B Gata H Kei, aka Yamada’s First Time, is one of those anime that I feel bad that I actually enjoyed watching. Despite what the anime is about, it is surprisingly innocent. It was definitely made with a more mature – adults – audience in mind, whether the age restriction agrees or not. This time, the ecchi aspect of an anime is not just there as a fan service but as an actual plot device. I’m shocked too.
- Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, School, Seinen
- Alternative Title: B Gata H Kei
- Type: Series
- Episodes: 12
- Duration to watch: +/- 4 Hours
- Age restriction: R+ – Mild Nudity
- Release date: 2010
- Animation Studio: Hal Film Maker, TYO Animations
- Does it have a manga: Yes, 4-koma manga
- Kanji: B型H系
About Yamada’s First Time:
Yamada has finally entered high school and has gone to great efforts to make herself pretty. All in the hopes of achieving her wish. Most know the saying ‘make 100 friends’, Yamada has changed that to mean sex friends. Now recognised as the prettiest girl in school she has her choice of guys. All she has to do is pick the first guy to lose her virginity to. Only one problem, handsome guys intimidate her and give off the feeling that they are really experienced. She sets her sights on, ‘plain jane, safe bet’ fellow virgin, Takashi Kosuda to be her first and sets out to seduce him.
Firstly, about Yamada’s goal/wish for her high school years, personally, ew. For so many reasons this is not a good idea and should only stay in fictional form. Even though her goal is to have 100 sex friends, she is overwhelmingly naïve. This is what actually draws you into the show. Each episode is basically divided into two episodes. From episode one you are already asking yourself what did you watch and why are you already on episode five.
While I started watching this for another blog post, I did not expect that I would enjoy watching this. I did not have high expectations or demands from the story so that helped. The story is simple and there are not a lot of twists or turns. You can pretty much pin it down to; Yamada does something extreme, runs away and leaves Kosuda confused. However, within that simple pattern, the story develops, as well as the relationship between the two main characters. I pity Takashi, he is a teenage boy and Yamada is a lot to handle, for many reasons.
Neither her goal nor her actions or thoughts are pure but the way that she is, is fascinating to watch. I am eternally grateful that even though she is just 15-years-old when the show starts, she is 17 by the time anything ‘actually’ happens between the pair. Puberty exploration in anime is always a fine line between social norms and acceptance vs what is happening both in society and in the body.
While Yamada says and thinks she knows what she wants (and has been persistent in her pursuit) she gets into her own way most of the time. There is one moment where she clearly thinks, this is not what she wants, that she is not mentally ready. I do wish we had the chance to explore that more but it is what it is. Even though she is the one who leads the direction of their encounters. Instead, they end up in another situation with amusing results. I am glad though that she decided on a guy that if she had voiced it, Takashi would have respected it and stopped.
A few of the supporting characters in this are well rounded and developed. I also enjoyed their inclusion and interaction with the main couple. From Miharu Takeshita (Yamada’s best friend) trying to talk some sense into her and derail some of Yamada’s rather extreme actions and delusions to Kazuki Kosuda, (Takashi’s older sister) who although dense, was there for her brother, no matter how embarrassing.
Overall, the anime is very clear about what it is and does not try to be something else nor divert from it’s intended purpose. I do recommend this as a light-hearted watch. I wouldn’t even be that worried or selective with whom I recommend it. When you come right out and say what it is about, it can sound crude and leave people asking ‘why would I wanna watch that?‘ but it has a lot of relatable moments and so many opportunities to laugh – no matter the side of the sexual spectrum you stood at as a teenager.
I am glad that I have watched this. There are tons of anime I have enjoyed watching but a few memorable ones I am glad to have watched. It was a breath of fresh air, a great break anime and delivered what it promised, a romcom with an adult edge.
I adored the way the anime explained some things and the euphemisms used in the artwork instead of just censoring everything. It was clever, clear and I honestly appreciated it. Even though this anime is over ten years old, it aged well. Yes, the animation is average and the music is nothing to write home about, with most of the cast props this is still an enjoyable watch. Proving, that if the story is good you will have an audience and a following.
Favourite Character: Takashi Kosuda
A part of me keeps commenting that his eyebrows are on backwards…Either way, it is rather uncommon for me to pick a main character as one of my favourites for various reasons. Takashi is my favourite because he genuinely is a good guy and he gets put through the wringer with Yamada. He is such a sweetie and a softie and an average joe.
Least Favourite Character: Yamada
She seems to see her self as someone who is full of confidence and plays through scenarios in her head but the internal image she has of herself is not quite how she really is. Instead of the sultry femme fatale that she believes that she is; she is a typical shy teenage girl and self-conscious. Honestly, she is a likeable character but also a self-centred, somewhat narcissistic teenage girl. I have listed her as my least favourite character because out of the developed characters, she is the one whom I like the least – I say developed because there are a number of flat characters like the sister obsessed with her brother, the brother and more.
If we include the flat characters then it would have been Keiichi Kanejo. Keiichi is literally there to make Yamada realise her feelings and has no depth to him at all. As for whether Yamada actually goes through with her first time, you will need to watch the anime.
What do you think of Anime, Yamada’s First Time?