Basically I have stopped playing flyff now, or maybe taking a break, and now I started watching more anime again plus playing some video games. Thus the review of the School Rumble series for your perusal here. It should be noted that I followed the manga way before I decided to watch the anime version, but rest assured, the review will still be unbiased although comparisons will not be avoidable.
School Rumble S1 + OVA.
Story revolves around two dumbasses a.k.a. series protagonists named Tsukamoto Tenma and Harima Kenji who has problems to confess their love to the ones they love. Tenma has her sights set on a classmate, the mysterious Karasuma Ooji while Harima (the school badass) has his lustful eyes onto Tenma. This anime take the word ‘misunderstanding’ to the next level, as this series is full of them.
The story does not seem to have complicated storyline, but actually it is. The keyword here is ‘misunderstanding’. With this, the author managed to enrich the potentially thin storyline by creating alternative bonds of love amongst the characters in the series, especially for the male protagonist Harima. Also, following with the misunderstanding theme, a lot of funny scenes can be told to the readers (or audiences in the case of anime) which fits the series’s love-comedy genre.
The anime covered about the first 8 volumes of the manga, with some arcs being differently told in a different way compared to the anime. I think some chapters has been omitted too, but anyway I do not think it detracts from the manga too much. The best thing about the anime is that the b. chapters of the manga (usually printed at the end of the tankouban) has been automatically mixed with the main storyline, notably like the first encounter between Harima and Tenma younger sister Yakumo. Those pesky b.chapters can be annoying sometimes but the anime largely (but not fully) takes care of that.
One of the main weaknesses of the anime is that while it mainly follows the manga storyline, some of the manga’s finer nuances and details are lost in transition. The gist is still there but the little touches are gone. This weakness was then compounded by the anime’s other weakness, which is a very rushed ending, probably to cram as many storylines inside the 26 episodes as possible. This caused the storyline at the end of the first season, which covers the Harima-Yakumo arc to not only lost a lot of details, but also alter the arc storyline significantly. The OVA tried to save the arc but failed miserably.
These 2 weaknesses mentioned above are usually not very harmful to an anime series, especially the first one about loss of detail, but when combined they turned out to be a grave mistake. See more below.
Faithful replication of the manga characters. Generally I have no problems with that. And being able to see them in color is really a great thing.
This is a mixed bag. While Tenma has a voice that matches her personality, Harima does not seem to be so. Even counting the fact that he is in love, his voice are way too normal for a delinquent-turned-goodboy character. Genzo in Tenshi na Konamaiki whose role is similiar, was brilliantly voiced but not Harima. Why this is important? This is because after Harima mistakenly confessed to Sawachika Eri, Tenma with her superior voice acting are relegated to become secondary characters while Harima (with normal quality voice acting at best) becomes the series main protagonist from there on. Up to the end of the second season!
Another letdown of the series. Uninspiring OP/ED themes and so are the OST. Some of the insert songs are decent though.
The animation are decent but not spectacular. Meanwhile, the action scenes in the anime are very well made. Whether the Matrix-style arrow-dodging movements or just plain full-fisted fight between Harima and Hanai, they are almost always excellent.
I will summarize both seasons and give them combined rating. See my conclusion at the bottom of this post.
School Rumble ni Gakki.
Story basically continues from the first season, where Harima is now the sole main protagonist with Tenma sidelined as a secondary character. He has to juggle between his new job as mangaka while chasing Tenma for her attention. Meanwhile Tenma’s younger sister Yakumo and Tenma’s best friend Sawachika started to develop feelings for him, as Tenma and Karasuma progressively build their relationship. Basically, these are the essence of the second season of School Rumble.
The weaknesses of the first season evidently shows up in the very first episode, as the directors/producers suddenly have a change of heart and follows the manga in a much more faithful way when implementing that particular story arc. That should be good you may ask, but as the end of the first season deals with the Harima-Yakumo arc that was significantly altered compared to the manga version, suddenly following the manga properly in the second season caused the transition between first and second season to be unbelievably rocky. This failed transition really harmed the anime series. My mood is already soured by the end of the first episode.
In the second season, the storyline also deviates more from the manga, unlike the first season. It was not done in a significant way like Full Metal Alchemist or Samurai Deeper Kyo, and I actually likes those alterations. This is because the alterations helps to eliminate the first weakness that plagues the first season, which is loss of details.
The anime also does not have a rushed ending, and the production company has the time to put some original fillers into it. Which when I look from my perspective, they cancels each other out.
Same comment as season 1.
Harima’s voice has become worse. Made a check at AnimeNewsNetwork and it doesn’t seem that the seiyuu have changed. With the excellent Tenma still a secondary character and the fact that Yakumo’s seiyuu is not that good either, this weakness fortunately was offset by Sawachika’s pretty good (not as good as Tenma though) voice acting.
A little improvement with the first ED theme being actually pleasing to listen to. Others remain the same.
I think the animation quality has dropped slightly compared to the first season. Meanwhile, the directing has improved.
6 out of 10. Weakness of the firs
t season directly affects the start of second season, causing the transition to fail. Music that are not memorable. Voice actors that did not match their characters like Harima and Yakumo.