Just when Yamada thinks he has the chance to lie low and relax on the beach, he thinks again.
Following his confrontation with Odagiri and the subsequent discovery of multiple witches attending Suzaku High School, Yamada and the crew set out to find the second volume of the previous Supernatural Studies Club’s investigation on witches and attend the school’s summer retreat. However, there’s one problem: they can’t get into the old club room to get the notebook until Yamada passes his supplementary exams...without Shiraishi’s help!
Fans of rom-coms and slice-of-life will enjoy Yamada-kun, especially if you are looking for quality humor.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is a relatively consistent purchase. Every volume has its fill of comedy, comedy, and more comedy, and in this sense the series continues to deliver with its fourth volume.
Following the previous discovery of the fact that there are multiple witches in their high school, Yamada and the gang began in this volume to search for the second book containing a list of the powers the different witches have. I found this premise for this volume to be particularly appealing because of the ridiculousness that a list of seven witches would take more than one page, much less more than one book, to write down. It certainly is a plot point that fits in with the comedy of the narrative thus far.
On the subject of witches, as you might have figured from the cover of the new volume another one is introduced in the form of Meiko Otsuka, one of Yamada’s fellow failing students. In order to check the old Supernatural Studies Club classroom to search for the second book of witches, Yamada and company have to wait for the teacher with the keys to arrive during the summer school retreat- but the teacher won’t arrive until both Yamada and Otsuka pass their makeup exams! As you might imagine, this is hardly an easy task to accomplish and leads to some excellent hilarity, but the real intrigue is Otsuka herself.
I personally found Otsuka as a character slightly lacking in depth as her only distinguishing feature is that she is soft spoken. That being said, her telepathic ability, which allows her to form a telepathic network to communicate over with anyone she has kissed, is both a clever solution to the problem of passing the exams as well as a good way to showcase Miyamura’s trolling habits. Overall, what Yamada-kun does best is how it continues to find original situations to throw its already amusing cast into in order to create even more hilarious moments. In this respect, the highlight of this volume in particular is how the previously established characters, including both the Supernatural Studies Club and Odagiri’s team, handle the new situation. The summer retreat is a series of unfortunate events that utilize most of the existing cast amusingly, and while there isn’t exactly a lot of character development it is clear that this volume isn’t intended for such a purpose and the already established traits of the cast are what drives the comedy.
From a more technical perspective, author Miki Yoshikawa’s illustrations continue to be excellent in this volume, especially the comedic facial expressions. The hilarity, as the primary point of interest, greatly benefits from the art and by the transitive property the volume does as well. While it might be slightly annoying for some readers that this book is essentially the ‘swimsuit’ part of Yamada-kun, the drawings are well done and the fanservice is still there for both guys and girls and doesn’t cheapen the volume substantially.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches continues to be the amusing journey it began as in this fourth volume. While this one is arguably a lull in the primary plot, Yamada’s testing trials and the subsequent mocking he receives from his fellow club members is hysterical to read and the book sets up nicely for the next witch.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches was authored by Miki Yoshikawa and published by Kodansha Comics USA on September 1, 2015. Yamada-kun is an ongoing series in Kodansha’s Weekly Shounen Magazine imprint, and received a single-cour anime adaption by Liden Films in Spring 2015. Volume 5 will be released in English on November 17th, 2015.
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