Monday, July 20, 2015

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

I found this delightful manga after watching the anime. I thought the anime was cute, adorable even, and so I knew that I had to read the manga next.

Volume 1 of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches follows what I consider the standard character introduction trope of all manga. You are basically introduced to the main characters here. You've got Ryu Yamada, a bad boy with an even badder reputation, and Urara Shiraishi, a beautiful girl who just so happens to be the top student in class. They comprise the two main characters, though you also get to meet Miyamura Taronosuke and Ito Miyabi, along with several other characters, though these two get the most screen time in this volume.

All of the characters in this were very well done so far. Ryu is one of those characters who, despite having an abrasive personality and no subtlety whatsoever, is actually a genuinely caring person. Most people fear him because he's always getting into fights and has something of an attitude problem, but we get to see a more caring side come out within the first chapter. Urara is Ryu's polar opposite in many ways. While Ryu is about as studious as a brick wall, Urara is the top student in school. While Ryu is loud and obnoxious, Urara is quiet and focused. However, while both of them couldn't be more different from each other in personality, they suffer from the same problem.


This seems to be a big theme in many Japanese pop culture - people feeling alone for one reason or another. I've seen it a lot. In this manga, Ryu is alone because people are afraid of him, while Urara is alone because of her grades and beauty. While it's never said outright, I get the feeling that what both of them were seeking is companionship, which they ironically found in each other after falling down a flight of stairs and switching bodies.

Did I forget to mention there's a supernatural element to this? Oops. My bad.

Yes, Ryu and Urara switch bodies after falling down a flight of stairs. Through this phenomenal power, the two form a connection and become friends. While supernatural elements in a high school romantic comedy are done quite often, I truly enjoyed how this manga went about it. It felt much more natural than some of the other manga I've read.

I found this volume to be truly incredible. I'll admit, I think this manga had my inner fanboy come out in ways that haven't happened since I read the first volume of To LOVE-Ru.