Case Number 07299: Small Claims Court

WEDDING PEACH: BLACK HEART (VOLUME 8) AND WEDDING DAY (VOLUME 9)

Wedding Peach: Black Heart (Volume 8)
ADV Films // 1995 // 150 Minutes // Not Rated
Wedding Peach: Wedding Day (Volume 9)
ADV Films // 1995 // 150 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bryan Byun (Retired) // July 28th, 2005

The Charge

"And on a nice day like this, you try to destroy the world! For this I cannot forgive you!" -- Momoko, to Lady Raindevila

The Case

Junior High School students Momoko, Yuri, Hinagiku, and Scarlet lead double lives -- as butt-kicking Love Angels! Their job: to protect humanity and Aphrodite's Angel World against the threat of destruction by the Devil World, a realm of hate and jealousy that is ruled by the embittered Lady Raindevila. As Love Angels, these girls don wedding dresses and use their special jewelry, known as the Saint Something Four (something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue), as weapons against the Devils (demons) sent by Raindevila. She wants the Saint Something Four for herself so she can overrun the Angel World and poison everything with her hate and malice. It's up to these girls, and their hottie emissary from the Angel World, Limone, to fight her army.

On the surface, Wedding Peach is a bubble gum fantasy where love conquers all and everyone has a good heart. This is certainly what the heroine of the series, Momoko Hanasaki, believes. Her faith in love and her good heart often tip the scales in favor of the Love Angels, as she constantly defeats even the most formidable odds through her determination and utter belief in the goodness of everyone. Even as the Devil/Angel war reaches a crisis point where one side must win and the other side lose, her belief that Love will triumph is never dampened. It's easy to dismiss the bubbly silliness and optimism of this show, which started off as a typical teenage drama, with the goofy nitwit everyone loves (Momoko), the sporty tom boy (Hinagiku), and the elegant pretty girl (Yuri) being suddenly thrust into roles of Protectors of Japan. Underneath, however, the show has a certain sweetness that makes you forgive the sappy parts, and surprises you at the end by tying together some early clues about the characters that went largely unnoticed when they flashed by in earlier episodes.

The series has matured over forty episodes, and Momoko and her friends have changed, too. They lost much of their awkwardness and girlish impulsiveness as they took on more responsibility, and grew up in response to the conflict in their lives. Where everyone started out swooning over dreamy soccer players, thinking up polls for the school newspaper, and sighing over the even-dreamier Limone every time he came down to Earth on his golden stairway from the heavens, they ended in a life-and-death battle for the fate of all worlds, Angel, Devil, and Human alike. The series concludes in Volume Nine, with Episode 51.

Most of the episodes in Volumes Eight and Nine move along at a brisk pace towards the conclusion of the Angel/Devil war, and contain some sort of revelation for a major character in each episode, so they are difficult to sum up without giving away progressively more revealing details and secrets. However, here is a recap of the twelve episodes contained on these two discs that avoids major spoilers:

* "My Love Is Being Sucked Away"
The Principal makes a rule that boys and girls cannot talk with each other in or out of school. The girls and the boys are pretty ticked off, and they want their revenge. Meanwhile, Lord Petora is busy making himself stronger so that he can wipe out the Love Angels.

* "Pretend Love -- Great Skiing"
Yuri arranges a ski trip for herself, Momoko, Hinagiku, Captain Yanagiba, Yousuke, and Takuro. Could Takuro and Hinagiku have a future, and will a crafty Devil disguised as Yousuke break up his budding relationship with Momoko?

* "Yuri's Lips"
Things heat up between Yuri and Captain Yanagiba, but his inability to acknowledge his feelings, and his tendency to share his good fortune, spoils all the special moments she tries to create for him. It's up to the rest of the gang to get them together, and Yousuke learns that Momoko is Wedding Peach.

