Peach Girl

Genre: Comedy/Romance
Format: 25 Episodes
Allegiance: TV Tokyo
Director: Ishiodori Hiroshi
Vintage: 2005
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
Poor Adachi Momo is a member of the swim team who tans easily, so people see her dark skin and assume she’s a skank, although that couldn’t be farther from the truth. But now things are looking up because she’s starting to move in the right direction with her friend Toujigamori Kazuya – “Touji” for short – despite rumors that he prefers pale-skinned girls. However, her sole friend, Kashiwagi Sae, also has set her sights on Touji, and has enlisted the help of the impish and popular upperclassman Okayasu Kairi to tear the budding couple apart.

Field Agent Report by: Lady Sage
Overall 5.50
(not an average)

You know, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately complaining about shounen romance. The recent proliferation of the genre has led to a lot of pap like Ichigo 100% and Tona-Hura coming out. It’s easy to forget, however, the other side – shoujo romance – can put out trash just as smelly. For better or for worse, Peach Girl is here to remind us all of that.

To be honest, it doesn’t start out that badly. It’s unremarkable, neither particularly good nor egregiously bad. Momo was a bit awkward, but that’s part of what makes her sympathetic – her situation of a toxic best friend and a hopeless love is one far too many girls may be able to relate to. However, Touji was just boring, with Kairi and Sae, the two antagonists, being far more dynamic. The problem was that as the series continued, nothing changed. Everyone, Touji and Momo in particular, make the same mistakes over and over and over, resulting in a very redundant series. Every time Momo does the same stupid things, she grows considerably less likable until her awkwardness, once almost endearing, is nothing short of insufferable. By the way, I lied when I said nothing changes: even Kairi and Sae become infected with the same disease of idiocy that Momo and Touji had throughout the series.

Of course, the seiyuu don’t help matters one bit. Peach Girl has some of the very worst seiyuu work to come out of Japan. Of course the actors can’t be entirely faulted since they’re portraying poorly-written situations with insufferable characters… but one has to wonder which came first. Did the bad acting make the characters intolerable, or are the characters intolerable because of substandard acting?

There are moments where it looks like Peach Girl can pick itself up and actually maintain some semblance of quality, but then some character jumps to the wrong conclusion or makes a stupid decision. The experience of watching this series is much like playing with a bunch of firework duds. Every so often there may be a slight spark, but it always ends in disappointment.