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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » School Rumble: Extra Class OVA
School Rumble: Extra Class OVA
FUNimation // Unrated // June 17, 2008
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted June 18, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

When it comes to comedy anime School Rumble is a worthy outing released by the good folks at FUNimation. The 56 episode show that originated from a popular manga took Japan by storm in 2004 and it enjoyed relatively successful DVD sales here in the States. Full of a zany brand of humor that could best be described as haphazard and harebrained, School Rumble took some very unique elements and mashed them together with familiar situations. In the end it's a high school comedy about love and friendship but it's decidedly different from most everything else out there.

Over the course of the first season of the show, 26 episodes of the series were put out for the American audience. While the series grew tiresome in patches there was enough brilliance to make it worth checking out. Keeping in line with the Japanese production of the series, before FUNimation releases the second season we get the subject of today's review: a two episode OVA.

This disc contains little adventures and mismatched elements that didn't quite fit into the first season but served as a way to tide fans over until the second season was released. If you're a fan of the show then this release will be a success in your eyes because it includes more School Rumble nonsense with Tenma, Harima, and the rest of the gang. This is not a release for newcomers or those interested in checking it out simply because it's not designed to bring a new audience to the show. Think of it as an anime pacifier and you'll essentially get where I'm going with this.

The two episodes here are of average length but that still means this disc only has fifty minutes worth of content to offer. The first OVA offering is truly a disheveled collection of tidbits not included in the first season. If you're familiar with the show then you already know that each episode is broken down into smaller segments. Well, these the segments here simply don't connect to each other in the slightest. There are jarring discrepancies between them and in all honesty they aren't very funny.

Included here is a bit with a hot tub where Harima winds up looking like a pervert (obviously), Yakumo gets some face time as she works on drawing, and the class works on a seating arrangement. If you watched the whole season then these bits will make sense to you as you attempt to piece them into where they fit with the continuity but taken as they are they simply don't stand up. The humor isn't quite as funny and the expected spark just isn't quite there.

The second OVA turns out to be a tad better but once again it's completely random. There's a segment that takes place at WAS Burger which isn't that fascinating and closing things out is another little story about Harima and Yakumo. That particular one was a little better as it explored the potential relationship there that Harima is too dense to notice. The best part of this entire disc comes from the second portion of this episode as the characters and situation are brought to prehistoric times. Caveman Harima lusts after cavewoman Tenma and a wooly mammoth causes some fuss.

All in all this extremely short OVA release for School Rumble is a success when you look at it from a fan's perspective. Sure both episodes don't quite hit the mark of humor enjoyed by the first season but the antics are unmistakably School Rumble. If you're looking for something to tide you over between the first season and the second then this one is worth checking out but if you were hoping for a release that is as good or better than what you've already seen then you're going to be left wanting. These episodes just aren't as good as what we've come to expect.

The DVD:

Video:

The School Rumble OVA is presented on DVD with the full screen aspect ratio it was produced with. FUNimation did a decent job with the transfer here though there were a few flaws that cropped up during viewing. On the whole grain seems to cover several scenes and gives the show a somewhat fuzzy appearance. There are also a fair amount of artifacts and blocking that pop in at random intervals. In the end neither blemish is enough to detract from the fine artwork and vibrant palette of the show but if you're watching on a larger television or HD set you'll notice them more prominently.

Audio:

With 2.0 English and Japanese stereo tracks School Rumble is not an audio powerhouse. There isn't a lot of action here and most everything is dialogue based so I suppose a surround mix was unnecessary; though it would have helped matters a lot. For the most part things sound good with a fine presence on the soundstage but I do have to say that the volume felt a tad unbalanced. Some scenes were quieter than others and music tended to drown out the dubs. Speaking of which both languages do offer competent voice actors and fine dubbing quality all around.

Extras:

Considering the skimpy run time of this release you'd expect there to be some worthwhile bonus content. Apart from some trailers and clean animations the only thing you'll find here is a thirty minute interview with a pair of original Japanese voice actresses. For what it is the feature is quite good and the length helps to give us a good look at the people behind the microphone.

Final Thoughts:

If you loved the first season of School Rumble then the OVA is a very tempting release. Sure it's only two episodes and yes they aren't quite as good as the actually series but there's no denying that it's School Rumble at its core. Your mileage may vary with the OVA though and if you're unfamiliar with the show don't even bother with this release. As it stands this is recommended for people who loved the series but newcomers can consider it a skipper.


Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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