What an exceptionally enjoyable manga, the moment you start reading, you find yourself completely enchanted by this supernatural love comedy story that it becomes increasingly more difficult to put down the more you read into it. Once you get to know the characters and the circumstances they find themselves in, you become engrossed in what is happening and find yourself wanting to continue reading because you are so interested in what is going to happen.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is a story about an apathetic delinquent, Yamada Ryuu, who is abruptly cast into a world of supernatural thanks to a sudden close encounter with the ace student of the school, Shiraishi Urara. Among researching the workings of the supernatural and finding out the school contains “witches” and that their powers are activated through a kiss, Yamada plays a pivotal role in helping these witches come to terms with their powers.
The cast of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is one of the shining points of this manga, all the characters are uniquely charming in their own way and the dynamics created between the characters as they interact with each other captivates you quite lovingly. Each individual witches story is relevant to both Yamada and the reason they have the power. As their stories unfold individually and together through the manga you find yourself becoming attached to each character as there are moments in which each character is placed in such a vulnerable position all they can do is be genuine and as a reader, you can’t help but react with love towards that.
Yamada is a great main character, he may be highlighted as an idiot many times in the manga but as illustrated several times throughout the manga he is surprisingly smart and the compassion he is able to display is very warming. Yamada is introduced as an apathetic delinquent but underneath that rough and simplistic exterior lies a very loving and kind-hearted boy who is just as confused as those he helps. With each person he is able to help Yamada starts to understand more of who he is and what he really feels as well as wants. Yamada’s “ability” to relate to the witches allows him to do what no one else can, be the hand that is reached out in the darkness to pick them up whenever they feel lost and in despair.
Shiraishi Urara is the female protagonist of the story, she is the ace student of the school and meets with Yamada in a miraculous encounter. Initially Shiraishi finds school a battlefield, a place where only suffering awaits but through Yamada and with him, she is able to find a new layer of school (and life) she had never experienced. The same can be said for Yamada, through Shiraishi and with her, he is able to appreciate and enjoy school and life more. The relationship Yamada and Shraishi form and share throughout the series is another one of the charming aspects to this manga. The fact that it becomes hard to classify exactly what their relationship is like makes it that much more enchanting, but it definitely feels like a relationship that goes beyond a romantic nature.
The premise of a “kiss” to drive the supernatural happenings occurring within the series seems ridiculous at first but the way Yoshikawa-sensei executes the gesture of a kiss in the story and through the witches, it really does feel like some sort of magic spell being activated. The kiss gesture not only signifies a feeling of attraction and connection, it also embodies within the story a way to create miracles. The surprising thing about all the kissing going on is that it doesn’t feel uncomfortable for the reader to see, the kisses don’t feel out of place and even in a comical setting, they fit surprisingly well.
The artwork as well as being unique is very easy on the eyes and seamlessly compliments the story style and flow. Yoshikawa-sensei is able to convey the expressions the characters are feeling quite effectively through her illustrations and because of this it becomes that much easier to relate to the characters and begin to care about them and what they do.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is definitely a series worth giving a go, who knows, you may just find yourself engrossed and enchanted by it like many others including me =). Yoshikawa-sensei has also written Yankee-kun to Megane-chan, so if you enjoy her writing and art style you should also check that out. I have read a big portion of that manga too and I am finding it real enjoyable as well.
Enjoyment level: 9.6/10