Well paint my butt blue and call be a baboon! I actually enjoyed this series. I normally find these style of anime too random, cute, or feminine for my taste. School Rumble is most definitely random, cute, and feminine, but I found myself laughing and chuckling at the awkward social moments.
School Rumble follows the relationships and misadventures of a stereotypical crew of teenagers. Saying School Rumble has love triangles is an understatement. There are triangles within triangles tangled by yet more triangles. The series is mostly seen through the eyes of the class troublemaker Harima as he struggles to confess his love for the class’s cute but extremely empty headed Tenma. Tenma sees Harima as a pervert or at least no-good and fawns after the nice guy weirdo, Karasuma. Of course, School Rumble being what it is, Harima also has girls who are interested in him: Tenma’s sister Yakumo and Tenma’s rich friend Eri.
Each of the other characters also have their own smaller love triangles. Yakumo is chased by the dojo enthusiast (and Harima’s contender for alpha male), Haruki. Eri is generally chased by all the guys, exempting Harima. There are more characters and relationship tangles; all that add comedy and chaos to the plot. What class doesn’t have dedicated perverts in anime?
School Rumble is zany and almost random. There are a lot of over-the-top insane moments in a relatively sane atmosphere. Teenage melodrama is made fun of and present but never becomes overbearing. Although often I thought Harima should just man up and give up on Tenma.
I found Tenma far too kawaii and stupid for my taste. Her bubbly empty-headed character annoyed me. I found her friends more likeable and interesting. Harima is an interesting character; particularly how the other characters are surprised to find he is actually a deep, nice, and thoughtful guy when not acting out of hormones.
The animation is decent. There is a fair number of sight gags and deformations, but they nicely blend with the feel and add comedy to awkward scenes. There is action, but don’t expect Bleach level fight scenes. This is primarily a romantic comedy. The chaos and randomness made me think of FLCL but far more accessible. School Rumble’s comedy is mostly cross culture. There are some odd Japanese references, but by and large the humor is centered around social awkwardness and surreal situations.
Interestingly School Rumble is characterized as shonen. I thought it was shojo from the way it looked and felt.
Just don’t expect to see resolutions to the triangles. School Rumble leaves most of the match ups to your imagination. The characters also only marginally mature across the series. In both these regards School Rumble is oddly realistic.
School Rumble is a enjoyable romp through the insane years of high school. Love triangles abound as do Seinfeld social situations. The comedy is widely accessible and not raunchy, making School Rumble a good introduction to romantic comedy anime.
So who did I want to hook up? An odd question to pose a guy, but even guys have romantic sides. I thought Harima would be best matched with either Eri or Yakamo. I considered them both equal matches.