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Manga / Peach Girl

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"Bronzed beach-bunny skin, big bedroom eyes that men find alluring, blonde hair everyone thinks is bleached. Beautiful, easy and clueless? Stuck up. Conceited. A slut. Sigh... My looks always cause me so many problems."
Momo Adachi

Momo Adachi has had a crush on Kazuya "Toji" Tojigamori for years, but has kept it a secret on account of a rumor that Toji considered dark skin and blond hair to be a turn-off. Her first time telling someone about this crush is during the course of turning down Kairi Okayasu, unknowingly within earshot of Toji and Sae Kashiwagi. Toji confesses his love to Momo, they get together, Sae uses assorted Magnificent Bastardry to try to break them up and generally make Momo's life miserable, Kairi consistently proves a Spanner in the Works to Sae's schemes, and Momo starts falling for Kairi.

It only gets even more confusing from there.

Written and illustrated by Miwa Ueda, Peach Girl was first published in Kodansha's Bessatsu Friend magazine from 1997 to 2003 for a total of 72 chapters. The manga was first picked up by Tokyopop for an English-language release in North America, but after its shutdown, Kodansha Comics USA acquired the rights to publish it. A TV drama aired in Taiwan in 2001. The anime was produced by Studio Comet and aired in early 2005 on TV Tokyo for 25 episodes; it was licensed by Funimation in North America. A live-action film, directed by Koji Shintoku and starring Mizuki Yamamoto as Momo, was released in 2017.

A sequel, Peach Girl Next (which is set 10 years later), was serialized in Be Love from 2016 to 2019.

