Peach Girl

March 20, 2010

I’m sure we all have been guilty at one point in our lives by judging a book by its cover. All of us have a natural tendency to classify and assume at first glance a person based on our stereotypical and bias views. Of course that is a bad thing but I guess as humans, that is only natural. Thus it was one of the main reasons why I decided to pick up and watch Peach Girl. Hey, can’t judge an anime by its looks too, right? Need to sit down and watch the entire story before formulating any comments or criticisms.
 
Our main protagonist is Momo Adachi, an ex-swimming club member. People always mistook her for being a playgirl because of her looks. Yup, she is tanned because of her past club activities and this doesn’t help since her hair is bleached out. In contrary to her appearance, Momo is actually a nice girl. On the other hand, her so called best friend, Sae Kashiwagi, is a pretty looking and gentle girl on the outside, thus it is no surprise that many people would love to be near her. However deep down in her heart, she’s a total b*tch. Saying that she is Momo’s best friend is just lie and at least that is what Sae claims for Momo to be. More like frenemies if you ask me. More towards the enemy part, that is.
 
The interesting thing about this series is watching how twisted Sae screws up Momo’s life with all the lies she can come up. Man, you really got to ‘love’ her ability to do so. She is one character you will definitely love to hate! Even Momo herself once quoted that Sae is some sort of parasite that feeds on other people’s unhappiness. And that unlucky person seems to be Momo. Of course you’re not going to see how Sae plans to take everything away from Momo, who has a hard time trying to fend herself from that b*tch’s scheme. Being a normal girl too, Momo has to face a love triangle dilemma.
 
So in episode 1, we see Momo having a crush on classmate Kazuya "Touji" Toujigamori. While the other boys are badmouthing Momo, Touji is the only one who dismisses all their unfounded claims, thus the reason why Momo likes him. However, Sae having a penchant to steal whatever Momo wants, goes to the extent of even trying to steal this crush of hers. Not wanting that, Momo lies and randomly points to another guy as her boyfriend. That guy happens to be Kairi Okayasu and is quite popular with the other girls. Somehow this Kairi guys takes a liking for Momo at first sight. Yup, he winked at her. As expected, Sae tries to steal Kairi to be her boyfriend. Kairi isn’t a dumb playboy and knows that Sae’s words are contradicting (about some bag she bought to rival Momo’s) and ‘dumps’ her because he prefers nice girls like Momo. To make matters worse, rumours are spreading in school that Momo and Kairi are a couple! Momo is disheartened because if Touji ever finds out, it’ll be the end of her chance to be with him. That’s not the end of the problem. There are several girls who formed a fan club for their beloved Kairi and they don’t like what they see. Furthermore, another nasty rumour is that they both kissed! Momo thinks this must be Sae’s doing but surprisingly, it is Kairi himself who created this. Momo is upset but Kairi isn’t lying. They did kiss. Two years ago when he nearly drowned at the beach where Momo worked part time as a lifeguard. Momo saved his life by performing CPR. Ever since, he felt grateful but Momo insists that it wasn’t her. Yeah, some long haired lifeguard guy. Ugh. Even so, that doesn’t make the rumour go away. Simple. Kairi thinks a way to dispel a rumour is to turn it into reality. He kisses her by surprise! He even tried to kiss her a second time but got kicked where it hurt most. Ouch.
 
Momo is definitely worried if Touji is to find out about this. So as part of her plan not to get tanned anymore, Momo tries to stay away from pool activities. Kairi continues to bug Momo by being friendly with her. Touji notices this and later confronts Kairi and tells him to stay away from Momo. Then later Touji and Sae eavesdrop on Momo and Kairi talking and they are taken aback because Momo finally lets it out that she has feelings for Touji. Sae is upset because her ‘friend’ lied to her. So she secretly sets up a meeting between Momo and Kairi at the pool while she drags Touji to see their ‘flirting’. During that time, Kairi who doesn’t know how to swim, fell into the pool so Momo had to dive in and save him by doing CPR. After leaving Kairi at the infirmary under the care of the school nurse, Misao Aki, Momo and Touji leave and to Momo’s surprise, Touji confesses that he liked her all along. And she thought she had too many surprises for the day already.
 
So in episode 2, Momo and Touji start dating. She finally gets her wish after all these years. However, Momo wish to keep their relationship a secret, not wanting others to think she hopped to another guy. At least till the rumour dies down. But Sae isn’t going to let them live happily ever after. Yup, that b*tch continues to copy Momo by buying stuff the latter buys and even plans to break them up by claiming that she is dating Touji herself! She does so by planting a hairpin in Touji’s wallet. When Momo’s sees that hairpin, she gets confused and convinced that Sae is indeed dating Touji though that guy doesn’t even know whose hairpin it was. Momo runs away but is comforted by Kairi. Touji is still puzzled over what happened as Sae knowing Touji has never kissed a girl in his life, takes this chance to trick Touji into doing a practice kiss with her! She forces himself on her but Touji tries his best to restrain. And all in good timing, guess who walk pass by? Yup, Momo and Kairi. This confirms it. Sae continues to let the duo fall into her trap by making them wait at 2 different places. As Momo waits by the pool, Kairi comes by to talk and comfort her. This is part of Sae’s plan to have Touji see for himself that Momo is flirting with Kairi while continuing to lie and shed crocodile tears that Momo said dating him was boring bla bla bla. So Touji takes Momo to the spot where he and Sae had their practice kiss. Touji prepares to kiss Momo but she shoves him away.
 
