OP: 「Kuchizuke Diamond」 (くちづけDiamond) by WEAVER
“I’ve Turned Into Her”
I was anticipating Yamada-kun getting adapted after reading the manga for the past few years. There are some adaptation changes that are worth discussing, but before that I think it’s better to focus on the episode itself, and how damn good it was. I liked the source material already, and I’ve always got my fair share of laughs from it, but it’s rewarding to see it get an adaptation that works. LIDEN FILMS don’t have a lot of successful anime to their name, but with Arslan Senki and now Yamada-kun both airing this season, I think they may have proven their worth.
Kissing & Switching!:
If you didn’t know already, Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo is basically about kissing & switching! People kiss, and they switch bodies, among other things. It’s a goofy genderbending premise, but for it work out you need enjoyable characters to go along with the antics, and we have that in our two protagonists: Yamada Ryuu (Osaka Ryota), a delinquent boy with terrible grades and a terrible attitude, along with Shiraishi Urarara (Hayami Saori) an honour student who keeps to herself and doesn’t cause a fuss. Together, they sound like a match made in hell, but within moments it’s clear that their chemistry is heaven. Would they be together if not for the fact that they switched bodies? Maybe not, but now that they’re caught in that situation they’ve just got to run with it. It was really funny seeing them both react and spend a day in one another’s body. Both of them already inspected the others junk (Yamada was much more thorough, however), but where Yamada at least tried (and failed) to blend in, Shiraishi’s act was completely out-of-character, but that made it even more hilarious!
Yamada-kun nails its comedy every time, but it can also deliver some serious scenes, most notably when Yamada finding out about the bullying that Shiraishi has to suffer through. She’s given terrible bentos, her notes are scribbled with horrible words, and her locked is stuffed with junk and death threats. It’s all very dramatic, but it happens – bullying is the worst, and it especially sucks to see a sweet girl like Shiraishi be a victim of it. This type of story resonates with me, as I personally suffered bullying in high school because of my sexuality, but I had to get past it remain strong, like Shiraishi does. But her reaction to Yamada finding out? She apologises, and then tells him not to do anything about it. It’s quite sad, but we manage to get a dose of comedy to keep the mood light. The balance is key here, and in this first episode Yamada-kun got just right.
They really did look like fools repeatedly tumbling down the the stairs, trying to get back to their original bodies. But it’s worth it in the end, as Shiraishi points out that it may have been the kiss they shared that switched them… and it was! So they kiss, and kiss again, and keep swapping back and forth. These two have OTP written all over them – but then in comes possibly my favourite character, Miyamura Toranosuke (Masuda Toshiki), who figures out their act and manages to get beat up in the process. He’s a bit of an idiot, but a loveable one who isn’t afraid to kiss Yamada in order to test the theory. I say that he isn’t afraid, but I’ve always through of him as bisexual, from his forward introduction to everything that comes after this point – I won’t spoil, but let me just say that Miyamura never shows any dislike for locking lips with other boys. Everyone kisses everyone in this series, so all fans will be accounted for. At the end we also see the introduction of our fourth Supernatural Studies Club member, Itou Miyabi (Uchida Maaya), so you can expect her to be thrown into the kissing circle (or square) next week.
6 Chapters in 1 Episode:
I think it’s worth noting that 6 chapters (nearly the whole first volume) were adapted in this one episode. I said in the preview that I originally thought this was going to be 2-cour in order to tell the overarching plot that will come into fruition, and because of the 12 episodes limit I expected the story to end halfway through. But it appears we may just get that chunk of the story told by skimming through the chapters that don’t matter as much. It’s a risky move, but as long as it stays like it did for this first episode then I don’t think I can complain. I know that they rushed through the original material, but the pacing was still rather pleasant. If I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t have thought anything differently, so LIDEN FILMS are doing something right here.
Overview – What’s Next?:
I didn’t want to get my hopes up for this one, since I’m a fan of the manga and wasn’t keen on being delivered a poor adaptation. Thankfully, it was a really impressive first episode – funny when it tried to be, sprinkled with moments of cuteness and hints of romance, and blessed us with an abundance of kisses. If the second episode captures the essence of the manga like this one did, then don’t be surprised if this pops up on RandomC this time next week.
ED: 「CANDY MAGIC」 by MimimemeMIMI