ADV Films // 1997 // 125 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Sandra Dozier (Retired) // August 19th, 2004
Ah! Summertime! Swimming pools, hanging out at the beach, chasing boys, and saving the world from evil!
If you're the type who believes that love makes the world go 'round, you'll dig Wedding Peach. The series itself has one sweetly innocent common thread: the transforming power of love. The bulk of the appeal of a series like Wedding Peach, and an idea that will probably send giant robot and Mecha fans running for the hills, is in its unflinching adherence to the positive power of love, both romantic and platonic. At the risk of making a pun, this is a series with heart.
Momoko Hanasaki and her friends Yuri and Hinagiku are Love Angels, earthly agents for the goddess Aphrodite; they protect love from being corrupted by the evil Devils, who want the earth to be overrun by hate and fear. Through the use of magical talismans (a mirror, a lip gloss, and a watch), they transform their clothes into wedding dresses, the most potent symbol of love, to fight Lady Raine Devila and her minions. What the Devils hate the most is the "love wave" -- any strong expression of love from humans. They want to obtain items called the Saint Something Four so they can enslave the Angels and wipe out love. We don't yet know exactly what the Saint Something Four are, but we do know that Momoko won't let them win.
Momoko, as the lead character, is the embodiment of the pure heart; she truly believes that love will change the world. She is touched by the value others place on sentimental souvenirs from the people they love, and she will fight to the end to ensure that no one takes away their happiness or good feelings.
In the five episodes on Volume Four, Momoko is stalked by the agents of Lord Sandra, an interestingly named Devil who takes over Lord Pluie's quest for the Saint Something Four. Meanwhile, Momoko confronts and tries to work through her feelings for Yousuke, even though she pursues Captain Yanagiba when in the open. During the course of their battles, the Love Angels find three pieces of the Saint Something Four, which come on the scene just in time to help them against the strongest opponents they have ever faced.
Visual and sound quality for Wedding Peach is excellent, with clear and bright colors and a crisp soundtrack. English dub for this series is spot-on, with strong performances for all the lead characters, although for some reason Hinagiku's performance is a little uneven sometimes. As far as extras, there is a reversible cover (or a poster cover, since it shows through the clear case from behind) and clean opening and closing credits.
Despite the inclusion of five episodes on each volume, the value of Wedding Peach is somewhat diminished by the near-constant battle change sequences. Three girls not only change into full wedding regalia, but they also have battle outfits that are more streamlined for hand-to-hand fighting. Animation re-use helps save on cost, but it is used to ridiculous extremes in these episodes. In a promising development, however, a couple of the episodes in Volume Four include scenes in which the girls just show up in battle gear, without change animation of any kind. One hopes this will become a trend for future episodes.
I have observed that people typically have one of two reactions to this series: They either hate it immediately and want to mulch it in their wood chipper, or they embrace it and allow themselves to indulge the lofty (but never saccharine) ideals of Momoko and her friends. Wedding Peach doesn't bother offering a balanced view of love -- love is here merely to enrich our souls and bring us happiness, as far as this series is concerned. Those who find this idea repugnant should definitely steer clear. Everyone else can always say they are getting it for a "friend."
Review content copyright © 2004 Sandra Dozier; 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)
* English (signs only)
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening Animation
* Clean Closing Animation
* Reversible Cover
* Official Site