Touji knows that he is wrong trying to kiss Momo without her permission so in episode 3, he waits outside her house to apologize and talk with her. But that’s not the end of her woes yet. The next day, Sae continues her scheme by trying to make Momo look like the villain. She put on some make-up to make it as though Momo had hit her and then made a big dramatic scene that she was being pushed over the tables by Momo. Touji is absent from school due to appendicitis and I guess it is bad enough so much so he had to be hospitalized. Because Momo was late to enter class, she doesn’t know about this so leave it to b*tch Sae to manipulate things further. Sae spread nasty rumours about Momo in order to turn everyone in class hate her. That rumour turns out to be Momo trying to steal Touji away from Sae whom she is dating currently in addition to keep Touji’s hospitalization a secret from Momo. Why that total b*tch! At the mean time, Sae pays Touji several visits at the hospital and tries to make a move on him. She further spread her lies by saying that she invited Momo but she refused to come. Kairi finds out the truth about Touji’s hospitalization and tells Momo about it. It doesn’t take a genius to know how pissed off she is. Sae, you’re going to get it real good this time. Can she?
 
Momo rushes to the hospital in episode 4 but to her horror sees Sae on top of Touji and trying to kiss him! Yeah, all this is perfectly orchestrated by that b*tch. Momo tells Kairi to take Sae away while she straighten things out with Touji. However Touji has been fed with all the lies Sae has told him so no amount of convincing from Momo could make him open his eyes. Touji even thinks that Momo is the baddie here and trying to make things worse! Desperate to make Touji listen to her, Momo threatens to jump out from the hospital’s window! It’s a long way down. Touji agrees but the strong breeze blows Momo off her balance. Luckily Touji caught her before she fell to her doom. Meanwhile Sae tries to team up with Kairi to break the duo up saying that they’ll get the lovers they want that way. However Kairi isn’t amused with her trick and refuses. It was part of his sly plan to get to know more about her. Two can play that game. However his slip of the tongue causes Sae to find out that he and Momo did kiss. So she rushes back to the room and just as Touji is about to believe Momo’s story, Sae barges in to tell them about that kiss. Tension arises when Momo shoots back the same thing about him and Sae but Touji says that kiss was a practice. Obviously even if his intentions were good, no girl would accept a kiss, not even a practice one, from any other girl. With that, Touji suggests that they should break up but Momo insists that she should be the one who should break up with him as she storms out, leaving Sae very delighted. Happy now, b*tch? Damn right she is.
 
Even if they have broken up, Sae has no intention of leaving Momo alone. Why, that b*tch! In episode 5, Momo has been forced to represent her class in all of the swimming events. Ten of them to be exact. Fearing that Momo would steal the limelight from her if she wins her races, yeah, another round of lies to be concocted. Momo learns from her old schoolmate that Touji doesn’t hate tanned girls and the reason she lied was because she liked him too and wanted to discourage Momo. But she got over with it and felt she needed to lift that burden off her shoulders. Yeah, some help that was. Thankfully, Kairi is always there to comfort her. During the swimming competition, after a few races, Sae convinces several girls to cut the shoulder strap of Momo’s swimsuit. Though not 100% successful, the rip is there. One of the girls who were part of the conspiracy nearly drowned but Momo saved her. Momo notices her rip but finds that there isn’t enough time to sew it back. Not wanting others to find out, she continues her race as slow as a turtle in order to keep it from totally breaking apart, prompting her classmates to boo her. The girl that nearly drowned felt guilty and realized that Momo isn’t a bad person after all and lends her swimsuit to her so that she could perform better. After she leaves, Kairi comes in to the locker room and suddenly hugs Momo.
 
Sae haters would definitely love episode 6 because it is her turning point. Kairi arranges for Touji who has been discharged from hospital to hear about Sae’s true colours. Kairi ‘praises’ Sae over her mind control and lets her to the bragging explanations on how people judge others by their looks. Something about a lion and a deer example. So if Sae displays a weak and weeping helpless girl, everyone will show sympathy for her and the opposite against cruel-in-comparison Momo. Now that Touji knows the truth, he is feeling guilty of how he mistreated Momo. Though Momo won her remaining competitions, back in class, her classmates are mistreating her for being a playgirl. Kairi, not wanting Touji to take all the glory, ties him up in the locker. Of course, that was just part of his plan. Touji manages to break free and rushes back to class just when the guys are pinning down Momo to apologize to Sae (Momo slapped her after finding out what she had done). Touji then comes in and surprises everyone by apologizing and then asserting his love for Momo. Though everyone is confused with the different story they’re hearing from Touji (because all the while it’s from Sae’s mouth), slowly they realize that Sae had been lying along and start to shun her. Yeah! That’s right. You get what you deserved! However Sae tries to turn things around by saying that she’s the victim but Kairi brought other girls who then pinpoint that Sae was the one responsible for stealing their boyfriends! Crumble to ashes from all those deceits, girl! Everyone then apologizes to Momo so Touji suggests that they start anew again. Those magic words bring tears to her eyes…
 
