Series: School Rumble
Premise: School Rumble is like most school romance anime: The protagonist, Tenma Tsukamoto, is a normal teenager who goes to school and has crushes. The difference is that School Rumble is a romantic comedy that revolves around multiple love triangles and quadrangles where there’s a lot of unrequited feelings. You’re introduced to Kenji Harima, a juvenile delinquent extraordinaire who is in love with Tenma. She doesn’t feel the same but it doesn’t stop Harima from bellyaching about it and what it means most of the time.
Is it worth watching?: In a word, yes. If you can get past Tenma’s inherent draw-on-your nerves cuteness and the fact that she spends a lot of time chasing Oji Karasuma, a dude that doesn’t appear to know she’s alive most of the time, the show is pretty funny. There’s a lot of gags that happen and the characters, as they’re introduced, have personalities. In the first 10 episodes, the humor is at the forefront and that’s where it needs to be.
Breakout character: Easily, in the first 10 episodes, it’s Harima. His appearance makes the episodes and his humor, intentional or not, is the draw.
Funniest episode: Episode 3 (“See and Sketch! Letter on an Arrow! Pajama Party Confessions!”). Tenma attempts to get Karasuma’s attention and confess her love for him through shooting an arrow with her confession attached to the end of the arrow. Karasuma has a seemingly supernatural ability to avoid the arrows, and manages to dodge them. Tenma narrowly misses hitting Harima who is nearby. Harima only avoids the arrow by dodging the shot with well-timed Matrix-like Bullet Time maneuver.
Where it’s going: Starting with episode 11, the focus shifts to the surrounding cast and how their relationships play out. Tenma’s still there fighting for Karasuma’s attention and Harima’s still fighting for Tenma, but I love the fact that Tenma’s friends, classmates and family are starting to develop deeper personalities.