Peach Girl (ピーチガール, Pīchi Gāru) is an extremely popular shōjo manga and anime series by Miwa Ueda (上田美和 Ueda Miwa). There was also a live action version produced in Taiwan.
The manga is published in Japan by Kodansha, and is published in North America by TOKYOPOP. TOKYOPOP divided the series into two parts, the first eight books being 'Peach Girl' and the last ten being Peach Girl: Change of Heart. In the Japanese version of the manga, all volumes are titled Peach Girl.
In Japan the manga ran from 1998 to 2003, the anime ran in early to mid 2005, and the live action ran in 2002. The manga has 18 volumes, the anime has 25 episodes, and the live action has 13 episodes. Although the manga has ended, Ueda is currently working on Ura Peach Girl (Peach Girl: Sae's Story in the TOKYOPOP version; literally, "Reverse Peach Girl"), a sequel story with Sae as the main character. Both stories appear in Kodansha's Bessatsu Friend magazine in Japan.
The anime has been licensed by FUNimation Entertainment and they will release the series in early 2007.
Peach Girl is a high school drama centered on Momo Adachi. A member of the swim team, Momo tans easily and her hair is bleached out; unfortunately, she is stereotyped as a ganguro girl by her ignorant classmates, and is forced to endure rumors about being a beach bunny and a slut. Her only friend is Sae, who is actually responsible for spreading the nasty gossip. Momo is in love with Kazyua Tojikamori, a taciturn baseball player, but the scheming Sae also has her eye on the boy. Momo's life is further complicated with the introduction of Kairi Okayasu, a wise-cracking playboy who is determined to make her his because Momo saved him from drowning the summer before high school started. Things became even more complicated when Sae, in an attempt to make Momo miserable, forced Momo to break up with Toji by threatening to discredit Momo with her newly acquired access to the mass media. Though Toji was defiant to begin with, he reluctantly broke up with Momo in order to protect her. Momo was heartbroken at first, especially because she did not know that it was part of Sae's schemes. However, she eventually began dating Kairi, whom she had previously considered annoying, and soon began to fall in love with him.
When Toji revealed to Momo what had happened and why he broke up with her, Momo was left to choose between Toji and Kairi.
She decided to choose Toji, who in her mind was the right one for her, but Kairi was undoubtedly infatuated with her. More problems arose and a love triangle was formed.
When Momo learns why Toji had to break up with her, she is forced to chose between Toji and Kairi as the love triangle intensifies
In "Sae's Story", Sae was left back a year. She was too stubborn so she goes to Momo's and Kairi's college every day. Toji went off to a good college by himself. Sae then meets one of her childhood sweethearts. In love with Sae, her childhood sweetheart follows her around trying to win Sae back over. He also takes care of Sae's dog when her parents would no longer let her keep it. The dog walks with a little limp, as one day when the dog tried to follow her, Sae threw a rock at its paw and injured her. Sae starts modeling and pretends she goes to college with Momo, when she is really still in high school.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Momo (安達モモ) The main character. She has dark skin and light hair, giving others the impression that she is a "beach bunny" and sexually promiscuous. On the contrary, Momo is a shy and insecure girl, though she has a fierce temper. She has loved Toji for many years, although later on she falls in love with Kairi. Her given name means 'peach' in Japanese.
Sae (柏木紗英Kashiwagi Sae): She does everything to ruin Momo's life. Her fair features (pale skin, brown hair) serve as a contrast for Momo; her "innocent" appearance belies her scheming, manipulative nature. Sae is very jealous of Momo, and is determined to make her miserable, even to the point of stealing Toji's first kiss, the one who Momo was dating. Unbeknownst to Momo, Sae is the one who spreads malicious gossip about her. She often uses the gossip to make people dislike Momo. One of the rumors she spreads says that she is dating Toji, and that Momo is trying to steal him from her when it is actually the other way around.
Toji (和也杜氏Kazuya Toji): A baseball player who has been Momo's crush since junior high school. He has a good heart, but tends to be hard-headed and oblivious to what's in front of him.
Kairi (岡安カイリOkayasu Kairi, カッド Kairi): A popular and carefree classmate of Momo's. He has the reputation of being a playboy. Momo once saved his life when he almost drowned at the beach; his interest in her is renewed when Sae spreads rumors about them being a couple. Momo's kiss with him is Momo's first kiss. He was also in love with his tutor Misao before. The English-language manga uses the non-standard romanization "Kailey Okayasu." Other groups, such as FUNimation, Kodansha, and non-English language publishers, use "Kairi" .
Ryo: Kairi's older brother who works in the video game industry. He serves as a male counterpart to Sae, only he is much more dangerous and capable of killing other human beings.
Misao Aki: The school nurse and a big sister figure for Momo. Misao was once Kairi's tutor, and an old flame of Ryo's.
Jigoro (王子五郎 Ōji Goro): A male model who is smitten with Sae and unaware of her true personality. She uses him in her schemes against Momo. He does not appear as much as the other characters.
Monica: A young woman who once dated both Okayasu men, Monica has a grudge against Ryo and tries to use Kairi against him. One night, she sends a bunch of thugs to injure Ryo and, in an attempt to protect Ryo, Sae plants herself in front of him and gets kicked in the stomach while she thinks she is pregnant.
Spoilers end here.