To atone himself, Touji shaves his head a little in episode 7. Momo finds out that Kairi was the one who planned the downfall of Sae and goes to thank him. He’s such a sweet guy even though if he says that he wants her to be happy and in case she and Touji do not go well, he’ll always be her replacement. Because Touji once again tries to kiss Momo and the latter instinctively pushed him away, Momo suggests to have a love sign of their own to show their love for each other by making an L-shape sign with their hand. But Touji is a little embarrassed to do so (he managed to do so right in front of class. Oh, the embarrassment). Sae is now a lifeless frail girl (I admit that I sound like a sadist but I enjoy seeing her in this pitiful state. Haha! I’m no different…) and she is being bullied by other girls. However Momo still helps her up. Because of that, Sae becomes grateful to her and pesters her to do whatever she wants. Regret saving her, eh? One day, the duo are being approached by some magazine editors who want Sae to be their model (obviously for her looks lah). During her modelling shoot, a famous actor, Jigoro (wait a minute, that’s his name? As in gigolo? *Laughing like mad*), suddenly falls in love with Sae. Just how popular is this guy? Well his pheromones are so deadly that he can actually cause loser girls around him to, well, literally drop dead. Yeah, drop dead gorgeous. Somehow this doesn’t affect Momo because she loves Touji very much. Plus, Jigoro doesn’t seem to like Momo as from his eyes, she is like bullying Sae. One day, Jigoro comes to school looking for Sae, much to everyone’s shock and they get and even shocker surprise because he kisses Sae! Holy sh*t! Sae gets her confidence back and you can tell with that devilish laughter, signalling that the b*tch is back. Play that Elton John song!
 
While Momo happily dates Touji in episode 8, Sae becomes the envy of other girls because she is dating hottie Jigoro. However Sae isn’t happy because she seems to be jealous that Momo and Touji are so happy together! Oh no. She even tries to compare how her date is much better than them but Momo doesn’t care because she’s happy with the way things are. I don’t know what that Jigoro guy sees in Sae but he is willing to do anything for her. Even take her out on a spending spree. Sae buys so much stuff to her heart’s content but she still does not feel satisfied. Yeah, I think it has to go back to this: She gets her happiness from other people’s misery. So she once again gets Touji to meet her where they had their practice kiss and attempts any lie that she loves him. But Touji has learned his mistakes and won’t fall for her tricks again. Therefore, she wants Touji to give her a goodbye kiss and forces herself on him. Touji tries to push her away but the hole Sae dig causes him to trip as she pecks him on his cheek and that’s when Momo drop by. Momo slaps Touji and then immediately kisses him! Momo tells that b*tch to get her filthy hands off her Touji. Yeah, Momo also knows that Sae had set this up so that she could ‘witness Touji’s betrayal’. With her plans foiled, Sae runs away promising never to come between them again. Can we really truest her on that? Nope. She starts thinking real hard that the duo had wise up when Jigoro says he will do anything that she wants even if she is in love with another guy. Anything? Damn…
 
It’s Momo’s birthday in episode 9 so Touji plans a romantic dinner at his place. He shops for her birthday present and Sae seems to be tailing him from the shadows and jotting down several stuff. That night in the midst of their romantic session, all is ruined when Momo receives a frantic call from Sae saying that she has been dumped by Jigoro and wants her to go talk to him. I don’t know why she has to oblige but Sae at the same time tells Jigoro a different story that Momo likes him and tells him to date her. Once Momo gets into Jigoro’s car, Sae dresses exactly like what Momo wears and even puts on the same perfume. She enters Touji’s room and because it is dark, he can’t recognize her and he got fooled by it all as they ‘continue’ their make out. At the pier, Jigoro tries to kiss Momo but she shoves him away. She calls Sae and that’s when Touji realizes a different ringtone. He gets the shock of his life to see Sae. She continues to say she loves him and that Momo is dating Jigoro but Touji is fed up with her lies and goes out to look for Momo. Kairi earlier spot Momo in Jigoro’s car and calls Touji about this so the duo drag Sae along to where Jigoro might be. Jigoro tries to talk to Momo but she is too scared and thinks he is going to assault him so much so she accidentally tripped in a warehouse and several boxes came crashing on her. Jigoro takes her back to his apartment and that’s when the rest come by. Jigoro just came out of the shower and semi-naked Momo just regained consciousness and thinks she has been done in. Sae takes a photo of them before Touji and Kairi barge in. Touji is upset to see what has happened and starts punching confused Jigoro. Later at the park as Touji comforts Sae, Kairi thinks of that they need to get revenge on Sae.
 
