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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yamada-kun to 7nin no majo (2013)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 8 episodes
Genre: comedy, romance, school, fantasy
Cast: Yamamoto Yusuke, Nishiuchi Mariya, Triendl Reina, Ide Takuya, Tokuyama Hidenori, Ono Ito, Kobayashi Ryoko, Miyama Karen, Kojima Fujiko, Takigawa Noa, Amiya Shotaro, Nagae Yuki,
Kawamura Yukie
Synopsis: On one ordinary school-day school's folly Yamada and the smartest girl in the school Shiraishi get into accident and fall down the stairs. When Yamada wakes up in school's nurse office he finds himself in Shiraishi's body!? Turns out they are able to swap bodies with a kiss. That leads them to the discovery of the legend of 7 witches. 
Rating: 4/5
It is another drama from 2013 summer that I anticipated to see. Ever since Yoshikawa Miki started writing "Yamada-kun to 7nin no majo" Yanne has been crazy about it (It is her second favourite manga) and has retold all the great things in it. But as I have not read it that much to compare the live-action to the original work I will use Yanne's notes. I bet you all know already that this drama is all about kissing.

Yamada in drama is school's folly and a big laughing stock, though in manga everybody are afraid of him, nobody dares to laugh at him. Yamada himself says that the only reason why he is stupid is due to the fact that he does not study, which is kind of true as he is able to come up with really impressive things. Besides, he knows himself the best, so it saves us from seeing him all confused about things. Yamamoto Yusuke is perfect slap-stick comedy actor XD I think that if the drama is meant as a total comedy then those extravagant affects make it even better. Like, I do not mind seeing Yamamoto Yusuke fooling around on the screen. I do not understand why people say that he does not have the appeal of lead actor - yes, he is not the usual ikemen, but I have always found him extremely hot and handsome. 
Nishiuchi Mariya plays the part of Shiraishi Urara. Shiraishi is really contained and shows little
interest in other people. She is the true meaning of elegant girl - smart, beautiful and graceful. I think this is the triumph of Nishiuchi Mariya's acting! I have not seen her acting before, but now I reaaaaallly want to see "Switch girl!!". As I have told you before great actress/actor is who can play a large variety of roles and what is better than have to play sweet girl and wild guy in girl's body? I admit that when she was playing Yamada after swapping bodies I hardly thought that it is the same actress - from sweet quiet graceful girl into wild, masculine guy? Not to mention how she pulled off the walk and the personality! It really seemed like they swapped bodies!
The second male-lead character is Miyamura - candidate for next student council president position
and in manga he is the most handsome and popular guy in the school. He is pervert-minded and he even does not try to hide it. He has his own reasons why to do things and most of the time he leaves his motives to himself. Though Ide Takuya is not the first class ikemen, I liked him in this role, because he made it really funny. I suggest you to keep a close eye on him when he is on the background, because he might give you laughing cramps. Ide Takuya bought a brand new lip palm after his participation in drama was confirmed, because he thought that he can kiss so many nice actresses, but for his tough luck he only shares kiss-scenes with Yamamoto Yusuke.. 
Ito Miyabi is ordinary girl compared to other female characters in drama, but then again she is one of a kind. She takes a lot of interest in paranormal things and that leads her to Yamada, Shiraishi and Miyamura. I think that she is the most exited to find out the truth about witches. Also she can be really unreasonable and nosy. Year 2013 has been really great Triendl Reina as she has got 5 dramas already, though the first time that I saw her was in 2010 when she was a guest on "Cartoon KAT-TUN" and went on a date with Taguchi Junnosuke. I hope she will get even more roles in future, because I support her!
Nene is another candidate for next president position, which means that she has constant duels with 
Miyamura to earn President's favor. She is manipulative and her eagerness to give out orders makes her difficult to stand. At first, she has many followers, but her most trusted is Ushio, who shares a past with Yamada. After seeing it you will all love her and Ushio together! Well too bad that in the original she is head over heels in love with Yamada. That’s actually a really big part of the story, but all this part is not shown in live action as the manga is ongoing and we are yet to know what happens to her. I think Ono Ito acted better in "Ending Planner", because she looked like a total rookie this time, especially with her lines.
Meiko is a little cute girl who is the youngest of them all. She is shy and cannot say out her 
