Episodes 1-7 (Streaming on Crunchyroll)
“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” – Ingrid Bergman.
As in my last review for Anime UK News which covered Food Wars!, we look at another anime set in a school that would never category of “non-schools” (schools that would never exist in real life). This time it is for reasons of a supernatural nature.
Ryu Yamada is a troublesome high school student who is constantly failing his grades, but things suddenly change for him when he accidentally falls down some stairs, along with fellow student Urara Shiraishi, the star pupil. When Ryu recovers, he is shocked to find that they have swapped bodies. They try to keep this a secret from everyone, but eventually their secret is discovered.
In order to make sure the information does not travel any further than it needs to, the vice-president of the student council, Toranosuke Miyamura, decides that the three of them should reform the school’s Supernatural Studies Club. Later on they get two more members: Miyabi Ito, who is mad for anything supernatural; and later, Kentaro Tsubaki, a transfer student who loves Shiraishi and has the odd habit of cooking tempura when depressed.
The Club finds out more about Yamada and Shiraishi’s abilities. They discover that the previous Supernatural Studies Club had learnt that there were seven female students, whom they collectively called the “witches”, each of whom had a different supernatural ability which was triggered by a kiss. The Club members then try to figure out who the witches are and what their powers might be. Amongst them are Miyamura’s student council rival Nene Odagiri, whose kiss makes people fall in love; Meiko Otsuka, a shy girl whose kiss makes people telepathic; and shut-in Maria Sarushima, who is clairvoyant. Yamada on the other hand has a different kissing ability, which allows him to copy the magical kisses of the seven witches.
Yamada-kun has managed to already pick up some fans, having run for 17 volumes of manga, a live-action TV series and a two-part OVA even before this anime series became available via streaming. Some of the fans of this show happen to be reviewers and editors of AUKN – and the main thing that has pleased us has been the soundtrack. The opening song “Kuchiduke Diamond” by WEAVER and the closing “CANDY MAGIC” by Mimi Meme Mimi have become big hits with us behind the scenes on the website.
The characters and their relationships have also been entertaining. You have the main relationship between Yamada and Shiraishi for starters, but then you have the Supernatural Studies Club as a whole, and their relationship with the Student Council. On top of this you have the search for the witches, which is arguably the construction of a harem for Yamada as he slowly uncovers their identities. Also, you do get a fair amount of humour from the kissing, primarily because of all the confusion it leads to, especially when Yamada has to end up kissing another male character.
It has to be said, however, that the slowness is an issue. You have to wait for quite a few episodes before there is any mention of actual witches. Also, if you have read the manga which is published in print by Kodansha and digitally by Crunchyroll, you will know that the chronology of the manga and the anime differ slightly.
The other issue is the length of the series. It is only 12 episodes long, but the manga is 17 volumes long and is still being written, so it looks like only a tiny amount of plot from the original manga is going to be adapted. Hopefully another series will be commissioned if this one is successful because the whole story really should be told rather than just the beginning.