Peach Girl: Sae’s Story Book 1

Sae was the bad girl in Peach Girl, the story of how a teen girl named Momo overcomes stereotypes to find love. And when I say bad, I mean BAD. Sae didn’t think anything of having Momo drugged and date-raped in order to steal her boyfriend.

So seeing her as the heroine of a new short manga series was going to be a hard sell for me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t succeed.

Momo and her boyfriend have gone to college together, and Sae’s still hanging out with them. Momo’s always had a big heart, you see, so she’s forgiven Sae for everything terrible she’s done. (This is not particularly believable, but it’s a manga convention that the heroine is incredibly loving and giving.) Sae’s not in school with them, because she flunked her last year of high school and has to repeat the grade in order to graduate.

Peach Girl: Sae's Story Book 1 cover
Peach Girl:
Sae’s Story Book 1
Buy this book

Sae’s refusing to cope with all this, acting like a 6-year-old with her pouting and pretense that she’s also in college. Her childhood sweetheart has returned to town, and she treats him abominably, because he knows too many of her secrets.

Suddenly, the mean and manipulative Sae becomes someone that the reader is asked to have sympathy for. Her childhood is something out of a tearjerker, and she hates to be reminded of it, which is supposed to explain why she’s treating the old friend like dirt. Only all of this is too much of a switch, and too much reliant on cliché.

Most significantly, Sae has suddenly changed from someone who will do anything to get what she wants to someone pushed around by fate. Instead of making decisions and taking action, she’s reactive throughout this story, wailing against her school history and how the old friend’s presence makes her act. He even rescues her when she becomes a drunk victim of sexual attack.

I get the feeling that the reader is supposed to root for Sae to “come to her senses” and accept the old friend’s attentions, because he really means well underneath. Only Sae’s right about how clumsy and ungainly and pushy he is and how much he doesn’t fit in. So in order to get to the happy ending, the reader is supposed to root for the lead character to be wrong about everything she does and believes.

I think Sae was a poor choice for a lead for just that reason. Seeing things from her perspective is an interesting choice to expand the series with potential for new discoveries, but she’s always been a two-dimensional character in previous books. (Sometimes literally. I don’t think it’s ever explained, but at times, she’s drawn as a flat piece of paper.) We can’t feel sorry for her, as we’re constantly asked to in this book, because we know what she’s done and how much of her problems she’s brought on herself.

Similar Posts: Peach Girl Book 1 § Fairy Navigator Runa Book 1 § Love*Com Book 12 § Ballad of a Shinigami Book 1 § Peach Fuzz Book 1

13 Comments

  1. [...] Reviewage: At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna questions the entire premise of Peach Girl: Sae’s Story: Why focus on such an unlikeable character? Comics-and-More devotes Manga Monday to Hikaru no Go and The Red Snake: Hino Horro #1. Livejournaler jlg1 gives Mitsukazu Mihara’s Beautiful People a mixed review. Blogcritics reads Death Note. Active Anime likes volume 3 of Kage Tora. Buzzscope checks out Banya The Explosive Delivery Man, a new series from Dark Horse, and the lede says it all: If you like your manhwa with a healthy dose of pow! and splat!, then Banya The Explosive Delivery Man is for you. [...]

  2. cool

  3. I THOUGHT THIS STORY WAS GREAT I LIKE SAE BEING THE MAIN CHARACTER SHES SO ROTTEN THAT YOU LOVE TO READ ABOUT HER. WE COME FROM A SOCIETY WHERE ARE VILLIANS HAVE NOTORITY SO IM READING BOOK 2 TODAY HOPE ITS AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE

  4. you need to mack some more volum

  5. that book of sae’s story must be great!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. i so wanna read this!

  7. i so want to read this book i bet its awesome

  8. hey i already read this and its ok. too much sex between momo and those two other guys. i forgot their names cuz i read them like last year so. yeah

  9. yeah, sae’s story was bad. i LOVE the peach girl series, but sae’s story was a huge disapointment. nothing meaningful, nothing deep. in the peach girl series, there was love and sacrifise. in saes story, its just a lot of sex. and sae’s reduced to a weak, codependent sap in this series. and as much as i hate her as she was in the peach girl series, saes story wouldve been better if sae was stronger and bitchier. couldve been a lot more exciting, too…disappointed but i love miwa ueda, and of course the artwork is beautiful like always. if i got a second chance, i would still buy the whole series again just to have it. plus, the bonus stories in the back are pretty good.

  10. y would any1 care 4 sae?…I mean….ill read it just to see whats it like but still…and btw……how did she manage to fail the last grade…I mean such a evil,sneaky person that can always think of a dirty and disgusting trick and she cant even pass a grade…

  11. i love peach girl too and it is my favorit catoon as always sae is bad and think very dirty plan on momo .I hate sae for ever i want sae die.BUT ilove them all.

  12. Sae I dont like, Even her atittude she can be a 2 year-old like my sister Moriah.
    I love peach girl and I watch it with my friends and sisters. Ive read Saes story and I dont see why anybody would like her not even Toji!!!!!

  13. Damn I wish Sae’s story was made into a show cause I’ve seen all of the Peach Girl episodes, Sae was really bitchy in the first one and mean to Momo BUT in like the last 2 or 3 she changed AND she helped Momo and Kairi get together in the end I was really hopeing that they would get together cause they loved each other so much it made me happy :) after all they had been through together they deserved to be happy themselves and they are ment to be :) :) :) :) :)!

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