Wedding Peach Vol. #10 (DX) - 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: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Wedding Peach

Wedding Peach Vol. #10 (DX)

By Chris Beveridge     March 14, 2005
Release Date: March 22, 2005


Wedding Peach Vol. #10 (DX)
© ADV Films


What They Say
This trying to save the world business is hard work, especially when you’re not even in high school yet. And just when you thought things were getting back to normal, a wave of new devils has begun to show up. Throw in a headless demon and a chocolate monster and somebody better go get the Love Angels real fast…that is if they still remember who they are!!! After purifying the evil Queen Raindevila and saving love on earth as we know it, our heroes’ memories were erased so that they could live happily as normal humans. But who’s going to save us now???


The Review!
With the series completed and the story over, the girls come back for one last hurrah.

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 four episodes on the dual layered disc, much better than I expected it to be.

Packaging:
With a clear keepcase, the Wedding Peach series finishes off with another great looking cover from a series that had some of the best artwork of the past year on it. Going with the simple image of the three leads against a starry backdrop, it's got them in their battle uniforms, all smiling in their own way and just looking great with rich full colors and plenty of detail. 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 spring dresses looking very pretty while small versions of them in their cat-form are in bubbles floating around them.

Menu:
The menu is very nicely done, laid out just like the back cover with a small filmstrip along one side with blue 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 extra included on the disc is the original Japanese opening sequence.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Wedding Peach is one of the few series in recent memory that actually ended it's TV run with a very satisfying ending that wrapped up the bulk of the issues and set the stage for a clear life for the characters to go forward into. Of course, with such enjoyable characters and interactions it's hard to give something like that up so the series brought about four OVAs to let the cast have one more last hurrah without any big arc to it but rather just some little stories that touch up a few areas and let you enjoy being with old friends just a bit more.

The biggest problem of course is that over the course of things, nobody remembers anything anymore other than Jama-P and Momoko's mother who is now back home with the family and living the life she's wanted to for so long. Love is still threatened out there and the devils, though hardly the power force they were under Raindevila's rule, still manage to find their way to Earth and cause problems here and there on a much smaller scale. So with a bit of finagling and this and that, the core cast of the four Wedding Angels come back into play but with the idea that they shouldn't restore the memories of their men since they don't want to drag them into all of it again. And that's where I think things really end up hurting the OVAs because as everyone got to be so honest and up front as the TV series ended, the bonding felt all the better for it. Keeping them in the dark once again just pushes things back to how it was in the middle of the series or even a bit worse really. It also ends up relegating those characters to near uselessness in most of the episodes which is another minor tragedy.

With just the Angels to hold the stories together, we do get some good material out of it and it is fun to watch them all in action again. The OVAs also managed to produce a story for Salvia that actually had me liking the character for once. With her status as being a true angel as opposed to a human like the other three, we see a tale that has her falling in love with someone who turns out to be a huge industrialist/philanthropist type that's a marvel of the world. He'd been the subject of being hunted before so it didn't phase him but Salvia happened upon one of the attacks and got involved, an act which turned him into something of a devotee of hers and brought the two close together very quickly. Being who he his, he invites Salvia and her friends to a cruise party he's throwing which brings everyone together with some of the biggest names in the world from both entertainment and politics as well as various industries. It's cute in that we get to see both Jama-P and Momoke drunk, but the core of the episode deals with the true nature of Salvai's new love and how he's trying to right the wrongs of the world in his own way. He's quite the sympathetic character which makes his turning all the worse but it's really just a great episode for Salvia to have where she's not always angry or insulting people but rather smiling and happy for most of it.

The other episodes are a bit of a mix and felt more like just regular TV episodes but with a bit more detail to it. One of them gives us a Christmas episode where the girls are all a twitter about dealing with their men and each of them do things with them differently. A good portion of it focuses on the continuing "rough" relationship between Hinagiku and Takuro since she's still got a hard time really coming to grips with being interested in him, but the continual flashbacks just show how much she's been into him for so long. It's actually the sweetest of the relationships since it does go back that far and it doesn't feel quite the same as the teen romances of the others. This episode is fun in the fact that Hiromi comes back into play and she sort of messes up their relationship some while all the others play out in more of a normal fashion, even with a big bad monster-devil coming into play.

The fanservice level also hit nicely for this set of episodes, as the first volume has some fun at the beach up front with lots of swimwear and general skin for those who like to see the Angels in less than their battle uniforms, but the last episode is even cuter in that it brings in a devil who changes the girls bodies with a series of cats that he has working with them. The girls bodies develop a few cat characteristics such as the ears, and they play that all up well, but it's a lot of fun watching the girls in the cats bodies and trying to deal with seeing how the trio are messing up their relationships with the guys and causing trouble in general.

Even though these are OVAs, the animation quality doesn't look to go up all that much but I think it's partially because the TV series really spoiled us with the good looking designs and colors throughout it so that didn't look cheap. It didn't look drop dead gorgeous, but it had such a consistency to it that when you do add in a few extra bucks for the higher quality OVA releases, it's mostly just noticeable in the opening and ending sequences where the stills are given more of a life and color. The animation mimics the TV series for the most part though with a bit more fluidity to the designs but I think it looks great overall and I'd say I'd rather have consistency for something like this.

In Summary:
Though completely unnecessary after such a perfect end to the TV series, the last hurrah of Wedding Peach brings some good material to life and without a big arc behind it they just have fun with it, even though the guys are mostly sidelined for the bulk of the episodes. Though they don't go giving each character a focus with an episode of their own, some make out better than others and Salvia fans in particular make out really well. As the finale of the franchise in animation form, this certainly isn't bad at all, but part of me wishes that they'd just left the TV series as it was and let it stand from there.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Original Japanese Opening

Review Equipment
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.

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