Mania Grade: A-
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- 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. #09
By Chris Beveridge
January 31, 2005
Release Date: February 08, 2005
Wedding Peach Vol. #09
What They Say
© ADV Films
Time is running out as the Dark Queen Raindevila decides to come down to earth herself to deliver her final blow and personally destroy Wedding Peach! Meanwhile, Yanagiba still can’t remember who he really is, Celeso is unconscious, and it’s looking more and more like Yosuke is in fact really a devil! Sounds like the perfect time for a wedding! Hold on tight, as the sparks begin to fly in this heart pounding conclusion!The Review!
Bringing the TV series to a conclusion, more truths are revealed and the battles become personal as Raindevila lays it all on the line.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 Wedding Peach series continues to get some of the best looking covers coming out of ADV lately. Capping it off perfectly, it's a wedding cover with a very happy Yousuke and Momoko together coming out of the very detailed church surrounded by everyone in their finest clothes. This is just a great looking cover and with as many good ones as there are, it's got me interested in art books for this series now. The colors are just so rich and vibrant here that it's very eye-catching all around. 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. The bottom of the back cover provides a good summary of the technical features on the disc as well. There's no insert included here but there is a "reversible" cover where there's a good looking tall image where all four of the girls are together in their battle uniforms as well as Yousuke in Viento mode all smiling and happy.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 from the cover 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 disc are a clean opening and ending sequence.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the last volume of the series, the final six episodes manage to provide even more entertainment and surprises but it doesn't quite manage to capture the same kind of feelings, mostly because there was just such a rush of new things, relationships and revelations that came together so smoothly that anything else at this point is just gravy. There's still more to be found out here during the final stretch of the series though and as it all comes together it does so just right and results in a very satisfying series.
Things have ended up in a fair bit of chaos with all the revelations. Limone's been shocked into a pure Yanagiba mode and doesn't have any recollection of being involved in the war or being Limone at all. His loss of those memories have also caused his romance with Lily to fade into nothing as well, something that still aches for her but she's doing her best to just be close to him. This actually works out rather well since there's no real competition anymore as Momoko is so smitten with Yousuke now and even Daisy is realizing just how good things can be with Takuro that Yanagiba isn't even much of a player anymore. The back and forth of all the relationships is one of the big attractions of the show and it's a real highlight here, particularly between Yousuke and Momoko since each is dealing with so much.
Their relationship of course takes center stage across the last arc since their love is going to be key to defeating Raindevila. After all, there's a war between the devils and the angels and if two of them can find true love and happiness, that's one of the best ways to bring a war to an end in a fictional universe like this, particularly one where the entire war is based off of a misunderstanding. One of the neat things we get to learn in this arc is some of the background material on the Rafaal tribe itself and Yousuke's father. Since he was accidentally cast into the human world and ended up spending time and marrying there as well as siring a son, his return to the demon world didn't go as smoothly as Celeste's did and he ended up being nowhere near the warrior he once was. Shown through flashback, we see how he was taken from the human world and returned to service as a devil warrior only to be disposed of by Raindevila for his poor performance.
The added motivation for Yousuke for revenge is strong there but his father manages to appear to him once before things really heat up and we learn more of what the Rafaal tribe is really like as well as what the demon world was like before Raindevila conquered it with her immense hate and power. Combining all of these elements together along with Raindevila's misunderstanding, Momoko and Yousuke's powerful love and the addition of the Saint Something Four and we get a show that moves fast towards a final confrontation. Having tired of everything, Raindevila brings herself down to earth to let the evil that is in her body take true root there and cause more mayhem. Everything plays out in a great epic fashion and we get an ending that's not surprising and fits perfectly for the show. For the first time since her introduction, I actually felt bad for Saliva with how she was at the very end here.
As mentioned with the previous volume, Wedding Peach had gone from a "what a corny sounding show, it must be awful" view back in the mid 90's to something that I've really enjoyed as an actual pleasure now in 2005. This is a show that I would have easily passed on myself if I wasn't doing reviews but am glad that it worked out like it did. The series structure and layout works so much better than the manga and the progressions throughout it are much more organized and plotted so that the evolution of things doesn't feel like a huge run of filler then a couple of key mythos and then back to the filler again. Though there are obviously episodes that could have been cut, the key story is so integrated into the overall show that not much could have been cut without altering things heavily.In Summary:
A lot of series are about the journey but not the ending which are typically either left so far open for future exploitation or are just ended so badly that you don't even care. Wedding Peach brings its TV run to a solid ending here that allows you to reminisce about the journey and realize just how well that was done while also enjoying the ending and just how on the mark it was. It hits that epic level without going terribly over the top and brings things to a very satisfying conclusion where you can easily see the changes in the characters from the beginning but know that there is much more under the surface. Much more than Sailor Moon, this is the series to hook young girls on these days and to encourage them to watch and enjoy. When they go back to re-watch it years from now, they'll rediscover the joy and it'll bring them into a whole new realm of shows. I'm extremely glad that I got past some of the corniness of the show and got to enjoys the real guts of it. Very recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Closing
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.