School Rumble: 2nd Semester

Alt title: School Rumble Ni Gakki

TV (26 eps)
4.078 out of 5 from 10,964 votes
Rank #700

The second year of high school is starting and things are still as crazy as always. Despite numerous attempts, the ever-so-hopeful Harima and the overly-naïve Tenma failed to get their message of love across. Now they are pumped up for a new term and ready to renew their illustrious and self-destructing attempts at a confession! But be it a love infested manga or even a gigantic plate of curry; nothing seems to do the trick. What other methods can they take, as the old love triangle is expanding at an alarming rate?!

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Hmm... the curse of setting a bar to high to hurdle. Ni Gakki certainly illustrates this point.To be fair, School Rumble was probably the funniest show I'd ever seen. To add to that, it was done in such an original way, with such a great cast, it was already going to be hard to top. Story: (4/10)Where our 1st series maintained a noticable progression of relationships and story material, this is not the case in Ni Gakki. I can count on one hand how many episodes actually progressed the underlying 'plot' of the School Rumble universe.More than anything, Ni Gakki was a random series of episodes, with extremely slight things linking even a few of the episodes together. There was a couple events that took place over the course of 2 episodes, but then the events of that episode either seemed forgotten, or irrelevant.The biggest problem in this shows story, it's nothing but a tease. In a few select instances, it seems that the major relationships will have some kind of breakthrough, either negative or positive, but that doesn't happen.Credit to the the story is due for advancing some of the relationships between lesser characters, but our major ones remain unchanged, even throughout a 26-episode trek. Animation: (8/10)The improvement here is obvious. The diversity of situations the zany cast go through is mind boggling. (Litterally, but more on that later.)Everything from their typical day of school life, to their adventures through prehistoric villages, cruise ships, school plays, and even an intense hand of poker animated in a musky 'gangster' style.Sound: (8/10)The Opening theme: "Sentimental Generation" by Ami Tokito follows the trend of a cheerful and upbeat intro to the show. The Ending theme: "Kono Namida ga Arukara Tsugi no Ippo to Naru" also by Ami Tokito was less cheerful, more heartfelt, but still retained an upbeat feeling.The second Ending theme: "Futari wa Wasurechau" by Ami Koshimizu & Mamiko Noto (The voice actresses for Tenma and Yakumo Tsukamoto) is a cute and happy go lucky tune. The illustration of the two girls over Harima at the end was a good way to lead out.The voice cast remained the same, so no changes there.Character: (8/10)The personalities and appearences of all our favorites from the original are back and intact. The interactions between characters are as fun as they ever were, they just don't develop much beyond the first season. The new characters (Sagano and Satsuki) play very minor roles, but there is focus more on other characters in this series. Primarily: Yakumo, Imadori, Ichijou, Asou and Lala. Overall Rating: (7/10) A weakened story with hit-or-miss comedy, but in essence, it is still School Rumble fun, and that in itself is enough to watch this show.