Peach Girl provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The anime condenses the 72 manga chapters into 25 episodes.
    • Some of the side plots had to be written out of the film given that the manga was being adapted into 116 minutes of film. Takashi Okayasu and Sakurako Adachi do not appear in the manga or anime, either.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: While Momo's hair is rendered blonde in the color illustrations, the anime and live-action adaptations change her hair into a red color, mirroring the manga's descriptions of her hair.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Dear God, Sae is this trope. After being turned down by the guy she's claimed to love (at the time), being victimized by her former victims, and being treated as a friend by MOMO, given enough time, she goes back to her jealous, manipulative ways.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Momo is bullied by Sae for the majority of the story, though Sae lies to people about this, trying to make it seem like it's Momo who's bullying her. Also, due to her tan skin and bleached red hair, her classmates and other people consider her a kogal and treat her very much like an outsider.
  • The Baby Trap: Sae believes herself to be pregnant (this is later proved to be psychological) and tries to use this to bind Ryo to her who she loved when he loved Misao instead. When Ryo refuses her and tries to leave with Misao she blurted out that she was pregnant.
  • Bed Trick: Sae attempts to sleep with Toji by dressing herself up as Momo and turning off the lights in the room so he won't notice it's her. They make out for a bit, but he eventually notices and is horrified.
  • Betty and Veronica: Each love triangle is a Betty and Veronica one:
    • Momo-Sae-Toji - Toji is the Archie, Momo is the Betty and Sae is the Veronica.
    • Momo-Toji-Kairi - Momo is the Archie, Toji is the Betty and Kairi is the Veronica.
    • Momo-Kairi- Misao. Kairi is the Archie, Misao is the Betty and Momo is the Veronica.
    • Sae-Ryo- Misao. Ryo is the Archie, Misao is the Betty and Sae is the Archie.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sae is one of the greatest examples of this trope in all of anime and manga. She uses her innocent looks as a foil to Momo's dark skin and bleached hair to her advantage. She tries to act innocent while trying to undermine Momo and turn people against her.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Toji's reasoning when he is blackmailed into dating Sae at the risk of her spreading scandalous photos of Momo and Goro, ruining Momo's life.
  • Canon Foreigner: Although Takashi Okayasu and Sakurako Adachi, who are Kairi's father and Momoko's mother, never appeared in the manga or anime, they show up in the film.
  • Cassandra Truth: Kairi's jokes and affectionate teasing towards Misao throughout the series were somewhat legitimate.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Ryo tries to leave Sae who’s madly in love with him and she pulls on his shirt, pleading with him not to leave her alone. She promises to do anything to keep him with her and he says: Then break up with me.
  • Chessmaster Sidekick:
    • This is about as Face as Sae gets.
    • Kairi for Momo when he exposes Sae's lies and manipulation to not only Toji, but the entire class, not only leading to Toji and Momo getting together but also Sae being shunned by the entire class.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Momo towards Toji at times. Sae is much more aggressive about this towards any guy that captures her attention, namely Toji and Ryo. Also, both Toji and Kairi could be seen as male versions of this trope in regards to Momo, and Jigoro to Sae.
    • Then there's Kairi's bitchy trio of Clingy Jealous Girl's who hold nothing but pure hatred towards Momo.
  • Cooldown Hug: Kairi gives Momo a few practically each volume.
  • Compensated Dating:
    • Momo is often harassed by men who attempt to do this.
    • Sae voluntarily does this however.
  • Covert Pervert: Momo, even though she violently berates Kairi for his perverted tendencies, it has been suggested that she is secretly perverted herself.
  • Creative Closing Credits: In the closing credits to the film, there are sequences where the dialogue, narration and sound effects are written out like in the manga while "Call Me, Maybe" plays in the background.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Sae learns the hard way that when your classmates discover that you've tried to pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit on an innocent girl and lie that she's the one bullying you, everyone will turn against you.
  • Distant Sequel: NEXT takes place 10 years after the events of the original series.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Sae should have known better than to boast about her Wounded Gazelle Gambit routine when Toji was listening...
  • Domestic Abuse: Sae to Goro, who she leads on in her efforts to undermine Momo. She also ends up manipulating Goro to do a fake Attempted Rape on Momo so she could take pictures and use them as blackmail.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: A slip in the dub causes Toji to casually mention to Momo that Sae is blackmailing him with pictures, which she has never heard about until now. You can tell it's a mistake when Momo actually finds out a few episodes later and confronts Sae about it.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Sae is tricked by Kairi into expounding on her Wounded Gazelle Gambit routine, and how she has repeatedly made Momo look like a monster before the class. Unknown to her, Toji is right around the corner, and hearing her bragging finally wakes him up, and he, in turn, makes damn sure the class knows who and what Sae really is. The worst part was, they kind of already did, but admitted falling for an act they themselves had been victimized by before—and sadly, would again before all was done.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even though Momo's classmates ridicule her for her looks, they become appalled when they realize that Sae is the one that caused problems with Momo to happen in the first place.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: In North America, the anime was subtitled Peach Girl: Super Love Pop Hurricane.
  • Foreshadowing: Happens several times throughout the series:
    • Kairi's photo of him and Misao is shown early on in the series but does not become relevant til halfway the series.
    • Toji, while usually very oblivious and naive, comments that Momo seems to be happiest when she's with Kairi than even with him.
