Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is probably one of my favorite anime of the previous season. Why? Well, it could be the fanservice. The fanservice they had was actually not as intrusive nor as obnoxious as some of the other anime to have come out recently. They had just enough that it was funny and flowed well with the story, but not enough that it destroyed the story itself. But then again, maybe it was the story that got me to love this anime.

Ryuu Yamada is a punk. He shows up at school late, sleeps in class, and doesn't do his homework. He finds his opposite in Urara Shiraishi, a beautiful girl whose the top student in school and always seen studying. One day when they're both walking up a flight of stairs, Yamada trips and they fall down. When he wakes up, Yamada discovers that he and Shiraishi have switched bodies. I find this basic premise to be incredibly interesting. It's hard to find original themes and ideas in the entertainment industry. However, while I'm sure this idea has been done before, I'll confess that it is the first time I've ever seen a story where a guy and girl swap bodies - and it's definitely the first time I've heard of two people swapping bodies from a kiss.

Aside form having an intriguing premise, I absolutely love the characters in this story. Each of them feel like fully-fleshed out people, the kind you'd see walking down the street. They seem to have their own story to tell, and unlike most anime of this genre, they're not just caricatures of specific archetypes. Ryuu Yamada is a perfect example of this. He looks and acts like a punk, but as the story progresses, you see that he's actually a compassionate and caring person. He always puts others before himself, and does his best to help people even at great personal risk. He also makes a surprisingly good tsukkomi. Of course, my favorite character in all this would definitely have to be Urara Shiraishi. Aside from being downright gorgeously designed, I really enjoy her character. At first glance, she appears to be a kuudere type of girl; quiet, unobtrusive and studious. As the anime progresses you begin to learn more about her, and Shiraishi begins to change. While her original of being quiet remains mostly intact, her development as a person is more than obvious and truly a joy to watch happen.

Like all anime of the harem/romance/comedy variety, this one has its fanservice. Unlike most anime to have come out in recent years, however, the fanservice in Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches doesn't make me cringe. It's very light, giving you enough to laugh at and enjoy, but not so much that you feel like you're watching a hentai. It's funny and flows well with the story, but isn't overbearing. In other words, they have just the right amount of fanservice. A part of me wonders if the reason for this is because the writer/illustrator of the manga is actually a woman.

All this being said, if I had to name one reason why I like this anime over others, it would be the kissing. I feel like this anime is trying to make up for the lack of kisses in every other romance anime out there. I've watched a lot of anime with romance and only a few seem to actually have kissing in them. I don't know why this is, but Yamada-kun makes up for it by having several kisses pretty much every episode. I'll admit, the inner romantic in me squealed every time I saw Yamada and Shiraishi kiss. What's more, the ending left me completely fulfilled. This was one of the few romcom anime where I actually watched it all the way through to the end and felt utterly satisfied.

Artwork: 9.5/10
Character Design: 10/10
Character Development: 10/10
Storyline: 9.5/10
Composition: 8.5/10
Animation: 8/10
Total Score: 9.25/10