The first season of School
Rumble is one of those fun school romantic comedies that are so
enjoyable. Very reminiscent of Azumanga
Daioh, but with a bit more continuity, the show is filled with
engaging characters. FUNimation has
the set as part of their "Viridian Collection" of reasonably priced
sets. If you haven't picked this series
up yet, take my advice and snag a copy quick!
Tenma Tsukamoto is excited the first day of school when she
discovers that the boy of her dreams, Oji Karasuma is going to be in
2-C. The only problem is that Tenma
can't get up the courage to confess her love for the quite, enigmatic
student. She's not the only one with
that problem though. Kenji Harima is the
school tough guy. A delinquent who would
drop out of school except for one thing:
he's madly in love with Tenma but can't admit it to her.
If this love triangle isn't enough, the show has filled out
with Tenma's friends and classmates: Eri Sawachika the beautiful and
in 2-C; Mikoto Suo a black belt martial artist who is a bit of a
Takano the stone-faced president of the tea club who never smiles; and
Ichijou a slight frail looking girl who is actually extremely strong
star of the wrestling club. Rounding out
the cast is Tenma's younger, but more mature sister, Yakumo who is
just about everything and can read the mind of any boy who likes her.
Each show features one or more of the classmates getting
into trouble in some humorous way or having a misunderstanding. Like other school comedies they seem to do
little actual studying, but that's okay.
What the show lacks in realism it more than makes up for in
comedy. The episodes are all very funny
and contain a
lot of laughs. In one show, for example,
Tenma is talking to a friend about going to a wrestling match, but the
thinks the young girl is talking about sex, and is naturally shocked
when Tenma admits to liking all the different positions.
"What about getting it in the mouth?" "That's
so cool!" Tenma says thinking of the
wrestler being punched in the face. "How
about when they pin back your arms?" "I
love that!" says Tenma thinking about a full Nelson hold.
Yeah, it's a little bit low-brow, but really
One thing that increases the appeal of this show is that
there is some continuity. There are
several story arcs through the season, when Kenji things Tennma loves
else and drops out of school or when Eri shaves his head, that drive
forward. These plots usually don't
dominate the episodes but they do advance at a nice pace and give you a
reason for continuing on with the next episodes.
The only installment of this show that really didn't work
for me was the final chapter. While I
wasn't necessarily expecting the love triangle to be resolved (it
rarely is in
these types of shows) the way they had a series of false endings only
that something was a story within the story or a dream was a bit
irritating. It's a minor complaint, and
anime shows often have trouble coming up with a suitable conclusion, so
doesn't affect my overall opinion of the series.
The 26 episodes that make up this first season comes in a
six discs set. The first four discs have
the entire show while the last two are saved for extras.
The discs are housed in a double width case
with an extra page. There are two
overlapping disc on each side of the open case as well as on the
The show has the original Japanese soundtrack as well as an
English dub, both in stereo. I
alternated soundtracks for the first few episodes before settling on
Japanese audio, which I usually prefer.
The dub was very good though, with solid performances by the
actors. Neither track had any distortion
or other common defects worth mentioning.
The full frame image looked pretty good, though there were
some minor compression artifacts present.
Aliasing was a problem in more than a few scenes, mainly in the
but occasionally in the foreground too.
There was a bit of banding that was visible too.
Aside from that it looked fine with nice
colors and tight lines.
The fifth disc is devoted to extras. It
starts off with a series of interviews with
the Japanese voice cast, 11 actors in all, each running 5-10 minutes
long. There's also a series of TV spots
commercials promoting the show, textless songs, and some FUNimation
The most exciting bonus features were found on the sixth disc
however: the first two OVA
episodes. These are mostly made up
segments that didn't make it into the first season, the aftermath of
athletic tournament, a trip to the hot springs, etc.
The second episode includes a trip back in time to see what the
Rumble group would be like if they were cave men. A
pair of funny shows that are definitely
This was a great series.
It was funny with just the right amount of continuity to keep it
interesting. Fans of humorous anime will
want to put this on their "to watch" lists.