I checked out the first volume of Peach Girl from the public library. When I first heard the title of the manga, I wondered if it was referencing to the old japanese folk tale “Momotaro“, the Peach Boy.
Evidently not! Peach Girl is the story of Momo (Japanese for peach), a girl on the high school swim team who is cursed with a tendency to tan easily. This can be a problem for a girl growing up in a country that values extremely pale skin. As a result of her tanned skin, everyone assumes that Momo is a no good beach bunny (I don’t know if it is partly a respose to the ganguro fashion trend). Momo’s best fiend (and I mean fiend instead of friend because she is evil) Sae proceeds to take advantage of Momo’s insecurities. Creator Miwa Ueda has stated that she based Peach Girl on some of her own experiences in junior high and high school. If there is one thing that manga can teach you about Japan, it is that high school sucks big time!
All is not lost for poor Momo, because like most shoujo manga heroines, two boys fall in love with her. Momo is trying to avoid the sun for the sake of Toji, a nice respectful boy she has known since junior high. Sae tells Momo that Toji proclaimed he would never date a girl with a tan, so Momo stocks up on high SPF sunscreen.
Momo tries to sidetrack Sae’s manipulations by pretending to have a crush on the school’s resident bad boy Kiley. But wait! Maybe Kiley likes Momo too!
What is going to happen? Is Sae going to be succesful in her machinations? How can Momo avoid the sun while being on the swim team?
Peach Girl is an 8 volume series, continued in Peach Girl: Change of Heart, an 11 volume series.
I’d like to know what happens in the end, but I don’t know if I can read 3000+ pages of manga in order to find out. This is the problem with reading manga sometimes, it takes an big time investment to reach the end of a story.
Note: If you don’t want to read plot points and potential spoilers, do not read the very long comment thread after this post.