In episode 10, Kairi tricks Sae to do an audition for his friend. Turns out some perverted S&M guy is scaring the daylights out of Sae. She deserves it, right? When Kairi tells them about this revenge plot, Momo feels it isn’t right and goes to rescue Sae. Momo knocks the S&M guy out and Sae isn’t happy to hear this revenge thingy. She starts blaming Momo (not listening to Kairi that it was him only who planned all this)though she admitted that nothing happened between Momo and Jigoro. Momo tells her back of her past deeds but that b*tch hasn’t learned her lesson. She feels that if she can’t obtain happiness, nobody can. Oh dear. She is going too far. As Touji plans to make up for Momo’s birthday, he plans to take her to the amusement park. However Sae calls Touji and shows him duplicate photos of Momo and Jigoro. She threatens to expose the pictures. Though Jigoro is famous and might get away with the scandal, Momo will definitely be expelled from school. She gives him a deadline or else she will do so during Jigoro’s press conference. Touji is in a dilemma whether to really believe Sae or not. At the amusement park, Sae continues to stalk Touji. Momo senses something wrong but Touji won’t tell. While riding the Ferris wheel, time is nearly up and Sae is at the press conference getting ready for the biggest scoop for the reporters. That’s when Touji (hiding his handphone to call Sae) tells Momo that they should break up because he’s sick with it all. Momo is shocked with it all. That night, Touji meets Sae to retrieve all the photos and its source. Sae then wants him to date her but he refuses since he never agreed to be her boyfriend. Knowing this would happen, she reveals that she still has the original source back in her home PC. Touji is upset with her dirty tactic. The next day in school, everyone is shocked to see Touji and Sae walking in hand in hand. Kairi tricks Touji so that he could explain things to Momo. When she does, Touji did the impossible as he kisses Sae right in front of their eyes! OMG!
 
But Momo still believes that something is wrong so in episode 11, she waits outside Touji’s house in the freezing cold just to see him but he continues to ignore her. I know he wants to protect her but not saying anything seems to make it even worse. In the end, as much as it hurts them both, Touji throws all the pictures of her and the perfume and tells her to leave. NO! I can’t believe Sae is winning this game! Seeing how down Momo is, Kairi steps in to cheer her up as he takes her out. Doesn’t matter if he’s got the cash to splash (from his elder brother Ryou who is a video game creator by the way) but it is all for Momo to make her happy. Yeah, going to the extent of giving her a whole new makeover look by dressing her up, doing her hair to make her look like a gorgeous woman. That night when Momo thinks Touji is at her doorstep, she rushes out only to see Kairi. She feels disappointed so Kairi lets her cry in his arms.
 
Several months passed and it’s the start of the new school semester in episode 12. Now Kairi is in the same class with Momo. Too bad Touji and Sae too. The class takes an outdoor camping trip and it seems Momo is enjoying her company with Kairi. However, Sae still isn’t happy that Momo is happy. Like all that heartbreaking break up were memories of yesteryear. Damn that b*tch! Now she’s gotten Touji away from her and she still isn’t satisfied. Touji and Sae are still officially a couple in the eyes of others but we know that guy is just playing along. Momo then spots them kissing in the woods (Touji giving in to another of Sae’s demands). Ugh. Get a room, please. Of course with Momo being too close to Kairi, those fan girls aren’t pleased and makes Momo get lost in the woods. Of course Kairi gets to know all this and manages to find her. Now it’s their turn to kiss. Momo is confused with her feelings because she still likes Touji but feels comfortable whenever Kairi is around as he is the only person she can rely on and immune to Sae’s schemes. But Kairi replies that he is happy just to be with her and doesn’t care if she still loves Touji as long she is happy. Those heartfelt words were enough to have another round of kiss. So is Momo going to settle for Kairi?
 
Seems like it. Momo and Kairi are dating now in episode 13. Kairi’s fan girls threaten to harm Momo but Kairi tells them off not to make him hate them more than it is now. Better take a hike, girls. Then Kairi notices Misao wearing a necklace that Ryou gave to her and still thinks she has feelings for his brother that he despises (because Ryou dumped her). Momo learns that Misao was Kairi’s personal home tutor since Kairi was a delinquent when he was young. Then Momo sees a photo of Kairi and another girl with that same necklace too. She confronts him about this but he throws away the picture as they kiss. Suddenly that girl in the photo appears and hugs Kairi. She is Morika and claims to be Kairi’s ex-girlfriend. Oh yeah, now things are heating up. It seems Morika wants to be Kairi’s girl once again and regretted that she dumped him 3 years ago for Ryou. Kairi obviously doesn’t want to and Momo obviously isn’t happy (more like jealous) though Kairi says they never seriously dated. I guess she can’t hold a grudge forever so she trusts him and is back on good terms. Morika even had a little confrontation with Momo, mocking her tanned skin and all that and if could’ve escalated into catfight if Kairi didn’t come by and tell Morika to go away. At least Momo is convinced that he truly loves her. That night, Momo plans to give Kairi a handphone cover as a gift and wants to meet up. At the bookstore, Momo is surprised to see Kairi talking with Morika and agreeing with her to meet at a hotel. All that trust went down the drain as Momo throws a tantrum, throws his stupid gift on the floor and runs away, leaving Kairi no time to explain himself. After all that she has been through, can’t blame her for doing so.
 