 true thoughts. She was the witch that was probably changed the most. But somehow Yanne ended up liking the “new Meiko” even more! Differences: 1) Meiko indeed has great drawing skills, but storyline with her wanting to become a mangaka was new 2) there’s not even a chapter where her mother appears, but the kiss scene was so disgustingly amazing that you do not mind those changes. 3) In fact in the manga she had two male friends (kind of her underlings) that she used telepathy with.  4) She’s in love with Shiraishi in Yamada’s body.
Noa is a former child idol, who now is forgotten (we all have childhood stars who now have gone 
missing from the stage). She does not take much part of investigating witches. In original Yamada is a hot stuff for her. Noa declared her love towards Yamada too (and not only once). She wasn’t a former idol, but just a troublemaker. Also her trauma was a little different – I must say that it was more traumatic and quite humiliating. No wonder she started to act this way, but they changed it all in drama. I am not sure, but I think that Matsui Airi sings "Tomorrow" from "Annie" herself, because if you do not know then she is a former member Sakura Gakuin. But as for her acting.. if she wants to continue she might want to consider getting help her lines and pronunciation. 
Sarushima has lived half of her life in America and that calls for different acting manners from
Japanese, but that also made me annoyed - there is no custom to kiss for good-bye (good night etc) in USA when we are dealing with total strangers! But seeing faces everyone had was worth the annoyance. I have no words about Kojima Fujiko's acting, because at the moment I more remember her from "Tokyo Bandwagon" (as I am currently watching it). Well, that much I can say that she knows how to act and she is way much better from Ono Ito and Matsui Airi.
My second favorite witch was Asuka. She is presidents right hand and does everything he asks, which is a conflict with her extremely strong, independent and man-detesting personality. But after all she has feelings too and suffers from being "every guys dream". She is the second most mysterious characters. In manga, Asuka is ex-witch, because her powers got "erased". Kobayashi Ryoko is really great in this role and gyoza how jealous I am! Not everyone of us gets the chance to play with Yamamoto Yusuke's abs while sending him a really inviting look with eyes.
Rika is the most mysterious one and the last of seven witches. She is naive and cute lolita. The changes from manga: They completely changed her character (even though the appearance was perfect hit and the joke about panties). 1) She WAS NOT a friend of Leona. 2) She was not so naive - she's actually the biggest bitch in the manga (Yanne says she is not exaggerating about it). As the seventh witch had to stay unknown then while promoting the drama the actress name and photo was not published.
The biggest bastard of the live-action is the student council president. He is using everyone, manipulative and thinks that he can have things his way. As much as it is known from manga for the moment, his powers are yet to discover (if he has any).They do not pay much attention on his character and leave him more mysterious. Tokuyama Hidenori's  life experience and 15 years of acting sure gives us a great kiss scene.If you do not know then that guy is already 31 years old - without a doubt he is the oldest member from the main cast! gyoza, man who are able to play high-schoolers despite their age are so hot..
There were some changes about character appearances, so I categorize it as fault in actor/actress
choices. Well, they all were good, but some of them should have played a different role. Firstly, Triendl Reina should have been Sarushima, because Sarushima in reality was half, that is why she was living in America at first place and Ito is full-blooded Japanese. Secondly, Ono Ito and Kobayashi Ryoko should have switched their roles. Nene actually has a short bob-haircut and Asuka looong hair, so they just had it reversed. It is a small matter, but I thing it might be a bit confusing for manga fans. The change that disappointed the most is that they cut out Tamaki's character and he was split between President and Inose.
This is the ULTIMATE KISSING drama! I counted 62 kisses in it, though most of them are fish-kisses. But if you are interested then HERE is more about kiss-scenes in "Yamada-kun to 7nin no majo". Like it is with most of live-actions the original work is much better and in this situation the manga contains much greater kiss-scenes.

SPOILER-REVIEW: Some changes that I cannot mention in review. Firstly, the existence of Leona.
She was made into a completely normal teenage girl – in manga Leona is a sadistic chick who throws scissors towards well basically anyone. Also as she never leaves her room (because she is afraid of Rika) she is always wearing only a shirt with underwear. And she is the reason behind Miyamura’s actions. Also the curry eating thing was that the only thing true to the manga as at home they only eat curry.
In manga Yamada did not lose his memory, but everybody else lost their memory of him. The manga is full of unexpected twists and as it is ongoing, we have no idea how in reality it will end.


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