In truth, I only started reading both of her works a week ago, where I stumbled upon the ending of Yamada-kun & The Seven Witches (I’ll call it Yamada for short) in a manga magazine. While I am kinda interested in Yamada at that time, manga is not a priority for me and gender bender is not really my thing. So that ending triggered me to read the story, and then her other story, and then viola, new blog post for a long time.
Warning: Spoilers Abound
Who is Miki Yoshikawa (According to Wikipedia):
Japanese manga artist. Her debut work was a one-shot called Glory Days in Kodansha’s Magazine Special. She assisted Hiro Mashima on Rave Master and Fairy Tail. And two of her serialized works eventually got above 200 Chapters, which for me thinks that it is a success for her.
Summary (According to Tv Tropes)
Flunk Punk Rumble (original name: Yankee-kun to Megane-chan), I’ll called it Flunk for short, (2006-2011)
It’s a Slice of Life manga that follows the lives of a “Yankee” named Daichi Shinagawa and a Meganekko named Hana Adachi, who is also the Class Representative of Daichi’s class. The two soon formed a whole Five-Man Band, with the genius and Gray look-alike Seiya Chiba, Adachi’s former kohai Rinka Himeji and the Marty Stu wannabe Izumi Gaku.
Yamada-kun & The Seven Witches (2012-2017)
Ryuu Yamada is a second-year student at Suzaku High. Ryuu is always late for school, naps in class and gets abysmal grades. The beautiful Urara Shiraishi, on the other hand, is Suzaku High’s brightest student. One day, without explanation, their bodies are swapped! Ryuu ends up in Urara’s body, and Urara in Ryuu’s. Thus begins Yamada’s journey into the world of Witches and Suzaku High’s mysteries.
The Similarities (That I can think of):
1. The male leads started off having really bad grades in his high school, seen as deliquents with an attitude problem(though Yamada stop being one in practice) and lived without parents (who are alive & well).
2. Despite all this the male leads managed to got themselves in the position of Student Council (though not as ridiculous as Hana managing to become the president)
3. After some time like 100 chapters later, the female leads drops in signifigance, and then suddenly disappear at the studying to achieve Tono U arc
4. In the 3rd year they decided to study for personal reasons and focus on Tono U, which they both succeed despite the odds.
5. An epilogue of years later with updates of characters, though Yamada has it longer (10 compared to 4)
The Differences (That I can think of)
1. Ironically while there is definitely romance, even for almost the same amount of chapters, Flunk has little to none kissing scenes, while Yamada has an insane amount of it, even with people of the same gender
2. Speaking of romance, the main couple between Yamada & Shiraishi forms a relationship quickly just under 100 chapters, compared to Flunk when Hana is Hana, where even confessions are unable to be made to her
3. Obviously, magic is emphasized in Yamada, though Flunk does has some areas of magic as well (like the wishing bracelet), though more of them came from Hana & her powers herself
4. The main group of Flunk does not have a club, and immediately got themselves members of the Student Council where they carry on their duties for their entire period. While in Yamada, the main group establishes a club, then 2 of the members (which include the male lead) became a member of the Student Council with another group for a period of time before going back and have fun at the club
5. Flunk started off in the first year of high school, while Yamada started off in the second year of high school (where there is a really good reason for the author to milk the shit out of it)
Some of my thoughts on the 2 mangas
1. It’s a sin when Hana is very stagnant and some time later feels like a side character despite being the female lead and having a lot of stories to be told. But Shinagawa is rather likable as a character. The opinion is later reversed when I watched some episodes of the live action drama, as Hana obtained some (relative) common sense and Shinagawa said irritating 3 times too many, but has more motivation than the manga counterpart.
2. Himeji Rinka, one moment you call yourself a badass fighter, then you made yourself an irrelevant faux action chick with having some infatuation for Shinagawa for reasons I can’t remember, then you are suddenly a rich girl heir. The other 2 members are at least consistent.
3. I think the Student Council arc is the star of the show, seeing them trying to help the students from facing expulsion, creating a banging school festival and interacting with their successors is nice. Despite my gripes towards the characters individually, together they really gel well.
4. When Hana appears again to meet with Shinagawa at the (turns out to be axed) ending is a really horrible scene without any reasonable explanation from the author. There are many theories for the scene, though for me is that sometime during the 4 years Shinagawa found out that Hana is dead for unnerving reasons & learn the whole truth about her with very few people knowing about it, and her unchanging appearance in the scene is like his breakdown during his anger stage in the grieving process. Just my 2 cents, but this scenes definitely enrages people and cause Yamada to suffer in popularity a little.
1. While everybody keeps hammering upon that the manga should have ended at Chapter 90, I am pleased with the arcs after that. The first arc is finely written, and suddenly popping out 14 new witches in one go that we would only care a few about is definitely a title breaker. But still, I love reading about the lost memories of Yamada in his first year.
2. Admittedly character-wise, I like Yamada with the characters Student Council group in the 2nd Witch War than the group in the supernatural club. Nobody cared about the cooking guy, and I don’t care abour the supernatural girl (for the StuCo, I only didn’t care about the girl who pretends to be ditzy in order to take over the StuCo). For the witches themselves, I only care about the witches who the author gave focus after their initial arc.
3. I am okay with the ending (especially like the detail of the witch hat and the storybook, though maybe Yamada should really talk about the first witch war as the drama succeding it would be very confusing for children under 5), way more substantial than Flunk
4. I have a simple theory about why the witches power disappear after Yamada’s group graduated: The first wish came true after all. And obviously, it’s way better than Flunk in my opinion.
So give both stories a try, please comment about my thoughts about the 2 mangas.