But Momo soon learns in episode 14 that Kairi agreed to meet up Morika at the hotel was to help Morika who wanted to get back with Ryou. Ryou then takes Momo out and explains things. Seems that Ryou and Morika were actually dating and was fooling around with Kairi. When a clear choice had to be made between them, Morika chose Ryou. Because of that, it was made to believe that he stole Morika away from him and that it is okay that Kairi hates him. Momo feels that Ryou is much a kinder and good person and so much different than Kairi. However Ryou seems to have an ulterior motive. One day Momo calls Kairi for a date but he’s in the shower so Ryou impersonates him and takes his place. When they meet, Ryou says that he is here to tell her on Kairi’s behalf that he can’t make it. His kind actions make it even more believable for Momo. He invites her to his company’s party. It seems Ryou is quite famous as people flock around him. What’s this? Sae is working part time there too? After the party, Ryou tells Momo that she resembles his dead girlfriend and wants to hold her. Momo agrees and that’s when Kairi comes by and punches his brother! Momo explains what is happening but Kairi says she mustn’t fall for his lies. However Momo doesn’t believe him and tells him back the nice person Ryou is and that he doesn’t know what is actually going on. Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t this what happened between her during that spat Touji and Sae at the hospital? Reversal of roles, eh?
 
Momo finds out the hard way that Ryou is a bad person in episode 15. Yup, Ryou tries to force himself onto Momo in a room. She kicks him where it hurts most as several wooden planks fall on him, enabling Momo to make her escape. Luckily Kairi comes across her so she repents her action. No wonder Kairi is immune to Sae’s lies. Yeah, he experienced it closer to home. Well, here’s another development. Sae actually falls for Ryou! No crocodile tears or scheming lies. She actually does start to have feelings for him. I think there’s a trend for all the girls Ryou dates because he gives them the same kind of necklace. So Sae brags to Momo that she’s dating Ryou and would even consider giving back Touji that she’s bored with (that b*tch!). Momo and Kairi go to confront Ryou at his office but when Momo is in the toilet, Ryou got the guts to even come in! Thankfully Momo’s got a pepper stray in hand. Ryou warns Momo that Kairi won’t embrace a girl he doesn’t truly love before making his slip away. Kairi starts to avoid Momo so after school Momo goes to Misao’s house to seek some advice. Just then, Kairi shows up. What does this mean? Momo concludes that the girl in the photo wasn’t Morika but Misao (they sure look identical. Only difference is Misao wears specs and is chubbier. Sorry). She wonders if he still has feelings for her and Kairi nods his head to indicate yes.
 
Can’t blame Momo for feeling disturbed that Kairi still loves Misao after all these while. So was it all lies that he told her he loved her? Well, Kairi tries to explain in episode 16 and to get Momo’s attention, attempts to drown himself in the school’s pool. So this was what happened. Basically, Misao was the first person who accepted as he was and took care of Kairi, thus those feelings developed over time when she was his personal tutor. One day during a company trip, they tagged along he realized Misao’s true feelings when he saw her wearing Ryou’s necklace. Then she told Kairi she was going to quit being his tutor. He felt betrayed and ran away. That’s when he swam into the ocean and nearly drowned. However he was saved and learned that Misao actually went looking for him when he was missing for 4 days and was worried sick. That’s when he really fell for her and couldn’t care who she was in love with. Though Kairi loves Momo, he loves Misao more. Therefore Kairi wants to break up with Momo in order not to hurt her further. I can’t believe this breaking up game is so easy? Feel like it, break up. Feel like it, get back again. After they part, so happen that Momo bumps into Touji and let the cat out of the bag. Next day in school, Touji confronts Kairi and punches him, regretting that he left her in his care. Later Touji meets with Momo and tries to kiss her but she pushes him away, citing that she still loves Kairi. Touji feels relieved as he was just testing her and wants her to go and tell Kairi her true feelings. She does so and tells him that she wants to start anew and doesn’t mind being second best for now. She is going to work her way to his heart till she becomes his number one (sex even included? That desperate?). Well, it worked.
 
It’s the summer vacation in episode 17. Sae seems to be happy with her date Ryou showering him with all the gifts she bought from the money she earned from things she does that Ryou told her to do. Momo advices her that she is being used but Sae turns a deaf ear. Until Sae realizes Ryou set her up to do a porn video instead of a video game promo. Scared to death, Sae locks herself in the bathroom and calls Ryou for help. He agrees that she doesn’t have to do it but on 1 condition: Never to show her face again. Devastated, Sae calls Momo. I don’t know how but they manage to gather all their classmate and gatecrash the room and whisk Sae away. Though Sae initially seems stuck up, she eventually apologizes and thanks everyone. That girl actually sincerely apologized? Man, things have certainly changed. Momo, Kairi and Sae confront Ryou but that guy plays it cool and doesn’t give a sh*t if Sae knows his true colours or leaves him. However Sae is still in love with him and can’t leave him. Hmm… Perhaps she’s getting her own retribution, eh? Momo and Kairi work part time at a convenience store and to add another surprise, Sae buys them an ice cream treat as gratitude. Wow! That girl actually has turned over a new leaf. While Sae and Momo are out talking, Misao comes into the store but faints due to fatigue from dieting. Kairi brings her to the back room and thinks of kissing her when Momo comes back…
 
