Last night I was wondering what to choose between Honey & Clover II and Kannazuki no Miko for my next rewatch. Then I remembered School Rumble, and I thought, well, I certainly need something to smile about.
In retrospect, the first half of SR (season 1) episode 1 never really gave a hint about how wacky it would become later on. I haven’t really watched that much comedy anime with a high school setting at that time (and even now), so I guess I can’t really judge whether it was unique or not. Back then I also knew very few Japanese words, and I thought that Tenma was the younger sister because she was so immature. (That also meant I wasn’t that attentive to the details. But I’m usually like that anyway.)
Perhaps what hooked me into watching more was that mad bicycle chase at the end of the first episode. My addiction was then cemented with that exam where Tenma forgot to write her name, and Harima was all worked up trying to tell her that. No other anime made me laugh so hard like that before; and that was how SR became my standard for which other comedy anime would be judged. Ouran Host Club certainly came on an almost equal footing. Others, like Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu, looked pale in comparison. So SR is to blame whenever some comedy series (or any comedic situation) fails to tickle me. However, I know there are other shows out there I haven’t seen; the only question then would be, would my experience with them be better than School Rumble?
Another thing that has endeared School Rumble to me was its seeming randomness; I was never sure what to expect in the next episode. On some sequences, I’d be left wondering: ok, what the hell is happening? And then Karasuma appears looking like some character in Streetfighter; and Harima powers up like a Super Saiyan!
The pun with words is also prevalent in SR (and that’s one big reason I don’t like to watch it raw). Now that School Rumble is licensed, I wonder how they’ll translate Tenma’s predicament with the word ‘suki’ in the first episode. It must be a strange feeling listening to it in English. But then again, I don’t think I’ll ever see a School Rumble DVD anyway in this Third World country of mine.
The large cast of characters also keeps me entertained; there’s room for more humorous situations with them. Tenma used to be my favorite character; then I switched sides and turned to Eri. Ichijou and Lala also are two characters that bring out the best laughs, aside from Harima himself. But I have to admit, I’ve never really cared that much for character development with comedy anime. As long as there are funny situations I’ll always be satisfied. Who ends up with who in the end, it really doesn’t matter. That’s how it is to me.
Animation-wise, I don’t have complaints with SR. I am not that demanding of quality anyway. On the music front, it’s the same. I remember how the OP used to perk me up after half a day’s work.
So however School Rumble ends, in the anime or the manga, I’ll always remember how it felt the first time I watched it. And good, funny memories they will be.