Time for some fun! School Rumble is a comedy school romance title that doesn’t fail to tickle the funny bone, even if it isn’t all that romantic. It covers the daily lives of students from Yagami High School, most notably that of Tenma Tsukamoto and Kenji Harima. Tenma is small, cute, unable to cook and rather slow in the head, while Kenji is the bad-ass, motorbike-riding delinquent who always wins his fights, but who is just as slow in the head as Tenma. Kenji has a huge crush on Tenma, but this is complicated by the fact that Tenma has a huge crush on Oji Karasuma, a rather stone-faced eccentric character that is with them in class. Of course there are tons of other supporting characters, but these three form the crux of most of the stories, often which revolve around Tenma and Harima trying to confess their respective loves.
The humour in this series is top draw for this genre – lots of exaggerated failed romantic scenes, tons of puns, pokes at popular culture (I absolutely cried at the Initial D jab) and lots of physical humour (fight scenes included). The show isnt serious at all, and even when it pushes in a serious direction, it soon brings you back down to Earth with more than a couple of laughs at the characters expense.
Although comedic in nature, the show features quite a lot of character development, especially because it retains a sense of continuity as it progresses along. Although the episodes are generally slightly standalone in nature, you quickly realise that there is a definite timeline to it (This is probably the easiest to pick up on if you watch Harimas head and facial hair as he progresses through various looks as the shows goes along).
Animation wise, School Rumble is pretty much standard television fare, complete with bright colours, detailed (but flatly coloured) backgrounds and decent character models. The show makes ample use of exaggerated facial features as well as super-deformed characters to enforce a lot of its humour, and to be honest, it fits this sort of title perfectly.
The voice acting is superb, with the actors managing to capture the feel of the eccentric cast of characters flawlessly. Harima and Tenma do however steal the show, no doubt about it. The soundtrack is upbeat, bouncy and fun, but watch out – the opening sequence doesnt always feature at the beginning of the show, nor does the end sequence necessarily begin at the end of the show! :)
As an old anime hand, this kind of show becomes very stale, very quickly, but School Rumble places itself well within the top of the pile. The fun is quick and hits you hard where it tickles, and you will be hard-pressed not to laugh at least a couple of times during the show. The first season consists of 26 episodes, but fear not, there is in fact a second season that complements the first with just as many laughs. There is also a short 2 part series-filler OVA available.
School Rumble is one of those classic romantic comedy shows that shouldn’t easily be missed (unless you really are closed to the genre completely). It is light-hearted, fun and generally clean enough to be able to watch with an easily offended partner. Definitely fun for all!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_rumble