    • Kairi's constant flirting and affectionate teasing with Misao throughout the series takes on a different light given the revelations in the latter half of the series.
    • Likewise,the reason for Misao's rejection of Kairi is mentioned earlier on, albeit in a throwaway line.
    • Kairi's older brother is briefly mentioned, having given Kairi a credit card, free to spend it as he likes. Later on it is revealed that his older brother Ryo, is involved in pyramid schemes and exploits women for money.
  • The Glomp: Toji to Momo sometimes, and Sae to whoever she may like at the moment.
  • Gyaru Girl: Momo is often mistaken for a ganguro due to her tanned skin and bleached hair. She gets teased a lot about it, but she's on the school's swim team. Her skin is just tanned because she spends a lot of time swimming outdoors, and the chlorine and other pool chemicals bleached her hair strawberry-blonde.
  • Hidden Depths: Kairi. This becomes a plot point in the latter half the series. He's also the only one to see through Sae and Ryo's scheming natures. Often figuring out Sae's plans on evidence alone.
  • Hollywood Homely: In-Universe. Misao is considered to be this. She's drawn to a bit plainer than Sae or Momo, with large glasses and slightly chubbier face. She's just as pretty however in reality.
  • Idiot Ball: Toji holds most of it throughout the series. It takes Kairi essentially setting Sae up to confess everything she's ever done to Momo for Toji to finally realize how much he's been lied to. Somewhat justified in that it's mentioned that Toji is a bit on the naive side but he showed a distressing lack of sense towards his own relationship.
  • Insidious Rumor Mill: One of Sae's specialties. She isolated Momo before even meeting her by spreading a rumor that Momo was absent from school due to a teen pregnancy. Sae uses this to become Momo's sole friend and ruin her life by continuously spreading rumors to support the idea she's easy, which makes all of their classmates shun her and keeps Momo from getting together with her crush Toji. When Sae's lies are eventually revealed, the whole school turns on her.
  • Live-Action Adaptation:
    • This series was adapted first into a Taiwanese live-action TV drama, which starred Annie Wu and aired in 2002.
    • A film based on the manga was released in 2017, directed by Kōji Shintoku and starring actress/model Mizuki Yamamoto as the titular character.
  • Love Triangle: There are several that go on throughout the series, sometimes simultaneously.
    • Momo likes Toji. Sae doesn't seem to genuinely like Toji but seduces him just to make sure Momo can't have him. Toji ping-pongs between being with Sae and getting closer with Momo.
    • Later, Momo becomes the center of another triangle, this time revolving around Toji, who starts to reciprocate her feelings and the two even date, and Kairi, who acts The Tease to Momo but genuinely develops feelings for her.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Kairi, going hand in hand with Hidden Depths. He is the only person aside from Misao who doesn't fall for Sae's tricks.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Kairi gets one when he realizes Momo is about to hit him for having the girls start a fight with her.
    • Sae upon realizing that her actions at school have been exposed by Toji.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A lot of the relationship problems in the show could've been resolved very quickly if not for this.
  • Rape as Drama: Nearly happens several times to add drama to the story.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Sae crosses the line when she sets up Momo to be raped. Luckily, it does not happen.
    • Sae is put in a similar situation due to Kairi mistakenly putting her in the wrong room as part of a revenge plan. She would have not been saved had not Momo believed in this.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: Played With. When Sae gets put in danger of it as revenge for her putting Momo in the same situation previously, Momo rescues her as soon as she finds out. Being rescued for a second time plays it straight, though.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Toji (Blue) is more introverted, calm, and restrained while Kairi (Red) is more animated, extroverted and emotionally expressive.
  • Rousing Speech: From Sae, of all people. She's trying to encourage Momo and Kairi to get over their respective hangups and get together.
  • Second Love: Momo ends up with Kairi instead of her first love, Toji.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: Goro brings her to a seedy hotel, strips her naked and puts her in bed under a Modesty Bedsheet to make it seem like they slept together / he raped her. The fact that merely stripping her fully naked while she's unconscious already counts as sexual assault is never brought up.
  • Unfocused During Intimacy: Momo is in a Love Triangle with Toji and Kairi. In one scene, Toji gives her the ultimatum of choosing between him or Kairi. In the midst of being kissed or about to have sex with Toji, in the anime and manga respectively, her mind goes to Kairi. Toji notices the tears going down her face and comes to the I Want My Beloved to Be Happy conclusion.
  • What's He Got That I Ain't Got?!: Sae builds herself up by bringing other people down and stealing things they want from them such as her friend's boyfriends. When Momo and Toji finally manage to get together Sae is bothered by how happy Momo seems with her non extravagant relationship with him. She tries to fill the hole that her jealousy and insecurities bring her by having her rich boyfriend buy out stores for her. When she is surrounded by all her new items she still isn't satisfied and angrily blurts out "I have way better things than her! Yet why does she (Momo) seem so damn happy all the time?! What does she have that I don't?!" She destroys some of her purchases before thinking that there must be something about Momo being with Toji that makes it seem like she's "winning" over Sae. So Sae then decides to try to steal Toji from Momo.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Sae's favorite tactic is to trick others into thinking that she's a victim; she's even the Trope Namer.
  • Wrong Guy First: Momo has a huge crush on Toji, whose biggest flaws are being easily susceptible to Sae's schemes and believing most of the Malicious Slander against Momo, despite constant evidence against it. This destroys their relationship and Momo end up with Kairi, the only guy who consistently saw through Sae and could see Momo for the inexperienced, naive young girl she actually is.


Peach Girl

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4.75 (8 votes)

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