This review is for the entire School Rumble series.That includes both seasons and all of the OVAs. I don’t believe in dividing up series by seasons and I firmly believe series should be treated as a whole and therefore rated and reviewed, and judged in the same manner.
School Rumble is basically the story of a love triangle. The hyper, slow-witted, dense and yet extremely nice and lovable character Tsukamoto Tenma is in love with her strange and seemingly dull classmate Karasuma Oji and at the same time the misunderstood delinquent Harima Kenji is madly in love with Tsukamoto Tenma to the point that he has been transformed into a new man because of it.
The series best fits in the comedy genre and anytime you feel the story is about to take a serious turn, it swings back to its comedic nature faster than you can blink.
The characters are probably the best part of this series. While there is really only three or four main characters, on numerous occasions, the series turns its attention to some of the backgrounds characters and lets the viewers get to know them better through some interesting side stories. Tsukamoto Tenma is extremely cute and lovable, Harima Kenji is a brooding delinquent you will love to root for, and Karasuma Oji is the character you will love to hate. The background characters such as Tsukamoto Tenma’s sister, Yakumo (quiet, reserved, and gorgeous girl that almost all men fall in love with at first sight) , Sawachika Eri (the seemingly shallow rich blonde girl sought after by many guys), Suou Mikoto (the athletic and cool tomboy that seems to be good at just about everything), Takano Akira (the quiet, calm, and mysterious girl that seems to know everything) are also very well developed and quite entertaining to watch. There is a character type to suit any viewer’s tastes.
The Japanese voice acting is absolutely fantastic and the voices match the characters well without exception. The most notable are the voices Tsukamoto Tenma which is done brilliantly by Koshimizu Ami (The very talented voice actress who does the voices of Kallen in Code Geass - Hangyaku no Lelouch /R2 and Horo in “Spice and Wolf”), and the voice of Harima Kenji which is done by Takahashi Hiroki (the voice of Kikumaru Eiji in Prince of Tennis and Hisoka in Hunter X Hunter). I can’t comment on the English voice acting due to the fact that I have not watched the dubbed version of the series (…and I have no intention of doing so).
The art and animations are not quite as noteworthy as the character design and voice acting. The art is average and the animations are done well most of the time with a few exceptions here and there. That is about all that needs to be said about the art and animations.
The story itself and the way it’s developed are both very interesting. However, I did find it quite irritating at times where I felt the story should perhaps take a more serious turn. The show is a comedy and above all else it should be funny and in that area there is definitely no shortcomings. The show is absolutely hilarious. However, while it is a comedy, its subject matter is not, and I would have found it quite refreshing if the writers had not shied away from including some serious elements as a complement to the comedy. Instead, they chose to completely slam on the breaks and put it in reverse whenever there was even the slightest danger of any serious development. The only part where things get even in the least bit serious is in the final two-episode OVA where they attempt to conclude the story.
Another area where this show suffered a bit had to do with filler episodes. There are not too many filler episodes and some of the fillers even contribute a little bit to the story. But, fillers are still fillers. While they are not abused to extremes as with some other shows such as Bleach, their presence still adds some annoyance for the viewer.
ATTENTION: The next paragraph talks about the ending. While I will not include any specifics about what happens at the end of the series, I will talk about the style and quality of the ending. If you feel this might spoil things for you, skip over the next paragraph.
This is where the show lost the most points from me. While, I did not know the specifics of the ending, I had a very close guess formed by the second or third episode of the first season regarding how the show would conclude. I knew I was in for at least a bit of a letdown at the end simply based on the nature of the show and how it completely shied away from getting even slightly serious. The ending doesn’t really leave you hanging which is good. However, I did not get the ending I wanted and I am fairly certain most people who have watched the series in the past and those who will watch it in the future have felt and will feel the same way I do about this. It will not catch you off guard. You will know it is coming fairly early in the series. But it is still a letdown. Perhaps, an alternate ending episode might have remedied this.
The two places this series lost marks from me were the filler episodes and the ending. Without the fillers and with the correct ending this anime would have scored full marks.
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