Yamada has yet to obtain office in the Supernatural Studies Club, but he definitely (is forced to) put in the effort!
Yamada and the Supernatural Studies Club are continuing to find out the identities of the other witches in Suzaku High. However, they get a bit more than they bargained for when one witch predicts a dire future and another sets out and attempts to destroy the other witches!
Fans of rom-coms and slice-of-life will enjoy Yamada-kun, especially if you are looking for quality humor.
Yamada and company’s search for the witches of Suzaku High School has begun to heat up recently as the witches seem to be coming out of the woodwork. In the fifth and sixth volumes, Maria Sarushima and Noa Takigawa are the witches of focus, and each brings something new to the table. At this point in the story, the narrative seems to follow a pattern of witch-of-the-week with each volume, a pattern that suits the series well as it gives readers a bit of an advance on what to expect each time. While more serious plots might suffer from a similar style, for a comedy like Yamada-kun, it is particularly effective.
Sarushima and Noa’s powers are more or less the opposite of each other, as one sees the future of the person she kisses and the other sees a specific moment in the past of her victim (although I’ll keep the criteria for the memory a secret to avoid spoilers!). As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the comedy in Yamada-kun manages to stay fresh and interesting as each volume introduces new mechanics for the characters to play off. This definitely continues to be a valid point about the series, as author Miki Yoshikawa takes the personalities and abilities of the new witches to find new ways to mess with Yamada on top of the trolling he already receives from his fellow members of the Supernatural Studies Club.
The actual characters of Sarushima and Noa work well. Of course, as a series that focuses primarily on comedy, Yamada-kun isn’t exactly aiming for super complex cast members. That being said, Sarushima and Noa both serve their purpose to add to the story. Sarushima is peppy and enthusiastic, and is (amusingly for us Western readers) a foreigner with a few stereotypical behaviors. Noa, on the other hand, is a bit more mysterious although equally energetic. I enjoyed Noa the most out of the two because of her slightly sadistic trolling of Yamada. Although I felt that her backstory was a bit strange and underdeveloped, it was a more emotional moment in the story that helped flesh out her character. It’s also worth mentioning that a new member to the Supernatural Studies Club, Tsubaki, also joins in the fifth volume. By himself Tsubaki isn’t really much of a character, but the addition of a new member to go along with Itou and Miyamura’s hijinks is definitely not a bad thing.
The actual story arcs of the two volumes are slightly more clever than previous ones in terms of their setups. In the fifth volume, the story focuses around attempting to prevent a terrible fire in the future that Yamada will be blamed for by using witch powers to prevent it from happening. The sixth volume focuses on Noa’s attempt to get the witches expelled from school to have her friends take their places. Both of these stories feature effective slapstick comedy and feature plots that are engaging in themselves. While my favorite part still is the dynamic of the Supernatural Studies Club members (especially involving Yamada), individual moments such as small bits of progressing in Shiraishi and Yamada’s relationship and the slightly emotional moments in Noa’s arc of story make for good reading as well. Yoshikawa’s illustrations complement these well, as the facial expressions she gives her characters have a unique and engaging flair to them that helped sell me on individual moments, both serious and not.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is about what you might expect from the series in its fifth and sixth volumes. However, the interesting arcs for each book as well as the new characters involved in them make the volumes stand well against their predecessors. Of course, if you’re here for the usual comedy, Yamada-kun is hardly one to disappoint and you will likely be just as entertained as in previous volumes.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches Vol. 5 & 6 were translated by David Rhie and authored by Miki Yoshikawa. They were published by Kodansha Comics USA on November 17, 2015, and January 19, 2016. 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 7will be released in English on March 22nd, 2015.
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