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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Peach Girl, Vol. 2
Peach Girl, Vol. 2
FUNimation // PG // May 29, 2007
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jamie S. Rich | posted June 20, 2007 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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THE MOVIE:

Vol. 1 of Peach Girl: Super Pop Love Hurricane ended on a cliffhanger. Our poor heroine Momo had been forced into representing their class in the high school swim competition by her backstabbing rival Sae, who had also sabotaged the good girl's chances of winning any of the races. Hunky heartthrob Toji was sick in the hospital and convinced that Momo was cheating on him (again, Sae's doing), and class clown Kairi was maybe or maybe not working to fix things. Did he want to help the young lovers out, or would he rather Toji be out of the picture so he could score with the beautiful Momo?

The second volume of the anime adaptation of Miwa Ueda's hormonal manga series is more of the same, and then some. The new DVD has episodes 6 through 9, and it quickens the pace of the teenage soap opera. The heated emotions get hotter, and fortunes rise and fall as Sae invents new and increasingly wicked schemes.

Episode 6 deals with tying up the dangling threads from the previous disc, culminating in a lunchroom showdown between Momo and Sae. Then we skip ahead through Momo and Toji's first summer of love to the start of the next school year. A humiliated Sae is forced to grovel now that her classmates know what a fiend she is. But she won't be down for long! Only a true anime villainess could take a chance career as a fashion model and a new boyfriend, the punnily named Jigoro (get it? "Gigolo"), and twist it into another weapon to launch at true love.

Not that the Toji/Momo relationship is paradise or anything. Adolescent anxiety is in high gear, as the summer months passed without so much as a kiss, putting a lot of pressure on that first lip-lock. And then when that comes, will Toji want to take it further? What are his plans for Momo's sweet sixteen? Worse yet, what are Sae's?

Needless to say, by the end of this disc, Momo is back in another compromising position courtesy of her #1 enemy. As much as I enjoyed Peach Girl vol. 1, I think I liked vol. 2 all the more. The super-fast plot turns match the uncontrollable teenage emotions that drive the characters, making this anime series energetic and campy. As the make-ups and break-ups stack up episode to episode, things do run the risk of getting ludicrous, but it's such dishy fun, why worry about it?

In addition to the story going into hyperdrive, I think the animation actually improves in this second go-around. There are less problems with consistency, and a greater reliance on the exaggerated caricatures, abstract backgrounds, and wonky angles pack a visual punch that backs up the outrageous scripting. With Sae working as a model, we get a lot more great outfits, too, and even Momo changes up her hairstyle and gets out of that school uniform a couple of times.

All in all, Peach Girl: Super Pop Love Hurricane vol. 2 is goopy teenage melodrama at its most extreme. Big expressions of feeling plus dastardly deeds and silly comedic turns equals entertainment to excess.

THE DVD

Video/Sound:
Peach Girl volume 2's four episodes are shown in a 4:3 full frame ratio. The image is pristine, the colors gorgeous.

Once again, we get stereo mixes of the original Japanese language track and a new English dub. I watched a fair amount of both versions, and whichever you prefer is going to be up to you. The English cast is pretty good, getting the feel of the amped-up drama, though if you compare the spoken dialogue to the English subtitles, they do take a lot of liberties with the American script. One downside to the Japanese version, too, is that the subtitles often move by pretty fast, so you need to bone up on your speed reading.

Extras:
As with many anime DVDs, Peach Girl comes with a bonus of being able to watch the opening and closing songs without any credits or other text. This is only accessible through the bonus features menu, though as you watch the episodes, you can use your angle button to decide whether to view the credits in English or Japanese. Each episode can be watched on its own, or you can select "Play All" to view all four in a row.

Also included is a five-minute interview with the Japanese actress that does the voice for Sae.

Funimation rounds the disc out with trailers for other anime.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Highly Recommended. Peach Girl - vol. 2 takes the high bar set by the first installment and raises it, adding more juice to the story and even giving more oomph to the already pleasing visual style. This serial is a briskly paced teenage soap opera, following a quartet of lovers and rivals as they ride the emotional rollercoaster of adolescence. With a delicious, conniving villain like Sae, the fight for Toji's heart just gets more and more outlandish. Expect to keep coming back to see if Momo can ever unravel this tangled web.

Jamie S. Rich is a novelist and comic book writer. He is best known for his collaborations with Joelle Jones, including the hardboiled crime comic book You Have Killed Me, the challenging romance 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, and the 2007 prose novel Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, for which Jones did the cover. All three were published by Oni Press. His most recent projects include the futuristic romance A Boy and a Girl with Natalie Nourigat; Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, a loopy crime tale drawn by Dan Christensen; and the horror miniseries Madame Frankenstein, a collaboration with Megan Levens. Follow Rich's blog at Confessions123.com.

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