Clueless teens in love,
never knowing what to say.
We sit back and laugh.
Harima loves Tenma. He tries to let her know in subtle ways, but Harima is kind of a dummy when it comes to love. Tenma loves Karasuma. She tries to let him know in subtle ways, but Tenma is kind of a dummy when it comes to love. Karasuma loves… curry.
And that is just the tip of the comedic iceberg that is School Rumble. This anime revolves around the loves, lies, trials and tribulations of a group of teenagers who are dealing with their feelings for each other as well as the “joys” of high school life in general. The main characters are Kenji Harima, a thug who tries to change his ways for love, and Tenma Tsukamoto, a bubbly sophomore with good intentions but without a clue. However, there’s a whole host of supporting characters who help flesh out the story, including Tenma’s sister Yakumo, all of their combined friends, and a slew of boys who have crushes on the various girls.
While this series is technically a romantic comedy, there’s far more laughs than love swirling throughout season one. In fact, this might be the lightest and most comedic anime that I’ve seen to date. The various love triangles, love squares, and love parallel lines running rampant in this show just add more laughter with very little drama. School Rumble is one of the longer series I’ve reviewed, with two full seasons of twenty-six episodes each as well as two OVAs of two episodes each. The good in this is that you can easily watch a few episodes, then come back later and watch more without worrying about forgetting something or missing out. The show works well as one-off episodes in that way. However, the bad is that the storyline progresses very slooooowly, squeezing out as many laughs per situation as possible. Yet halfway through season one, just as I was beginning to think that all of these characters were completely hopeless and nothing would ever progress, the story inched forward and added more intrigue to keep things interesting.
Overall, I’m thoroughly enjoying School Rumble. I’ve watched all of season one as well as the first OVA, School Rumble: Extra Class, and I’m looking forward to completing the series. I just hope that it has a conclusive ending, but I’ve come to realize those are far and few between when it comes to anime series, especially ones based on manga. I’m not as invested in the characters as I am with other shows, but that just keeps the tone light and the laughter prevalent. There’s hardly any fan service to speak of, mostly a few fights, girls in swimsuits, and the occasional boy butt. Yet I must say how refreshing it is to see those boy butts after countless anime series filled with nakedly abundant girl parts! Even so, at first I greatly missed the presence of any beloved bishōnen, but in time I came to love the ridiculous and manly Harima almost as much as my dear Ouran High School Host Club boys (though I still prefer the latter; what can I say, I’m a shojo over shonen type of gal). Tenma is so sweet and idiotic that it’s hard not to like her, and who among us hasn’t been a fool for love at one time or another? I hope that season two proves to be even better than the first, though season one alone is enough to make me cry with laughter.