Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches Episode 9

yamada_09_1

“Be Sure to Change the Future”

Sundays at 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Maria decides she no longer wants her power and enlists Yamada’s help. He tracks down a so-called “Witch Killer” named Tamaki to remove it, but as always there are demands to be met and Student Council politics to navigate. Before Maria’s power can be removed, Yamada sees a glimpse of a future he is determined to change.

Jel’s thoughts

I was ready to tear into this week’s episode for the continuing insane pace and skipping details but the end results were too good for me to stay mad. Full disclosure: I’ve had a bit of the manga spoiled for me so I kind of knew Yamada was going to sort out his feelings for Shiraishi quickly. I’m not any less happy that he does though. Their relationship has been my favorite type of romance, the kind that just happens naturally. As many lesser love stories have proven, continuing to delay the inevitable would be infuriating. Of course there’s still plenty of room to ruin things as there’s a long way to go from admitting you love someone to something more substantial, but it’s a great place to start.

yamada_09_2

More important than the romance aspect though is how well they’ve kept the two on equal standing. I adored Shiraishi’s response to Yamada wanting to “save” her for lack of a better term. As the cool voice of reason between the two, you kind of feel like she would have figured things out without him. Still, as in real life, it’s so much better to tackle problems with someone you care about and seeing the two trust each enough to swap bodies for several days was really sweet. It was somehow even sweeter that Yamada said what he had to say after they switched, the kind of bizarrely adorable scene you can only get watching anime.

On a different note, I also thought it was cool that another guy has a similar power to Yamada’s. We’re all programmed to see the main character – the all powerful audience proxy – as someone special. So it’s interesting to suggest Yamada is unique but not THAT unique. It’s just one more way that Yamada-kun is subtly different than the competition, which makes it much easier to forgive its shortcomings. Would it be nice to know plot points like how Yamada found about Tamaki? Sure, but if we need to skip ultimately unimportant details for the amount of substance we got this episode, I can live with that.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches Episode 9

  1. As flawed as Yamada-kun is – and it definitely has its share of warts – I probably enjoy it more than anything else this season. Despite its nutty premise, it’s realistic about the way relationships work in a way that the downright silly and borderline misogynistic Ore Monogatari misses completely. Part of it is the cleverness of the premise – by making kissing central to the plot, it completely disarms anime’s typical insane aversion towards physical contact between the sexes – but most of it is related to the fact that Yamada and Shiraishi feel like actual human beings, as opposed to the cardboard cutouts of super-human Takeo and doormat Yamato.

    It’s too bad this series wasn’t given more room to breathe, but even so, it has an honest and true warmth of feeling that it is completely absent in the treacly wonderland of this season’s other romance.

    • I’m hesitant to call the relationships in Yamada-kun “realistic”, maybe “insightful” would be a good word. The author seems to know what’s she’s talking about and it is a lot closer to reality than your average anime RomCom.

      I kind of agree with what your saying about Ore Monogatari but not to the same degree. I think if you look at as being equally about Takeo’s relationship with his girlfriend AND his best friend it kind of all balances out. And so far it has seemed to pull itself out of the fire any time it teeters toward being misogynistic. Yamato hasn’t really done anything she didn’t want to do and has stood up for herself on several occasions, calling her a doormat might be a little harsh.

      • Besides Yamato’s endless baking for Takeo and willingness to do anything Takeo wants at all times, what part of her ill-defined, not-a-mean-bone-in-her-body, super pure character ISN’T a doormat? Heck, right down to the fact that she’s a pretty girl dating an ugly guy (because good girls only care about what’s inside of you!), I honestly don’t see how Ore Monogatari is any less pandering and offensive than those “I Can’t Believe How Cute My Sister Is” shows.

        As for “realism” in Yamada, I find the conversations between the two leads, and the way they act around one another, very “naturalistic,” I guess! Obviously, in addition to the whole witches angle, there’s a bunch of completely unnecessary, and unrealistic, fan service in Yamada. But the way Yamada and Shiraishi talk to each other is infinitely more like real people – real teenagers – talk than anything that passes for conversation between Takeo and Yamato in Ore Monogatari.

        Admittedly, Ore Monogatari may be going for some brilliant, high-level parody of shoujo and I’m just missing it, but with each passing week, for me personally, at least, the show’s bland insistence on everyone’s seeming perfection and lack of any rough edges is really grating.

        • Are we watching the same show? There are entire episodes dedicated to addressing the issues you mentioned like the purity thing and the idea that cute girls are only interested in hot guys, to a further extent than most anime usually go. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn’t mean to imply that girls can’t be attracted to guys for reasons beyond a pretty face, but that’s how that argument sounds.

          If you want to go bottom line, Ore Monogatari is based on a shoujo manga and regardless of how you want to interpret things it is targeted toward girls. Takeo is not a male audience proxy. If he was he would be an introverted loner who just wants to watch anime and play video games all day and would have made Yamato dress up as a cat maid after accidentally seeing her naked. I could see an argument that they are going a bit far in reinforcing traditional gender roles, but to say they are trying to appeal to the male demographic is way off base, especially while praising a show that very clear is.

          That said, I do agree on Yamada-kun and as a romance story Yamada and Shiraishi’s relationship is far superior. Have you seen Golden Time? Maybe it’s just filtering it through some of my own experiences, but that is a show that gets REAL with some of the ups and downs of relationships.

  2. I think I am suffering from the lethargy of reading the books first syndrome. Knowing how many things have been left out means the only thing I can now appreciate from this rush to the finish line is that the body-swapped seiyuus are very convincing impersonators of one another.

    • The voice acting has been top notch for sure, it’s particularly hilarious when Yamada is Shiraishi trying to act like a girl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s