Story: Peach Girl is essentially a story about high school drama…if high school drama were on crack, that is. Momo is generally harassed by her peers for her tanned skin and bleached hair (all of which come from her devotion to swimming). Her supposed friend, Sae, constantly backstabs her and manipulates those around her into believing that Momo is a whore, slut, etc.; however, Momo’s long time crush, Toji, often comes to her defense. In addition, Kairi, the school play boy, comes to notices Momo and begins pursuing her as well but with all this attention, Sae’s jealousy reaches a new peak and she begins sabotaging Momo in essentially every way possible. And thus begins the super drama of Peach Girl!
I will be honest with you, I seriously debated dropping this show after the fourth episode. While I may love a good, messy, love triangle and heart-wrenching drama, I literally couldn’t stand the characters and the contrived plotting on behalf of Sae. In addition, I couldn’t stand Momo for the first four episodes either—she’d constantly question and contradict herself to the point where my head felt like it was spinning. I kept thinking, “If any of you idiots just had the brains to actually TALK to each other, none of this melo-dramatic crap would be happening!” … However, after finding myself with nothing else to watch, I returned to the show.
Here’s what I have to say: the show does in fact, get better as it progresses. While Sae’s plotting becomes more vindictive and harder to watch, the relationships between Toji/Momo and later Momo/Kairi are actually touching. While I usually pick one character I want the protagonist to end up with and remain devoted to that said character throughout the whole show, I wound up genuinely liking both Toji and Kairi, and even understood why Momo was able to fall in love with both. There is also an interesting somewhat side story present within the show that adds a nice touch. While it may not be anything profoundly amazing, the meat of the story is moderately well done. 7/10
Animation: While I have no actual background regarding animation, I have spent a fair share of time watching both good and bad shows. I’m a sucker for consistency and this show, at times, is lacking in that department. While Momo generally always looks the same, I swear that Toji and Kairi looked ridiculously mutant at times. There are shots where their eyes look strangely squinty or too large, their noses look larger than they did before, lips looked too large, etc. While I do like the general style of the characters and the vivid colors, it just feels like the animation is somewhat thrown together at times. 6/10
Sound: The voice actors were decently good. I watched the dubbed version and while I sometimes felt like there was just a lot of screeching going on regarding some of the female characters, I generally liked them. Overall, I was a fan of the male voice actors and thought it was pretty good. The music was fairly forgettable to be honest. And I hated the opening and closing songs in the credits. I really, really did… I would give the voice actors a 7/10, but the music… ugh. The music brings it down to a 5/10.
Characters: Hmm… After watching more of the show, I found the characters to be pretty likeable. While only one character truly undergoes a massive transformation (which I was very pleased to see happen), the other characters all develop in some way. Although, at times, I still felt like Momo could have been a slightly stronger female lead. I would have appreciated if it didn’t feel like she was defined by a man—she basically constantly is falling in love with someone. Even when she resolves to become stronger, she essentially deserts that and falls for Toji a second time. Don’t get me wrong, she actually is a pretty strong willed character, which I wholly appreciated, but it would have been interesting to see her be single and happy for a while. 8/10
Overall: Look, it’s honestly not a bad show. I watched the first four episodes two days ago and watched all twenty-one episodes today—it’s a kind of an addicting show (plus I’m a college kid with lots of procrastinating to do). But even for someone like me, who sucks up all the juicy angst and mushy love I can find in a show, I found Peach Girl to be somewhat frustrating at times. If you are looking for something with maybe a bit more substance I’d say try “Nana” and if you’re looking for good, romantic fluff with stellar characters try “Ouran High School Host Club,” BUT Peach Girl does actually develop into a moderately touching story with pretty likeable characters, so I wouldn’t give up on it after the first few episodes. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised. 7/10