Peach Girl: the complete series

peachgirlMomo Adachi is really tan and really blonde for a Japanese girl. She’s actually just a member of the swim team and is out in the sun a lot, but there are lots of rumors about her that she’s “easy.” She is desperate to have whiter skin to stop the rumors and to attract Toji, the guy she likes. He might just like Momo, too, if her friend Sae’s jealousy and playboy Kari’s crush on her don’t ruin everything.

I really liked the beginning of this story. Kari is hilariously over-the-top with his crush on Momo and their interactions are really funny. Momo’s “best” friend Sae is the perfect villain. She is manipulative and completely conscience-free, making her a great character that I loved to hate. Toji and Momo are really cute together, despite him being a bit boring. Momo is a really kind and thoughtful friend to the people she cares about and looks after Sae even though Sae betrays her repeatedly. It’s hard not to like her, even if she is a little dumb.

With this excellent cast of characters, I would have thought this anime would be more successful. Unfortunately, the drama was out of control, to the point that it made no sense. The first few episodes captured high school life perfectly, with its drama and rumor mill, but after that things began to get ridiculous. Every character seemed to believe every rumor they heard. Toji, for example, falls for Sae’s tricks nearly every episode and gets angry with Momo. It was melodramatic and made little sense most of the time.

That said, I flew through the story. I watched nearly every episode in a matter of a few days. I needed to know what happened and who Momo ended up with. I found myself yelling at the television a couple of times because I was so mad at one of the characters for being stupid. It was very soap opera-ish and similar to The O.C. – not a great show, but very compelling.

The voice actors worked well for each character. Toji’s voice was deep and stoic, while Kari’s was loud and almost obnoxious at times. Sae was the best part of the show. Every time she showed up, silly, foreshadowing music played and when she was plotting something, the screen showed a chibi cat version of her flexing her claws.

The artwork is very similar to that of the manga, except in color. It is a shojo style with sharper angles and giant eyes. Kari is constantly surrounded by flowers and glitter, since he was the prince of the school. It was more interesting to see in color, since you could actually see the difference in Momo’s skin tone and hair, as opposed to the manga, where she is just shaded a little. Later in the series, however, she quits the swim team, but stays extremely tan, which was strange. The artwork did nothing new or interesting, but worked with the storyline.

I really liked the basic plot and loved the characters, but the story just got over-the-top dramatic and silly. The dialogue made little sense or was very cliche. One character actually says that he thinks parenting would be “like the ultimate video game” and another said his love was like a mountain. It started to feel like I was watching Days of Our Lives and Momo was going to need an exorcism. Overall, it is fun series, but not deep or intellectual in any way.

Peach Girl: the complete series
Funimation, 2011
directed by Hiroshi Ishiodori
600 minutes, Number of Discs: 4, Season set
Company Age Rating: 13
Related to: Peach Girl by Miwa Ueda