Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

IMG_2068.PNG
Ryu Yamada is a delinquent at Suzuka High School. As unpopular as he is, he’s seen, but never spoken to, perfect student Urara Shiraishi. That’s until a fall down the stairs causes the two of them to switch bodies.

The two of them do some experimenting to get back into their proper bodies, but whilst they were solving that particular problem they realised that it’s actually very convenient to switch bodies. Yamada benefits from having friends and gets used to people not being afraid of him. For Shiraishi, it’s an opportunity to get some quiet study done. Because the activity involves kissing, they realise they need a special place in which to switch bodies and so they find a room to do it in under the guise that they have formed a Supernatural Studies Group. But this isn’t the kind of thing that can be kept under wraps for long, and people begin to get suspicious. But Ryu Yamada’s “magic” doesn’t seem to be the only supernatural element in Suzuka High School.

IMG_2085.PNG
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is an anime with a simple body-swapping premise, but also adds wit and humour to this sometimes overly-done concept. The main reason for an anime injecting body-swapping into their plot is an excuse for fan-service, and I’m not the biggest fan, finding that fan-service cheapens the story and disengages me, turning generally interesting characters into poor caricatures of themselves. This anime is different and keeps exploitation of female characters to a minimum.

In fact, there is genuine hilarity in Yamada and Shiraishi swapping bodies. There is a certain amount of disbelief and curiosity given the situation, but it is kept rather realistic and the characters react in a way that I suspect anyone would upon finding that they had switched bodies with a person of the opposite sex. In order not to draw suspicion, they often have to act like one another. And when that becomes tiresome for them, it’s even funnier to watch them abandon all attempts to imitate one another – especially watching Yamada in Shiraishi’s body suddenly start beating up delinquents and stomping around in a very masculine way.

IMG_2074.PNG
It becomes obvious fairly quickly that protagonist Yamada hides a good heart underneath his ‘tough guy’ image and Shiraishi is a quiet honour student whose good grades are a product of her shyness and isolation. Toranosuke is very amusing, and his willingness to kiss Yamada in order to switch bodies is very amusing and with the introduction of supernatural enthusiast Ito Miyabi it would seem that there is more than enough chaos to go around.

IMG_2080.PNG

One of the best moments so far, and one that explores the main characters personalities, is when Shiraishi swaps bodies with Yamada to avoid a cold. After she reveals that she is only a good student because she has nothing else in her life and tells Yamada leave, he instead stays to give her some comfort and company. He encourages her to go to college by saying that he, in all his delinquency and outbursts, will try to go to college as well, if she will. It’s a really touching and gives us new insight to the slow and tender growth of their relationship. It’s good to know that there are relationships developing as a result of a very amusing and unrealistic situation.

Yamada soon realises that he can switch bodies with anyone with just a kiss. This story has the potential to burn out quite quickly, but there have been some recent developments which promise to keep the concept fresh by putting a new spin on it. This small change will no doubt have big repercussions for the Supernatural Study Club, who have become quite accustomed to how easy it is for them to switch bodies with one another and how fascinating and convenient it has made their lives.

IMG_2087.PNG
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches doesn’t have a complicated plot, but this is something that works in its favour. The situations are very funny and the characters are always entertaining and relatable. If you’re looking for something light with a dose of magical slapstick, then give this a watch.