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Peach Girl Vol. 1 by Miwa Ueda (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

October 12, 2004 by  



peachgirl-1

“Peach Girl” is a delightful manga series about teenage love, a lot of backstabbing and crazy situations!  Miwa Ueda’s “Peach Girl” vol. 1 is highly recommended!

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© 1998 Miwa Ueda. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Peach Girl vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Miwa Ueda

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN:  Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Tokyo Pop

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: October 12, 2004

Momo is not your typical high school student – she’s constantly, completely misunderstood. Not only does she have an undeserved bad reputation, but she can never work up the nerve to tell the boy of her dreams, Toji, how she feels about him. The only girl in her class that will befriend her is Sae, but she just may be Momo’s greatest enemy!

Mangaka Miwa Ueda received experience in working on manga for author Naoko Takeuchi for “Sailor Moon”.  Having created series such as “Kyupi no Pants wa Nugasanaide”, “Kyou no Watashi wa Komatta Doll”, “G Senjou no Maria” and “Oh! My Darling”, she would get notice for her 1995 manga series “Angel Wars” and in 1998 for “Peach Girl” which earned her a Kodansha Manga Award in 1999.

And now “Peach Girl” will be released in the U.S. courtesy of Tokyo Pop!

“Peach Girl” is a series that revolves around teenager Momo Adachi (note: Momo in Japanese means “peach”).  Because she is a swimmer that tans very easily (and takes a long time for her skin to get back to its regular color), the pool not only leaves her with dark skin but also light hair.  And it gives people an impression that she is a beach girl, ganguro and is sexually promiscuous. So bad that she is often hit on and propositioned for sex by older men.

But the only thing that keeps her going is Kazuya “Toji” Toujigamori, a guy she had a crush on since junior high and because she heard from a friend that he hates girls with dark skin, it made her have this obsession with trying on different types of suntan lotion to prevent her from getting to dark to wearing long sleeves.

She is often seen with one of the popular “hot” girls on campus, Sae Kashiwagi, a person that is always trying to one-up Momo and really not much of a good friend but a rival.

One day, Sae wanted to know who Momo liked and knowing that if she told Sae the truth, she would start pursuing Toji, so Momo tells her that she liked Kairi Okayasu, one of the “hot” guys in school that the ladies are in love with.

As Sae tries to pursue Kiley, he pretty much turns her down, thus upsetting her.  When Momo goes to class, on the classroom chalkboard is a message that Momo loves Kiley (not in Japanese it is Kairi) and immediately, all the girls in school start to talk about her and some try to bully her.  To make things worse, Kiley starts telling people at school that Momo is a great kisser which infuriates the girls even more.

But the truth is that Momo never kissed Kiley, Kiley was referring to a moment when he drowned (because he can’t swim) and a tanned blonde gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  In truth, it was a blonde, long-haired, tan life guard, a guy, who gave him mouth-to-mouth.

So, now Momo wants Kiley to fix things and tell people it’s not true and hopes Toji never heard the rumor.  But seeing Momo thinking about the situation, he goes and kisses her.

The rumor starts to reach school that Momo and Kiley had kissed and it starts to infuriate Toji who goes up to Kiley and tells him to not go near Momo.

As Sae is up to no good, she sees Momo and Kiley walking around and she brings Toji with her to listen in on their conversation and Momo reveals that her true love is Toji and why she hates her dark, tanned skin and it’s because Toji hates dark skin but she has had a crush on him since junior high.

And now Toji wants to make Momo his girlfriend…but now knowing the truth that Momi likes Toji and not Kiley, Sae will do anything to make Toji hers.  And as for Kiley, he’ll never give up on trying to pursue Momo.

Find out what happens in this crazy romantic comedy manga series in the first volume of Miwa Ueda’s “Peach Girl”!

Having been a fan of Japanese surf magazines, I noticed that there were references in the magazine to a manga titled “Peach Girl”.

Suffice to say, having been familiar with Japanese beach girls in bikinis and tans, I noticed the manga was to be released by Tokyo Pop.  And while the manga is no doubt a shojo manga, I actually enjoy well-written shojo manga that deals with solid characters and interesting plotlines.

And after reading the first volume, what a fun manga “Peach Girl” has come to be!

A storyline of a teenage girl who tans to easily and people misjudge her.  Having had a long-time crush on junior high classmate but now that crush is in jeopardy thanks to her frienemy, Sae, who wants anything that Momo wants and wants it first!  But also the popular guy in school who has a crush on Momo.

Needless to say, it’s a crazy drama series because Momo is often in predicaments set up by Sae or somehow situations get misjudged, i.e. her talking to Kiley and people thinking something serious is going on between them.

So far, “Peach Girl” was such an enjoyable manga series, it reminded me of another favorite of mine, “Hana no Yori Dango” but while Momo is bullied and talked about in school, it’s not as bad as the situation of the main protagonist of “Hana no Yori Dango”, but still makes a delightful manga series of teenage love with a lot of backstabbing and situations that get out of hand!

So, far the first volume was very cool and I hope the series continues to be an enjoyable manga series from here on in!

Miwa Ueda’s “Peach Girl” vol. 1 is highly recommended!

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