Though Momo knows that she is still second to him, can’t help feeling gloomy and all that. In episode 18, sneaky Sae seems to try to play matchmaking for Momo. I don’t know if it’s a good idea even if her intentions are good. Therefore it’s kinda odd to see Momo being advised by Sae. Of all people. So I guess Kairi is finally going to make his move. He goes to Misao’s house and confesses that he loves her. However Misao rejects him since he only sees him as her little brother (hinting that she may have feelings for Ryou). So Kairi calls Momo and tells her what happened and decides to take a trip to sort his feelings out. He even tells her that during that period if she finds anyone better, then go ahead and fall in love with him. With Kairi’s part time post vacant, Sae gets another scheming idea. She makes Touji take up that part time job. Yeah, she loves seeing the drama unfold between 2 ex-lovers, eh?
 
Kairi’s journey makes a bad start in episode 19. He is robbed and realized it when he couldn’t pay his meal at a ramen store. So he works there to pay his debt and lives with the elderly couple. You could say this is some sort of long distance relationship as Momo eagerly waits for any reply from Kairi. If you need more convincing that Sae has changed, then this should be it. Sae sets up so that Momo could hear her confession of her past evil deeds to Touji. She hands him all her copies of that picture with Jigoro and apologizes. That is when Momo learns about the sudden break-up and that Touji did all that just to protect her. Sae goes to apologize to Momo but the latter is in no mood so she better get her face out of her sight. Because of that, Momo is once again tormented if she still has feelings for Touji. Then on a night whereby they watch the fireworks, Touji asks if he would be given another chance to go out with her if Kairi is no show but Momo pretends that she couldn’t hear his words. Kairi works hard, thinks hard and so with a little indirect help from the ramen shop husband, Kairi realizes his feelings for Misao were just admiration. He calls Momo and plans for them to go on a trip together when he gets back.
 
As Kairi waits to meet up Momo in episode 20, he comes across Misao as she tells him that she is going to confess her feelings for Ryou. Ryou appears and some disgruntled guy starts to beat him with a stick. When Momo arrives, she sees Kairi and Misao getting into a taxi to follow Ryou to the hospital (don’t worry, the criminal have been apprehended). Yeah, that guy didn’t tell why or where he was going when he called Momo, just that he’d be late. Can she wait that long. An hour seems like an eternity. Touji then arrives and because Kairi doesn’t show up, Momo leaves with Touji to their intended destination, the beach. Misao finds out Kairi is supposed to meet Momo and tells him to go. He rushes over but Momo has already left so he starts calling Momo’s friends but they know nothing. Sae agrees to help Kairi look for Momo by heading to the beach. However a typhoon is coming. That means, everyone is stuck where they are as public transport is temporarily shut down. Momo and Touji are together in the room alone so well, erm, let’s just leave it there. Kairi and Sae part ways once their train stops at the nearest station (Sae going back after learning her beloved Ryou is hospitalized). Kairi takes a cab but a landslide prevents them from going further so Kairi is going to walk the next 20km in the rain. Now that’s some real determination. He finally arrives. The next morning, that is. All bright and sunny like as though the storm was never here. Touji and Momo prepare to leave via train at the station when Kairi sees them hand in hand and feels devastated. Well I guess for Momo she has the right to be happy so it’s no surprise that she feels it’s okay going back to Touji.
 
Momo and Touji are once again a couple in episode 21. Momo is still unaware of what Kairi went through so she is upset when he acts like as though nothing has happened and that typical cheery mood of his (he doesn’t want to worry her). One of Momo’s friends isn’t happy that Momo decided to go back to Touji (because she herself got dumped by her boyfriend) and later apologizes for taking it out on her. Kairi notices both Misao and Sae had bruised marks over their cheek. So later when both girls met, Sae starts vehemently ticking off that pig (Misao) not to steal her man. This was what happened during the storm. Another storm was brewing at the hospital. Misao confessed to Ryou that she liked him and he felt happy and thought it had been a one-sided love all the while. As they nearly kissed, Sae came in and is shocked to see what is going on, went over to Misao and slapped her. Ryou then slapped Sae and told her to go away. Heartbroken Sae cried so loud but Ryou paid no attention. That is when Misao started to have doubts about her feelings for Ryou. Yeah, he has seen his true colours. Momo on the other hand gets confused to find a picture of herself in Kairi’s student handbook (he was taking pictures of several girls with his new digital camera as requests from his buddies and accidentally took one from passing Momo) when Kairi earlier said that Misao is still more important to him.
 
