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Wedding Peach:Summer Flowers Vol 4

ADV Films // Unrated // July 13, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Don Houston | posted October 30, 2004 | E-mail the Author
Movie: Anime directed at young girls is nothing new. In the early to mid 1990's, a lot of companies were attempting to address the target markets in Japan by providing series that girls could watch and feel good about, for marketing all the toys if nothing else. The most well known of these series is, of course, Sailor Moon, but there were a horde of copycats on the market too. The latest volume of such a series is such series was Wedding Peach 4: Summer Flower. If you're a young girl with a desire to see an anime series designed solely for you and your girlfriends, read on but otherwise, avoid it like the plague.

The show was notable for it's similarity to the Sailor Moon concept in that a trio of young gals, Momoko, Hinagiku, and Yuri, donned costumes and fought evil beings intent on stamping out love and caring. Momoko would use a magic ring and become Wedding Peach, a girl in a bridal outfit, complete with a bouquet that shot powerful energy blasts, and her two friend would become Angel Lily and Angel Daisy, both in bridesmaids outfits with their own unique abilities. Apparently, they, like the Sailor Moon crew, were reborn heroines that were destines to fight battles for Aphrodite (the Goddess of Love) against her arch nemesis, Raindevila, leader of a dark dimension. Aphrodite's second in command was a longhaired blonde guy, Limone, and Raindevila's initial choice of evil agents was Lord Pluie. Pluie would often send little demons like Jama-P to take over the bodies of unsuspecting citizens and turn them against the heroines, who usually felt obligated to change them back without hurting them. As the series progressed, he was replaced with even more evil demons, all of whom reported directly to Raindevila.

In any case, the episodes took a page from the formula of the Sailor Moon series and followed a strict protocol where the girls would get into some form of domestic problem, then have to fight Pluie's replacements before fixing their more mundane issue at hand. That ADV rated this one as 13+ for their age classification system is telling since I'd have guessed it was directed more towards the younger crowd. In any case, if you get past the conceptual problems, the show really was kind of cute for younger girls. For the rest of humanity though, it was something best taken in small doses, really small doses.

Rather than bore you with a lot of detailed spoilers, let's just say that the five episodes were a continuation of the previous volumes and the main goal was to find the last magical artifact of the Saint Something Four. Raindevila kept sending her agents and Sandora even resorted to kidnapping Jama-P, now working with the Wedding Peach crew for good, in an attempt to persuade the gals to hand over their artifacts. You know how it all ends if you've watched even a single episode since good triumphs over evil in this bland series but less critical viewers, primarily young girls, likely won't care as they watch episode after episode of this series.

The five episodes here were definitely more of the same and you'll either enjoy it or hate it as the gals do what amounts to the same thing with the same people and demons every time. The generic nature of the demons was such that you could skip to the end and not miss anything, no matter what you'd seen previously. Contrast that with the increasingly complex and interesting shows on the market today and you'll see why I rated this one as a Skip It. The show wasn't the worst I've seen in my life but it was so boring and limited in scope that over the last several volumes of reviewing the show, my tolerance for pap was reached and it became painful to watch. If you like watching Sailor Moon clones with a not-so-subtle message that marriage is the ultimate goal in life for you, by all means check this one out and have yourself a good time but don't blame me if you end up barefoot and pregnant, married to some jerk you end up hating for the rest of your life (if you follow the subtext here).

Picture: The picture was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color, the anime standard. It was super colorful but there were some print scratches and grain, making it look somewhat older than its nine years once in a while. The anime style itself used much of the static cell approach, a cost cutting method employed to limit the amount of drawing needed to complete an episode.

Sound: The audio registered as 2.0 Dolby Digital on my receiver, with a choice of the original Japanese language track (with English subtitles) or an English language dub, the usual choices, but I didn't notice any separation between the channels or very much dynamic range on either of the tracks. Some of the music and combat sequences appeared to have a bit of range but otherwise, forget it.

Extras: There weren't a lot of extras this time, with the usual clean opening, clean closing, and trailers to various shows released by ADV: Kino's Journey, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Saiyuki, Angelic Layer, Azumanga Daioh, and Gravion.

Final Thoughts: If you enjoyed Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3, you'll like this one too but the limited anime style, the weak plots and the repetitive nature of the concept barely rated a rental in earlier volumes and a skip it will apply for most anime fans out there. If you enjoy Sailor Moon clones, you'll pick this one up with pride, even if you hide the box from friends.

If you enjoy anime, take a look at some of the recommendations by DVDTalk's twisted cast of reviewers in their Best Of Anime article!

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