Now, I'm fully aware that I'm unlikely to be the target audience for this title (28, male) so I drafted in the services of one Rachel Mei Liang (20, female, cute).
The Peach Girl manga is one of the better selling girls titles out there, and features a feisty, light-haired, dark skinned girl named Momo, who sees her unusual looks as a major hindrance to her social standing (her unique skin tone and light coloured hair makes her look like a "Ganguro" girl, a term used to describe girls obsessed with fashion and considered "easy"), and a major barrier between her and secret crush Toji.
This situation is made far worse by her so-called "friend" Sae, a backstabbing, underhanded social climber with no real personality of her own and a penchant for putting down others in order to build herself up. We've all seen one of these odious creatures at some time in our lives, and it makes it all the more frustrating to watch her.
Now the main problem I have with this series is not the sub-par animation or the teen angst. It's not even the slightly cliched premise. The problem I have is with the writing, which on this disk is simply appalling. We chose to watch the sub after 2 minutes of the screechy dub, and despite the extra attention required to read the subtitles, I failed to find anything to hold my interest. Momo was an erratic lead - one moment she was all fire and passion, the next she was taking all sorts of crap from Sae and not uttering a word. The situations in the series were pure soap-opera fluff, with situations and misunderstandings engineered by Sae that were so see-through that I wanted to shout at the TV and slap every character in the show.
That is, until my brain imploded and I was left struggling to stay awake. At 3 in the afternoon.
Turning to Rachel for a second opinion, I discovered that she'd succumbed to tedium and taken the only sane way out. By falling asleep.
There may be some who like this - after all plenty of people watch EastEnders, which I'd place on a par with Peach Girl in terms of inventive writing. There are better titles out there, and its a shame that one of the few series aimed at girls should fall on its face in such a fashion.
Interview with Saeko Chiba (Momo)
The special addition comes with a little pink bag and volume 1 of the manga.