Judge Bryan Byun sees nothing wrong with a grown man enjoying anime titles made for pre-teen girls. His therapist, however, begs to differ.
"And on a nice day like this, you try to destroy the world! For this I cannot forgive you!"—Momoko, to Lady Raindevila
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"
• "Pretend Love—Great Skiing"
• "Yuri's Lips"
• "The Truth About Raindevila"
• "Jama P's First Love"
• "Mama's Come Home"
• "My Boyfriend is a Devil"
• "Revive, Memories of Love"
• "Love is Painful"
• "The Night for Just The Two of Us"
• "Inseparable Hearts"
• "Last Wedding"
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.
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