Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 4

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 4

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 4Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 4
by Miki Yoshikawa
Kodansha Comics, 192 pgs
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

Miki Yoshikawa’s Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 4 sees Yamada and his gang of misfits struggling with Summer Classes as they attempt to unravel the mystery behind their kissing powers. Along the way, they stumble across Ostuka, who just might be the next of the titular seven witches! Gender swapping hijinks and misunderstandings abound!

With its fourth volume, Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches is starting to feel a tad bit repetitive. Not just in the general story format of finding a new witch and discovering what their power is, but in the rest of the gags and jokes that pepper the series. I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that I’ve seen all this and been through it all before, just with some minor changes. Maybe it’s the just the sheer volume of school based manga that I’ve been reading lately, because how many high school scenarios can you run in which a slightly awkward and outsider guy/girl builds themselves a circle of friends made up of slightly off kilter but good people?

The powers don’t really add anything new to the formula, and it doesn’t really feel like it’s exploring problems or delving deeply into these characters lives and their personalities. Most of the characters in the series feel fairly flat and one note. A few feel like they exist solely to provide opportunities for awkward comedy or fan service. The simmering mystery about their powers isn’t something that’s really grabbing me and, despite being a semi-important factor in this Summer School story, feels like an after thought rather than anything of real consequence.

A Page from Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 4

Awkward.

Miki Yoshikawa’s artwork is fine. The story telling is clear, any action, comedic or otherwise, is easy to follow and there’s never any confusion about what’s going on or who’s who. In fact, one of the strongest elements is how Yoshikawa manages to convey the body swapping idea through the art alone. Character’s postures change, their body language is different, their expressions are different, it’s really one of the visual high points in the series.

Yamada-Kun is an strange little series. Despite my frustration with it, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t enjoyed what I’ve read of it. It’s just that once the cover’s closed and my review is done the series pretty much leaves my mind. That might not sound like a bad thing, but it kind of is. I’m not eagerly awaiting the next volume, I’m not left wondering what will happen next. It’s just disposable entertainment.

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 4 are available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copies provided by the publisher.

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