* "The Truth About Raindevila"
Kachusha comes to Earth to make trouble for Yousuke, and Momoko has to figure out how to protect him. Momoko finds out that Raindevila thinks that the Angels cast her out of heaven and cursed her by binding her to the Devil world, and wonders if she can save her soul if she corrects the misunderstanding.

* "Jama P's First Love"
A childhood friend of Jama P's appears, and he is caught between his affection for her and his love for Wedding Peach and the Human world. Unfortunately, if he isn't with her, he's against her, and an obstacle that needs to be cleared away.

* "Mama's Come Home"
Momoko's mother returns to tell the story of how she first met and fell in love with Momoko's father.

* "My Boyfriend is a Devil"
Salvia continues to insist that all Devils must be destroyed, even if they were once friends, putting her at odds with the other girls. Momoko takes ill from the stress and almost misses the presentation of an award for her photograph, published in the school newspaper, of Yousuke on the soccer field.

* "Revive, Memories of Love"
Momoko feels betrayed by Yuri and Hinagiku when they side against her on a matter involving the Devils. Lady Raindevila takes a personal interest, and appears in the Human world for the first time. Only her father can offer her comfort. Going overboard, he buys her favorite pastries in an attempt to soothe her. And Yousuke learns a terrible secret.

* "Love is Painful"
Yousuke won't talk to Momoko because he is ashamed of his secret, and Momoko is devastated. She wants to tell him that it doesn't matter to her and win him back with her love, but he is stubborn.

* "The Night for Just The Two of Us"
Yousuke finally admits his love for Momoko, but their quiet evening together is interrupted by special agents of Lady Raindevila who are bent on destroying them both.

* "Inseparable Hearts"
Yousuke asks for help from Jama-P so he can go to the Devil World and confront Lady Raindevila, but she beats him to it by appearing in the Human World to wreak havoc.

* "Last Wedding"
Knowing that the final battle between Angels and Devils is at hand, the girls ask Momoko and Yousuke to participate in a wedding ceremony, perhaps as a way to purify them or perhaps as a last goodbye before the end!

If this show goes wrong in any area, it's in the constant re-use of battle gear change sequences, which tends to get extremely repetitive if you are watching episodes back-to-back. Of course, for a weekly or even nightly television show, it's not a big deal. Otherwise, there is a fair bit of humor here, some sweet moments, and some nice end-of-the-world stuff to keep people occupied.

These two volumes of Wedding Peach look and sound just fine; the source isn't the greatest, but the transfer is faithful and free of obvious defects. This isn't an especially glossy, highly-detailed anime in the first place, so the fairly basic animation is well represented here. Sound, too, is okay -- nothing special, but adequate to the task. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mixes in Japanese and English offer decent channel separation and clear sound. Extras are minimal, comprised of clean opening and closing animation, and ADV trailers. Each volume also comes with a reversible cover.

Wedding Peach isn't what you'd call an especially deep or substantive series -- in this case, you can definitely judge the DVD by its cover -- but if you're in the mood for something silly, lighthearted, and good-natured, with a healthy dollop of soap opera antics, Wedding Peach is one of the more enjoyable titles out there. For existing fans, if you've followed the series this far, you'll certainly want to see it through to the end.

Review content copyright © 2005 Bryan Byun; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice, Wedding Peach: Black Heart (Volume 8)
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile, Wedding Peach: Black Heart (Volume 8)
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)

Subtitles:
* English
* English (signs only)

Running Time: 150 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Wedding Peach: Black Heart (Volume 8)
* Clean Opening and Closing Animation
* ADV Previews
* Reversible Cover

Scales of Justice, Wedding Peach: Wedding Day (Volume 9)
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile, Wedding Peach: Wedding Day (Volume 9)
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)

Subtitles:
* English
* English (signs only)

Running Time: 150 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Wedding Peach: Wedding Day (Volume 9)
* Clean Opening and Closing Animation
* ADV Previews
* Reversible Cover

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0112221/combined

* Official Site
http://www.advfilms.com/titles/weddingpeach/