. While I'm not a big fan of Sailor Moon, I can see that better materials and more enjoyable cast making me something of a Wedding Peach fanboy as time goes on. Taking in six episodes in one sitting and enjoying all of them with my girls is an experience that I enjoyed quite a lot and I can't wait to see more of it with them.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Closing,Angel Robo Wedding Peach,Furul Promotional Video,English Voice Actor Interviews,Japanese Staff and Cast Talk Show,Original Japanese Opening

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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jnager 3/13/2012 10:18:23 PM

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