Yamada never can seem to catch a break! After preventing Noa from getting Shirashi expelled, Yamada thinks things will settle down, but little does he know that the action is just getting started.
During the Suzaku Festival, Maria Marushima confides to Yamada that she would like her power to go away. Interested in helping her, Yamada is led to Shinichi Tamaki, a boy who is said to have the ability to remove witches’ powers. However, Tamaki won’t help Yamada unless he finds out from the student council president Yamazaki who will succeed him as the new leader of the school. This leads Yamazaki to make a proclamation to the presidential hopefuls: he will make whoever finds the seventh witch his successor, the new student council president!
Yamada-kun’s seventh volume feels like a moderate change of pace from the previous entries in the series. That’s not to say that it’s a major departure, but the “witch of the week” sort of bit going on in each volume is significantly less pronounced in this volume. Although the sixth witch is discovered, she is actually a relatively small part of the story as the conflict once again turns to the upcoming decision of who will be the new student council president. I must say that the slight change in focus was a nice minor change while the general character interactions and humor that have come to be expected continue as per usual.
As I mentioned, the primary conflict in this volume centers around the race for student council president. Although the “challenge” is to discover who the seventh witch is first, what really becomes apparent is that the story is beginning to reveal more about how everything is working at Suzaku High behind the scenes. The closer the characters get to discovering the seventh witch, the less it seems like she is a regular witch like the others. Additionally, student council president Yamazaki seems to know more than he will let on. While I wouldn’t exactly call Yamada-kun a mystery series, I was surprised to find myself held in mild suspense over the outcome of the presidential race, both because of the potential winners and because of the hidden identity of the final witch.
Along with Yamazaki’s increasingly suspicious role in the story, a couple of new students with powers make appearances as well, including Yamazaki’s secretary Mikoto Asuka and presidential hopeful Shinichi Tamaki. Yamada-kun’s humor tends to excel at putting Yamada in amusing situations with new cast members each volume, and this one is no exception. Tamaki turns out to be the first male with powers outside of Yamada in the series thus far, as he has the ability to permanently steal witches’ powers by kissing them. His slightly abrasive personality leads to him pushing Yamada’s buttons, marking an unsurprising and still hilarious similarity he has with other members of the cast. On the flip side, Yamazaki’s secretary Asuka turns out to have a very sadistic side to her, and when Yamada attempts to make the president cooperate with his wishes she exercises her particular talents. Asuka’s eccentric personality serves as an excellent “situation” for Yamada to be pushed into for comedic effect. Between the Tamaki and Asuka, Yamada gets bounced around quite a bit this volume, which is likely exactly what long time readers were hoping to see.
In the spirit of change, Yamada’s relationships with a couple of the characters shift meaningfully for the first time in a while as well. While new characters were the primary source of Yamada’s comedic reactions, the more emotional side came from his long time allies. In the case of Shiraishi, this took the form of Yamada finally admitting his feelings for her to himself. This development is promising progress in the series’ primary pairing. Although romantic comedies that focus more on comedy such as Yamada-kun don’t necessarily focus much on the romance side, it was good to see that portion of the story get some development, especially since poor Yamada needs to catch a break. Meanwhile, which searching for the seventh witch, Miyamura’s backstory gets explored, including the revelation that he has an older sister that mysteriously no longer attends school. In showing why Miyamura chose to go to Suzaku High, a more serious side of Miyamura is opened up and his bonds with Yamada are strengthened as a result. For a cast of characters that is usually fairly static, it is safe to say that this volume had the most development for the members of the Supernatural Studies Club, and this was definitely not an unwelcome shift.
Yamada-kun continues to stay consistently funny in its latest volume. There was a nice, minor change of pace in a variety of aspects of the series, including character development, new cast members, and a move from the regular “witch of the week” plot setup. Despite these changes, much of Yamada-kun, for better or worse, remains very similar, so fans of the series should know what to expect coming into the volume. That being said, the story manages to stay fresh and the comedy remains funny with these shifts, so I would say overall that this is a very solid volume.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches Vol. 7 was translated by David Rhie and authored by Miki Yoshikawa. It was published by Kodansha Comics USA on March 22nd, 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 8 will be released in English on May 31st, 2016.
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