Story/Art: Miki Yoshikawa
Translation: David Rhie
What They Say:
Having witness a shocking scene between Yamada and Shiraishi, the latest addition to the Supernatural Studies Club, Miyabi Itou, makes it her mission to spread damning rumors about her fellow club members. But Yamada can’t let that happen, because if things get out of control, Yamada and Shiraishi could lose everything that they’ve worked for thus far. How will Yamada solve this predicament? And is there something else behind Itou’s actions? This and more are revealed with a kiss!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Itou has gotten everyone into quite a bit of trouble with the rumors she’s spreading. I mean, she’s got a sort of good motive in that she was DECEIVED by the underhanded methods of the Supernatural Studies Club (aka they were being secretive because Yamada can literally swap bodies with other people). Her joining the club brings in an extra idiot into the dynamic of the group, previously with only Yamada. It also brings a rejuvenated interest in studying the power—one that wouldn’t be there, or wouldn’t be there as much, if it was just Yamada, Shiraishi, and Miyamura. That’s important because now everyone’s kissing. Yamada and Miyamura are kissing, Shiraishi and Itou are kissing, Itou and Miyamura, Yamada and Itou…everyone. And only Shiraishi’s mind with Yamada’s, at her request. Of course, what are witches and why are there seven of them?
Another plot point is added in this volume though, with the addition of the student council. Not that they didn’t exist before, but now it’s known that the student council president, Haruma Yamazaki, is an evil person and Miyamura is vying against Nene Odagiri for the next student council president. Ushio is added to the fray as well, an old friend from Yamada’s past.
This volume was actually pretty content light, with more focus on characterization than anything else. We barely got a glimpse into Ushio, Odagiri, or Yamazaki and what we saw was mostly second hand information. At this point when I was reading it on Crunchyroll, I actually remember struggling to continue. Rereading it, it’s evident more than ever that this part kind of drags. It has some really funny moments—Yamada-kun always will—but it’s stuck in the middle of introduction of the major players and introduction of six more witches, which is when it gets really good. The anime is actually fixing a lot of these pacing issues.
I am also happy to report that the gutters are fixed in Yamada-kun volume two!! Thank you Kodansha for your diligent work. Now, there were still a few pages where the text went a little too far into the gutter, but nothing that was as unreadable as the first volume of Yamada-kun or My Little Monster has been. I’ll be happy to continue buying Kodansha manga, hopefully without fear of further gutter issues.
Yamada-kun is taking its time setting up everything, with most of what’s happening now being a slow burn of character moments and reinforcing what we know about everyone. Stuff like the Yamada helping the archery club and being so concerned with the microwave harken directly back to his kindness and how he helped both Shiraishi last volume and Itou in this one. But he’s also dumb, quickly falling for Shiraishi’s request for a kiss when she was sick and then when she knew she would be motion sick. Gotta read the girl, Yamada!!
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: May 5th, 2015