ADV Films // 1996 // 120 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bryan Byun (Retired) // July 28th, 2005
Nothing says vacation like sunshine, cruise ships, and giant spider devils!
Wedding Peach DX is an encore of sorts to the Wedding Peach anime series, offering four OVA (Original Video Animation) episodes produced after the original series wrapped. Unlike many OVAs, which offer standalone stories from anywhere within the series timeline, the events in these episodes follow those of the original series, which makes this a true tenth volume. (Newcomers, take note!)
In the first episode, we find that Momoko and her friends have no recollection of ever having been Love Angels. It turns out that they've had their memories altered -- at Momoko's request -- as they're no longer needed as Love Angels, so that they can go back to being normal girls, date their boyfriends, and live regular lives. Naturally, the chaos-loving Devils aren't going to stand for that.
The second episode centers around Salvia (Scarlet), the brokenhearted "pure Angel" who was nearly consumed by grief and rage but was, by the end of the series, able to come to terms with her sorrow and let go of her hatred. Here, Salvia meets a handsome young man with a dark secret, and she is soon torn between her love for him and her loyalty to the Love Angels.
The third, Christmas-themed episode focuses on tough-girl Hinagiku and her unlikely romance with shy bookworm Takuro, which wasn't resolved in the original series, but is explored at length there. Hinagiku feels like a fifth wheel around the two couples (Momoko/Yousuke and Yuri/Yanagiba) and is irked by their constant attempts to draw her and Takuro together. Things only get worse when Patamos, the outrageously self-centered Water Devil who was a real thorn in the girls' sides during the series, returns and sets her sights on Takuro.
The final episode finds the girls transformed into cats as part of a dastardly Valentine's Day scheme by a Devil attempting to rob young lovers of their gifts to each other. By far the silliest and most raucous episode of the set, it's also one of the funniest.
These OVAs preserve everything that made the original series so enjoyable -- the frothy, absurd humor, the soap-opera romance, and the engaging characters -- and enhance the experience with higher-quality animation and, yes, a bit more fan service. The animation is significantly improved, with richer colors and deeper detail, and is presented with a flawless full-frame transfer. Audio sounds fine, at least as good as the original series, but with a more recent, and therefore clearer, English vocal track.
Unfortunately, this release doesn't offer anything more than the original series DVDs did in terms of extra features. All we get here is the original Japanese opening, which is pretty much identical to the English opening except for the kanji characters, and the usual selection of ADV trailers. Disappointing, but pretty much on par with the rest of the set.
Wedding Peach DX is a no-brainer for Wedding Peach fans. Improved animation, significantly less recycled animation, and most importantly, further exploration of the girls' stories, make this a worthy capper to an enjoyable series.
Review content copyright © 2005 Bryan Byun; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Japanese Opening Animation
* Reversible Cover
* Official Site