School Rumble (season 1 and 2 review) Storyline: 8. Harima Kenji is a high school delinquent with a crush on his classmate Tenma. But Tenma only has eyes for the mysterious and ever so absent-minded Karasuma. What follows is a funny story about unrequited love, where Harima and Tenma both try their best to get the attention of the one they love, but fail at each attempt and unwillingly get in each other's way as the story progresses. A typical love triangle/school life story you say? Perhaps, but School Rumble is much more than that. There's a certain flow in this series that I can hardly describe. The humor is priceless and the creators make sure that you often get mislead. Plot and pace: 6. The story is a follow-up of events that give Tenma and Harima the chance to get the attention of the one they love. However, they always fail in the most ridiculous ways, often because of misunderstandings. Although the story doesn't seem to be more than this and nothing ever changes, you still keep cheering for your favorite character. While they do get more sympathy for each other as the story progresses, neither of the main characters ever get what they want. That's still a bit disappointing. Cliffhangers: 6. The story starts at the beginning of a new school year and after that mainly takes place at or around school. Some episodes are linked or follow-up, but most can be put in another order without anyone noticing. Cliffhangers are rare and mostly negligible. Satisfying ending: 6. As I already mentioned in the 'plot and pace' department of this review, you quickly start to notice that eventually nothing will happen in the end, and that's always a let-down in a romantic series. But if you're a seasoned Anime viewer like me, you'll predict that nothing will changer very early in the Anime, so you're already kind of prepared for what's coming. Also, for some reason, School Rumble's third season never aired (which is a BIG shame. The manga has only been fan translated so you'll have to check that one out online if you want to see the real ending of the story). In stead, they made two final episodes that show almost literally everything that happened in the third season. I, from my part, never found that annoying, but it certainly felt rushed. But hey, you can't blame them for trying to wrap it all up. At least they still made an attempt to give the viewer an appropriate conclusion. Rewatchability: 9. School Rumble was very enjoyable to watch. The comedy value was higher than Toradora, to make a comparison between another school life series I watched (but the romance and ending was better in Toradora). As most of the episodes can be seen seperately and contain lots of comical situations, the rewatch value is high. Characters: 8. As always in Animes like this, all the main characters are parentless. Tenma lives together with her younger sister, who'd ironically make a much better match with Harima than Tenma herself. Tenma is airheaded and ignorant, but has a sweet personality. Her sister is the shy one that looks after Harima. Then there's Harima, the bad-ass guy with a softer core that you just have to feel sympathy for. Other notable characters are Tenma's friends and classmates. Some get introduced early in the series and become an important part of the story or seperate episodes, others get introduced later and aren't that important. Conversations: 9. Most of the conversations consist of Tenma and her friends having some sort of weird conversation, while in the background Harima sees a different meaning behind what they're saying (mostly to his advantage). When eventually the real meaning becomes clear, you can't help but laugh about Harima's stupidity. Art style: 7. The drawing is a bit old-fashioned, even outdated perhaps, but never bothersome. It fits the overall feeling of the series. There were some parts that really cracked me up, like when Harima Kenji was feeling depressed over something and his face was all white and wrinkled like an old man. The characters are the most important part of the series, so the creators didn't pay a lot of attention to the scenery. Music and sounds: 9. This is where School Rumble really shines. The first OP was amazing and even months after watching this Anime, it's still stuck in my head. The Japanese voice acting is great and fits the characters well. the English voice acting takes time to get used to. I especially liked Harima's and Tenma's Japanese voice, especially Harima's cries of astonishment were hilarious. Personal enjoyment: 9. School Rumble was one of the most entertaining watches I've had this year. It's never ground-breaking and doesn't shine out in originality, but the humor and cast make up for that. If it had a better ending and plot development, it'd have certainly received higher marks concerning the ending verdict. Total score: 77/100


This is a review of School Rumble, Season 2, with spoilers. Do not read this until you feel like you have nothing to lose.     In my last review of School Rumble, I mostly noted a lot of the positives of School Rumble as a series. Well, in the second season, everything mentioned before carries over to the next season. I would say the only developmental changes are that I noticed the animation quality, even though the seasons are only a year apart, dramatically improved from the first season.      Story is the same from the get-go as you start up the second season. Harima is still trying to get steady with Tenma, Tenma is still after Kurosama, and a variety of other romances are occuring all around. I should have realized it earlier, but because this is a romance-comedy/slice of life, or maybe just because the writer Kobayashi did not take the romances seriously, do not expect much development in the couples department. About the only mentionable romances that occured were Karen and Imadori's casual romance and the ongoing pairing of Harima with Eri. Both are incredibly cute couples, but neither are actually confessed and paired up by the endgame of the final episodes. In particular, Harima's romance with Tenma is a constant "cat-got-your-tongue" situation. He never makes up to Tenma, who by the way is a complete ditz who sees nothing in Harima. So in other words, the ending is very bittersweet, because no romances actually matured between any of the characters over the 26 episodes of the second season. Even as a School Rumble fan, I was dissapointed.    Don't get me wrong; the comedy aspect of School Rumble is still running strong in the second half of the anime. It is so much so that the rest of the story basically ends up mocking itself, because there is no progression. Despite this, the comedy is still good, and if you came for that distinctive style of humor that this anime has, you will not be frustrated by the end. In fact, I'd say the writer's of School Rumble's comedy game got even better in the second season. This anime still has that original, unique humor that it started with.    A minor complaint was although the School Rumble team always has indicated a love for references, there are two episodes in the second season (20 and 21) that are basically shameless filler episodes. Those episodes serve pretty much no functionality to the story, as they go off into a whole different referencial type of anime style, away from the School Rumble plot. I will admit I was frustrated by those episodes.   At least the new OP and ED are catchy. There are actually two new ED's but I ended up liking both. All the new theme music for the second season is addictive and upbeat.   As someone who takes anime romances seriously, I found the second season of School Rumble to be a bit of a trap. Sure, the ride is fun and even at times atmospheric as more character arcs are explored even further than last season. For example, Eri sees a ton of character progression from last season, and is constantly shoved on poor Harima the whole next season. I liked it, because it is a good pairing. But for story purposes with Harima liking Tenma, it is never meant to be. So, this anime gives me strong love/hate emotions now. Watch at your own discretion, just don't expect it to develop much.

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