What is it?
Wedding Peach is a 51-episode magical girl series. The show revolves around Momoko, an ditzy high school student with a big heart, and an even bigger stomach. While she lost her mother long ago, Momoko maintains a happy-go-lucky outlook on life. She’s a member of the school paper, and spends her days hanging out with friends. What Momoko really wants in life, though, is to be a blushing bride.
Yep, a bride. To the point that she apparently puts on her mother’s wedding dress, and has done so on more than one occasion. Is that creepy? Very much so!
Anyway, where was I? That’s right. Her world is turned upside-down one day, when a devil named Pluie attacks a soccer match that Momoko and her friends were covering. Using his magical marauder rope, Pluie pulls Momoko into his grasp, and makes a grab for the girl’s ruby ring. She’s saved at the last moment by Limone, a magical hunk from the heavens above.
…Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
One thing leads to another, and Momoko’s two friends are possessed by Pluie’s demon helpers, the Jama-P. When all seems lost, Tuxedo Mask, er, Limone, bestows a magical mirror upon Momoko, which puts her into contact with the goddess Aphrodite. Following Aphrodite’s instructions, Momoko embraces her destiny, becoming Sailor Moo- er… Wedding Peach – an angel of love with a magic bouquet that kills devils… or something.
No, really. What the hell is it?
In the mid-nineties, there was a boom in the magical girl genre, fueled primarily by the popularity of Sailor Moon. Numerous imitators appeared, both in manga and anime, all of which were hoping to unseat the reigning queen of the genre. Wedding Peach was one of the more prominent contenders, and proved popular enough to receive four OVAs on top of its original 51-episode run. It’s based on a 1994 manga by Sukehiro Tomita & Nao Yazawa, and debuted on Japanese TV in 1995. At the time of the show’s debut, Sailor Moon SuperS was in the middle of its run.
Wedding Peach is, for all intents and purposes, Ghetto Sailor Moon. The show shamelessly apes every trope that its forebear introduced. From the bank-shot transformations, to the post-transformation monologues. The theme song is a carbon copy of Moonlight Densetsu, and even the attack calls are delivered with the exact same tone and rhythm as those found in Sailor Moon.
When it’s not shameless biting on a more popular property, Wedding Peach is a parade of utter idiocy. Momoko, especially, is air-headed to the point of idiocy, often to frustrating lengths. Her friends really aren’t much better, and tend to use Momoko as a punching bag, as well as a convenient object onto which they can project their annoyance. On top of this, the writing is just plain stupid, more often than not. Seriously, it’s so bad that the heavenly group that gives Momoko her powers is known only as the “Saint Something Four.”
Probably the most egregious issue with the show, though, is the sheer blatancy of the pandering and merchandising in the show. Where Sailor Moon transforms, Wedding Peach transforms twice: once into a wedding gown, a second to gain her magical girl gear. Every little chotchke, from ruby rings, to transformation dongles, is put front and center in front of the camera. Even the demonic Jama-P characters look like they were designed to be made into cheap UFO catcher prizes.
And you want me to watch this WHY?
Wedding Peach is a show that is great for showing in a group of Sailor Moon fans. The show’s hilariously bad attempts to copy the Sailor Moon’s secret sauce will stand out to many, and serve as ripe candidates for snark and mockery. The clumsy writing and generally bad characters will just enhance the experience and give viewers something more to latch onto when the “this is like Sailor Moon, only worse” jokes begin to grow thin.
The dub is a thing of horrid beauty, to boot. The characters blaze through lines with the pace of the Speed Racer cast. To make matters worse, the characters sound like they’re voiced by random folks off the street. Poorly pronounced lines, mangled names, and odd inflections are the norm, which turns an already bad show into an exercise in cringe-worthy hilarity.
When and how long should I screen this for?
Screen Wedding Peach in the middle of your night’s rotation. It’s not strong enough to work as a headliner, nor does it have the “oomph” to close off an evening. However, before screening, definitely lead in with some fun banter. Something like “Who likes Sailor Moon? Show of hands? Well, we don’t have Sailor Moon, but the guy at the store said this was almost just as good… almost.”
Generally, it’s best to screen the show in single-episode increments. Use it as an occasional standby for future Bad Anime Nights, as it’s more likely to get a reaction when used sparingly.