Review: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches 1.1 & 1.2

I didn’t have a chance to review the first episode of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches last week, which is a shame because it’s easily one of my favorites of the season already. I love the simplicity of the story and the fact that it’s funny without trying hard. The first episode introduces us to the bad boy of the school Yamada, he’s got a mean look and blue hair and walks as if his nuts are constantly being pinched or an example for people who don’t get that, as if he just got done riding a horse. He has no friends and basically everyone fears him. His teacher tells him to be more like the class “ace” Shiraishi which annoys him. So much so that he races her up the stairs and as he looks back at her with arrogance he slips and falls into her causing them both to fall down the stairs.

Yamada wakes up in the Nurse’s office only now he’s in Shiraishi’s body and he’s very confused, but then being a man he takes advantage of the situation and checks out Shiraishi’s goods. I have to admit that this was so dumb, but funny. He doesn’t do anything inappropriate, he just looks which is what any guy would do. Now stuck as Shiraishi he attempts to act like her which is really terrible. He finds his body which of course has Shiraishi inside and drags her out of class. She/he tells him/her that she can’t miss any more class and that he’ll/she’ll have to wait until after school. Since he doesn’t know what’s going on Yamada agrees. He soon discovers that Shiraishi may be the ace of the class, but she’s not very well liked by the other girls.

Eventually they solve the problem, but not until they throw each other down the stairs several times. It’s as simple as a kiss. Apparently they kissed on the way down the first time and so they give it a shot and sure enough… it works and they’re both back in their bodies. Unfortunately there were seen by Student Council Vice-President Miyamura.

For some reason Shiraishi agrees to switch bodies with Yamada again to help him on a test and Miyamura finds Yamada in her body and tricks him. The jig is up, but Miyamura just wants in on the weirdness and to reopen the Supernatural Studies Club. Hijinks ensue and eventually Miyamura kisses Yamada after Shiraishi refuses to kiss anyone else for practical reasons and it’s discovered that Yamada can switch bodies with anyone he kisses.

Episode 2 introduces a new character who wants to be a part of the club. Her name is Ito and she actually believes in the supernatural or at least comes off that way when she brings in a bunch of fake shit to convince them. They can’t deny her application so she begins bossing Yamada around to clean the clubroom up. Eventually Yamada and Shiraishi are caught kissing to switch for a test and Ito is heartbroken by the club being “fake.”

She spreads rumors around the school about the two kissing and forces Yamada’s hand. He invites her to the clubroom and kisses her and then punches her/him in the stomach and goes around to do damage control. He quickly discovers that no one believed her because she’s a known liar.

The problem is when he goes to get his body back, she’s gone. The club tracks her down via her phone and Yamada learns that the fake crap she bought was from other students that were exploiting her desire to be popular. Basically to show she wasn’t a liar. Yamada in Ito’s body beats the shit out of the guys (because he’s a bad ass in whatever body he’s in) and they explain to Ito and have her join the club.

Yamada-kun-1.2-1The episode ends with them all switching bodies and Ito going ga-ga over the boys kissing, even if they’re in different bodies at the time.

The show makes me laugh. It’s not so perverted or full of fan service that it’s unbearable and the fact that it has something for male and female audiences makes it well-balanced. The other humor comes from Yamada when he switches bodies with the women. The over the top hip swaying that he does is just ridiculous, but it makes me laugh each time. It’s honestly very realistic and probably exactly what a guy would do if his mind was switched into a woman’s body. That and the fact that he walks the same way as a woman was just hilarious.

Now I didn’t read the manga and I don’t plan on reading it so I can’t tell you where the “Seven Witches” part of the story comes into play. Are they really witches or is it something else? We’ve technically been introduced to two of them, but nothing else has been said to imply witches in the story. Frankly I don’t care to know and would rather the show explain it to me. So please don’t spoil it with a comment.

Yamada-kun-1.2-2The animation is solid. The character designs are all pretty typical manga/anime style, but it works for the story. Main characters have crazy hair color and spikes for days, but (and this will sound weird) they’re all very cute. Even when Yamada is being a bad-ass he’s cute. It’s a cute show that isn’t trying to be too serious even when it’s having serious moments. It’s a very successful supernatural romantic comedy.

There’s something about this show already that has me hooked more than any other. I mean I bumped it up my review list because I wanted to talk about it. Is it the break out hit? Maybe just for me, but as long as the series continues this quality of story and animation it definitely has me as a viewer.

Score: 4/5

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches yamada-kun and the seven witches 1.1 & 1.2 Episode 1: Turnover Episode 2: Tricot Official Website