This romcom love triangle anime with countless gags made high school life extremely memorable.
By: Nicole S. Castro on May 19, 2022 at 13:58 PHT
The early 2000s had no shortage of romcoms, but if you favored romantic comedies that leaned more towards comedy than romance, you probably gave School Rumble (2004-2005) a try.
So let's look back on this adorably silly series!
School Rumble (Japanese: スクールランブル) is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Jin Kobayashi. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from Oct. 22, 2002 to July 23, 2008, and was compiled into 22 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha.
While the manga was ongoing, it received a TV anime adaptation by Studio Comet which aired from October 2004 to March 2005, spanning 26 episodes. It was followed by a 2-episode original video animation (OVA) called School Rumble: Extra Class in December 2005.
The TV anime got a second season called School Rumble: 2nd Semester which aired from April 3, 2006 to Sept. 25, 2006 with 26 episodes. Season 2 was succeeded by another 2-episode OVA called School Rumble: 3rd Semester in 2008.
Plot and Throwback (anime)
This romcom anime focused on the relationships of high school students Tenma Tsukamoto (CV: Ami Koshimizu), Kenji Harima (CV: Hiroki Takahashi), and Oji Karasuma (CV: Ryosei Konishi). Together, they form a love triangle with Tenma having a crush on Oji, Kenji having a crush on Tenma, and Oji being dense and not realizing Tenma's affections for him.
Tenma makes all sorts of attempts to get closer to Oji, with some of them being simple, to most of them being downright comedic.
But as delinquent-looking Kenji reveals, he's got his own romantic feelings (and crazy confession attempts) for Tenma. It goes without saying that most attempts fail spectacularly but successfully entertain us viewers.
So who ends up with whom?
So after all the gags and confession attempts, who ends up with whom?
While Oji does hint he has developed feelings for Tenma in the OVA School Rumble: 3rd Semester, the anime does not give a definitive conclusion, so School Rumble by itself does not tie up all the loose ends.
Instead, fans can refer to School Rumble Z, the "parallel comedy" manga which was serialized in Kodansha's Magazine Special from Aug. 20, 2008 to May 20, 2009. This spinoff (which fans consider more as a time skip) resolves most of the plot lines including those for the supporting characters.
However, Oji, who suffered from memory loss in the manga, continues to recover from his illness in School Rumble Z, with Tenma going to the United States to study medicine to search for a cure. When Tenma returns to Japan, it is shown Oji is regaining his high school memories of her and that there is a chance for these feelings to blossom once more. Meanwhile, an older Kenji can be seen with Eri Sawachika (voiced by Yui Horie in the anime) holding a baby.
School Rumble is the kind of anime you can watch at a relaxed pace when you just want to get comfortable with some slapstick comedy. While the love triangle between Tenma, Kenji, and Oji is hilarious, the series stays refreshing by giving equal attention to the supporting characters who also have their own love interests and issues.
But for the fans who are looking for a bit more of plot progression and drama, we encourage you to read the School Rumble manga as well as School Rumble Z.
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NICOLE S. CASTRO
Nicole is based in the Philippines and works as a freelance Japanese Translator/Interpreter and copywriter (English). She is a JLPT N2 passer who watches anime to "study" for N1. She has a long career history on LinkedIn (with primary focus on media and translation), but her anime watchlist is much, much longer.