Wedding Peach Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Info:

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

Wedding Peach Vol. #02

By Chris Beveridge     May 21, 2004
Release Date: April 20, 2004


Wedding Peach Vol. #02
© ADV Films


What They Say
The mystery of the Saint Something Four continues to unravel, as our three heroes are once again called upon to save the world from Raindevila's wicked plans. Sleep monsters, time demons and evil fortunetellers are summoned one by one to wreak their havoc on the world. And as if that weren't enough, there are still all those cute soccer boys to chase! But in perhaps his cruelest move yet, Pluie launches an even more diabolical plot of his own, one that very well might drive a wedge between Momoko, Yuri and Hinagiku forever. Can the power of love prevail to save this precious friendship?

The Review!
Wedding Peach leaps forward with another six episodes that work towards growing the bond between the three leads and giving us the standard devil attack of the week.

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:
With a clear keepcase, the cover artwork for this volume is really nice with a large shot of Yuri in her bridal outfit while to the side of her there's a cute shot of the three girls together in their school uniforms. Much like the previous volume, there's a heck of a lot of yellow around this cover instead of pink, but it all works very well with the theme of the show and the character. 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. There's no insert included here but there is a "reversible" cover where there's an image of the trio of girls in their full wedding outfits across the entire piece. It's not the same kind of reversible as other covers, but it's a good shot of them all together and smiling.

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 Yuri obscured in the yellow 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 disc are a clean opening and ending sequence.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Wedding Peach, as it moves into the second set of six episodes here, is very much following the traditional route that shoujo shows before it have blazed. While we've gotten all the introductions out of the way and the basic premise in the opening episodes, we're now in the phase where we get a number of standalone tales that follow the monster of the week pattern and allow us to get to know the girls better, their hobbies and interests as well as giving the girls time to really bond together better.

The one change that comes slowly in these episodes is something of an addition to the team. In the opening episode, Pluie's working on breaking up all the couples he can once more by causing the girls to eat lots and lots of food uncontrollably. This starts off with the school's "ideal girl" who is quite athletic. So she suddenly blimps out and can't stop eating even while talking and crying about it. Before the trio realize what's going on, it seems like a large number of girls from the school have blimped out overnight and don't know why it's happening. While trying to figure it out, Jama-P appears before them and basically tells them exactly what's going on. But since Jama-P was one of the bad guys up until now, even though he continually failed miserably, the girls don't trust him and in fact are quite hostile towards him. So he yells back and then goes off to sulk.

Of course, they eventually discover Jama-P was right in what he was saying and end up saving the day due to it. Over the course of the next several episodes, there's a slow level of trust going on between the trio and Jama-P that really works out well. As it goes forward, Jama-P seems to turn into an essential glue for the team in that he's something that helps them keep communicating as well as being able to provide some background on the various devils that come to attack people. He's still hard to take seriously based on his looks, never mind that heart-shaped tail, but his influence is definitely a positive impact on the girls and their performance.

The stories on this volume are still pretty fun even if they are fairly routine and formulaic. Since they all center on love and having Pluie and his devil of the week causing trouble, you know how it's going to end. The fun usually centers around the first half of the episode when the attacks start and the more personal time for the girls is given the focus as we see them dealing with different things. Their bonding episode is pretty well told as well, as Yuri and Hinagiku both decide to take up some other clubs and spend time there instead, which causes the bond to weaken between them. When that happens, the protection that they gain by being together in being near impossible to track weakens as well, which lets Pluie find Yuri in her non-transformed state. The weakened bond also brings about a change in that their magical items won't work either. It's a bit forced in some ways but it helps them to remember the bonds that they have forged so far and to try and get back to that.

In Summary:
Surprisingly, even with six episodes and formulaic plots, Wedding Peach goes by fast and is quite enjoyable. While I don't care for some of the changes made to the dub, it's pretty solid overall and it certainly keeps my four year old entertained. The fact that she's actively watching the previews so she can get psyched up for the next episode says a lot. The show is definitely aimed at young girls, maybe not as young as her, but she's enjoying it from both the costumes to the way they take care of those "bad old devils". Thankfully as anime continues to get more and more popular, the variety of shows continues to expand. While Wedding Peach isn't the most exciting thing I'm watching this year, it's one of the more enjoyable shows that I can spend time watching with my kids and talking about with afterwards.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Clean opening and closing animation

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.

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