"Find all the people in love, root them out, and kill them! Find
anyone capable of love and destroy them! And above all, find couples who are
about to be married, wipe them from the face of the Earth forever!" --
Lady Raindevila, apparently after having had one bad relationship too many.
I had thought that watching things like "Marriage"
and "Knight Hunters"
had numbed me to the horrors of the yawning cultural chasm that still exists
between Japan and America. Then I watched "Wedding Peach," and I realized
that I had been horribly, horribly mistaken.
I really should be used to this by now.
So, just what could have shattered my otaku self-delusions like that? How
about an anime about three junior high school girls who use the power of Love,
Justice, and Big Elaborate Western-Style Weddings to transform into miniskirted-bridal-gown-wearing
Wedding Angels in order to keep the vile extradimensional villainess Raindevila
from ridding the world of romance.
The three girls, Wedding Peach, Angel Lily, and Angel Daisy, are occasionally
helped out by the handsome Limone, a prettyboy with flowing blond locks who
descends from heaven on a glowing staircase to battle Raindevila's minions with
a magic sword, distracting them long enough for Wedding Peach to use her magic
bouquet to blast those love-hating goons into pastel oblivion.
See what I mean?
The main character in "Wedding Peach" is a young, pink-haired girl named Momoko.
"Momo" just so happens to be the Japanese word for "peach." Subtle, this series
is not. Momoko is your generic good-hearted, noble, romance-obsessed, food-and-boy-crazed
miniskirt-wearing big-eyed schoolgirl. Original, this series is also not. Momoko
spends her days drooling with her best friends over the captain of the boy's soccer
team and occasionally prancing around her house wearing her deceased mother's
wedding dress. Girl has issues.
Anyway, one day Momoko is threatened by one of Raindevila's evil servants
(who resembles a Snork with fangs that takes over people and makes them do really
mean things), and through the power of a mysterious ruby ring her mother left
her, she transforms into a big floofy white wedding dress, becoming the Legendary
Love Angel Wedding Peach. Then she administers a bridezilla beat-down on the
possessed humans before blasting them with rays of love energy from her bouquet.
Look, I just describe 'em, I don't make 'em.
Momoko learns that she has to stop Raindevila and her bishie (and not so bishie)
lackeys from finding the Saint Something Four and turning all of humanity's
love into hate (and ruining the careers of wedding planners and lame DJs worldwide).
She also gains two partners, a pair of her equally cute and squeaky voiced school
chums that also transform to help her in her battle. And, of course, in between
fighting for Truth, Justice, and the Nuptial Way, Momoko divides her time between
mooning over the soccer team captain and fighting like a wildcat with the jerky
(but equally as hunky) co-captain.
In short, "Wedding Peach" is pretty much like any other Magical
Girl anime you've seen: "Sailor Moon," "Cardcaptor Sakura,"
"Tokyo Mew Mew," "Venus 5." Okay, maybe not "Venus
5." At any rate, this means that despite the rather alarming theme of junior
high school aged girls being obsessed with getting married, "Wedding Peach"
is actually not that bad. Sure, the main characters are cliches in school uniforms,
but at least they're fun and cute and sweet cliches. The story is pure spun-sugar
fluff, with the few serious moments that exist always defused by goofy humor
or silly character antics, or even the raw cuteness that just permeates this
entire anime. The entire tone is just light, cute, and utterly, utterly harmless.
The animation and voice acting (at least in the sub version) are perfectly
in tune with that, too. "Wedding Peach" features a color palette that
has a lot of pink. A LOT of pink. In fact, I don't think there's a good solid
primary color anywhere among the six episodes on this DVD. The character designs
are round and adorable and big-eyed, even by the normal standards of anime.
In other words, "Wedding Peach" makes "Pokemon" look like
"Ghost in the Shell."
The dub is a little weaker, though it's not because the voice actors don't
try. It's just really hard to be a cute squeaky-voiced anime schoolgirl without
being mind-bleedingly annoying, that's all. And while there's nothing to speak
of in terms of DVD extras here, at least the disc contains a full six episodes.
That's almost three hours of saccharine cuteness!
"Wedding Peach" is not, in itself, a bad anime. It's just aimed
at a really, really specific audience. Most male anime fans, even those who
like stuff like "Sailor Moon" and "Cardcaptor Sakura," will
undoubtedly be a little overwhelmed by the sheer pink-tinted femininity exuding
from this series. At least "Sailor Moon" had three-dimensional characters
and an interesting undercurrent of darkness to go with all its dominating sweetness.
"Wedding Peach" is just pure pastel adorable cuteness, and that's
a bit much to take for most people with a Y chromosome. On the other hand, this
is the perfect series to introduce young girls to the dark addiction of anime,
so if you're an otaku with daughters or nieces or something that you're trying
to get hooked on anime (and you've already shown them "Spirited Away"),
then this is just the thing. Everyone else, though, just needs to be really
aware of what they're getting into here.