Peach Girl is perhaps one of the most realistic manga set to anime. Unlike most manga, Peach Girl does not contain any supernatural qualities or futuristic gimmicks, such as seen in Shinmai Maou no Testament Burst and Planetes. It contains real-life circumstances and ordinary human behavior. Momo Adachi is an average high school student whose life revolves around rumors, betrayal, and a love triangle. One particular rumor labels Momo as a beach bunny because of her tanned skin and bleached hair. Momo’s tan comes to her naturally as a swimmer.
Momo is like any other person. She attends school, lives in an apartment, and has a crush on Toji Kazuya, the basketball player. It is the start of this crush that leads to a rivalry between Momo and her childhood friend Sae Kashiwagi. Sae, a jealous and crafty character who desires Toji, is not above to putting forth rumors and lies to get what she wants. From the very beginning, Sae has set to make Momo as unhappy as possible.
Sae’s manipulative schemes work well to influence and control Momo’s life.
Although Peach Girl is realistic, symbolism comes to life through Sae whenever she appears with a cat’s face. The belief that cats are sly and crafty character promotes the idea that Sae is also sly and crafty, particularly when she schemes.
Sae once told Momo that Toji did not like girls with tans. This prevented Momo from ever seeking a relationship with Toji. Later on, when Momo found out the truth, she spent more time with Toji and became his girlfriend.
This did not set too well with Sae who wanted Toji for herself. Sae, the manipulative and compulsive person that she is, launched a tactical plan to break them up. She learns that Kairi Okayasu is in love with Momo and starts a rumor that the two had shared a kiss.
In reality, Kairi once nearly drowned and had been resuscitated. He had believed it had been Momo who had given him the “kiss of life.” Sae used this belief to convince Toji that Momo and Kairi had kissed. Kairi further added onto this rumor with a claim that he and Momo had in fact shared a kiss.
Toji believed Sae and Kairi and confronted Momo about the kiss. When Momo denied it, Toji did not believe her, but accused her of cheating on him. Frustrated and angry, and hurt, Momo broke up with Tojii.
Later on Kairi had come to realize what Sae had done. Though he is a playboy, he is able to see through the crafty Sae and confronts her on what she had done. It was Kairi who spoke to Toji and told him the kiss had happened during his rescue from drowning; the kiss of life, that brought him back to life. Kairi’s love for Momo was enough to see her be happy, and it was that love that took him out of the picture, yet pushed Toji and Momo back as a couple.
Undetermined to give up, Sae launches another of her schemes to discredit Momo. To protect Momo, Toji breaks up with her. Momo decides enough was enough with Toji and dates Kairi instead. When it is later revealed to her why Toji broke up with her, she is stuck at a crossroads between Toji and Kairi, thus a love triangle that further develops as problems continue to rise. Through it all, Momo pushes onward, as best a person can under the circumstances. She comes to realize how terrible of a friend Sae has been to her, and learns to never trust Sae again. When an attack lands Sae in the hospital, Momo’s concern for her rival shows. Despite all of Sae’s wrongdoings, Momo does not want any thing bad to happen to Sae.
As the story progresses, Momo decides to remain with Kairi, who loves her enough to let her go, under the saying; if you love someone let them go. If they return to you, they are meant for you. Kairi and Momo’s relationship blossom onward, creating a strong bond that becomes unbreakable.