Though Momo continues to date Touji in episode 22, she still wonders if Kairi has feelings for her. Misao confronts Ryou and tells him to forget what she said that day and wants him to make up for Sae’s mistreatment. Because Ryou doesn’t want to answer calls from Sae, she gets Kairi to help her meet up with Ryou. One night, Ryou, Sae and Kairi meet up but the former brings Misao too. Catfight… Not. Ryou isn’t going to change his mind over Sae so I’m not sure if this is true or not, Sae claims that she is pregnant. Ryou doesn’t panic because he thinks it is one of her lies. Yeah, real life drama right in the middle of the street. Momo and Touji are passing by and happen to see that commotion. But they’re smart not to get involved. Kairi follows them back to Momo’s house but gets disheartened to see them kissed. When Touji is gone, Momo thinks he is still around but is surprised to see Kairi. However he starts crying and runs away, confusing her even more. Next day, Sae is happy that Ryou agrees to take her out (actually Misao told him to do so and settle things). However he gives her cash and tells her to do whatever she wants with it because he has no intentions of being the father. She slaps him so he leaves. Touji takes Momo to the Ferris wheel where they broke up and suggests that they start things anew from here to erase bad memories of this place.
 
In episode 23, Sae actually wanted to kill Misao by pushing her towards an oncoming truck! Luckily Kairi restrains her. She kicks up a fuss saying that things would be better if she wasn’t here. Misao slaps her and to think because her actions are harming the baby. Then in school, Momo hands back Kairi’s student handbook but Kairi suddenly hugs her and wants her to be his girlfriend. It gets a little childish because as Touji comes in and tells him to let Momo off, Kairi pleads to him to give him back her Momo. No way, man. Yes way. No. Yes. No. Please. Anyway Momo leaves with Touji. See lah. He had his chance but blew it. Now he wants her back so much, she’s gone. Elsewhere Sae talks to Ryou and she has no intentions of having an abortion while he got dumped by Misao. Ryou explains that he always envied Kairi and felt lonely but Sae replies that she too experienced the same thing with Momo and wants to make him a family so that he won’t feel lonely. Just when Ryou begin to realize Sae’s true kindness, Morika sends her thugs to beat up Ryou for his betrayal. Ryou gets beaten up badly while Morika restrains Sae (managed to call Momo for help. Yeah, she was in the midst of a difficult decision to choose either Touji or Kairi once and for all). Finally Sae can’t stand it and goes to protect Ryou but gets kicked in the stomach. The thugs panic and don’t want to take responsibility and runs away. Sae remains unconscious as she is taken to hospital. Momo, Touji and Kairi arrive at the hospital at Sae’s side. Once she awakes, Ryou informs her that the doctor said that she was never pregnant at all. Since she wanted a baby so much, she even showed symptoms of pregnancy. Sae starts crying so the gang leaves her alone as the trio continue where they left off. Touji or Kairi. Tick tock tick tock.
 
Momo makes that decision in episode 24 and she chooses Touji. But Kairi isn’t happy so he knocks him over and takes Momo to run away with him. How childish. Sore loser. Kairi tries to tell her that he loves Momo more than ever, that he needs her and his love for Misao is totally over. But she isn’t buying it after all that she had went through. Eventually Kairi lets her go as Touji catches up to her. In school, Touji suggests for them to go on a trip while Sae tries to cheer Kairi up and not to give up his fight for Momo. Looks like she has given up her love for Ryou (at least that jerk too turned over a new leaf). As Kairi continues to be gloomy, on the day of the trip to meet Touji, Sae tells Momo the things she didn’t know happened on that typhoon day. Once more, Momo starts to have that confusing feelings. Her story is confirmed further when she hears Misao’s side when Ryou was first attacked. Misao also advices her that both guys also went through a lot and she’ll be happy if she choses one of them rather than being indecisive and hurting them both. Just like history repeating itself, Misao realized she is holding back Momo like she did for Kairi that day. Touji is seen waiting and it’s more than 30 minutes that Momo is no-show. Kairi and Sae are hiding and watching and the latter thinks this is Kairi’s chance to get Momo back. Touji heads for the station and soon Momo arrives. She breaks down upon not seeing Touji anywhere but thankfully he just when to buy some drinks. He believed that she wouldn’t stand up on him without a valid reason. Feeling relieved, they both head for their trip.
 
Momo is feeling down and guilty during her trip in episode 25. Touji being the gentleman he is, listens to her problem and offers her advice. On the other hand, Kairi is going back to the beach where it all started. Sae tagged along thinking he was going after Momo and a love triangle fight but they ended up boarding a different train. So she’s a sadist in this nature now, huh? Don’t worry. Kairi isn’t going to kill himself but let all his bogged down feelings out. Yeah, shout all you want, buddy. A storm is building up so Momo and Touji take refuge at an inn. Kairi notices his handphone cover is missing and desperately goes to search for it in the rain. Sae cheekily borrows his handphone and SMS Momo that Kairi is going to be fish food. Momo thinking that Kairi is really going to commit suicide thinks of going there but Touji stops her seeing that all this may be just a prank. Plus, he thinks that if she goes, it will raise Kairi’s hopes and that will hurt him more if she goes on a sympathetic reason. If she really wants to go, then Touji suggests breaking up. After they kissed, he notices Momo shedding tears so he allows her to go. Momo then calls Kairi, in which Sae picks up the call. Momo is still in a dilemma so Sae tells her back about her indecisiveness. So Momo made up her mind to go because she realizes how much she loves Kairi. Nice guy Touji wishes her all the best as she is able to decide and ‘warns’ her that she’ll never be happier than the guy she dumped.
 
