Monday, August 6, 2012
Peach Girl is a 25 episode anime about the love life of Momo Adachi, a girl with tanned skin and bleached hair who is often misunderstood and thought of as 'easy'. The reason for her tan is because she was on the swim team and practiced long hours in the sun. Her best friend Sae Kashiwagi is just the opposite. She is pale skinned, beautiful and thin and popular among guys. Sae is also jealous of Momo and will do anything to sabotage her relationships. Momo is in love with Touji- a baseball player since middle school and wants to confess her feelings to him. Joining the love triangle is Okayasu Kairi, a playboy who was saved by Momo from drowning at a beach and has feelings for her.
The first few episodes focus on Momo and Touji's relationship. Kairi is just a friend at this point. Sae's scheme to destroy Momo and Touji's relationships are really annoying and Touji is a really naive. Touji's character is really quite stupid and naive in the beginning and at this point, I had a clear preference for Kairi, who is able to see through Sae's lies and helps Momo.
Around episode 11, things turn around and due to one of Sae's schemes, Touji breaks up with Momo. From here on, it is Momo and Kairi's relationship.
Then around episode 20, things turn around again. Ugh. Unless you are really patient, you should just skip some episodes.
First of all, characters- Momo is a nice girl and quite strong opposed to many weak shojo heroines. Touji really seems like a cardboard cutout with no personality in the beginning but is able to redeem himself to the point that I actually thought it would be okay for Momo to choose him in the end. He has a caring side but is usually straightfoward and taciturn. Sae described dating him as 'watching paint dry' or 'counting the hairs on one's head'. I really found that hilarious. Speaking of Sae, she is quite an interesting character, who like most characters in this anime, goes through changes and ultimately emerges more likeable. After the first 15 episodes or so, her own love story is funny and she really turns around.
Kairi started out as my favorite, mainly because he was always there to help Momo when she needed it. He is more talkative and flirty than Touji but he also has a caring side.
The relationship development for both the pairs (Momo-Kairi and Momo-Touji) was quite good. In the end, if I was Momo, I would never have been able to choose among both of them. Both of them are quite similar- good-looking, care for Momo, and generally kind-hearted.
Peach girl will put you through a lot as you go from joy to heartbreak to anger in seconds. A few plots were also somewhat repetitive (like Ryo, who is just like a male version of Sae. I mean we've already had enough of that) and standard in the shojo genre. But overall, it will have you emotionally invested once you get past the sixth episode or so.
A great anime to watch with beautiful visuals, an unconventional lead and a complicated love triangle. The manga won the Kodansha award for Shojo.
Characters are engaging
Unconventional female lead
Both romances are realistically developed
It is quite short (this is a pro because I don't have the time and patience to watch all episodes of long anime like Detective conan or One piece)
Sae's character is totally unrealistic (though somewhat funny)
Both the male leads were too similar
NOTE- Images do not belong to me and were taken from Google image search.