Yamada No first name given is a fifteen year old high school student at the top of the food chain. Every girl wants to be her every boy wants to be with her and she wants to have sex with 100 guys. While that may sound like the premise for the most thinlyveiled escapist jerkoff fantasy since Kiss X Sis Let me make two things perfectly clear: First of all unlike the two abominable creatures from KXS Yamada doesnt live in a world where her behavior is considered normal or even worse encouraged. She lives in a world much closer to our own and the few people who know about her endeavor spend a decent amount of effort trying to advise her and keep her under control. And second of all Yamada is all talk. Shes a virgin and the story clearly acknowledges that she has no idea what sex is let alone how to get up the nerve to have it. In order to gain experience and overcome her insecurities she decides that the first step towards carnal domination is to sleep with a boy in her class named Kosuda because in her words hes a Plain Jane cherry boy. Yes Cherry boy is term they use. In any case these two plot elements go a long way in making the character of Yamada not only funny but 1000 times more likeable than she should be. Her constant efforts to take a step towards losing her virginity are peppered with her complete lack of understanding about common logic or human behavior. She is in every way a dog chasing a car and it is hilarious at nearly every turn. By the way did I mention that several characters get an Eros deity? A little chibi wiseman version of themselves that floats on a cloud and gives them comically misleading sex advice that they cant even hear? Yes that element could easily become annoying and probably will for some people but unlike the narrator from Okamisan they only appear once in a while and remain consistently funny when used. You could take them or leave them but I thought they were great. Now if you dont notice early on from such exquisite phrases as Totes Cherry boy What the crap and Rocking your V Card this is a Jamie Marchi script and her dialogue has a habit of being a little Slangy. And while its subdued there is an element of pop culture references as well. To put it bluntly Yamada randomly blurts out the most inappropriate things and much like the dub for Panty and Stocking Marchis writing can occasionally reek of trying too hard. Thankfully the actors do a pretty damn good job with it especially Yamadas VA. Her voice is supplied by Brittany Karbowski whos been rapidly climbing up my favorites list lately. I am convinced that she can deliver any line you put in front of her no matter how ridiculous or obscene without losing a single drop of sincerity. She goes a long way towards making this a highly recommendable dub. The other actors do their jobs really well too Cherami Leigh does a commendable job going out of her comfort zone to play Yamadas long suffering best friend/straight man foil Miharu and the deity actors fill out their roles as well but Brittany is really the one who makes the script hers. NAME REDACTED doesnt have a particularly difficult job playing a character like Kosuda Hes bland and ordinary but compared to most anime male leads hes actually rather unique He reacts to Yamadas sexually confused insanity the way a normal boy would rather than just getting freaked out and taking a moral high ground. Although hes confused about what her advances mean hes still receptive to them although as it turns out hes just as nervous and unsure as she is. And thank god for once both characters screw things up just as often. There are a few other elements at play dealing with Miharus boyfriend Yamadas younger sister Kosudas childhood friend Kosudas older sister Im happy to say they actually ACT like brother and sister But the main subplot deals with Kyoko Kanejo a rich transfer student and rival for Yamada. Their rivalry in the fields of both beauty and popularity go a long way in highlighting just how shallow these values are but the most memorable thing about her would be her dark secret And once its revealed its a story element that would normally bug the crap out of me were it handled any different. But like Yamadas ambitions the fact that shes completely delusional about it saves her from being wholly unlikeable. Outside of the opening the animation honestly isnt very good. Talking heads prevail and the animators are not exactly coy about the budget saving tricks theyre using speed lines for intensity bouncing images for walking and so on and so forth. Thankfully unless there are a bunch of frozen characters in the background its easy to ignore. On the other hand where the show really shines is with its artwork. The backgrounds while stiff are highly detailed and vibrantly colored. The character designs are well thought out very expressive and easily recognizable. What really impresses me about this series is its dual appeal. For those looking for a gleefully sadistic sex comedy Yamadas First is exactly that The jokes are fast paced well executed and rarely ever miss the mark. Theres fan service abound but its rarely ever in bad taste. For those looking for something a little deeper this show hasnt forgotten you either. It has an almost nostalgic feel to it as if it were written by someone who wanted to see how an exaggerated overthetop version of themselves would have dealt with their own real life experiences. The character development is subtle as Yamada slowly gets a grasp on the reality of her feelings and hormones and Kosuda slowly becomes more interesting and likeable as he interacts with her. I was a little shocked to discover that it was based on a fourpanel manga. Normally you can tell this right off the bat from the story limitations and the pacing of the jokes but up until I looked it up I honestly thought it was based on a more traditional style manga. The pacing of the jokes is kind of a dead giveaway but the story seemed to flow a lot smoother and more seamlessly than similar titles like Kill Me Baby Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star. Yamadas First Time is available from Funimation. You can stream it pretty much anywhere or just watch it for free on Netflix. I wouldnt recommend paying full price for it but if you can find it on sale on Amazon Its about 23 dollars for the BR/DVD combo pack at this particular moment Then you should totes go for it. All in all this series works great as a comedy and just as well as a coming of age story as it takes an unflinching yet not unforgiving look at the genuine awkwardness of adolescent relationships. It has a few minor hiccups and we never do find out where Yamadas thirst for sexual conquest came from but its hard to deride a show thats this consistently funny and unpredictable. I give Yamadas First Time a 7/10.
70 /100
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