The typhoon didn’t materialize and it’s amazing that Kairi is still searching for the missing handphone cover till dawn. He finally spots a surfer guy having it and pleads for him to return it. However he is reluctant since there is no proof. Kairi gets desperate and struggles with him so his buddies beat him up. Surfer guy’s girlfriend tells him to just return it so he throws it into the sea. Kairi goes into the waters knowing well he can’t swim. Just when he got it, the wave pulls him under. Thankfully Momo just arrived in a taxi and dives in to save him. She pulls him back to shore and conducts CPR but to no avail. That’s when all her I-love-you confessions came out. Too late. See lah. Don’t want to say early, chai see. Not. That’s when Kairi opened his eyes so they’re glad to see each other and embrace. Then they confess they love each other and kiss. Sae takes a picture of them and admits she was the one who sent the SMS. Upset Momo chases her but no time for that because it’s better if she and Kairi hold hands and kiss once more. Ah, that mystery silhouette at the beginning of each episode now turns out to be Momo kissing Kairi. Solved. Momo finally narrates how they met and got back together at this sea and that so many memories melt and blend together here.
 
Okay, at least Momo finally made a decision in which guy she wants to be with. I’m sure this would appeal to Kairi fans and while Touji followers would definitely abhor such an ending. For me, it doesn’t matter as long as she is happy. From a certain angle point, Momo may look like a guy-hopping-slut. I mean, at first she had a crush on Touji and then b*tch Sae had to screw things up so she gradually fell for Kairi. Then Kairi had his love problem with Misao so Momo went back to Touji. Now finally it ended with Kairi. Ding dong here and there, don’t you think. But you can’t blame her after all that she has been through. Speaking of Kairi, it still irks me that when he has got his chance to be closer with Momo, all of a sudden he starts thinking about Misao. Putting that admiration conclusion aside, if he was serious about being in love with Misao, why did he go all out to ‘date’ Momo? Wasn’t he serious? Then when he lost it, he began to realize. So it’s true that you only really appreciate the things you have when you start losing them. I don’t know about Ryou’s case for Sae but I felt it was more or less the same thing. Though Sae managed to give up on him, after that last incident, Ryou has become at least a little more thoughtful.
 
Though Touji may not be a perfect person but his understanding and kind personality is something that all of us needs to emulate. He tried to protect Momo no matter what and never blamed her. He was even willing to give her encouragement even if it means against his chances of getting her back and gracefully letting her go even if it means he’ll never get to hold her hands or kiss her again. He’s such a sweet guy. Aww… Speaking of kisses, I didn’t keep count of them but it seems this series has shown quite a little of them. After several moments, kiss. Err, nothing wrong with that from this genre, right?
 
As for Sae, initially I hated her character and I guess many viewers would agree with me. If Momo is the Peach Girl, then Sae should be B*tch Girl. Haha! Note how I used that profanity word to describe several times in this blog. Jokes and blasphemy aside, but as the episode progresses, she too changed after experiencing love herself. She’s still the mischievous girl but not amounting to any dangerous threat. Something about Sae bugs me. It’s her ability to turn into 2D. I’m not joking. She can actually become as thin as a paper or a size smaller. Did she learn some kind of ninjutsu or what? I thought it was just a visual representation to show her current mood but certain parts in the story made me convinced that she had ‘skill’ like when she wanted to eavesdrop on Touji and Momo and there’s no place to hide so she turned 2D and slip herself hidden under card boxes to do so. Say, what happened to Jigoro anyway? Perhaps after he found out that he was being tricked into Sae’s scheme, he decided to ditch that chick and get on with his movie lifestyle. Another question remains for me. Why did Morika hired thugs to beat up Ryou for his betrayal? Perhaps when she wanted to get back on good terms with him, that deceptive guy didn’t want to.
 
If you want to talk about the pairings at the end of the series, seems that it only ends with Momo and Kairi. I thought at least maybe others like Ryou, Misao and Sae would end up at least with either one of the other. Fans of the shoujo genre could quickly identify with the good looking bishies drawn in this anime. Well, at least the main guys and girls look good. However, as compared to the manga art, I find that the latter is much more horrible! Excuse me, but that is my personal impression. The anime version of Momo looks much better. Way much better. Sure, the manga Momo is drawn in that stereotypic way but I can’t help feel that she sometimes resemble a Ganguro Girl. I thought she was some kind of a thug or heavy metal rock star. Just ugly. Oops. Yeah, I’m guilty for judging a book by its cover.
 
So the important 2 lessons learned from watching this series is that over-used book cover judging idiom. So do you think beauty pageant contests are sending the right kind of message? I know, it’s still the inside that counts. Secondly, trying to break up somebody else’s happiness just because you can’t have them is just plain jealousy and childish. Too bad this happens a lot in the real world. But thankfully just like how even though Momo’s tanned complexion is unfavourable to many, there are hot heartthrobs who are after her attention. There is surely someone for everyone. So any girls out there willing to date this out-of-shape useless anime otaku? Guess not. Back to 2D girls for me. :)
 

Peach Girl