Yamada-kun & the 7 Witches
Yamada is a delinquent who's never fit in, so he transferred to a new school to get a fresh start. Again he fails to connect with other students and finds it boring. That changed on the day he encountered Shirashi in a stairway. She's beautiful and smart, but not the sort of girl he'd normally fall for, except when tripping and falling on top of her which is how it happened. The two swap bodies, which turns out to be quite useful to both of them.
This is only the beginning of strange encounters for Yamada, who will meet other girls at the school with distinct troublesome abilities. School certainly won't be boring anymore.
If you're a male anime protagonist involved with 7 witches, it only makes to collect them for a harem. Although that's the impression of imminent harem disaster I got from the title "Yamada-kun and the 7 Witches", it's not a harem anime and had enough of a story to hold my interest until the very end. It's mostly mediocre, with a few strenths that might be enough to consider picking up, even if it should be better than it is.
Aside from the main pair, the characters work for the anime, but little more than that. Most simply take up space after introduced. Thankfully Yamada and Shirashi have just enough depth and chemistry to carry the show. The most interesting aspect (romance and witch powers aside) is everyone kissing everyone, often with hilarious results.
The witch concept is fair, but not clever enough in approach or usage to drive the anime farther than required for the plot to happen. The witch power idea works best with Shirashi and Yamada swapping bodies, partially because of the romantic interest between them, but it also seems the best thought out when actually used. Other powers weren't as compelling, and fairly disappointing - particularly with "future prediction" which turned out surprisingly lame. My interested tapered with each added witch, but the story takes an interesting twist after all seven are revealed, and I think it's that odd turn which made the show for me.
Pacing is one of the best features of Yamada-kun and the 7 Witches. Plenty happens each episode, and 12 episodes covers a LOT of ground in the story and developments. It's the kind of show that's easy to pick up episode after episode because you know it won't let you down spinning its wheels padding time. The lack of idle time will probably be enough to distract you from some of the more dry aspects, which would be a disaster in a longer anime. I'm not sure if this is the end of this anime series, but it feels well concluded at this point.
My opinion of this anime flip-flopped a few times, but overall I liked it enough to say it was worth watching (but not much more). I wouldn't pick this up if seeking intelligence with an imaginative concept. It's mostly expected anime antics, but has a story which takes some interesting turns. Worth a shot.
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